The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.
Photo Credit Subramanya Bhat
by John Yeo
I took my usual seat on the bus and folded the seat in front of me back to allow me to stretch out my osteoarthritic-riddled legs in comfort. It was then an interesting character arrived, in the shape of a lady in her mid-forties. This lady immediately pulled the seat in front of me back down, took a seat and leaned on the side of my seat. I was able to keep my legs stretched out as she adjusted her position around them. It was then I began to take some notice of her. She had long jet black hair that was obviously helped with black dye. Her nose was large, not unattractively large, set in a face with sharp brown eyes and little make-up applied. She was dramatically dressed, totally in black, except for her grey shoes. I noticed she had her fingernails painted a bright red, and she wore a thin gold bracelet. She wrote something on a piece of paper and promptly began to fold the paper into an origami shape. As she was leaving the bus she handed me the piece of paper and left. I opened the paper to reveal the scribbled words, DON’T STARE!
Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps ~ The Baths, British Virgin Islands
by John Yeo
David was battling severe eczema. Davids’ face was a swollen mass of scaly skin. There’s no cure for atopic eczema. David met Doctor Arpachshad, an American, with a dazzling smile and a reputation for effecting miracle cures. One day Dr. Arpachshad excitedly called David. ‘Good news, I have a lotion guaranteed to clear up your condition. It’s made from the skin of a Lioness on heat, trapped and skinned on the night of a full moon. The lotion needs to be applied after a soak in the baths located on the British Virgin Islands.’ ‘How much will it cost?’ asked David. ‘£20,000 pounds cash; double if you pay by another method. David was unable to raise this money but there is a strange twist to this tale. The family visited the baths on the British Virgin Islands and Davids eczema was miraculously cured.
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.
Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. Yep, that’s really a picture of Manhattan. Inwood Park, at the very tip of the island, is one of the few places on the island that looks as it did three hundred years ago.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
by John Yeo
Gerald stood at the top of the hill transfixed and just stood drinking in the absolute beauty that seemed to reach out and draw him on. Georgina breathlessly caught up, then gasped with surprised wonder.
Suddenly there was a chuckle as a rough looking stranger emerged from the depths of a nearby copse. A middle-aged, rather overweight, bearded man stood before them, he had long greasy black hair, with grey streaks, held in position with a battered trilby hat. His bushy black eyebrows met in the middle, atop a large crooked nose. He suddenly opened his mouth to reveal a blackened set of uneven, crooked, gap-filled teeth.
‘I see both of you young people are overwhelmed with this place. I’m Captain Ted, a hungry man and I’ll thank you to turn out your pockets and give me everything you find in them. Oh! And I’ll take that smartphone you’re clutching’
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about slavery, is the horror of the period between 1600, when slavery was reputed to have begun in the UK and 1863 when slavery was officially abolished in the USA. Sadly this is just the tip of a hidden iceberg. Almost every one of us is a slave to an addiction in one form or another. Whether it be one of the obvious big four, Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, or Gambling or another enslaving addiction such as food, or the habitual rejection of food as in Anorexia, diets and slimming fads. A misers addiction is the storing up of gold and a hatred of expenditure. Henry’s addiction was an unmentionable addiction, except of course to his therapist. Ruth was also attending the same clinic for her similarly addictive behaviour. Dr Wesley, was a practical man and he brought these two young people together. ‘Henry and Ruth, I’ve tried everything to effect a cure for your addiction, so far without success. However there is light at the end of the tunnel, I propose to allow a period for you to relate to each other and effect a joint cure.’
Old Alexander always took the new recruits to the top of the high hill overlooking the small coastal town. This was part of their initiation and orientation into the elite fighting force that protected the townspeople from sudden attack. Old Alexander would always begin by relating the story of the vicious war that broke out in the area 30 years previously. The enemy had sited their guns at the top of this hill and continuously blasted the valley until the town below was reduced to rubble; heaps and piles of accumulated concrete everywhere. There was a loss of many lives but by far the greatest number of people escaped by climbing aboard the many fishing boats and assorted vessels moored in the bay. Our people returned in force and drove the invaders out. Every building you see before you are brand new; some have never been occupied. After the reconstruction was almost complete, our enemies returned and showered the area with devastating lethal chemical weapons. There was an immediate exodus over the sea and most of the townspeople escaped, many leaving everything behind. The war that followed was devastating. Our people can never re-occupy their homes.
Welcome to Sunday Photo Fiction! Each week I will post a new photograph, taken either by myself or donated by a member of the community. The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the prompt. When you are done, post your story and the photo prompt on your blog. Please make sure you give proper credit to the photographer. Use the InLinkz froggy icon below to add your story to the SPF collection. While you are there, take time to read and comment on some of the other stories. I know you will not be disappointed.
Photo Credit Susan Spaulding
by John Yeo
Billy and Mary were lovers. From the moment they met, it was a flash of lightning that lit up the fires of longing. Billy was at a crossroads when he first met Mary. He’d just left school without any qualifications and without any chance of a job. Dyslexia was the funny word his English teacher had used. Billy hadn’t a clue what that meant. A stocky lad, with a shock of shoulder-length red hair, that hung loosely on his shoulders. Again his English teacher, Mr. Sykes, had a theory that red-haired people were renowned for being short-tempered and irritable, easily distracted without the means to apply themselves to the task in hand. Billy had his own opinions on bitter, bigoted, world-weary, self-opinionated English teachers who were swayed by popular prejudices against anyone who appeared slightly different. Billy had a business in full swing with his Uncles who were fishermen. He managed to change the colour of the harbour coast lights by inserting cellophane paper to warn the boats not to approach shore whenever there was danger. Smuggling was helping Billy get the funds to marry Mary and take her away. Billy was a genius.
I thought I would like to share this beautiful picture of Gunton Lake again. Margaret captured this image from under some trees using her iPhone. I like the way the gold Autumn leaves on the trees are reflected in the blue surface of the lake. The deep blue colour of the water gets increasingly lighter as the water flows beneath the direct sunlight. With a scattering of wind-transported golden leaves floating on the surface of the water this picture is a magic carpet ride into meditation.
You are invited to write a piece in any genre using the picture featured in the post as your inspiration.
Double Image Dilemma
By John Yeo
Anastasia was not succumbing to the nasty remarks her alter-ego insisted on bombarding her with. The obnoxious, evil-tongue ghostly apparition somehow always seemed to take her unawares, wherever she happened to be. She had always been an intelligent girl. During her first years in school, she had finished at the top of the class in all the subjects she had studied. A brilliant passage through University led her to gain first-class degrees in Psychology and Social Science. Following these honors, she went on to take further honours in her chosen field of Psychiatry. One earth-shattering day her world had been turned upside down by the sudden death of both her parents in a car crash. Anastasia was devastated, she had been extremely close to her Father, who was an eminent Professor. Her sadness at the deaths of both her parents was almost unendurable. She had always had an uneasy relationship with her Mother who had sought to dominate her in many ways. Shortly after the funeral while she was enduring the terrible effects of the grieving process the onslaught began. The vicious out of character remarks and innuendos slowly built up to an unmerciful crescendo. She was always alone when the tirade began. At times Anastasia would glimpse, a shadowy figure of herself standing alongside wildly mouthing unbelievable nonsense. Never a solid figure, just a hazy representation that flashed quickly away revealing a figure she knew intimately. Anastasia didn’t feel threatened by this outpouring of filth and before long she began to analyse some of the statements. When she cut away the obvious rubbishy descriptive remarks, she realised this was a monologue of her thoughts and feelings over the years she had directed towards her bullying, domineering Mother. As part of her training, Anastasia was in therapy with a Dr. Jean Waters. A close friend she had known for years who had come through University with her. Dr. Jean was a short, overweight, bubbly; auburn-haired person. A senior lecturer, somewhat unconventional who relished in solving mysterious unexplained occurrences. As soon as Anastasia had outlined the situation, Dr. Jean came up with her opinion; this alter-ego needed to be disposed of as quickly as possible. Anastasia agreed and both women put their heads together to find a way of disintegrating the foul-mouthed apparition.
‘I think we need to consider the relationship between you and your Mum, I have a feeling if we can work through her influences on you in your early life we will get close to an answer.’ Dr. Jean remarked.
‘Oh! Do you think she is haunting me?’ Anastasia laughed.
“No, I think you are haunting yourself with your unspoken thoughts and feelings towards her while you were growing up.’ replied Dr. Jean.
“What! That can’t be right! I would never use the foul language and disgusting words she uses. Sometimes I could scream at her to shut up.’
‘Ah!’ replied Dr. Jean reflectively. ‘Your unconscious picks up many things from around you during your lifetime and although you would never express them; they are still there filed away.’
‘What can I do about it?’ asked Anastasia.
‘We’ll work through it together and somehow we will have to clear your mind and bury your Mother once and for all. It will be hard and may take a long time, but I’m sure we will be successful as you are quite level-headed and logical. Make an appointment with my secretary and we can begin to explore it further’
Driftwood, bobbing and bouncing on the top of the waves, was the first clue that Old Tom had claimed another unwary, unsuspecting victim. Our hearts sank whenever large spars of wood came drifting in on the foamy, relentless, rough waves in exceptionally stormy weather. Old Tom was the name given by the locals over many centuries to a line of cliffs that were hidden at the entrance to the harbour. Obscured from the sight of incoming vessels by the high waters. There was a large rock, shaped like a giant, hence the name and the well deserved ugly reputation. Several battered suitcases and wooden barrels arrived bobbing into the waiting arms of the people lining the shore. These wrecks always drew a crowd of locals searching for the remains. This wreckage seemed to be different than the usual detritus that floated into shore.
“I wonder if there were many lives lost out there this time. Last time Old Tom claimed twenty-nine. I hear we must be thankful for small mercies, the rocky arms of Old Tom have embraced many of our enemies in the past and saved us from invaders.” Billy Martindale said to his wife Josie.
Josie looked pale and drawn, dragged from her customary hard routine of caring for their home, she had always accompanied her husband to lend assistance if there was a shipwreck. “I sincerely hope not!” she replied.
Billy and Josie had lived on the cliffs of this perilous coastline for thirty five years, a harsh way of life, that both of them had learned to accept the hard way, as they knew no other. They had two sons Bert and Jack, who had long since left the safety of their home and gone to sea.
The first of the dead floated in.
Josie gasped, “It’s a baby! Oh no! Look Billy.”
Then another group of bodies were washed up on the shore. These were families, and the horror set in as the extent of this tragedy began to slowly unfold.
The Coastguards and the Lifeboats returned to shore after a fruitless search for survivors. The newspapers reported another boatload of refugee asylum seekers had been drowned that day off the rugged, rocky coast. At the final tally, Old Ben had claimed another forty nine lives. Sadly the horrors that drove these people to seek sanctuary, seem so ongoing and insoluble that we can only pray for future peace and goodwill in this world.