JUSTIFICATION

A REEDSY PROMPT

Write a myth to explain a mysterious part of life (such as what happens after death).

Unicorns

Image Courtesy of pixabay.com

JUSTIFICATION

by John Yeo

 

  I heard it from my Father, who heard it from his Father. The origins of the tale go far back in the mists of time. Apparently, the saying goes that a horse with a horn situated in his nasal area, actually raised his head and spoke. Of course at that particular period in time, nobody understood what he had tried to say.

The Shaman, as the wisest person present, led the creature into a small field attached to his hut. A little later a loud whinny was heard by the assembled villagers. A sound that was enough to send shivers down the spines of the hardest-hearted person there.  

Soon the Shaman came into view and sternly said ‘It is finished.’  

Wiping the blood from a huge sacrificial knife, he said. ‘We must end the line of animals that presume to be equal to us by talking.’

The Chief of the village then came forward and addressed his subjects. ‘Kill any horse born with a horn. Especially the creatures that have the temerity to attempt to speak.’

There was a murmur of approval and cheers from the assembled villagers.

 Following this major event, almost every horse born with a horn was slaughtered.

  I say almost, as there were survivors. A group of three of these unusual animals were corralled and secreted in a valley surrounded by dense jungle.

 Danito, who lived with his woman and lifelong partner Marita were isolated from the rest of their neighbours and treated these lovely creatures as equals. Marita even learned to speak to them in a basic but quite fluent way.

 The Shaman was quite sure that the Chief’s instructions had been carried out and the unusual creatures were gone.

 Until the special day, Marita’s Father decided to pay her a visit to celebrate her birthday. Marita knew her Father was a mystical man, although she hadn’t seen him for many years, she welcomed this visit.

 Unbeknown to Danito and Marita the person who arrived was the Shaman, who happened to be Marita’s Father.

  Suffice to say, when the Shaman had greeted his daughter, there was a huge welcome and a feast was consumed. With wine served from the horns of a strange animal.

    ‘What meat is this?’ asked the Shaman.

  Marita replied, ‘This is the meat of our friendly animals who die and return to us supplying an endless supply of food. We have grown to know them and they have proved there is life after death, by returning in many different forms. Sometimes they come back with wings and fly away. Father, there will always be life after death in one form or another, once we leave this husk of a body behind.’

 The Shaman was overwhelmed with this and kept the secret of his daughter’s location.

 So the story of life after death began as the slaughter continued and the creatures came back in many forms. Sometimes absolutely unrecognizable.

  Thus was born the myth that is fine to eat the meat of animals as they always come back to life after death, in another form.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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SNOWBELLS

This is a piece of Flash Fiction for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Bells.

Bluebells

SNOWBELLS

by John Yeo

   The afternoon had been warm and sunny as Peter and Rosie happily wandered through the green fields and lanes that ran around the outside of the village bordering their Father’s farm. Peter dragged his younger sister along by her hand. At eleven years old, Peter was two years older than Rosie and he was expected to look after her whenever they went out together. There was no mistaking they were siblings, both of the children had a shock of black hair and unusual piercing blue eyes.

    ‘Don’t pull me so hard, please Pete, you are almost pulling my arm off.’

   ‘Sorry Rosie, but it’ll be getting dark soon and Mum wants us to be home.’

Suddenly as they got close to the woods, the evening sunlight reflected off a sea of blue and green that stretched deep into the woods.

     ‘Look Pete, beautiful Bluebells. Oh, please let’s pick a bunch to take home to Mum.’

At that moment two Magpies began chasing each other in the low overhanging branches on the nearby trees.

    ‘Two for Joy,’ shouted Rosie happily.

   ‘OK Rosie, good idea! They won’t be angry if we take them some flowers.’ Peter replied, he knew his sister would be upset if he said, No!

They soon began to pick armfuls of Bluebells to take home. Suddenly, there was a rustle at the far end of the glade as a Brown speckled Doe, dashed for cover. This made them both jump, as the sudden noise took them by surprise.

  Peter nervously said, ‘C’mon Rosie, it’s time to go home now.’

   ‘OK, Pete’ replied Rosy.

The children soon reached the ramshackle collection of buildings that surrounded the cosy farmhouse. As they arrived, Trusty the farmhouse guard dog barked loudly, overjoyed to see them both. Their Mother appeared looking quite worried, her expression softened, immediately, when she saw the Bluebells.

   ‘Come in quickly, you two! Your Granddad is here and he has been waiting for you for ages.’

  ‘OK Mum,’ said Peter.

As soon as their Granddad saw the Bluebells he said,

‘Have you two heard the legend about Bluebells?’ he asked with a smile.

‘Well, some years there are White coloured Bluebells among the Blue ones like you have here. This means there is bound to be a White Christmas coming up and if you listen carefully sometimes these special Bluebells actually ring when they are tossed by the wind.’

‘Oh! Come on Grandpa. How can flowers make a noise?’

Granddad smiled as he said, ‘Ah! You have to listen carefully and believe, if you want to hear the music of the Snowbells.’

White Bluebell

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

SOPPY

Field

A REEDSY PROMPT

Write a story based on an experience from your childhood — but have that experience happen to a person or group of people who are nothing like you or your family.

 

SOPPY

 

by John Yeo

   Our boarding school was a large old country house set in 100 acres of the most beautiful wooded grounds. Sadly for the boarders, 99 of these acres were out of bounds unless there was a sporting event in progress. The school boasted two full-sized football pitches, two cricket pitches, tennis courts, both lawn and hard courts, and an outside swimming pool, that was icy cold in the depths of Winter
     When we were playing on our large playing field behind the school, we dug a large pit in the ground and put planks over the top and made ourselves a comfortable little den. We enjoyed our self-provided privacy in our own little world of dirt and worms and grassy comfort.
One day a new pupil arrived from a well-to-do family and needed to be welcomed and looked after.
     Mrs. Simpson, the matron said. “Give Rodney a lovely welcome boys. He is the son of one of the school founders.”

     “Yes Miss:” We all chorused.

Later that day, Rodney Blenkinsop arrived and he was quickly christened, ‘Soppy,’  for short, by one and all in view of his high-brow manners and his total dismissal of all sports as a waste of time.

    After our school day had finished, Tommy Jones piped up and said. “Hey Soppy, come and play with us in our den, you will enjoy the change from your big house.”

   “Oh, of course, I would love to join you. Your ignorance and continual mispronunciation of my name leads me to believe you are an inferior, up to no good idiot, Jones.”

  Tommy was taken aback by this attitude and was about to thump him when Mrs, Simpson appeared.

  We all then made our way to our den in the field. The boys all chuckled loudly when they noticed the total look of horror on the face of Rodney Blenkinsop.

   We all piled underground and waited for the new boy to brave the dirt and mud at the entrance to our secure little den.
The grins suddenly became chuckles…The chuckles became laughter…
The laughter became guffaws then turned to outright glee as everyone realized that Soppy was still outside the den.

  Then suddenly there was a shaking of the timbers on the flimsy roof, then a trembling of the earth around the den as the roof began to collapse.

  Somehow as the main beams began to fall inwards they were stopped in full collapse.

    “Get out quickly, while I keep trying to hold the wood my arms are aching. Quick! Get out now!”

   “That’s Soppy’s voice,” said Henry as everyone dashed for the hole which collapsed immediately the last person escaped. The roof then caved in, taking Soppy with it into the bowels of the earth.
Of course, he was rescued by a passing schoolmaster who had witnessed the whole episode.
Rodney Blenkinsop soon recovered in the school sickbay, none the worse for wear. Just a few cuts and grazes as badges of his courage.
No one ever referred to Rodney as Soppy again, From that day forward, he became something of a school hero.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

NEW FANGLED BIRTHDAYS

This is a second piece of Flash Fiction I wrote yesterday for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Birthdays.

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Image ~ Courtesy of pixabay.com

NEW FANGLED BIRTHDAYS

by John Yeo

  I will be reaching a milestone age this year and I have been racking my brains about how to celebrate this occasion. I have a loving generous family and some wonderful friends. The main greeting lately has been, “Hi! What would you like for your birthday?”

Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t know what I would like. We are not poor or extremely wealthy. I can’t think of anything I desperately need. I have enough already with the privilege and the good fortune to have such a nice family and some good dependable friends.

Always one to think out of the box and do the unexpected or the unusual. I have come up with a plan to make this a birthday to share with at least 50 other people.

I want to do exactly the opposite to the norm on this extra special birthday.

I propose to take £100.00 into the local branch of any bank in town and ask them for 50, £2.00 coins.

Then I will walk through the streets of Norwich our nearest city.

For many months I have been shocked to see how many destitute people are begging or sleeping rough on our city streets.

I will then place a £2 coin in their hat or another receptacle they use as part of their attempt to stave off hunger.

I will then smile and say, “It’s my birthday today, have a lovely day!”

I know the usual reasons for not encouraging begging. “Oh, they will only spend it on drink or drugs. You are wasting your time and your money doing something stupid like that!”

My reply to that will be. “What about the people who beg because they are desperately in need? It’s my birthday and I’ll do what I want to.”

 Any £2.00 coins left in my possession at the end of the day will be placed in charity boxes that are usually left in the church, or in many other areas where the needs of the hungry homeless are recognized.

I know at the end of this special day I will have a warm feeling of having done my best to share my birthday widely.

Perhaps I will have started a new fashion where the idea would be to give and not receive gifts on a birthday.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

A Special Birthday

This is a piece of Flash Fiction I wrote yesterday for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Birthdays.

 

Seventy

Image courtesy of google.com

 

A Special Birthday

by John Yeo

   It was a special occasion for Em. she would be 70 years of age today. She was quite philosophical about reaching this grand old age, threescore years and ten, a milestone in her life.
    As she woke in the clean comfortable cabin aboard the luxury cruise liner, she mused on the implications and the meaning of this grand age.
      “Who would have thought I would get to be as old as this? When I was a little girl I remember thinking 40 was really quite ancient. Both my parents lived to be well into their nineties. My Mum used to say they were blessed to have lived so long. She would sometimes quote the passage in the bible….
Psalms 90:
‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet is their strength labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’

     At this point, there was a knock at the cabin door, “Room service!” The cabin steward had arrived, with their early morning cup of tea.
Jay answered the door and came back with a tray of tea that was conspicuous by the birthday cards that were balanced against the teapot.
    “Happy Birthday Darling! We have a special day ahead. Lunch in a waterside pavement cafe. Then we return to the ship to lounge in the sun on the deck, before we change into our formal evening clothes for dinner on the Captain’s table. We will dance your birthday night away together in the Ballroom.”

    “Wow! I hope I can keep up the pace Jay,” said Em, smiling broadly. “I know exactly which dress I intend to wear for our dinner tonight with the Captain.”

      “Of course you will be the star of the evening my beautiful birthday girl.” Replied her husband grinning broadly.

  The day passed slowly in the sun-drenched French port and the evening found Jay and Em, busily preparing for the night of celebrations ahead.

  Soon there was a transformation.
Em looked stunning in a royal blue dress and Jay wore a white dinner jacket, complete with a blue bow tie and cummerbund to match.

  They attended a pre-dinner cocktail party in the lounge, then met up with Sally, the social hostess, and four other couples.
 Sally introduced everyone and led the party to the Captain’s table.
  A richly decorated round table with an ornate floral arrangement and individual place names of each of the invited guests.
  The Captain arrived with apologies, grinning broadly and took his seat at the table.
A pleasant meal followed as the waiters and the wine stewards, served six courses with wine to taste.
  The conversation flowed freely, and the Captain and Sally managed to converse freely with everyone at the table.
 After the plates from the main course had been cleared away and despatched to the galley. The Head waiter appeared with a guitarist and eight smartly attired waiters. Then followed an amazing performance of Happy Birthday, sung loudly and enthusiastically by the waiters as the surrounding diners clapped along and joined in. The ship’s photographer was present snapping away to record the moment as Em smiled. The Captain offered congratulations and everyone clapped to recognize this special moment.
As everyone was leaving the table after this splendid meal, the Captain said, smiling.
     “If I ever write a book I will call it, ‘Tales from the Captain’s table.” There was a momentary silence before anyone noticed the twinkle in the Captain’s eye as he uttered these words.
  Em and Jay then made their way to the ballroom, where they had a wonderful evening dancing and celebrating.

   Em turned to her husband Jay and said, “I’m tired now. I will never forget my special 70th birthday celebrations. Thanks, darling.”
  Jay smiled and said, “You wait until you see what I have planned for when you are 71 next year. Life begins at threescore years and ten.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

GLASS STARSHIP

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~

GLASS STARSHIP

http://bekindrewrite.com

 

A prism-ball-

IMAGE COURTESY OF pixabay.com

 

Glass Starship

by John Yeo

  The world was on full alert. The media had broadcast warning after warning of an unidentifiable asteroid-like object rapidly approaching the Earth.
Panic had set in among the leaders of the various countries and superpowers. In spite of many warnings and prophetic utterances of approaching doom. The strange object just got closer and closer and seemed to be on a collision course. The richest nations proposed to strike the object with strategically aimed missiles and blow it to smithereens.
The plan was to save as many lives as possible by limiting the collision damage to small pieces.
   The most powerful telescope lens on Earth was trained on the unidentified object. To the scientist’s great surprise it was a transparent rock with gaseous clouds visible inside. Clouds that seemed to have shifting forms, with some moving independently and some conjoined.
  This new information arrived too late for any deviation from the damage limitation decision.
The leaders had already decided and a barrage of missiles was already on the way.
Incredibly the massed nuclear rockets were deflected and bounced off the surface of the asteroid. Then cracks appeared in the glasslike surface and suddenly the whole asteroid was black and invisible to the human eye.

     “That’s not an asteroid! That’s a spaceship under alien control. We must try to contact the occupants.!” Yelled Professor Stevens to the team in NASA control. “Somebody should inform President Donal, our armaments are useless!”

  At that moment an elderly couple were having an early breakfast, in a cottage in a remote cliff top location.

    ” How did you sleep last night Meg? asked Jack with a note of concern in his voice.
“I heard you moving around in the bedroom and mumbling away to yourself in the middle of the night.”

    “I had a strange dream Jack, I woke up with cramp and I had to walk around to shake it off.”

   “You had a strange dream darling! Tell me more please.”

     “Well Jack, I don’t know how to tell you this. I was communicating with some strange beings in a glass spaceship. They informed me you would have a heart attack and you would have a stent inserted soon. I am sure this is a warning!”

   Jack laughed at this. “Me, I’m far too fit for that, nothing ever goes wrong with me.”

   Meg switched the television on and they just caught the news of the unsuccessful attempt to blow the asteroid out of the sky.
A scientist was expounding on the prospect of an invasion by intelligent life.
The TV phone lines were going crazy with people telephoning with stories of strange prophetic dreams concerning beings in the glass spaceship.
Many had come true already.
Meg looked at Jack and they both jumped into their car and quickly made a trip to visit their doctor.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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A SURFEIT OF ORANGE

This is a piece of Flash Fiction I wrote yesterday for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Orange.
image

Image © John and Margaret

 

A SURFEIT OF ORANGE

by John Yeo

 

 The day started with a fantasy flow of colours liquidizing the rising sun’s reflections on the clouds. Reds combining with yellows creating a dominating orange that filled the sky to herald the start of a brand new day.

 

   “I’ll have to get the pupils interested in the distant past by bringing the past back to the present. We need to get the feel of antiquity by enacting the period physically.”

Mr. Smithers, the History master was addressing his dog Pooch. An exercise he frequently carried out since he had lost Matilda, his late wife of 30 years, to the dreadful scourge of Cancer.

 

“Fire in the sky needs the purification of fire on the Earth.”  Intoned the mystical tribal shaman, as he rubbed two pieces of tinder together to create a flame. The members of the community watched spellbound as the fire took hold.

 

 A spark found its way to some bone dry ferns in the outskirts of a small town in Spain. Wild fire instantly took hold and spread fast. Orange flames dominated the fire devastating the growing foliage on the edges of a forest with many species of wildlife, scared and vulnerable. Fleeing the flames, predators, and prey running together, oblivious of everything but survival.

Birds feeding on the orange berries of a Rowan tree flew up with a cloud of fluttering wings above the heat and fumes emitted by the orange flames that incinerated everything in their path.

The orange uniforms of firefighters were highly visible as they lined up, desperately trying to control the blaze and stem the greedy red, yellow and orange flames.

The firefighters gradually brought the blaze under control then still alert, yet relaxed, they took a break under a green tree that showed flashes of a ripe,  remarkable orange fruit. Sweet to taste with luscious fleshy, juice-filled quarters. Orange segments were distributed to the firefighters for much needed liquid refreshment, and to build up reserves of energy.

Meanwhile, an orange emergency helicopter landed on a field surrounding an impressive church, to rescue a heart attack victim.

The rescue personnel rushed to give CPR to the victim, who happened to be the mayor of the local town.

 A service of thanksgiving was performed in the church as the townspeople and the rescue personnel gave thanks to God for the survival of everyone in that tiny community, in the face of wildfire.

 

 Mr. Smithers the history teacher was visualizing the Shaman dressed in a traditional fiery orange loincloth.

 “Yes Pooch, Today, I’ll have to teach them to respect the dangers of fire.”

 

 The day ended with a fantasy flow of fiery colours from the setting sun’s reflections on the clouds. Reds combining with yellows creating a dominating orange that filled the sky at the end of another day, leading to the last day of the future.

 

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Image ©️John and Margaret

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved