ORIENTAL SNOWDRIFT

IMG_0725

Image from the net

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: Japan

    Character: the new guy

    Object: an ashtray

    Weather: drifting snow

 

ORIENTAL SNOWDRIFT

By John Yeo

   We are an exclusive club of travelers. Our writing fraternity has visited a different exotic venue each winter for the last ten years. We have been to the ends of the earth in search of inspiration. We explore an unusual destination, then write like crazy for a fortnight using our holiday destination as a backdrop.

    We decided to holiday this year in Japan, It was Harry, the new guy to our group. who had the idea of visiting Hokkaido, I can clearly remember when he addressed the group at our annual meeting.

 “Thanks to the prevailing cold winds from Russia: Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and second-largest island usually gets a good dumping of snow. Sapporo, Japan’s fifth largest city, hosts a magical snow festival that attracts over two million people every year in February to see hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures.”

There was a generally positive reaction to this idea.

Jim Trimble the chairman responded with, “Yes, I’ve heard of this massive unusual event, we ought to get some great inspiration from the displays and the atmosphere there.”

 Peter Drake our secretary and treasurer looked up from the laptop he had perched in front of him on the table. “Sapporo is within our budget and has some interesting features to visit whilst we are there. I can probably get a good deal if we book early,”

“Any questions, or alternative ideas?” asked the chairman.

Millicent Summers, then asked, “What is the temperature like there in February,?”

“Cold!” said Peter

The chairman then asked for a show of hands and the decision to visit Sapporo was carried unanimously.

That is the background to how we found ourselves marooned in a luxury hotel in Sapporo after a freak snowfall had dumped ten inches of snow on this part of the city causing widespread chaos. With devastating snowdrifts piling up, bringing delays to all transport, thousands of people were stranded at the airports.

 We were called together to be questioned by an officer of the Japanese police investigating the murder of one of our fellow guests, an Australian man who was traveling alone had been found dead in his hotel room with a severe wound to his head.

 The investigating officer arrived with two colleagues and began to question all of the hotel guests individually.

The police made an arrest and left with the suspect in handcuffs. We were shocked to discover that Harry, the new guy in our club was under arrest for murder.

 

Jim Trimble said the evidence was cast iron as the victim had been assaulted with one of the large heavy glass ashtrays that can be found in every room throughout the hotel. The only missing ashtray was from Harry’s room, this was almost incontrovertible evidence.

Millicent was soon on the case, and angrily cornered the night porter and questioned him vigorously, she hated to admit Harry had spent the night with her.

 Harry was quickly released from custody; an innocent bystander in a planned assassination.

 

(498 WORDS)

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: Japan

 

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THE POSTMAN ALWAYS COMES EARLY

paper man

Stormy Paper man ~ (Image courtesy of Pixabay.com royalty-free images)

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Paper Storm:

http://bekindrewrite.com

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS COMES EARLY

by John Yeo

  Mr. Blake, a mild-mannered clerk had worked for Power Bros. for 25 years, a dedicated regular employee, who had been extraordinarily loyal to the firm for a quarter of a century.

It was Monday morning in the Blake household, everything was in a turmoil after the weekend of peaceful pursuits that were important for keeping the balance of their minds in sync, with each other and the world around them.

Mrs. Blake got up and prepared the usual breakfast, as was customary, she took the tray into the dining room, together with the morning paper and the post. They always said how lucky they were having an early, reliable postal service.

   “Here you are, George! How did you sleep, darling? I found it so hot last night, I never got a wink, just tossing and turning.”

George grunted a response and examined the envelope that was on the tray.

   “Hmm! Looks like a letter from Head Office. That can wait until after breakfast, it’s probably just a circular; something that is going around all the branches. Those eggs and toast look wonderful, thanks, Beryl.”

 Beryl sat opposite and began to eat. “I must send some flowers to next door, Nicky comes out of hospital today with the new baby, just a little something to welcome her home.”

  “Of course darling, good idea! Jim and I were on the golf course together on Saturday. That is one proud Father! They are a lovely couple, we’re lucky to have good neighbours like that.”  responded George.

Beryl then bustled off to the kitchen with the dirty plates.

George idly picked up a letter opener that Beryl had thoughtfully placed on the tray and slit the letter open along the top.

As the realisation of the contents slowly seeped into George’s consciousness, he first went white with shock and horror, then his pallor changed to an angry red.

Dear Sir,

I regret to inform you that due to falling sales, your services are no longer required by, Power bros. May we take this opportunity to

thank you for your loyalty in the past and wish you every success in the future.

Yours sincerely,

G. Power

 

   “What’s up, darling? You look upset,” said Beryl who had just that minute re-entered the room.  

“It’s nothing Beryl, darling,” said George quickly stuffing the letter into his inside  pocket. “Where are my keys? I need something from the shed.”

 George ran every red light on the journey to work as he just got angrier and angrier with this cold-hearted treatment. To be summarily dismissed after 25 years without a reasonable explanation was inexcusable in his view.

 George stormed into the office waving the letter and in defiance of protocol, he entered the office of the managing director.

“I refuse to take this summarily paper dismissal lying down Mr. Power. George had an old  pistol in his pocket that he was about to pull out.

 Graham Power had known George for years and was both shocked and puzzled at this display of out of character behaviour.

  

 “What dismissal George? Give me that letter please,”

  George angrily thrust the paper over the desk and furiously waited for a response. He guiltily felt the gun bulging into his chest as Graham Power smiled and said,

  “Sorry old chap there has been a mistake, this letter was not meant for you. I will look into the matter. Meanwhile, go to your desk, it’s  a horrible mix-up. A paper storm in a teacup.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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TECH SUPPORT

A prompt response tohttp://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/

  1. Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.
    hand robot-1571852_960_720

    Image from Pixabay.com

    TECH SUPPORT

    By John Yeo

     

       “Hello!”

    “Hello! This is the tech department speaking, All,our engineers are taking calls at the moment, your call is important to us; please continue to hold, all calls will be recorded and may be used for training purposes. Meanwhile enjoy some tinny, robotic, royalty free music.”

    🎶🎵 🎶🎵 🎶🎵

     “Hello, this is tech support here, what is the nature of the problem? We can help in most areas of computer science at affordable rates.” Said a robotic, tinny sort of voice at the other end of the line.

     “I have a problem with my emails, the inbox is up to 5000 unread items and still they are flooding in. How can I stop this interminable flow of junk mail?” I asked.

     “This is the tech department speaking,  in the tech department. Please provide your credit card details, we will sign you up for our five-star service treatment, where we take full control of your emails and delete the junk from the important day-to-day effluence. We will then charge you a small fee every month to keep the unwanted flow down. I can assure you of our best possible five-star service in the future.” continued the robotic voice at the other end of the line.

    “Oh! I just need some advice at present, thanks. What can I do?

     “Stand on your head and count to ten, then eat porridge for breakfast, easy on the sugar, it can be deadly.” replied the robotic voice.

    “What? Are you serious? How the heck can that help to stop the flow of junk mail?” I. asked.

    “Well Sir, it’s all about the quality of the oats, they are capable of producing the necessary flatulence that can stem the abominable flow of excreted matter.” replied the tinny voice.

    “Look here!” I responded aggressively. “I am becoming somewhat miffed at your insolence. I am asking for help here not for your unwanted nonsensical comments.”

    “Please calm down Sir! Try frying your eggs sunny-side up when you next eat breakfast. Works wonders when it’s raining.”

    “Are you joking? You stupid inconsequential idiot! What’s your name? I intend to report this to your head office!” I shouted now getting madder than ever.

    “May I suggest you do the splits on a live rail at the nearest tube station Sir.” carried on the voice at the other end of the line. “My name is Tobor, I am in charge of communication at the moment, all my superiors are either in a meeting or at lunch at the moment. Kindly provide your credit card details and all your computer passwords to enable any repairs to go ahead.”

    “Right I’m hanging up this phone now Tobor. Your superiors will be hearing from me!”

    “Thank you, Sir, your call is important, we look forward to hearing from you again soon. Have a nice day!”

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved

     

     

SHOCK THERAPY

sheepdog

Royalty-free Image courtesy of Pixabay

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: on a farm
  • Character: a dog trainer
  • Object: a full spiral binder
  • Smell: freshly cut grass

SHOCK THERAPY

by John Yeo

   Mrs. Green was delighted; she had been searching for a venue for months. Business was booming, dogs were coming in from all over the neighbourhood. It was at a Mother’s Union meeting where she was approached by a beaming lady, who she didn’t know very well.

    “Hello, I’m Mrs. Giles, I understand you are a dog trainer. We have a Border Collie, that has become rather aggressive at the farm, and I wonder if you are available to help as he is a rather important working dog.”

    “I’m sorry but I have been looking for a training venue. I have been training dogs on our lawn at home, but it has become too small. I am desperately looking for somewhere larger.”  Replied Mrs. Green.

    “Oh! That’s alright, we have plenty of room at the farm, I’m sure my husband will find you a corner somewhere. Come up and see him today, perhaps he will allow you to use a corner of one of the fields.” said Mrs. Giles.

  “Oh! Thanks so much that would be wonderful!” Mrs. Green said, “I would be so grateful.”

After the meeting, both women were soon on their way to Oak Tree Farm, where Farmer Giles, was delighted to come to an agreement with Mrs. Green.

Lady, the sheepdog was in the yard; before Mrs. Green could get close,  there was a low growl as she bared her teeth aggressively.

“Yes I can see you don’t like strangers, Lady, you will get used to me.”

The dog trainer then left promising to return the following Monday to begin working with Lady.

The following week Farmer Giles greeted the dog trainer warmly.

“Good Morning, Mrs. Green. Let me show you the field where you can work.”

“Please call me Lucy. I guess you have cut the grass today, that is a lovely smell, certainly an improvement on the usual farmyard smells. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. What have you done to your arm, I see a bandage on your wrist.”

The farmer grinned sheepishly and said. “Lady, our sheepdog bit me this morning, I wish you luck with your training.”

“Don’t worry Mr. Giles, where is she now?”

“Shut in that barn over there, I will let her out now.”  said the farmer. When he opened the door to the barn a growling dog bounded out with teeth bared and charged straight towards them.

Mrs. Green stepped forward and hit the dog, hard, straight on the nose, with a full spiral binder, she was carrying. There was a look of stunned surprise on the dog’s face and with a whimper, he rolled over on the floor in a submissive pose. Farmer Giles said, “Wow Ma’am! That was amazing, you certainly know what you’re doing!”

“It’s a dominance problem you have here, I think I can work with Lady,” said Mrs. Green. “Your  dog needs a lot of attention. I will help you readjust the balance.”

(493 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Friday Flasher

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THE MIRACLE

A prompt response to ~ http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/

261. Rocks and Gems: Write about a rock or gemstone meaning.

RESEARCH

“For example, the light that reflects through a gemstone crystal, or energy emanating from it is thought to facilitate healing when the gemstone is placed on vital parts of the body. This use of gemstones and minerals for healing is called lithotherapy, and this field is gaining popularity throughout the world of alternative therapy.”  

(from the net)

 

THE MIRACLE

by John Yeo

     Marquita was crying, sobbing loudly. The family was gathered around a pile of rugs and blankets in the corner of the room. One had to look closely to discern a thin emaciated child wrapped up in this grubby pile of bedding. Her breath was laboured and her chest shuddered from the effects of a hacking cough, that seemed to come from deep within her very soul. The wise old Shaman had visited and with a tear in the corner of his crinkled eye, he just shook his head and left.

    “She is dying Jose!”  cried Marquita, “Our little child Conchita, is going to our forefathers before her time. Is there nothing we can do?”

  Jose just cried aloud, pleading, sobbing tears. “No Marquita, there is nothing.”

At that point a familiar figure entered the room, Jose’s brother,  Pietro made an announcement.

     “My family, I bring hope, a slender hope. An elder of our neighbouring family,  talks of a cavern inside the hill, carved from solid rock. This cavern contains a huge crystal gemstone, shaped into a perfect square, shaped over generations by water dripping from within, from the very walls and the ceiling. The light from the entrance to this cavern reflects through the dead centre of the crystal gemstone, facilitating healing, and bringing recovery to the afflicted. We must transport Marquita there at once, during the current cycle of midsummer sun reflection.”

  Almost immediately the mood lightened as hope spread from person to person in a tidal wave. Conchita was quickly placed on a stretcher and lifted high in the air by four strong, young men, and a woeful procession began through the valley to the mysterious hill beyond.

   The cave was hidden behind a dense thicket, and the members of the procession physically pulled back the branches to enter a large clearing at the entrance.

   There was a stunned silence as the huge four-sided, shining, crystalline gemstone became clearly visible as the sun sparkled, warmly.

   Conchita was lifted from the stretcher onto the huge gemstone to bathe in the healing power emanating from the beautiful blue crystal light.

  The silence, punctuated with hope, was broken as Conchita suddenly sat up on the hard exterior of the stone. “Mama!”

  There were grateful, gracious, tears replacing the woeful weeping as she was placed back on the stretcher, with the ghost of a smile on her face.

  Over the next few weeks, Conchita just got stronger and stronger, leading to a full recovery.

  The magical crystalline gemstone disappeared when an earthquake struck the island shortly afterward. Many searches have been made for this miraculous marvel, to no avail, some say it has gone forever.

 

(443 WORDS)

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

 

ANXIETY HURRICANE

Hubblesite.org

Image from the net

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Anxiety Hurricane

http://bekindrewrite.com

ANXIETY HURRICANE

by John Yeo

 Anthony was tired; not just sleepily tired, but a tiredness that had taken hold of his whole being. A weary lethargic state of mind that seemed to kill off any inclination to do anything.

Anthony, however, got a grip of this situation and forced life to go on. Every day he would carry out his regular routine; a routine that he loved in more ways than he cared to admit.

‘I will not get weighted down, by giving in to these horrific, demanding, feelings that are so painfully alien to me.’ Anthony thought.

  ‘For a start, there’s no way the reality of the future can ever be as black as I am imagining. I seem to have developed a habit of always looking at the worst outcome of any situation and painting the picture black: Pure jet black.’

  His mind drifted over the events that led to this obnoxious state of being. There was absolutely nothing in his life that could possibly have engendered this typhoon of negativity.

  ‘There are several minor issues that had been around for a long time. None connected to this searingly shocking hurricane of events, however.’

At this point, Anthony began to take his own steps to shelter himself from the onslaught of worrying events. ‘I have an idea that if I don’t walk on any cracks in the pavement, just the smooth surfaces, life will become smooth once again.’  From that moment forward he would avoid pavement cracks at all costs.

   Still, the worrying tempest of uncertainty continued, certain foods became very dangerous to consume, Anthony was afraid his weight would suddenly increase and he would balloon out, gaining much weight suddenly. A dietary ritual developed where certain foods would be avoided at all costs, eventually, he consumed very little food and became painfully thin. Anthony joined the local gym and another ritual developed, life would be seriously upset and dramatically affected if he ever missed a single session. He would attend the gym at exactly the same time every day where he would anxiously follow his strict routine in accordance with the wildly influential anxiety hurricane that had got increasingly violent as time went on. Many worldwide worrying events were adding to his anxiety and he began to be seriously concerned about world events and the dangers of life in general.

  ‘I will not read the papers anymore or switch the news on in any way, shape, or form, that way I will able to control this shocking tide of woeful anxiety.’ Anthony thought.

He was advised to try meditation and eventually a learned monk using hypnosis entranced him then using the power of suggestion abated the anxiety storm that had continually battered him for months.

   Anthony described the moment when he came into the suggested reality as a dense, dark, black, blanket lifted from his life instantly. From that day the sun shone warmly through Anthony’s future life.

(485 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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FATE AND FISH WITH CHIPS

 

fish-and-chips-

Image from the net, courtesy of ~ Synnot Street Fish and Chips – Melbourne

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: any fast food place
  • Character: a writer
  • Object: an ice cream cake
  • Weather: calm and cool

FATE AND FISH WITH CHIPS

by John Yeo

The fish and chip shop was at the heart of the community, located in a small parade of shops, there was an area outside the shop with tables and chairs set up. Friday night was always a busy night and the queue would often overflow onto the terrace outside.

It was Billy Perkins sixth birthday this Friday, and his parents had promised him a special fish supper for his birthday party, to be held at the local fish and chip shop.

“Daddy, will I get a birthday cake, after my fish n’chips?” Billy asked his father excitedly.

 “Of course son, it wouldn’t be a birthday party without a cake!”  replied his father, smiling.

 “Can I have ice cream as well, please? All my friends love ice cream.”

  “Yes Billy, in fact, we have asked the people in the fish shop to make sure you get some.”

 “Aw! Thanks, Dad.”

When the long awaited day of the party finally arrived; Billy, together with his friends, began to take their seats at this exciting unusual venue for the party. The weather was cool for August, cool and calm with just a light breeze.

The children were soon seated at tables and chairs on the terrace outside the shop, tucking into their huge portions of fish with plenty of chips.

Suddenly a man with a concertina appeared and began to play the time honoured tune to the song: “Happy Birthday to,You!” Everybody, even the waiting customers joined in to wish Billy a very happy birthday. Then the owners of the shop appeared with a huge ice cream cake with six large candles burning on top.

  An elderly gentleman seated in a corner of the terrace, watching the children enjoying the party suddenly fell to the floor writhing in pain choking for breath.

 Billy’s Mum, who was a nurse jumped up and hit him several times in the centre of his back dislodging a large piece of undigested fish, that flew across the floor and was quickly consumed by the shop’s cat, who had been lurking under a table nearby.

The elderly gentleman, who quickly recovered, was overwhelmed with gratitude. He introduced himself as William Bryant, a writer, and author of many books and handed her his card.

“You saved my life!” he exclaimed. “I would like to repay you, please contact me here tomorrow. I want to give my namesake Billy a birthday present of some of my books. Meanwhile, I would like to pay for this birthday party.”

“No! We cannot accept that. I was only doing what I have been trained to do. Of course, we will all come and visit you tomorrow. Billy would like that.”

Time passed and young Billy also became an author with much encouragement from their new found  family friend.

 

(464 WORDS)

 

Copyright Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: Fast Food Place