FRIDAY 12th MARCH 2021

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..



by John Yeo

   Norman Gellby was 69 years of age, a man who had lived a full life. A leader of men and a captain of industry, he threw himself into everything he was involved in and usually came out smiling.  Nellie, his wife, was the first to notice the little lapses of memory, the increasing number of times she had to remind him of little things. Nellie would often finish his sentences for him and  she gradually became responsible for keeping their appointments diary. 

  Norman was in total denial of the possibility of a medical reason for these lapses and just laughed the whole thing off as old age approached. 

    Secretly, Norman was worried enough to be aware that something would have to be done. He began to stretch himself with word games. Then he began to take supplements that promised to sharpen up the intellect. He watched Nellie’s reactions to his interactions with her, very carefully, to see if there would be any miraculous change or rapid improvement. No such luck, he continued to stretch himself however with puzzles and herbal supplements.

  One day Nellie heard of a herbal remedy used by gypsies, a drink made up of common woodland plants that promised to regenerate the intellect and reverse cell degeneration. Nellie secretly caught up with a large family of Romany wanderers and described the potion and then begged to be able to buy some of this miracle elixir. The head of the family introduced her to his Grandmother who agreed to mix the potion but she warned Nellie that Norman may have to take the mixture regularly for the rest of his life.

  Nellie began to notice a distinct improvement to Norman’s memory over the next few weeks. Norman assumed this was probably due to the mental exercises and vitamin tablets he had been taking.

   Norman’s mental faculties began to rapidly improve.

  Nellie continued to administer the gypsy cure, included with many brain enhancing vitamins. Norman was stretching his brain enormously with word games and astonishingly, this seemed to have worked.

  Doctors and Scientists employed by various drug manufacturers were keen to question Norman and Nellie in an attempt to isolate the substance that had effected this remarkable improvement. 

   The billion pound question was? Which area did the improvement come from? Was it even a single factor in Norman’s combination of remedies? Or was the improvement due to a combination of them all? Nellie revealed her visit to the gypsies and the herbal cure she had administered. Strangely when the potion was analysed it seemed to be made up of Nettle juice and Dock leaves. 

  There was no final answer to these tantalising questions. Norman lived to be 103, writing 15 books and becoming a chess grandmaster. 

Nellie became an expert on Nettles and Dock leaf potions. She grew a new variety of Nettle that became known as Nellie’s Wonder and made a fortune by producing a unique wine from Nettles for Nellie.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved