A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday


Image © Copyright John and Margaret


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.

(498 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved

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: a shopping mall
  • Character: a ballerina 
  • Object: a full house
  • Mood: wary

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Friday Flasher: Shopping Mall

Friday Flasher


A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday



By John Yeo

 I woke with a screwed-up face, distorted at the intrusive sound of my cell phone, jangling urgently, aggravatingly, to grab my attention. The digits on the phone registered 11.30pm!

“Hi, Carl here! What”s up?”

“Hello is that the 24/7, TV repair service?”

I cursed inwardly. ‘Why the heck did I advertise a 24-hour service? That was Mary’s dumb fool idea. You will make a fortune in call-out charges, she had said.’
“Yes, Carl here! How can I help?”

“The TV has just packed up during an important newscast! We need to get the thing working again, to be able to find out news of flash floods in our area, our houseboat is moored by the river?” An agitated male voice was on the line.

“Hold on!” I replied. “Are you sure you want me to come and fix it at this time of the night? I have to inform you our callout charges are high, and I may not have the parts on the van. I will need to know the make of your TV now, and what exactly happened when your TV stopped working.”

“Oh, I don’t care about the cost! Just come and fix it, I will pay you well. The TV stopped, just like that!”

   “Whereabouts exactly are you?” I asked, sighing inwardly.

  “The Moorings opposite, 37 Canal Street.”

“OK! I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.” I said, dragging myself out of bed, throwing on my overalls and heading for the door. The wind was blowing a force nine gale with driving rain, I cursed as I jumped in my van and headed for the canal. As I reached number 37, I saw a figure on the dark towpath ahead, outside a long, well lit up houseboat, waiting. The man was thickset, well-built, with a shock of red hair.
  “Hi!” I said, “TV repairman?”

   “Yeah! Come aboard. The TV just stopped working, I dunno what happened, but we need it urgently as it is the only way we can keep informed.”

   As I entered the lounge on the houseboat I almost tripped over a pair of what looked like human legs sticking out from behind a long seat. Ignoring the implications of this I started to work on the TV set, and simply put in a new fuse, then switched it on, it was working perfectly.

   “That’ll be £150 pounds please?” I said, nervously pondering on the strange pair of legs that were clearly visible under the seat.

Suddenly they moved as a tall blonde young lady, wearing nothing but a life jacket, leaped out from behind the seat. “How much?” she asked in a shocked voice.
I recognised her instantly as a well-known celebrity, married to a clergyman. 

  “Don’t worry Darling!” exclaimed the man and peeled the money from a wad of notes, handing it to me. “ Keep quiet about who you have seen here. OK, fella!”

I took the money And left without a word.
(495 WORDS)

Copyright Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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

  • A TV repairman (Character)
  • Under a Seat (Place)
  • Night (Time)
  • Life Jacket (Object)

Follow this link To comment, Join in and have fun

Friday Flasher

Friday Flasher: Under A Seat