The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
by John Yeo
The children were on holiday and their parents had decided to treat them to a visit to the magical Bewilder-Wood. These woods were on the edge of Fantasy Forest, it was rumoured there were imps and fairies hiding away here. Pip, Paula, and little Chloe were playing, hide and seek among the trees. Chloe was hiding and the twins, Pip and Paula were hunting for her. Soon, Paula became concerned.
‘Chloe! Where are you? We have to find Mummy and Daddy.’
Then they saw Chloe, chatting away to a stranger with long white hair and a long white beard
‘Hello! I’m Mr. Claus, most people call me Santa.’ exclaimed the man.
‘You’re not Santa Claus. You’re too scruffy.’ Pip said giggling. Paula then took up this infectious giggle and they were soon shaking with laughter.
The stranger said, kindly, ‘I’m off duty. Ho! Ho! Ho!’
Just then a tiny green elf hopped on the man’s shoulders and whispered and they both disappeared instantly. At that exact moment, the children’s parents arrived.
‘Daddy, Mummy, Santa Claus was here and he was speaking to us.’ Chloe said excitedly. Both parents shook their heads and laughed loudly.
The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.
by John Yeo
The ice had been slowly melting for years. Many corpses of extinct creatures had been discovered, all frozen solid in death over the centuries.
Contrary to the hopes of some of the Scientific Community; none of these creatures so far had come back to life. Professor Chan headed a team exploring these Arctic Ice-fields and Glaciers with Mary Lee, his clever assistant. Then the egg was discovered. A huge egg, muddy brown in colour, absolutely new to Science. When Mary and the team saw the egg appear as the ice slowly melted, they were quick to retrieve it and deposit it in their icehouse for protection. After a few days, Mary noticed a slight trembling inside the egg.
‘Professor! It’s coming to life, it must be the change of temperature.’ The normally reserved Professor became excited.
‘This is sensational Mary! We must keep this quiet and allow Nature to take its course.’
‘Certainly Professor!’ Although high-security measures were in place, news leaked out. When the egg finally cracked a large crowd had gathered. A gasp of shock and horror rippled around when this fearsome brute appeared. Laughter ensued when the monster rolled over, smiled and wagged his tail.
I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to the monthly theme of Fools.
A PANOPLY OF FOOLS
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 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.
The two brothers, Donny and Flip were out playing in the fields, wandering around at the bottom of Piper’s Hill. This steep local hill was suffused with local legend and magical tales were told about many mysterious occurrences throughout the ages. The two brothers were as alike as chalk and cheese as the old saying goes. Donny was tall and thin with a shock of black hair and piercing blue eyes; he was the oldest of the two by eighteen months. Flip was shorter, much to his chagrin, with brown straight hair and brown eyes to match. A daredevil, always game for anything. The one thing the brothers had in common was their quick wits and friendly demeanor.
Flip was acting as a hunter and racing along ahead of Donny. ‘Slow down Flip, we don’t want to lose track of each other, it’s getting late and we don’t want to get lost.’ shouted Donny.
‘It’s OK, I know exactly where we are. That’s old man Grieves’s farm over there.’ replied Flip. A startled Blackbird flew up as he continued to run, making the familiar squawking sound that is the Blackbirds cry of alarm. Then he suddenly shouted, ‘Hey Donny, come quick.’
Donny pushed his way through some bushes at the bottom of the hill and suddenly saw Flip standing in front of the strangest wizened wrinkled old man he had ever seen. This man was wrapped up in an incredible multi-green coat, covered with streaks of brown that looked suspiciously like mud. The old man had a twinkle in his green eyes that were almost dazzling when he looked directly at Flip and Donny.
‘Hello,’ he said, What do I see here? Two young escapees from humdrum, looking for adventure? Sit on this handy log here and I will tell you a story.’
Donny sat down straight away and signaled to Flip to join him. Both of the boys were captivated by this strange old man with his merry grin.
The old man picked up an intricately carved wooden tube that was lying at his feet and waved it in front of the boys. ‘You see this lads? This is an ancient tube, in the right hands, it makes the sweetest sounds you have ever heard. I inherited this from its mysterious owner many years ago. When I was your age, our town was plagued with vermin. The town council hired the man who owned this magical tube to get rid of them. A price was agreed and the fun began.’ The man then suddenly picked up the tube, put it to his mouth and blew once. Soon every tree and bush in the vicinity was covered with hundreds of birds of all shapes, sizes, and varieties.’
The strange old man continued. ‘This musical man dressed in a strange multi-coloured costume was leading the thousands of assorted troublesome vermin from the town. My Mother and Father watched with glee, as the Piper worked his magic. Just as he had predicted, his music was hypnotic to the ears of the vermin and his assignment to clear the town was an instant success.I was 7 years old at the time, and the sight of these vermin leaving the town produced loud cheers and much happiness from the townspeople.’
The old man continued, laughing loudly. ‘What do you think happened next?’
Both boys were dumbstruck and simply shrugged their shoulders.
Flip piped up and said, ‘Can I have a blow on that whistle?’ Donny kicked him in the shins and said, ‘Shut up Flip! Please carry on with the story.’
The old man smiled. ‘Well, the mayor decided not to pay the agreed fee and tried to cheat the piper. The piper was angry at this and blew a strange tune on his whistle. A tune that got into the ears of every child in the town. I remember beginning to dance along with hundreds of my friends. The urge to dance was overwhelming. We followed the piper, dancing to the merriest tune you have ever heard. We danced to this very hill and suddenly two huge cave doors appeared and we all danced inside, to find a Wonderland.A place where dreams come true in the blink of an eye.’
The boys were overwhelmed with curiosity.
‘Why have you come back?’ Asked Donny.
Then Flip interjected. ‘Can we come with you to see this place?’
With a shake of his head and a wave of his hand, the ancient traveler suddenly disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Then Flip bent down and picked something up, something long, tubular, intricately carved, with holes in.‘Look, Donny, he’s left the pipe behind.’
Donny grabbed the pipe and put it to his lips but nothing happened. Flip tried to get a sound from the flute without success. Both boys then returned home with their treasure. They tried many times over the years to get a sound from this pipe, without any success.
The boys didn’t let on to anyone about their magical meeting with the little old man on Pipers Hill. However magic certainly came from the meeting as Donny became a talented well paid Flautist and Flip made a name for himself by playing the Saxophone in a famous orchestra. The brothers became renowned as a duo that rocked the jazz world.
Written by John Yeo, (With apologies to ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin.’)
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.
“Well Sir! I’m pleased to say there will be no charge for your meal. The manager has decided that in view of the extenuating circumstances, your meal will be free of charge. On the house!” said the waiter respectfully.
“Call the manager here at once; it is not good enough to waive the charge. I think you have recognised me as an undercover inspector charged with rooting out unhygienic premises and publicly highlighting the dangers.” replied the man in the grey suit.
Almost immediately a breathless manager charged up to the guests table, looking extraordinarily flustered.
“Can I help you Sir, I’m sorry for the delay, I was remonstrating with a member of staff who was trying to charge his mobile device using a power point in the kitchen that is needed for other purposes.”
“Are you the manager here man? Are you supposed to be in charge of these premises? I am here to evaluate this restaurant after reports have been filed of unhygienic practices. I find the the charges absolutely sound and I intend to report back to my employers who will now file criminal charges. In my opinion your establishment is a danger to the public and should be closed down.”
The unsatisfied diner seemed to be enjoying the effect he
was having and was now smiling gleefully.
At that moment another diner interrupted the conversation and addressed the manager directly.
“If I were you Sir, I would ask to see this man’s credentials, I am an undercover police officer, we have been following this fraudulent person around for months. He gets a free meal under false pretences and then laughs, he seems to get a charge out of his behaviour. I’ll take charge of the situation from here.”
Turning to the the diner the police officer said, “What have you got to say for yourself?”
“I think there has been some mistake. Charge my meal to this card please: I have an urgent appointment. Take an extra £50 to cover this unfortunate situation and I will be on my way.” the man spluttered, clearly flustered at this turn of events.
The manager quickly accepted the card and charged the meal. The manager smiled and returned the card to the diner. Grinning broadly he said to him.
“You should have asked to see my brother’s credentials. Have a nice day Sir. And don’t come back here again ever! Goodbye!”
A prompt response to ~ http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
No.361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
WINKER ON THE CASE
by John Yeo
There they were!….. Dangling from the streetlamp a pair of the most frilly outrageous bloodstained knickers that PC Everard Dickens had ever seen. After the initial shockwave and the rush of blood to the head had worn off, the erstwhile Constable, called his superior officer; Detective Sergeant Winker. “It looks like we have the first clue to this gruesome case here Sir!”
“OK! Stand aside Dickens we need a ladder and the usual equipment for recovering clues to avoid contamination.” DS Winker stood there pondering over the situation as it had unfurled from the time of the anonymous phone call that had led to the gruesome discovery of the two victims. ‘I wonder how they got up there, or indeed if they are connected to this case at all. We have the battered and broken bodies of two pensioners discovered, with their arms tied around each other. The forensic scientists are combing the entire area for clues, something doesn’t seem to add up here. My initial feeling is the garment in question is the wrong size for the deceased; now if they were a pair of outsized bloomers hanging up there logical connections could be made.’
“Dickens!” He called loudly. “I am sure this is an amateurish sort of a red herring to lead us off the trail onto an illogical tangent. Get the garment off to the lab without delay.”
“Dickens; I want this whole area of scrubland around this path combed for clues.”
At that moment an officer arrived with the news that a large quantity of ladies underwear had been found secreted in the bedroom of the apartment where the badly beaten man and woman had been discovered.
“Yes Sir; in a wide variety of sizes and colours Sir!” replied PC Smithers.
“Wow! This puts an entirely different light on the matter. I put this down as a revenge slaughter, Dickens. Someone found out the old pervert was nicking knickers off washing lines and took their revenge. I wager when that pair of soiled pants comes back from the lab the DNA in the blood will point the finger at the spouse of the culprit. Sadly we are unable to verify this without the evidence of matching DNA. Most people are averse to randomly surrendering their DNA, for any reason at all, particularly to rule them out of a murder inquiry.”
“Yes Sir this will probably finish up in the cold case file.
Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.