Mary just adored them and did everything in her power to preserve the magical Marigolds that grew along the borders of her garden. She would water them daily, even when it rained. One day there was a loud knocking at the door. Mary went to open it and there didn’t seem to be anyone around, just a huge bunch of sweet smelling gold coloured Marigolds.
‘Wonderful!’ She thought, ‘My favourite flower, they smell so freshly cut and they look so good. I must put them in a vase straight away.’
Shortly after there was another knock on the door and when Mary answered, she saw the local postman with a card in his hand.
‘Here you are Ma’am, someone has remembered it’s Valentine’s Day and sent you a card.’
‘How do you know.’ asked Mary.
‘Easy said the postman, there are kisses and hearts all over it.’
Mary smiled and opened the card immediately when she was alone, sure enough it was a Valentine’s Day card with beautiful Marigolds all over it.
Mary wondered who the unsigned card was from.
Later that day she met Bob, the greengrocer in town and oddly he had a large Marigold in his lapel.
Mary smiled , yet still the penny hadn’t dropped until Bob blushing said to her.
‘I love your Marigolds Mary, your garden is as beautiful as you.’
Then it was Mary’s turn to blush as Bob handed her a bunch of Marigolds with an engagement ring in a box.
George entered the surgery and waited by the reception desk. He was a large overweight man in his early forties, he was conspicuously wearing an anorak with the hood up. Ruth the red headed receptionist bustled in from the room behind the reception area.
‘Can I help you?’ she enquired,
‘Beg pardon?’ George replied.
‘CAN I HELP YOU?’
‘Yes of course! I have an appointment with Dr,Green.
‘Take a seat! Ruth said rather loudly, she was wondering if this patient had a hearing problem.
A few minutes later the buzzer sounded and George made his way in to keep his appointment.
‘What seems to be the trouble?’ enquired the doctor.
‘ Well, Doctor, I’m hearing things.’ Said George.
‘What sort of things?’
George said, ‘Noises, like a train on the tracks.’
‘Ah!’ said the Doctor, sounds like Tinnitus. Let’s have a look at your ears.’
‘’Yes please Doctor, it’s like being on an endless railway journey’
The professor was a well known entomologist he had lectured all over the world in most of the prestigious universities. In the jungles of Borneo, he met a local guide called Mojo and together they trekked through some impenetrable jungle searching for a new legendary example of insect life. A life of an unknown species.
‘Listen Mojo, we’re looking for a golden mosquito, that is a pure yellow golden colour But we have to be wary we don’t get bitten as Madness will surely follow.’
Later Mojo raced back from the densest part of the jungle with a dead insect clinging to his bare arm
‘Yai! Yai! I am now the one God and hate everybody, Mosquitoes will rule the world one day. Let’s all die together!’
The Professor was bemused as he pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his knapsack, secured Mojo and carefully removed the dead yellow insect.
Write a piece describing the devastating effect of the Coronavirus Covid19 on a single family.
by John Yeo
Jose was a successful hotelier, his wife Maria was his backbone and his inspiration. They had built up La Casa del Puenta. The hotel was excellent and attracted many tourists from around the world. They had a reputation of being the first hotel in Spain to have been awarded a certificate of excellence by Jules Fargo, a well known travel experience organisation that could make or break the future of a hotel.
It was during the high season that the rumours of something nasty began swirling around the media waves. It was Maria who became worried first, her sister had suddenly become seriously ill and was in a large hospital in the city.
‘Jose,’ she said, out of the blue one day, ‘I have to take the day off tomorrow to go and visit Consuella in hospital.’
Without hesitation, Jose said. ‘Of course darling, I will manage. You have built up some wonderfully adaptable staff to cover for you.’
‘Thanks Jose, I will give her your love and take a few things to ease her stay while she’s in hospital. I don’t know quite what’s wrong with her exactly but I’m sure she will get over it.’
Little did either of them realise what life-changing events were about to happen that would have untold repercussions on their comfortable everyday life.
Later that day the news broke of the serious infectious disease that was sweeping through Spain. The news bulletins on the media were frantically warning people not to travel. To stay put, and keep themselves isolated from everyone else. The hotel emptied over the course of that single day, as guests checked out. The hotel reception desk telephones were constantly busy with people ringing to cancel their bookings.
Some members of the hotel staff immediately packed up and left, to be with their homes and families, contrary to the official advice. Suddenly everyone who Jose and Maria came into contact with was wearing a medical mask. Maria had instantly dropped her plan to visit her sister in the city, as the significance of what was happening became clearer.
The food deliveries suddenly dried up except for a few local farmers who dropped off their produce directly to the hotel.
Information began to become clear, the country was in the grip of a worldwide pandemic. A deadly disease was sweeping the world and had reached Spain. The advice was to stay put and not go outside.
Over the next few days the hotel became like a large hollow shell, the swimming pools were deserted with the bars and the restaurant permanently empty. None of the loyal hotel staff remained as they had slowly fled home to their families, contrary to the government advice. Jose and Maria kept to their suite. The freezers in the kitchens were full of frozen food, and the wine cellar was reasonably stocked. However they had to spend a long time just destroying the fresh food and filling the bins.
Horror-stricken, they had kept up with the news of the deadly outbreak and as the body counts grew on a daily basis they became increasingly frightened.
One positive thing that was happening was the continued visits of Farmer Lorenzo, bringing fresh milk, eggs and bread and most importantly local news.
Apparently many local people were sick and there was much sadness and the streets were deserted wherever you went.
Lorenzo said, ‘I dare not walk on the streets of town as some young men are breaking into local shops to steal food.’
Maria replied, ‘Oh no! Where are the police?’
‘The police are forced to keep the peace, but there is a lot of sympathy for the hungry people. Food stocks are running short, due to stockpiling by the wealthy.’ replied Lorenzo.
Two weeks later when Lorenzo arrived with his fresh produce he found the hotel deserted. The local postman shouted from his van parked across the road. They are both in the general hospital, seriously ill with this evil virus. Lorenzo couldn’t control the tears that formed in his dark brown eyes.
Today What Pegman Saw travels to Oman. As always, feel free to stroll around until you feel inspired to write up to 150 words.
When you’re finished, post a link to your story on the InLinkz page to share with the other contributors. Remember that reading and commenting on the other stories is a big part of the fun!
Do your best, and enjoy yourself!
by John Yeo
Rasheed woke, aware of a blue sky through the leaves of some tall Palms. A crow in the branches above his head called loudly with a raucous grating cry. Almost as if this bird had been trained to keep a watch on him and warn his captors the moment he woke. Rasheed began to adjust to the mixed-up emotions and feelings of the crazy dream world he had emerged from. His body was stiff and aching from inactivity, he’d been tied up for a long time. Sand was blowing, fiercely shaken by the slightest gust in his ears, eyes and hair, he was intensely thirsty.
‘Welcome slave, I’m Captain Malik, you will get to know me better when we board my dhow for our long voyage from Oman to China. Omar and Faisal will look after your needs from now.’
They stepped forward, roughly pulling Rashid to his feet.
‘Tell the story of what you imagine your close friends would do if they won the lottery.’
by John Yeo
Arthur and Angela lived their lives happily together, drifting into their later years with deep loving feelings for each other. They were close at the beginning of their relationship and they just continued to become closer and closer as the years went by. When they first met they were both players of the National Lottery and both had their own personal sets of numbers. They decided to continue playing with these numbers jointly and set up a standing order at the bank to defeat the problem of remembering to pick the weekly ticket up. Strangely enough they had both played their individual numbers for years, based on family birthdays and other memorable dates that had affected their lives before they met each other. They both played two lines, twice a week and it was just a case of marrying the entries together. Mystical, magical thinking on both sides, decided these numbers mustn’t change as they would never forgive themselves if one of the lines came up and they missed the jackpot. They certainly never considered stopping playing as they were aware that once they stopped they would never be able to win. As online players they were automatically informed by email if any of their numbers came up. One day they received an email that informed them there was news about their Lottery ticket. Excitedly they logged onto their online Lottery account to discover they had won a £25:00 prize and the money would be paid into their bank account. They had indeed won the lottery, not enough to radically change their lives. They now had to decide what to do with this unexpected windfall. Foreign holidays or new cars were certainly out of the question. They decided to blow the lot on a meal out together, even though the winnings would hardly pay for a posh restaurant meal, perhaps they could manage a Fish and Chip supper together at home. While they were happily discussing their options the front doorbell sounded and Angela opened the door to a man in a smart pin striped suit and a red, white and blue tie. ‘Good Morning, I’m Mr. White, I’m extremely pleased to inform you that you’ve won one million pounds first prize with your Premium Bond, number ******************. They were both stunned to hear the news that they’d finally come up with the top prize on an old bond that they had held for years. As Arthur and Angela were eating their Fish and Chip supper the following Saturday evening, they were busy dividing up the Premium Bond winnings between their family on paper. The next morning they received another email from the National Lottery, with news about another winning ticket??
I thought I would resurrect an old post of mine from five years ago.
DIALOGUE WITH A DAISY
by John Yeo
The garden was a mess, there had been an incredible North wind overnight that savagely blew everything to bits. I leaned on my spade and surveyed the damage, branches and leaves had been ripped from our trees and were lying everywhere.
Then out of nowhere a tiny voice whispered ‘Please don’t tread on me!’
Shaken, as I knew I was totally alone, I wheeled around in surprise.
‘I’m down here! Next to your incredibly large foot.’
I looked down to find there was nothing there except Dandelions, Daisies and Grass.
‘I can’t see you! If you are real and not a figment of my imagination, make yourself visible!’ I declared.
At this point I seriously doubted my sanity.
‘Look again! I am the good looking one with the purest white petals and a yellow heart of gold’
Stunned, I was now certain madness loomed and I was headed for hospital, I made to get away from there fast.
‘No! Don’t go please, I would love to talk to you about many things. I have been watching you very closely. Why do you work so hard, and worry so much?’
I thought, Why should I be worried about one small insignificant voice claiming to be a natural being.
‘What do you mean by petals and a yellow heart? Do you mean to say you are a common Daisy? If so, I can’t tell one of you from another, you all look the same to me!’
The tiny Daisies voice reflected a note of annoyance as it politely stated.
‘Less of the common, Big-Feet. We have a unique way of survival that excludes individuality and we are rooted here as one. Funny though, I can never differentiate the different clodhoppers that stomp around and squash our leaves and petals!’
‘Listen Daisy, if you actually are a talking flower how did you acquire the language I use, and how do you manage to express yourself? You ask me why I work so hard, I have to say the garden would quickly go to rack and ruin if I stood rooted to the spot like a daisy!’
‘My language skills are a result of much study of your people’s thought patterns and I am the result of much floral cross-breeding. We have very friendly relations with your newborn babies and we mingle our minds with them and learn your language as they learn language.’
‘That’s amazing!’ I shouted to the array of daisies around my feet,
I was desperately trying to identify which of the numerous daisies was actually responsible for the conversation. I wanted to dig it up and put it in a pot to take indoors and perhaps have many deep inter-species conversations.
Then I heard a sound that was suspiciously like a giggle coming from the vicinity of my neighbours fence. Then a chuckle was clearly evident leading to an embarrassing roar of laughter, that led to enormous fits of laughter. My face became bright red as I realised the implication of these odious sounds.
Realisation dawned as I remembered my neighbour was a ventriloquist and very skilled at throwing his voice.
Gupta and Jai were fellow travellers who travelled over 10,000 miles from Northern India to reach Panama, leaving behind their families and friends. They had endured damp steaming dense tropical jungles between Colombia and Panama. Linking Central and South America, the Darién Gap is one of the most dangerous jungles in the world, filled with deadly wildlife and guerrilla fighters. It is between 100 km and 160 km of lawless, hazardous wilderness. Gupta had a black belt in Karate, a useful skill, especially when they had fought with a small group of bandits as they crossed through the infamous gap. Jai, an officer in the Indian army, was a technology expert. They were now in the centre of Panama City enjoying coffee with some friendly Panamanian students. The good life beckoned.
Then the ironic announcement….
‘Due to the medical emergency, the borders are now sealed, travel is strictly forbidden.’
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw writing challenge. Every week, Pegman takes us to a new place on Google maps, and we get to search around for whatever sights catch our fancy.
This week Pegman takes us to the isthmus of Panama,
Information from the web
The estimated number of migrants is thought to be 100,000 per year. Half of the migrants come from India, and many others come from Cuba, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Eritrea. In 2017, migrants crossing into Panama also included people from Iraq, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Angola, and around 30 other countries.
Panama has taken some of the toughest measures in the region to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The country has banned all domestic and international travel. It has shut down airports and — after a March 22 deadline — prevented even Panamanian citizens from traveling to the country.
I thought I would indulge in some flash fiction today.
The photograph is a picture I snapped in a theatre Margaret and I visited in Stratford-upon-Avon, five years ago. The bust that is central to this display is of course the immortal bard surrounded by colourful costumes. There is a small fountain tinkling away in the foreground giving some wonderful atmospheric sound effects.
Supposing, just supposing, the great playwright came back to life and applied to act the leading role in a production of one of his plays.
by John Yeo
A letter received by a would-be Hamlet.
THE AUTHENTIC SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
We are pleased to inform you that your application to play Hamlet in our current production has been successful. In view of your extensive past experience of playing this role, and the excellent performance you treated us to at the interview. Please report to the director at the theatre next Wednesday morning, where you will meet the rest of the cast.
Wednesday at the Authentic theatre
‘Hello Luvvies, wonderful to meet you all, I am here to replace your leading man, I hear he is not very well, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m William! I understand if we have a successful informal rehearsal first, then we can have a full dress rehearsal this afternoon.’
‘That’s right William, Grab a stool and start following the lines when we begin. You were very impressive during the interview, everyone was amazed at the way you read your lines from memory. Although there were a few anomalies and variations from the script. Nothing we can’t iron out though. After all, we don’t want to change the words of the immortal bard.’
Later in the pub, the talk is all about the wonderful, trouble free rehearsal of the morning and the full dress rehearsal to follow, this afternoon.
‘William please have another good home brewed stout! Sorry they don’t serve sack here, perhaps if we ask them to order some especially for you, then you can enjoy it while you are working here!’
‘Fine thanks! I won’t have another drink now. If I drink too much then I will be heady this afternoon.’ Replied William.
Back at the theatre, William is shown to the star’s dressing room. ‘Here are your costumes made to an authentic Elizabethan design. Good job you are the same build as our previous leading man. The makeup artist will be along shortly.’
‘WHAT! I was under the impression this was an authentic production. You have even altered the original words out of all recognition. I know the author, William Shakespeare would never have applied modern day makeup. I am not a circus clown man! I would like to see the Director.’ Shouted William irritability. ‘Get him at once!’
‘Yes Sir!’ said the stage hand.
The Director arrived and was stunned to hear about this turn of events.
William shouted at him, before he could open his mouth. “If I’m expected to mouth incomplete sentences and words that have been subtly altered, then to have this muck applied to my face, then I refuse to play the part. It’s bad enough that the original play has been altered forever over the centuries.’
The Director scratched his head and firmly replied, ‘Are you mad? This play is a word-for-word adaptation from the Folger library, based on the First Folios. Now I suggest you get your coat and clear off back to where you came from!’
William was taken aback by this attitude and as he was putting his coat on he shouted, ‘I will refer this non-authenticity to the trades description department of the Lord Chancellor’s Office.’
The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.
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.