NOT HOMELESS, JUST HOUSELESS

WEDNESDAY 27th MAY 2020

NOT HOMELESS ~ JUST HOUSELESS

by John Yeo

   Saturday night, the stores in the mall put the shutters up for the night. The last shoppers made their way to the exits, joined by the last of the mall staff. The night security staff arrived and manned the CCTV cameras continuously filming the whole of the shopping area. Joe and Pete were night security men who did regular foot patrols outside the mall.
    The Saturday midnight patrol was always eventful, many a time they came across drunks arguing with each other or young lovers canoodling in the rear doorways and entrances to the mall. This Saturday was different, one Joe would remember for the rest of his life. The two men came upon, what looked like a bundle of rags heaped in a shop doorway.
    Pete, a large stocky man with a shaved head, and a tattoo on his right cheek  noticed it first.

       “Hey Joe, look at that! Someone has dumped a heap of rags in the doorway. No, wait, it’s moving, someone is asleep under there. We will have to wake them up, we aren’t allowed to let people sleep on the mall property.”

     “You’re right Pete, I will just shake the bundle with my foot, to get a response!” Then without thinking he kicked the edges of the rags gently. Joe was the shorter of the two men with dark, greasy hair, he was the most aggressive of the two.
    Both men stepped back, extremely wary, as the bundle of rags came to life with a squeal and a thin, unkempt woman, began furiously attacking them with a tatty umbrella.

    “Please leave me alone you ignorant sex-starved animals, I have no money and I am afflicted with an STD, that will infect you instantly.” The lady screamed.

   “Now hold on,” said Pete. “What are you doing here? You can’t sleep here, you should go home and sleep! We are security officers, doing our job. What’s your name?”

    “Mary,” said the lady, now noticeably calmer. “I have tried all the night shelters and hostels, even the Salvation Army hostel is full. I knocked and the duty security man just said.   “Sorry we have a full-house, there are no beds available.”

      Joe said, “You can’t sleep here, it is more than our jobs are worth to allow that!”
    Mary started sobbing uncontrollably. The two men were both taken aback at this turn of events.

       Pete turned to Joe and said, “We may be jobsworths, but we are not made of concrete.” Then he turned to Mary and said, “Come and have a cup of tea with us, we have a storeroom you can use, for tonight!”
      Photographs Mary carried, revealed she was Maria Popova, a famous ballerina who had been missing for weeks. Joe gained her confidence and informed the authorities. It turned out Maria had suffered memory loss, becoming isolated from her family.
  Joe and Pete became her personal security guards, both men were substantially better off for their kindness to a stranger in distress.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved

CYCLING TO THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD

Sunday Photo Prompt 25/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

CYCLING TO THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD


by John Yeo

If I hire two cycles we can enjoy a sightseeing extravaganza for two.
The weather is set to be dry and fine and we can beat the traffic, just me and you.
There are no high winds forecast to spoil things, as we take off on our exciting ride.
Along the grand historic river Thames, a sightseeing tour along the riverside.
The London Eye circles it’s way on the horizon, overseeing a panoramic view
Of the historic city, monuments and famous attractions old and new.
There are many cycle paths and cycling routes nearby but the towpath is closed.
The historic Globe Theatre is worth a look as we meander along at our own speed.
The Tate Modern gallery, a work of art in restoration, is an interesting sight to see.
Our journey takes us along traffic-free paths allowing us some time to stop.
My tyre got punctured near Borough Market within sight of a riverside pub.
We stopped for lunch and explored the stalls selling tasty cheeses and meats.
A kindly patron in the pub helped us get on our way by changing a tyre for free.
We raced each other to our final destination. The Greenwich Observatory.
We parked the bikes and stood astride the historic Meridian line, where east meets west. We took our place at the centre of the world.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE

 This week in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Pegman takes us to Rams Island, an island on a lake in Northern Ireland. Though I picked a remote spot, you’re welcome to choose a more urban location anywhere in Northern Ireland.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the Linkup below.

Ram’s Island, Northern Ireland | Darran McDonnell, Google Maps

NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE

by John Yeo

  Billy and Pat, an adventurous pair of treasure hunting fanatics were chortling away at what they had discovered inside the chimney. An incredibly old and extremely beautiful locked box. This box was bound with rusted, salt-encrusted metal bands that were so corroded they were almost crumbling away. Pat gingerly rubbed the top of the box to reveal the hairy smiling face of a strange horned man. Intricate carving and strange writing with a floral emblem surrounded this kindly face.

  ‘We’ve got something good here Billy.’

   ‘Aye Pat! We’ll get some good money for this!’

Pat suddenly grabbed a rock and smashed the metal bands.

 Billy was shocked. ’What did you do that for?’

   ‘To see what’s inside, might be gold or jewels,’ replied Pat,

  Slowly Billy raised the tight-fitting lid. Dense smoke filled the air. Surrounded by ethereal music the two treasure hunters passed out. The box was gone?

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Early April Yeti

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Mount Everest

Mount Everest base camp, Nepal | mkslalove Google Maps

EARLY APRIL

by John Yeo

’The thing is; Bill: There are too many people here. This base camp is becoming overcrowded. Someone was wandering around in the dark outside our tent last night. I woke and went outside, but all I could see was a large shadow heading towards the mess tent.’

Bill looked astonished at this revelation.

Fortescue continued. ‘During supper some time ago Sherpa was telling us the locals have a legend about a saucer in the sky that landed here for some days and then took off. Rumour has it one of the aliens stayed behind. They have seen him on the mountain and they call him Yeti. Professor Rawlings believes there is a monster on the prowl. He found a large pile of excreta on the foothill, roughly covered with snow. Apparently, he’s sent a sample off to the lab for analysis.’

‘Really, Forty is it April 1st. already?’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

THE LAST WISH

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

I decided to resurrect and improve the following piece of Flash Fiction I wrote last year. A friend was wondering about what would one wish for in the event of miraculously having access to three wishes with no strings attached, within 200 words. I just had to make this interesting, with a little unexpected twist at the end. Word count is the most interesting way I know of slimming down a piece of writing to the bare bones.

THE LAST WISH


by John Yeo

‘Well Roger, your three wishes have almost completely expired Two of them have already been used. You are extremely wealthy and ageless, you will live as long as the world turns around the sun. I understand you have a special request for your third and final desire. What would you like?’

‘Yes Master, I have given much thought to my final request, and I ask for a companion to share eternity with, I will get lonely on my own and I would love a special friend to share my life with.

‘That is possible Roger, do you have anyone in mind?’
‘I want to be with that Angel on the pedestal in the park, I would like a pair of wings just like hers. We could be happily together for eternity.’
‘Are you absolutely sure this is what you wish for, to be with your Angel Roger? I can make this final wish come true for you.’
‘Yes please Master,’
Then with a wave of the magic wand Roger was turned to stone.

(174 WORDS )

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Bewilder-Wood

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 18/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

A Santa Claus

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Bewilder-Wood

by John Yeo

  The children were on holiday and their parents had decided to treat them to a visit to the magical Bewilder-Wood. These woods were on the edge of Fantasy Forest, it was rumoured there were imps and fairies hiding away here.
Pip, Paula, and little Chloe were playing, hide and seek among the trees. Chloe was hiding and the twins, Pip and Paula were hunting for her.
Soon, Paula became concerned.

   ‘Chloe! Where are you? We have to find Mummy and Daddy.’

Then they saw Chloe, chatting away to a stranger with long white hair and a long white beard

   ‘Hello! I’m Mr. Claus, most people call me Santa.’ exclaimed the man.

   ‘You’re not Santa Claus. You’re too scruffy.’ Pip said giggling. Paula then took up this infectious giggle and they were soon shaking with laughter.

  The stranger said, kindly, ‘I’m off duty. Ho! Ho! Ho!’

Just then a tiny green elf hopped on the man’s shoulders and whispered and they both disappeared instantly.
At that exact moment, the children’s parents arrived.

    ‘Daddy, Mummy, Santa Claus was here and he was speaking to us.’ Chloe said excitedly.
Both parents shook their heads and laughed loudly.

  The twins chorused. ‘He disappeared with an elf.’

 

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2h

This was my original draft before I had to trim the whole deal to just 150 words.

 

Goodbye Cement Factory

 

by John Yeo

 

  Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession in his village. This enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day, loading the heavy cement bags onto a conveyor belt. He kept himself going to work until the factory came to a standstill one terrible day. Just like that without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work to feed his aged parents. At the end of the first month of idleness, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened and weakened following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.

  Desperately Chan approached Hung Li, the storekeeper, who had offered to buy his bicycle and reluctantly parted with his only form of transport. Too late, he returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat. A fisherman who lived an idyllic life on the river, close to Nature. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner in the fishing business. Chan adopted a large black Cormorant, who would feed on fish from his hand. Chan revisited the family grave to pay homage. The Cement works reopened and the harsh industrial life continued for some.

  Chan lived well from his fishing and bought a boat of his own. Later he got married to his old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. The Cormorant flew away for a while and returned with two baby chicks who followed Chan’s boat everywhere. Feeding from the hands of Chan and Ching and Mary Lee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

(341 WORDS)

Goodbye Cement factory

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2

GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

by John Yeo

Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession, this enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day. Without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work, to feed his aged parents. Soon, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened, following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.
Desperately Chan approached the local storekeeper, who bought his bicycle for cash. He returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat, a fisherman. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner.
Chan lived well from his fishing and got married to his  old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. 

(150 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

THE MESSAGE

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 04/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

Photo Credit Subramanya Bhat

THE MESSAGE

by John Yeo

  I took my usual seat on the bus and folded the seat in front of me back to allow me to stretch out my osteoarthritic-riddled legs in comfort.  It was then an interesting character arrived, in the shape of a lady in her mid-forties. This lady immediately pulled the seat in front of me back down, took a seat and leaned on the side of my seat. I was able to keep my legs stretched out as she adjusted her position around them. It was then I began to take some notice of her. She had long jet black hair that was obviously helped with black dye. Her nose was large, not unattractively large, set in a face with sharp brown eyes and little make-up applied. She was dramatically dressed, totally in black, except for her grey shoes. I noticed she had her fingernails painted a bright red, and she wore a thin gold bracelet. She wrote something on a piece of paper and promptly began to fold the paper into an origami shape. As she was leaving the bus she handed me the piece of paper and left. I opened the paper to reveal the scribbled words, DON’T STARE!

(200 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding.

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DOUBLE IMAGE DILEMMA

A return to copious Flash Fiction

Saturday 28th July 2018

https://www.creativewritingink.co.uk/

You are invited to write a piece in any genre using the picture featured in the post as your inspiration.

img_3025

Double Image Dilemma

By John Yeo

 Anastasia was not succumbing to the nasty remarks her alter-ego insisted on bombarding her with. The obnoxious, evil-tongue ghostly apparition somehow always seemed to take her unawares, wherever she happened to be.
She had always been an intelligent girl. During her first years in school, she had finished at the top of the class in all the subjects she had studied. A brilliant passage through University led her to gain first-class degrees in Psychology and Social Science. Following these honors,
she went on to take further honours in her chosen field of Psychiatry.
 One earth-shattering day her world had been turned upside down by the sudden death of both her parents in a car crash. Anastasia was devastated, she had been extremely close to her Father, who was an eminent Professor. Her sadness at the deaths of both her parents was almost unendurable. She had always had an uneasy relationship with her Mother who had sought to dominate her in many ways.
 Shortly after the funeral while she was enduring the terrible effects of the grieving process the onslaught began. The vicious out of character remarks and innuendos slowly built up to an unmerciful crescendo. She was always alone when the tirade began. At times Anastasia would glimpse, a shadowy figure of herself standing alongside wildly mouthing unbelievable nonsense. Never a solid figure, just a hazy representation that flashed quickly away revealing a figure she knew intimately.
Anastasia didn’t feel threatened by this outpouring of filth and before long she began to analyse some of the statements. When she cut away the obvious rubbishy descriptive remarks, she realised this was a monologue of her thoughts and feelings over the years she had directed towards her bullying, domineering Mother.
 As part of her training, Anastasia was in therapy with a Dr. Jean Waters. A close friend she had known for years who had come through University with her.
Dr. Jean was a short, overweight, bubbly; auburn-haired person. A senior lecturer, somewhat unconventional who relished in solving mysterious unexplained occurrences.
As soon as Anastasia had outlined the situation, Dr. Jean came up with her opinion; this alter-ego needed to be disposed of as quickly as possible. Anastasia agreed and both women put their heads together to find a way of disintegrating the foul-mouthed apparition.

   ‘I think we need to consider the relationship between you and your Mum, I have a feeling if we can work through her influences on you in your early life we will get close to an answer.’ Dr. Jean remarked.

   ‘Oh! Do you think she is haunting me?’ Anastasia laughed.

   “No, I think you are haunting yourself with your unspoken thoughts and feelings towards her while you were growing up.’ replied Dr. Jean.

  “What! That can’t be right! I would never use the foul language and disgusting words she uses. Sometimes I could scream at her to shut up.’

   ‘Ah!’ replied Dr. Jean reflectively. ‘Your unconscious picks up many things from around you during your lifetime and although you would never express them; they are still there filed away.’

  ‘What can I do about it?’ asked Anastasia.

   ‘We’ll work through it together and somehow we will have to clear your mind and bury your Mother once and for all. It will be hard and may take a long time, but I’m sure we will be successful as you are quite level-headed and logical. Make an appointment with my secretary and we can begin to explore it further’

  ‘Thanks, See you next week, Dr. Jean;’

‘Goodbye!’

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved