EVERYONE ELSE WAS LAUGHING

A writing prompt from Grammar About..

http://grammar.about.com/od/topicsuggestions/a/50Prompts.htm

bull

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

EVERYONE ELSE WAS LAUGHING

by John Yeo

   The show was billed as a top-notch experience, not just a comedy, an amusing experience; one that would cheer everyone up. It struck Gino’s nerves to the core when the lights finally went down. He knew then that this embarrassment would never make him laugh. There he was with his trousers in his hand being chased out of a farmer’s field by a fierce bull with long sharp horns. His face was hidden, but his bottom was clearly on display as he desperately tried to outrun the fierce bull. He knew very well whose rear that was; he had a clear recollection of the course of events leading to this unfortunate incident.

  Gino and Alex were out filming and photographing wild birds with the local photography club.

  “Look Alex! That’s a rare Egret on the banks of the brook running through that field: Let’s climb over the gate and try to get some photographs.”

  “Should we?” Alex cautiously asked. “Surely it’s private property. I’ll come with you to the gate but that’s as far as I’ll go.”

   The rest of the group also declined to enter the field and waited with Alex watching and filming the Egret from a distance. Gino quietly crept up on the unsuspecting bird and secreted himself in some bushes on the bank and began filming. Suddenly Nature of a different variety intervened and he thought, ‘It’s a good job I’m under cover. That curry I had last night is having a devastating effect. I will squat here behind these bushes.’

 There was heard a bellowing roar and the sound of galloping hooves as a huge 2000 lb bull arrived and charged towards him.Gino grabbed his trousers and ran hard for the gate where his friends from the group were waiting and filming his escape, curled up with hysterical laughter.

  Now one week later the group were sharing their birdwatching experiences!  ☮

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ORIENTAL SNOWDRIFT

IMG_0725

Image from the net

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: Japan

    Character: the new guy

    Object: an ashtray

    Weather: drifting snow

 

ORIENTAL SNOWDRIFT

By John Yeo

   We are an exclusive club of travelers. Our writing fraternity has visited a different exotic venue each winter for the last ten years. We have been to the ends of the earth in search of inspiration. We explore an unusual destination, then write like crazy for a fortnight using our holiday destination as a backdrop.

    We decided to holiday this year in Japan, It was Harry, the new guy to our group. who had the idea of visiting Hokkaido, I can clearly remember when he addressed the group at our annual meeting.

 “Thanks to the prevailing cold winds from Russia: Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and second-largest island usually gets a good dumping of snow. Sapporo, Japan’s fifth largest city, hosts a magical snow festival that attracts over two million people every year in February to see hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures.”

There was a generally positive reaction to this idea.

Jim Trimble the chairman responded with, “Yes, I’ve heard of this massive unusual event, we ought to get some great inspiration from the displays and the atmosphere there.”

 Peter Drake our secretary and treasurer looked up from the laptop he had perched in front of him on the table. “Sapporo is within our budget and has some interesting features to visit whilst we are there. I can probably get a good deal if we book early,”

“Any questions, or alternative ideas?” asked the chairman.

Millicent Summers, then asked, “What is the temperature like there in February,?”

“Cold!” said Peter

The chairman then asked for a show of hands and the decision to visit Sapporo was carried unanimously.

That is the background to how we found ourselves marooned in a luxury hotel in Sapporo after a freak snowfall had dumped ten inches of snow on this part of the city causing widespread chaos. With devastating snowdrifts piling up, bringing delays to all transport, thousands of people were stranded at the airports.

 We were called together to be questioned by an officer of the Japanese police investigating the murder of one of our fellow guests, an Australian man who was traveling alone had been found dead in his hotel room with a severe wound to his head.

 The investigating officer arrived with two colleagues and began to question all of the hotel guests individually.

The police made an arrest and left with the suspect in handcuffs. We were shocked to discover that Harry, the new guy in our club was under arrest for murder.

 

Jim Trimble said the evidence was cast iron as the victim had been assaulted with one of the large heavy glass ashtrays that can be found in every room throughout the hotel. The only missing ashtray was from Harry’s room, this was almost incontrovertible evidence.

Millicent was soon on the case, and angrily cornered the night porter and questioned him vigorously, she hated to admit Harry had spent the night with her.

 Harry was quickly released from custody; an innocent bystander in a planned assassination.

 

(498 WORDS)

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: Japan

 

SHOCK THERAPY

sheepdog

Royalty-free Image courtesy of Pixabay

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: on a farm
  • Character: a dog trainer
  • Object: a full spiral binder
  • Smell: freshly cut grass

SHOCK THERAPY

by John Yeo

   Mrs. Green was delighted; she had been searching for a venue for months. Business was booming, dogs were coming in from all over the neighbourhood. It was at a Mother’s Union meeting where she was approached by a beaming lady, who she didn’t know very well.

    “Hello, I’m Mrs. Giles, I understand you are a dog trainer. We have a Border Collie, that has become rather aggressive at the farm, and I wonder if you are available to help as he is a rather important working dog.”

    “I’m sorry but I have been looking for a training venue. I have been training dogs on our lawn at home, but it has become too small. I am desperately looking for somewhere larger.”  Replied Mrs. Green.

    “Oh! That’s alright, we have plenty of room at the farm, I’m sure my husband will find you a corner somewhere. Come up and see him today, perhaps he will allow you to use a corner of one of the fields.” said Mrs. Giles.

  “Oh! Thanks so much that would be wonderful!” Mrs. Green said, “I would be so grateful.”

After the meeting, both women were soon on their way to Oak Tree Farm, where Farmer Giles, was delighted to come to an agreement with Mrs. Green.

Lady, the sheepdog was in the yard; before Mrs. Green could get close,  there was a low growl as she bared her teeth aggressively.

“Yes I can see you don’t like strangers, Lady, you will get used to me.”

The dog trainer then left promising to return the following Monday to begin working with Lady.

The following week Farmer Giles greeted the dog trainer warmly.

“Good Morning, Mrs. Green. Let me show you the field where you can work.”

“Please call me Lucy. I guess you have cut the grass today, that is a lovely smell, certainly an improvement on the usual farmyard smells. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. What have you done to your arm, I see a bandage on your wrist.”

The farmer grinned sheepishly and said. “Lady, our sheepdog bit me this morning, I wish you luck with your training.”

“Don’t worry Mr. Giles, where is she now?”

“Shut in that barn over there, I will let her out now.”  said the farmer. When he opened the door to the barn a growling dog bounded out with teeth bared and charged straight towards them.

Mrs. Green stepped forward and hit the dog, hard, straight on the nose, with a full spiral binder, she was carrying. There was a look of stunned surprise on the dog’s face and with a whimper, he rolled over on the floor in a submissive pose. Farmer Giles said, “Wow Ma’am! That was amazing, you certainly know what you’re doing!”

“It’s a dominance problem you have here, I think I can work with Lady,” said Mrs. Green. “Your  dog needs a lot of attention. I will help you readjust the balance.”

(493 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Friday Flasher

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FATE AND FISH WITH CHIPS

 

fish-and-chips-

Image from the net, courtesy of ~ Synnot Street Fish and Chips – Melbourne

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: any fast food place
  • Character: a writer
  • Object: an ice cream cake
  • Weather: calm and cool

FATE AND FISH WITH CHIPS

by John Yeo

The fish and chip shop was at the heart of the community, located in a small parade of shops, there was an area outside the shop with tables and chairs set up. Friday night was always a busy night and the queue would often overflow onto the terrace outside.

It was Billy Perkins sixth birthday this Friday, and his parents had promised him a special fish supper for his birthday party, to be held at the local fish and chip shop.

“Daddy, will I get a birthday cake, after my fish n’chips?” Billy asked his father excitedly.

 “Of course son, it wouldn’t be a birthday party without a cake!”  replied his father, smiling.

 “Can I have ice cream as well, please? All my friends love ice cream.”

  “Yes Billy, in fact, we have asked the people in the fish shop to make sure you get some.”

 “Aw! Thanks, Dad.”

When the long awaited day of the party finally arrived; Billy, together with his friends, began to take their seats at this exciting unusual venue for the party. The weather was cool for August, cool and calm with just a light breeze.

The children were soon seated at tables and chairs on the terrace outside the shop, tucking into their huge portions of fish with plenty of chips.

Suddenly a man with a concertina appeared and began to play the time honoured tune to the song: “Happy Birthday to,You!” Everybody, even the waiting customers joined in to wish Billy a very happy birthday. Then the owners of the shop appeared with a huge ice cream cake with six large candles burning on top.

  An elderly gentleman seated in a corner of the terrace, watching the children enjoying the party suddenly fell to the floor writhing in pain choking for breath.

 Billy’s Mum, who was a nurse jumped up and hit him several times in the centre of his back dislodging a large piece of undigested fish, that flew across the floor and was quickly consumed by the shop’s cat, who had been lurking under a table nearby.

The elderly gentleman, who quickly recovered, was overwhelmed with gratitude. He introduced himself as William Bryant, a writer, and author of many books and handed her his card.

“You saved my life!” he exclaimed. “I would like to repay you, please contact me here tomorrow. I want to give my namesake Billy a birthday present of some of my books. Meanwhile, I would like to pay for this birthday party.”

“No! We cannot accept that. I was only doing what I have been trained to do. Of course, we will all come and visit you tomorrow. Billy would like that.”

Time passed and young Billy also became an author with much encouragement from their new found  family friend.

 

(464 WORDS)

 

Copyright Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: Fast Food Place

THE CATACOMBS

catacombs

Image ~ Courtesy of BBC

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements.

  • Place: beneath the streets
  • Character: a home builder
    Object: two new light bulbs
    Mood: tense

 

THE CATACOMBS

by John Yeo

  The family was gathered at a well-respected firm of solicitors to hear the reading of Grandfather’s last will and testament. Ruth, his daughter and her husband Wilfred, together with his two sons, Martin with his wife Maureen, and Malcolm, a confirmed bachelor. Seated around a highly polished old oak table in a wood-panelled room, with shelves full of law books, the atmosphere was tense.

    Mr. Perkins, the family solicitor cleared his throat, before proceeding.

   “This is the last will and testament of Mr. Horace Jones, Bricklayer, and Homebuilder.”

 Everyone present leaned forward in their chairs expectantly.

“I have nothing much in cash to leave except a challenge. I have mortgaged all my properties and turned my cash and collateral into an investment, that is located beneath the streets of the town of Middleburgh. I have deposited in our family tomb in the Catacombs, a secure casket containing the Jewel in my Crown, and I would like all present to get there if you are brave enough. The winner takes the prize.”

There were gasps of surprise all around the table, even Mr. Perkins raised an eyebrow at this surprise. Ruth fainted, and her husband Wilfred shocked, said, “We are both sufferers of Claustrophobia, the old rascal knew that I don’t think he has left anything at all!”

“You’re absolutely right!” Interjected Martin, “This is a Wild Goose chase the old felon was a gambler and probably broke, he is having us on from beyond the grave.”

Malcolm then spoke up, “Can we challenge this will? I will try to get there. I think this is total nonsense!”

 Mr. Perkins then said, “Yes, of course, the will can be challenged but what are you actually challenging? An alleged fortune, and who do you challenge?”

   It was Martin’s wife Maureen who came up with the idea of everyone going to the Jones family tomb together. “We will all be present at the opening of the box that way! We can take care of everything for the claustrophobic family members when we get there.”

“Good idea,” said Malcolm.

“Yes! We will come along as far as we can,”  said Ruth’s husband, Wilfred.

A week later found the party wending their way through the old catacombs to the tomb. Cobwebs were hanging everywhere, A strange tense mood had gripped everyone as Ruth and Wilfred had quickly given up. Their Claustrophobia mingled with Arachnophobia had made it impossible for them to continue.

A figure loomed up in the semi-darkness as an old man with a pronounced stoop stepped forward out of the gloom. “It’s OK!” he said grinning, “I’m the caretaker here, I have just fitted two new light bulbs along the corridor. We had a visitor last night, who broke into one of the tombs, we can’t figure out why.”

There was a shocked silence. The answer became obvious when they reached the ransacked Jones family tomb.

A year later Malcolm was happily retired in the Bahamas.

 

(493 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Friday Flasher

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MISSISSIPPI MYSTERY

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: on a boat
  • Character: a US Senator
  • Object: a 60% off coupon
  • Smell: roasted peanuts

 

American Queen Steamboat

American Queen Steamboat

Image courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company, New Orleans

MISSISSIPPI MYSTERY

by John Yeo

 Let me introduce you to Captain Hiram Henburger, a tolerant well liked man, Master of SS Maybelline, a steamboat that carries wealthy passengers on luxurious cruises up and down the Mississippi River.

Captain Henburger has a wealth of experience of cruising the Mississippi River,  there is nothing he doesn’t know about these impressive boats that are authentic models of craft that have sailed this historic river for years.

Today was day one of a 23-day cruise from Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans, the Master of the vessel was on the bridge as one of his senior officers welcomed each and every passenger aboard. A young couple boarded the vessel, waved off by several family members.

 

“Welcome aboard Sir, I seem to recognise you from your pictures in the news. Of course, you are Senator Planter; I’m pleased to meet you. The Captain sends his apologies, he has an urgent matter to deal with and asks if you would care to join him in the wardroom in an hour.”

“Of course, my wife Betsy here is dying to meet the Captain, aren’t you darling. Sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

Betsy nodded, smiling as the young officer replied, “I’m Staff Captain Stephen Danvers, Sir. Just follow the crew member here and he will show you to your cabin.”

 

Exactly an hour later the Captain and Senator Planter with Mrs. Planter were enjoying afternoon refreshments in the wardroom as the steamboat sailed along through the impressive scenery on either side of the Mississippi River.

  Surprisingly the Senator revealed he was the fortunate recipient of a 60% off coupon, that had arrived through the post to one of his family. The Captain smiled affably and said, “There are some reasonable cabins in the economy section, I expect you managed to get an upgrade, though.”

“No! The ship is full with no upgrades available.”

“Oh dear,” said the Captain; “We will see you enjoy your voyage, Senator.”

Mrs. Planter was concerned that her dietary information had been received by the catering department. “Under no circumstances must I ever eat nuts, as I have a strong nut allergy that could be dangerous.”

The Captain assured her that he would make the Restaurant and the Catering department aware of this at once. “I will personally inform the Maitre D, and the Head Chef,” he assured her. “Have a wonderful voyage!”

 

The next morning at dawn the ship’s alarm bells were sounded as the ship was boarded by uniformed police. Mrs. Planter had been found dead in her cabin and the Senator was helping police with their enquiries. The cabin steward who found her body had noticed a strong smell of roasted peanuts. The Senator had been stopped from jumping overboard in an intoxicated condition. The ship’s medical officer suspects Mrs. Planter has suffered an anaphylactic shock due to an extreme reaction to roasted peanuts.

There will be a postmortem.

(485 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: On A Boat

ROUGH DIAMOND

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: Paris, France
  • Character: a coal miner
  • Object: red and blue markers
  • Smell: baby powder

Follow this link To comment:  Join in and have fun

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/friday-fiction/

 

Swans

Image ©  John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved

 

 

ROUGH DIAMOND

by John Yeo

    After their parents had died in an automobile accident, the family home was sold, leaving Jean-Pierre and his brother, Francois, homeless.

Both coal miners, they had worked together since leaving school. They shared digs together; Jean-Pierre the elder of the two brothers was in love with Marie, the landlady’s daughter. They planned to get married when they had saved enough money.

The brothers worked in the same pit in Noeux, Northern France. One busy shift, the Foreman, a nasty piece of garbage, who answered to the name of Schotter, had been particularly rough on both brothers, sending them to work the coal face in the most dangerous area of the mine. Jean-Pierre suspected he was also in love with Marie, and bitterly seeking revenge for her spurning him, and his advances.

 That memorable day when Jean-Pierre struck the rugged coal face, an unusual round stone came tumbling down between his feet.

“What do you make of this Francois?”  Jean-Paul asked his brother. Francois gasped when he saw the stone.

  

 At that precise moment, there was a low rumble that became a slide and the roof collapsed trapping both brothers. Almost buried alive Jean-Pierre was dragged out with two broken legs, no one noticed the egg-shaped stone he clutched tightly in his hand. Francois died, buried alive in the tunnel.

There was an internal investigation, a manager questioned everyone and made copious notes and drawings on a whiteboard using red and blue markers. The conclusion was that Schotter had been negligent by ordering the brothers to work in an unsafe area. He was arrested and jailed for manslaughter.

It took a while to work out what he had found in the depths of the coal mine. Jean-Pierre always carried the rough stone in a pouch.

He made a slow recovery from his injuries, but he was forced to walk with a limp, and forget about his life as a miner. Marie stood by him when they decided to get married and move to Paris. Marie-Celeste was born, and their rented apartment was soon filled with, the gurgles of a newborn baby together with wondrous smells, of  baby powder everywhere.

 

 “Marie, we are soon going to move to a new house here in Paris. I have a very valuable item that I have been working on, a lucky relic from my days as a miner.”

 After a famous pink diamond was sold on the open market in Paris, for millions. It was a mystery buyer who purchased the diamond from a mystery seller, both sides of the transaction were handled by agents.

 Jean Pierre and Marie lived in comfort, financially sound for the rest of their lives.

 It was Marie’s idea to visit the old mine, the scene of Francois sad death.

When they came to the site, Jean-Pierre the miner stopped, stunned. Two French Swans were swimming on a lake where the overgrown mine shaft was. Swimming over coals that contained the last remains of his brother.

 

(496 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

Friday Flasher

Friday Flasher: Paris, France