BOURBON BLONDIES

MONDAY 30th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Todays Prompt ~ BOURBON BLONDIES

BOURBON BLONDIES

by John Yeo

  It was a damp Autumn day on the moors. Billy and I lived next door to each other in a row of workers’ cottages on a fifty acre farm. Billy was a shortish lad, about 4’ 10” tall with a shock of brown hair and brown eyes to match. He had a stocky muscular build that he used to good effect when he indulged in his favourite sport of boxing. In contrast, I was a comparatively lanky lad at 5’5”. I was always described as a bookworm, avidly reading every word that came my way, even on the sides of sweet wrappers and popcorn bags.

  There was a dense mist on the moors on this particular day, the smell of damp grass was swirling around and visibility was limited to about three feet in all directions. We wandered through a small wooded copse in the bottom of a shallow valley where we came upon four unusual sheep, huddled together for warmth.

     Billy said, ’Look Walt! Those are funny looking sheep, they’re bright yellow with frothy woolly coats. I wonder where they’ve come from?’

        I nodded and made to get closer to them but they ambled away into the trees as I approached. ‘I’ve never seen any sheep like this before Billy; we’ll have to tell the farmer.’

      ‘You’re right there Walt! Let’s continue on our way and follow our noses. These trees are a rookery, that’s why there is so much noise from the roosting birds. I have never heard of rooks daring to interfere with sheep and these four look quite healthy.’

 We continued to ramble across the moors and unusually we took a trail that led to some rocky stone walls that were boundary markers. To our surprise, we met an elderly man, wearing an old fashioned overcoat tied around the middle with a piece of string. He carried a long stick with a crooked handle and he was wearing a floppy hat. He was seated on a wall and he appeared to be consulting a map which was in danger of taking off with the wind.

   ‘Hallo lads!’ he said, ‘I’m Gabriel and I’m trying to locate four of my prize sheep, these are a special breed of Bourbon blondies that wandered away from the flock this morning.’ 

  At this point a large sheepdog bounded into view and Gabriel gave him a pat on the head. ‘I’ve been trying to figure out where I am from this map, but I can’t make head or tail of it.’

   Billy said, ‘We saw four yellow sheep in a copse just a couple of miles away back there. We can take you there if you like.’

   ‘Don’t worry, Bruce and I will find them. Thanks lads.’

It was then I noticed the map he was studying was a map of France but I didn’t like to mention it.

 Next day the farmer searched high and low for the shepherd with the odd sheep but they were never seen again.

(499 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

   

DIRE OUTCOME

SUNDAY 29th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/weekend-writing-prompt-185-dire/

DIRE OUTCOME 

by John Yeo

No matter how high your intentions aspire

The lady you love is now unapproachable 

This diagnosis will dampen your fire.

Social distancing will keep you far apart

No hugs, no kisses, just safely unsociable.

Sadly no exceptions for affairs of the heart.

Lock yourself away and suppress your desire

If your patience is strong your dream is attainable.

(58 WORDS)

MONDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

PROMPT ~ THE FUTURELESS FUTURE .

THE FUTURELESS FUTURE 

by John Yeo

  A mysterious man entered the marketplace in the town of Northchester carrying an ornate, richly decorated chest.

       ‘Gather round folks I would like to reveal an instrument that could transport your innermost soul to places you could never dream of. I bring an instrument that is capable of changing your life forever.’

 Then with a flourish, he pulled off the lid to reveal the contents of the box:

 An ordinary antique black plastic telephone. A scratched, battered, extremely well used, old fashioned telephone.

 The telephone suddenly rang! 

    The mystery man said.  ‘This proves this is not just any old telephone, this is a special telephone.

A line to the timeline of history revealing the twists and turns of the life of the planet since time began.

To travel through the timeline one just needs to dial the year one wants to visit. No kidding! Past, Present or hopefully the Future.’

  The worrying thing was when you dialed the future there was no response. 

‘Why was this?’  You questioned the powers in authority.

 Mr. Optimist replied. ‘There is no reply as the future hasn’t happened yet.’

    Mr. Pessimist said. ‘There is no reply because there is no future. A bomb has wiped out the entire planet. There is no future!’

   There was a third person present. An old man who shrugged and said. ‘Hang up the phone; it is written.’

 The wise old sage in the company then addressed the mysterious stranger.

     ‘Sir! Excuse me please. I don’t think there could ever be such a thing as physical time-travel. The end result would never be the same. People would surely travel backward and forwards in time to undo or change an unfortunate action or to rectify a mistake. Surely one person’s mistake is another person’s gain.

Some of us may not actually exist. How many times have people admitted their child sadly was the product of an unfortunate mistake?

 The past surely should be left in the past. The future is surely best left in the empty mists of time.’

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

BATTLE OF WITS

SUNDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2020 

BATTLE OF WITS

by John Yeo

The answer always at the end of the fingertips 

We are sure it will never drift far out of reach

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

The world has been overtaken by a mutual crisis

Nations collaborating and sharing the research

The answer always at the end of the fingertips.

~

The death toll mounting widespread contagion befits

A closedown of society, widespread fear of defeat 

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

Confinement essential borders just close to friendship 

Perhaps death and sickness have a lesson to teach

The answer is always at the end of the fingertips.

~

Science searches desperately for a vaccine to contain it

Prayers for the families with no solution to the breach

Beating the virus is becoming a battle of wits.

The rallying call to the carers, healers and medics

To stem the tide of desperation with a caring outreach 

The answer was always at the end of the fingertips.

Beating the virus has become a battle of wits.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

PARADOX

SATURDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION 

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/author/sammicoxwriter/

PARADOX

by John Yeo

Life is full of paradoxes, none more than in the climate of the current Coronavirus pandemic. 

‘We all face a common enemy in Covid 19, and yet we are the enemy as the transmitters of the disease’ 

‘Under lockdown, we are confined yet overwhelmed.’ 

‘We’ve seen something like this before, yet we’ve never seen anything like this before’ 

‘There are no words for it, yet too many words to describe it.’

(71 WORDS)

A WALK IN THE PARK


FRIDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ BLOG POST

A WALK IN THE PARK

by John Yeo 

The afternoon was cold without the strong winds we’ve been becoming accustomed to lately. Margaret and I decided to take a good long walk through Sheringham Park. This is a National Trust (NT), property, comprising a large wooded area surrounding Sheringham Hall. The woodland walks are carefully maintained by NT employees and are extremely pleasant to visit. There are many mature trees with Rhododendrons, Azaleas with several species of Magnolia.

A striking young tree, resplendent in its Autumnal golden yellow foliage is the first colourful image that strikes the eye, giving a flavour of the season. Many crunchy, brown Oak and Beech leaves were covering the ground along the way. I couldn’t help imagining a fine tilth of leaf mould all over our allotment if only I could solve the logistical problem of transportation.

We continued to wander along the woodland trail and next encountered this wonderful pink Azalea tree at the edge of the pathway. This was the only shrub  in bloom at this time of the year, although many shrubs were covered in plump strong buds which promises well for a gorgeous display of blooms in the Spring.

Margaret came prepared with a walking cane to aid her balance on the uneven terrain. We passed a few people also enjoying the solitude of a woodland afternoon stroll, mainly couples walking the family pooch. Everyone we encountered strictly observed the social distance recommendations and cheerfully said Good Afternoon to us as we passed.

I was examining some rich green ferns, almost ankle-deep in Oak tree leaves here. The tangled branches in the background sadly feature a good number of branches that had been torn off the trees in a recent terrific storm.

We were just in time to see a Squirrel dashing  up the trunk of a large Beech tree and I noticed the ground was covered with the empty husks of Beechnuts. Obviously there is a secreted hibernation larder nearby.

The normally prolific birdlife was either roosting or away on migration. However we did notice a Magpie, a Crow and a few smaller birds darting around. At the end of the afternoon we had walked two miles in about 50 minutes. A good healthy lockdown exercise experience for both of us.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet.

THURSDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ POETRY ~ BLOG POST

The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet

(A fictional tale of a fictional meeting)

by John Yeo

Quite a good bus service here in Huddersfield,

The bus station was busy but empty,

It was a chilly day in town with a sharp wind. 

I sat waiting next to a gent in a raincoat, 

He puffed on his pipe and looked content.

Suddenly he turned to me and said,

“I was a boy in this area, it’s changed”.

I murmured a response and nodded.

~

 The wind picked up, then I asked my friend,

“What time is the next bus due to arrive?”

“I’m not too sure, Mary will know,” he replied.

“There was a huge gasometer down the road,

Near the grammar school that I attended.

My name is James, they called me Jim at school”

The cruel wind was blowing mercilessly,

A bus arrived, already full, so Jim and I sat still.

~

A kindly lady bustled along, “There you are Harold!

I’ve looked everywhere for you, the driver is waiting, 

The car is here”, She looked at me and smiled.

“I hope he has not been any trouble, I’m Mary”.

My friend looked at me, “Thank you for listening”

Pulled his raincoat collar up against the cruel wind.

~~Of change~~ “Mary I’m coming love,

I was Prime Minister, once you know”.

~

I sat stunned as realisation dawned,

My mind raced over the conversation

I would like to have had before his resignation

And cruel mental decline from Alzheimer’s disease.

How he kept us out of the Vietnam war,

Awarded The Beatles an MBE

During a very long week in politics

Foreseeing the “white heat of technology”.

My companion had been none other than,

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rielvaux.

~

©️ Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved.

This is a poem I wrote several years ago based on a real life Prime Minister of the UK from 1964 to 1970. 1974 and 1976

He sensationally resigned shortly after his 60th birthday. It has been suggested he was in the early stages of Altzheimers disease when he resigned and some recent tests seem to bear this out.

He died in 1995 aged 79 of colon cancer and Altzheimers disease.

He was buried in St Mary’s in the  Isles of Scilly.

His wife Mary Wilson was an accomplished published poet.

Mary Wilson’s poem on Harold’s death….

My love you have stumbled slowly

On the quiet way to death

And you lie where the wind blows strongly

With a salty spray on its breath.

For this men of the island bore you

Down paths where the branches meet

And the only sounds were the crunching grind

Of the gravel beneath their feet

And the sighing slide of the ebbing tide

On the beach where the breakers meet

Lady Mary Wilson lived to be 102 passing away on 7th June 2018 in London and her ashes are buried in St Mary’s in the Isle of Scilly.

THE HIRED HAND

WEDNESDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

Today’s prompt: Write a piece of prose or poetry that uses the words hotel and porcelain skin.

THE HIRED HAND

by John Yeo

   Billy was a drifter, a wanderer, a man for hire. He was of average height and weight, however, he could always be identified by the six-inch long scar on his face running from one ear to the other ear. A hidden identifier was the shape of his head. His skull appeared to be uniquely shaped into a point and he had a long pointed chin. It was rarely, if ever, anyone saw Billy without his battered, mis-shaped, stetson hat on his head. He always had a grubby neckerchief pulled up over the scar and his elongated chin. 

 Jumping awkwardly off the goods train he had boarded when it slowed for some signals two miles outside the small town of Marlon, he took to the road, limping slightly.

 Marlon is a one street town with a general store and a rundown, little-used hotel, opposite the railway goods depot that doubled as the town passenger station.

 Billy entered the bar.

   ‘What’ll you have?’ asked the burly bartender, rubbing his huge wet hands on a grubby apron. He seemed to be deliberately aggressive as he eyed Billy suspiciously.

   Billy smiled and pulled his scarf down slightly. ‘Gimme a beer please! I’m looking for work. Do you know anyone who’s hiring?’

  At this precise moment a tall lady walked in, dressed from head to toe in funereal black. Her blonde hair was scarcely visible under the folds of a jet black hood. Billy couldn’t help admiring her facial skin which was perfectly made up with white makeup, giving the illusion of the pure porcelain skin of an oriental geisha girl.

    ‘Good day Mrs.Harper. Can I get you anything?’  asked the bartender respectfully.

  ‘No thanks Carter, I need to ask a favour. If you hear of anyone looking for work send them to the ranch. We are hiring for our harvest.’

‘Certainly Ma’am, I’ll do just that.’ replied the barman.

With that the lady left the bar.

Billy turned to him and frowned and screamed at the barman

‘Why didn’t you introduce me Carter?’

‘You wouldn’t thank me when you realised you would become a modern slave and sleep in the pigsty. Besides, you work for me now. How does fifty bucks an hour sound with a room thrown in.’

Billy soon became a regular member of the community  and was soon a partner in the business.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

EMPTY REFLECTIONS

MONDAY 16th OCTOBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Prompt ~ EMPTY REFLECTIONS 

EMPTY REFLECTIONS 

by John Yeo

  Jason Spriggs was a third year psychology student at Welchester University. He was 20 years old, 5’ tall, with a shaved head and deep set brown eyes. He was a hard worker and was no stranger to burning the midnight oil. Most of his friends considered him to be good fun and he was a bit of a party animal. He had a habit of burning the candle at both ends.

  It was the weekend and although he had had little sleep Jason woke early in the morning: Suddenly. He vaguely remembered being part of a horrible scenario in his dream. It was difficult to remember exactly what he’d been dreaming about. There was just this terrible feeling of latent fear connected to his actual sense of self. Try as hard as he might, he hardly remembered a single thing that had contributed to this feeling of abject fear. He stumbled out of bed and rushed into the bathroom to answer an urgent call of nature. While he was washing his hands he glanced into the bathroom cabinet mirror. To his horror there was nothing there, just the wall behind him opposite the mirror. He shouted Help! at the top of his voice and Mary and Peter his fellow college housemates came running.

   ‘What’s up Jase?’ enquired Mary in a panic. ‘Why are you screaming?’

   ‘Calm down Jason or you will be arrested for breaching the peace and exceeding the allowable noise levels,’ quipped Peter, ‘They’re extremely hot on noise pollution in this area.’

   Mary tutted and pushed Peter to one side. ‘Don’t be cruel Pete. What’s the problem Jason?’

   Jason rubbed his eyes and looked at them. ‘Am I here? I must be visible to you, but I have lost my reflection. I just looked in the mirror and there’s nothing there. No reflection at all. I had a terrible frightening dream and I just got an empty reflection when I looked in the mirror.’ 

 Peter grinned and reminded him of his consumption of alcohol the night before. ‘Maybe you’re still suffering the effects of the wine and booze you put away yesterday. Have another drink and take another look in the mirror. The hair of the dog technique; never fails to reset the mind. As psychology students we are all aware of the tricks of perception.’

  Mary nodded and rushed off to empty the dregs of several wine bottles that were lying around the house. ‘Here Jase, drink this and look in the mirror again.’ They both knew this was another piece of psychological treatment using the power of suggestion.

 Jason quickly swallowed the contents of the proffered glass and looked in the mirror again.

 At first the glass was cloudy but he was soon relieved to see his reflection slowly appear where there had recently been an empty reflection.

  Peter grinned and said. ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?’

  They all collapsed together, curled up into fits of laughter.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved