MEMORIES FOR SALE 

SATURDAY 15th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This is a response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress.

PROMPT ~ Memories for sale

On a weekend road trip, far away from home, you stumble upon a garage sale in a neighborhood you’re passing through. Astonished, you find an object among the belong- ings for sale that you recognize. Tell us about it.

Image courtesy of etsy.com

MEMORIES FOR SALE 

by John Yeo

How much value could I place on a distant memory?

It shocked me to the core to find your favourite cloak

I knew at once it had been your favourite accessory.

To find it for sale here brought an emotional reverie.

~

To discover this treasure brought a lump to my throat

How much value could I place on a distant memory?

A world away from your home roots it was rudimentary 

The likelihood of misidentification was sadly remote.

~

I recognised it at once as your favourite accessory.

All those years ago my life took a different trajectory 

My past clouded swiftly behind a veil of smoke.

How much value could I place on a distant memory?

~

I left it where the memories lie in the past to soak

I knew at once it was your favourite accessory.

The feel of soft purple mohair still affected me.

How much value could I place on a distant memory?

~

The price of lost memories is immeasurably costly. 

I walked away fast leaving the past with a finality

Allowing heartfelt memories to die yet evoke, 

I knew at once it had been your favourite accessory.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

NORMAN

WEDNESDAY 12th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION

This is response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Fill in the blank
Three people walk into a bar . . .THE PANOPLY OF FOOLS

NORMAN

by John Yeo

  It was a rather special afternoon at the village drama society, all the members were holding their breath in anticipation. Today was casting day for a performance at the local theatre, rumour had it that some celebrity guests would be attending the auditions. The play we would be performing was to be William Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ I had reluctantly joined the West Chester drama society at the behest of my dear wife Penelope, who is a regular performer. This was to be a first, I have never acted in my life before and I was feeling incredibly nervous about the prospect. I gingerly made myself known to the other members of the group as we entered, The Leering Donkey, a local pub. 

      ‘Hello everyone, I’m Norman, nice to meet you all.’

There were several nods and smiles of welcome and approval from the assembled members of the drama group.

I was a bit unnerved when a tall young man came bustling up and said;  ‘Hi and welcome I’m Lawrence. Wow! You will be perfect for the role of Nick. Penelope darling! Well done; your husband will be perfect for the role I have in mind.’

  ‘Nick?’ I asked, ’I don’t remember a character by the name of Nick in Midsummer Night’s Dream. I read the play last night at home!’

   Lawrence smiled and said, ’Don’t worry Norman, the character you have been selected for has an important role to play! I think you will be perfect for the role of Nick Bottom. A very sought after role indeed!’

  ’BOTTOM!’ I exclaimed: ‘You mean the character with an Asses head. The fool?’

  ’Norman this is not just any old fool you will be playing here! Bottom is a very important fool. Out of all the panoply of Shakespeare’s fools Bottom is the finest. I think this role could be the start of a well-revered career: Bottom was one of the leading performers in the Mechanicals. I think you will be perfect for this part. Am I not right Penelope darling?’ 

  ‘Are you mad? I refuse to get involved with this! Anyway! Who do you think you are calling darling? That’s my wife you are addressing.’ I said, becoming quite annoyed by the sly inferences of this toffee-nosed twit.


    ’Just a theatrical term lovey. It’s a great pity; Won’t you change your mind? I think you would be perfect for the role; I’m sure you would look exactly right playing the character with an asses head.’

  ’Clear off!’ I said walking out of the pub.
 One month later Lawrence and my wife Penelope had set up home together. I swear if I ever wake up from this horrible dream, I will get my revenge.
 Wait until he finds out that Penelope is part Mexican and suffers from Montezuma’s revenge whenever there is a certain variety of food on the table.’

   © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST BIRDS

SUNDAY 9th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Landscape
When you gaze out your window — real or figurative — do you see the forest first, or the trees?

Rainbow Lorikeets 

AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST BIRDS

by John Yeo

  I always look beyond the fringe of trees at the edge of the forest and imagine the birdlife living and existing within. Some of my favourite early morning walks within a forest have been during our visits to our family in Australia. I would take a small video camera and wander around the trails, overawed with the colourful variety of the native bird life.

My walk in the forest this morning was interesting and rewarding. My first encounter was with one of my old friends, a Brush Turkey.

I came across this turkey walking straight towards me along the track, I got a wonderful close-up photograph of him, until he saw me and ran off into the forest. Then as I got to a bridge over a little brook near the main road, I spotted an Ibis and an unusual Heron type wading bird fishing in the brook beneath the bridge at the same time.

   

I took a good photo of the wader and I should be able to research and identify this bird later.   Easily the highlight of my walk came next, when there was a chorus of very loud screeching from a flock of five or six Sulphur Crested Cockatoos that landed on some tall Eucalyptus and Paperbark Tea trees high above where I was standing.

I was able to stand and get some very good pictures of this wonderful sight. A sight that will live in my memory and I will relive over and over again when we get back home to England, through these photographs. The panorama of bird life on display today was not complete even then, as I encountered a pair of Kookaburras high up in the tree canopy and I got some very good photographs of the pair of them together. 

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

SUCCESS

SATURDAY 8th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Success
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.

IF ONLY I’D REMEMBERED……..

by John Yeo

Work has been stressful without a break

I’ll feel better when I get home.

The flight was late, I had a horrendous wait,

It’ll be good to surprise the family.

It’s been a hard week but I’m early.

My wife will be delighted

When she knows I’ve been successful.

I’ll be taking her out to dinner tonight.

~

The taxi pulled up behind a posh new car.

There’s another one parked in the drive.

My children must have some visitors.

Two brand new matching luxury cars.

~

Mary, my wife rushed out of the house.

‘Welcome home! Our luck finally changed!

Isn’t the windfall exciting?

Thirteen million pounds is a massive amount..

I knew our numbers would come up in the end!

Come inside, relax, put your feet up,

Your work is now a thing of the past.

We have many plans to make.

I have rung the family, everyone knows.

We’re having a party.to celebrate.’

~

My face must have mirrored my confusion 

When my wife grinned and continued.

‘Don’t tell me you’ve been so busy

You haven’t heard the news.

Our regular lottery numbers have won,

We are now multi-millionaires.

We just need the ticket to prove it.’

~

My face went white in shocked surprise.

Reality took seconds to surface.

Thirteen million pounds; a huge,amount

That sadly we can never claim.

I certainly would have celebrated,

If only I’d remembered to buy the ticket.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

SUCCESS 

 I wrote the above poem in a way that illustrates the dangers of spending money that hasn’t actually arrived. The elation at the success of winning could lead to some unfortunate decisions. The unfortunate person who forgot to invest in the winning ticket is obviously in dire straits with the family.

 Yet although I’m sure winning a massive amount of money would be welcome, I can’t help thinking this sort of success can often be something of a double-edged sword.

 Success will always be a difficult concept to recognise and to write about. Anyone’s first thoughts about suddenly winning 13 million pounds on the lottery, would obviously be extreme delight and excitement. However on reflection a massive sum such as this carries many hidden disadvantages, not the least being the sudden, certain, changes of lifestyle. 

 Obviously the members of the family would be the most uncomplicated beneficiaries. The mere fact of the initial delight of receiving what would be a reasonable sum would certainly lead to an easing of life’s pressures. Then, human nature, being as egotistical as it certainly is, would throw up all manner of complicated psychological reasons on the way the spreading of the winners good fortune could have been done differently.

 The main problems would surely arrive, with the certain lifestyle changes for the winners that would arrive the minute the cheque is cashed and the money becomes available. The sheer danger of the ability to indulge in everything in excess would be incredibly stressful. 

 However the positive aspects of a large win would certainly outweigh the negative aspects. All I can say is keep buying the ticket, as you can’t win without the investment of the entrance fee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

FLAUNT 

FRIDAY 7th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ FLAUNT 

FLAUNT

by John Yeo

   Peter Pleasant was the luckiest person you could ever imagine. He was born into a wealthy family. The only child of two famous actors, Peter never wanted for anything. Consequently he was incredibly selfish and uncaring in his behaviour towards others. He didn’t just flaunt his privileged lifestyle, he went out of his way to rub everyone’s nose into it. For example, he would cruise around the poorest areas of the city in a large gas-guzzling, four-wheel drive car! This man just seemed to attract every lucky break there ever was, everything went his way. 

 However the winds of change were beginning to blow. It started at the regular poker night he attended with three of his close friends. Peter actually began to steadily lose. Hand after hand went against him and he was soon several thousand pounds down.

 Then Peter’s luck began to change again when it came to the final hand, slowly, two of the players dropped out, leaving Peter and Joey Wilkins left playing. Both men were holding possible winning hands and the pot just got bigger and bigger. Joey finally ran out of money and he was sure he held the winning hand. He smiled at Peter and said, 

 ‘‘Look Pete! I’m a gambler and I have one more challenge for you. I have a ticket for next Saturday’s lottery draw in my pocket, this could be worth nothing or at least a million pounds. I will see your hand for the value of this. All or nothing. What do you say?’

  Peter shrugged and replied. ‘You realise the ticket is probably worthless. It’s a 45 million to one chance of being a winning jackpot ticket. Can’t you give me an IOU?’

 Joey grinned and replied. ‘I’d rather not! I challenge you to take a chance and give me a break, I know you are wealthy and you can afford to lose a few pounds. Go ahead and take a chance.’

 Peter grinned and said. ‘OK put the ticket in the pot and show me your cards.’

 There was a moment of electric tension in the room when both players revealed their cards.

  Peter Pleasant won the hand and scooped the pot including the Lottery ticket. He almost gave the ticket back but changed his mind on impulse and put the ticket in his wallet.

 Amazingly Peter became three million pounds richer on the following Saturday, when the numbers on the ticket came up trumps.

  Joey sought him out and tried to claim a substantial share of the winnings but Peter just laughed and said, 

   ‘Sorry I’ve blown the lot on a luxury yacht…….

‘The SS Flaunt’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

EVASIVE ACTION 

THURSDAY 6th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This poem is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Evasive action
What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

EVASIVE ACTION 

by John Yeo

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction

When I heard you I turned scarlet with embarrassment, 

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

My whole response to you was a thoughtful chain reaction 

Why did you choose me to take into your confidence?

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

My response to your secret drives me to total distraction 

How do I respond to a confession of wicked malevolence 

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

To prejudice a long time friendship with risky overreaction 

The information you trusted me with didn’t make sense

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

I respect your wish for my promise of trustworthy inaction

Although you have driven me to the extremes of sentiment

The secret you trusted me with leads to evasive action.

I value a friendship that has brought much satisfaction 

A bond that has cemented a close, safe, stable environment 

After it happened, I desperately sought for a retraction.

The secret you trusted me with led to evasive action.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

A GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL

WEDNESDAY 5th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ The glass?
Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

A GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL


by John Yeo



The Weather forecast is dire;     

 I am sure the weather will get better:

Continual rain will never stop;              

We will probably not get a drop:

~


The crops will fail, we are set to starve;


The predictions are overstated:


Global warming is taking its toll;

We will all eat well and survive on a roll:


~


The world will become a gigantic desert;

Our scientists are all very clever:

 Soil will dry and become sand;

They will find ways to make a stand:


~


The oil will run out, we will grind to a halt;

We will discover new fuels to survive:

The Earth will become dust with millions hungry;


New foods will arrive to feed our young:


~


An asteroid will collide and wipe us out;


We will all take a trip to outer Space:


Our people need to cling to pessimism;


We will all survive on our innate optimism:


~
For every pessimist there’s always an optimist.


~

©  Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

THE TIDE OF TIME

TUESDAY 4th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT TIDE 

THE TIDE OF TIME

by  John Yeo

  The tide of life had flowed for quite a number of years before this particular birthday arrived. The circumstances were definitely weighted against it being an overwhelming experience. We were still securely locked-down, sheltering from the dangers of catching the dreaded Covid virus. Most restaurants were closed to diners eating-in and holidays were certainly out of the question due to worldwide restrictions on entry to most ports of call around the world. In the past we have been able to book a short term break in our favourite little bolt hole here in the U.K., not far from home, where we were able to celebrate with  catering provided and some entertainment.

 Firstly, I had to solve the problem of purchasing a greeting card without exposing myself to the possibility of contracting this abominable virus. I decided to buy an online card and I proceeded to put together a great card using a couple of photographs together with one of my poems. Whilst I was on this useful site, I discovered that the firm also delivers flowers and I added a bunch of thirty stems of beautiful roses. I then postponed this delivery until three days before the upcoming birthday.

  The card and the flowers arrived on the prearranged day and the flowers were spectacularly beautiful. These were placed into a couple of vases straight away and the card was checked and prematurely displayed.

 I had dreamed up several ideas for the actual birthday celebration. I put together an online greeting card and displayed it on both of our timelines on social media in the early hours., I woke early and served tea and toasted homemade bread to the birthday celebrant while I was tunelessly singing, ‘Happy Birthday to You,’ Several early birthday cards had arrived and these were quickly opened to the accompaniment of surprise and murmurs of appreciation.

 I planned to order a delivery of an Indian/Asian meal and we had a lot of fun choosing our selection of dishes from the online menu of our local restaurant and we plan to indulge in a slap up meal this evening.

 The final strand to this unusual birthday present will be a shopping voucher or cash to be spent in the near future when the pandemic restrictions are removed.

© Written by John Yeo

TOAST

MONDAY 3rd MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ BLOG POST

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ The little things
Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that defines your world but is often overlooked.

TOAST

  It’s the early morning slice of toast that springs to mind first, when I consider the little things that would certainly be overlooked in any analysis of my early morning world. I’m always awake early and I make my way to our kitchen to prepare the early morning tea for both of us. I open the fridge door and select a slice of bread, preferably Margaret’s home-baked, although a slice of supermarket sunflower and pumpkin bread is an acceptable alternative.

I place the bread in the toaster, which is set for a light toasting cycle, meanwhile, I switch the kettle on, in preparation to make the tea.

  My slice of toast pops up in the toaster and I remove it and place it onto a small side plate. I liberally coat the bread with olive spread, which immediately begins to melt into the hot bread. Then I add a small amount of marmite; yes! Marmite, the spread which apparently is universally loved or hated by everyone. The category I fall into is obvious. I then cut the slice of bread into four squares and I pop one piece into my mouth immediately. I never chew the bread, I allow it to soften and literally melt into my mouth. I savour the flavour of the strong taste of marmite mingling with the taste of the spread and the flour that makes up the bread. The homemade flour is exceptionally tasty. In the meantime I prepare the tea, at the same time slowly inserting a second square of heavenly marmite-flavoured toast into my mouth. When this has been successfully savoured and consumed I repeat the process until I’ve consumed my morning slice of paradise. 

  The hardest thing is to resist placing a second slice in the toaster and repeating the process all over again.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

SUNDAY 2nd MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ BLOG POST 

This is a response to a prompt on The Last Post on WordPress

PROMPT ~ ABRUPT 

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

by John Yeo

  We had been invited to tea at the vicarage, the vicar was new to our parish. We were keen to get to know him and to make a good impression. Matilda and I had been warned to expect something of a third degree interrogation as he was keen to familiarize himself with everyone and everything connected to his new duties.
  We arrived at the vicarage, slightly early for our appointment, the pathway leading to the front door was untidy and somewhat overgrown with weeds and uncultivated. Matilda was dressed in her nicest clothes, to make a good initial Impression, and she clicked her tongue with an audible tut-tut. She was wearing a pair of brilliant white gloves that were far  too nice to spoil by pushing a grubby bell push. I politely stepped up and ignoring the bell, I gave the grubby door-knocker a comprehensive bang.
  After we had waited for a few minutes, a cheerful buxom lady with permed dark brown hair kept in place with a hairband, opened the door. She had a brightly coloured floral apron over a neatly tailored two piece suit.
  ‘Ah! You must be Mr. and Mrs. Smithers. Come in; I’m Constance, my husband is expecting you.’

  ‘Yes! That’s us, call us Roger and Matilda please.’

We were shown into a comfortable book-lined study complete with several comfortable leather chairs. Seated at a large desk smoking a decorative pipe was our new vicar. Except he looked altogether much different than the person we had envisaged. He had shoulder-length greying hair complete with a ginger-coloured, greying moustache and beard. He wore a black short-sleeved top that revealed numerous colourful tattoos on both arms. His clerical dog-collar was virtually invisible behind his thick beard.
With a cheerful, ‘Howdy-doo!’ the vicar immediately jumped out of his chair and extended his hand.

‘I’m so pleased to meet you! I’m the Reverend Randolph, please take a seat. You’ve met Constance my lady wife, no doubt she will appear in a few minutes with some tea and biscuits.’


  We were both taken aback by his unconventional appearance. I warmly shook the proffered hand although Matilda abruptly sat down on the nearest comfortable seat. I think she was in a mild state of shock. It was when he broke the news about the new order of service that finally shook her up.
  ‘We plan to get rid of the organ and establish a guitar-led musical service led by our son Randy and his gospel group.
There will be flags issued to the congregation to wave in time to the music. We will encourage much clapping and swaying to the beat of the drums.’

It was at this point we both got up and headed for the front door where we left in the most abrupt manner possible.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved