I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to the monthly theme of Fools.

Bottom in the Dream


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.


  Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved



I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to the monthly theme of Lambs.



by John Yeo

   The lake is still at sunset after the wildfowl and the birdlife have gone to roost. Silence replaces the noisy squabbling of the gulls and ducks for food and personal space. Darkness is descending on the shrubs and trees around the banks of the lake as the sun disappears. Nocturnal wildlife will soon be appearing. Owls will be spreading their wings and will be heard hooting in the near trees as they venture out on their hunting forays after dark. Bats can be seen fluttering and searching for insects, using echolocation their powers of ultra-sensitive hearing for guidance. Foxes will soon be on the prowl searching for small mammals in competition with the local neighbourly domestic tomcats who have their own territories to patrol.

    It’s lambing time on the farm that borders the lake and Farmer Wrigglesworth and his wife Lilian have been hard at work all day, with their son James. Lambing is hard work and the family has to endure long hours working from dawn to dusk in the lambing sheds. It’s after dark when danger rears its ugly head in the shape of the nocturnal predators that are always on the prowl. There are just a few predators on sheep these days, foxes, badgers, and large predatory birds, mainly from the crow family. Farmer Wrigglesworth is unable to afford to hire a shepherd to look after the sheep at night and it’s too expensive to permanently keep his whole flock in the lambing sheds. There are electric fences around his two fields designed to go some way to keep the predators at bay. Sadly there are always casualties but on balance, the majority of the new lambs survive.

   Another threat to the smooth running of his business takes the form of human intervention in the form of animal rights organisations. There had been threats from a group in the vicinity recently and there had been an instance of the electrified fence getting tampered with last year. A man had been shocked and the local police had managed to trace him through the local doctors surgery. There was never any proof, even though he was a member of a certain organisation.

  Farmer Wrigglesworth had his own personal views on the meat industry. ‘We work our socks off raising sheep that feed millions of people. The sheep are specially bred to fulfill this function and would never survive in the natural world without our help.’

  Dawn broke with a cacophony of bird calls from around the lake. Farmer Wrigglesworth and Tom were up in the early hours in the lambing shed, Tom was expert at helping the ewes give birth. Over the years he had faced many experiences at lambing time and Farmer Wrigglesworth was extremely proud of his veterinary trained son’s expertise. Tom’s iodine stained hands had saved countless lambs and ewes from a painful death.

   Farmer Wrigglesworth left Tom in the lambing shed and took a walk to his fields with Shep, his trusty sheepdog.

  Shep raced ahead and discovered the grisly remains of two lambs, he was soon barking loudly to alert his master.

  The farmer shook his head sadly, ‘Shep I, must take steps to try harder to control these predators next year.’

  Later in the farmhouse, Lilian produced a large English breakfast for both men who had been up and about hard at work for hours. There had been another telephone threat from an unidentifiable caller purporting to be from an animal rights group.

    ‘Tom we are hated by the few and we feed the many. The jury is out and will always be out on the ethics and morality of how we earn our living.’  Sighed Farmer Wrigglesworth,

‘Meanwhile, let’s get going we have our flock to take care of.’


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved



I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to the monthly theme of Inflation.


Image Courtesy of pixabay.com



by John Yeo

  It started as a tiny spark that jumped from the orange flames with a crack that made old Ben jump, as a gleaming ember settled on his hand.
Ben, well known as a worthless, no good, lazy member of the parish, was roasting a plump pheasant  in the embers of his campfire.
Ben cursed volubly and brushed the ember from his hand, causing a large area of his skin to be affected by the burn. Ben ate his meal and as his hand became painful, he made his way to the local surgery where it was cleaned and dressed by the Practice Nurse.
   ‘How did you manage to do this?’ Nurse Amelia enquired.

  Ben thought for a moment and said, ‘Oh! I discovered a fire in the woods and I noticed it was beginning to burn out of control heading for the village. I simply stopped it from spreading.’

Soon after, with a cacophony of sirens, six fire engines from several of the neighboring towns descended on the village. There was indeed a large fire burning out of control in the woods. It seemed to have rekindled itself somehow.

Later in the Pedlars Arms, Robin the landlord and some of his cronies were excitedly discussing the events of the day together.

   ‘I understand we have a local hero, Poacher Ben discovered a forest fire that was heading towards the village and he single-handedly doused it and saved the lives of us all. Sadly it started up again the emergency services were quick to respond.’

‘Wow! you mean that worthless wretch is a hero.’ said Roger, the local Draper.

‘Yes that’s right,’ continued Robin, ‘I understand Mrs. Peabody has telephoned the local rag and they are sending a reporter to interview him here. Sarah my wife is comforting him and cleaning him up right now to face the Press.’

Ben quickly became a celebrity as he described the fire that he had somehow managed to divert towards the river bank.

The local newspapers had banner headlines. ‘Local hero saves his community.’

A certain wise member of the village was heard to mumble.
‘If it takes just a spark to start a fire that becomes a raging conflagration.
It needs but a tiny pin to deflate the inflation of an ego that becomes hugely inflated.’

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


A Winter Wonderland

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



by John Yeo


I see flurries of silent snowflakes

falling, drifting, settling,

A winter wonderland is created.


The snow hangs thickly

on the branches of bushes and trees.

Bending, almost breaking

beneath the weight.


Garden birds search hungrily

for hidden food under the icy blanket.

Snow covers and hides all.


Water is frozen, solid and hidden,

beneath the thick snowy blanket.

Thirsty birds and animals

lick snowflakes for moisture.


A snowflake is a thing of beauty

ice crystals that shine

with geometric splendour.


Children wrap warmly in scarves and gloves

to welcome the snow with joy.

Skating and sledging, to and fro

With whoops of sheer delight.


A snowman is built by children of all ages,

Mum and Dad and old Uncle Tom.

A carrot for a nose and an old battered hat

with a scarf around the neck.


In the snowy wastes, travel

over the glassy smooth surface is fast,

furious and exhilarating.


Visibility in a snowstorm is impaired,

the snow falling thickly, too dense to penetrate.

Snow blindness can result from the glare.


Housebound by thick snowy drifts

the old folk are trapped indoors,

many look out desperately for help.

Sleigh bells ring jubilantly as horses arrive

with a sledge,

laden with food and warm clothing.


Falling flakes add wonder to

the miracle of dazzling white snow.

A thick white carpet brings clean,

fresh magic everywhere.


Life is harsh as plants push through

the snowy white blanket.

When the snow stops falling

sunlight begins the thaw.


The world becomes a sea of slush

as the snow melts swiftly away.

Leaving behind a muddy, watery, dirty

sea of sludge.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.


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



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


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


Image ~ Courtesy of pixabay.com


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.



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.