This article was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of ~ Time Travel
by John Yeo
A mysterious man entered the marketplace in the town of Northchester carrying an ornate, richly decorated chest.
“Gather round folks I would like to reveal an instrument that could transport your innermost soul to places you could never dream of. I bring an instrument that is capable of changing your life forever.”
Then with a flourish, he pulled off the lid to reveal the contents of the box:
An ordinary antique black plastic telephone. A scratched, battered, extremely well used, old fashioned telephone.
The telephone suddenly rang!
The mystery man said. “This proves this is not just any old telephone, this is a special telephone.
A line to the timeline of history revealing the twists and turns of the life of the planet since time began.
To travel through the timeline one just needs to dial the year one wants to visit. No kidding! Past, Present or hopefully the Future.”
The worrying thing was when you dialed the future there was no response.
“Why was this?” You questioned the powers in authority.
Mr. Optimist replied. “There is no reply as the future hasn’t happened yet.”
Mr. Pessimist said. “There is no reply because there is no future. A bomb has wiped out the entire planet. There is no future!”
There was a third person present. An old man who shrugged and said. “Hang up the phone; it is written.”
The wise old sage in the company then addressed the mysterious stranger.
“Sir! Excuse me please. I don’t think there could ever be such a thing as physical time-travel.
The end result would never be the same. People would surely travel backward and forwards in time to undo or change an unfortunate action or to rectify a mistake. Surely one person’s mistake is another person’s gain.
Some of us may not actually exist. How many times have people admitted their child sadly was the product of an unfortunate mistake?
The past surely should be left in the past. The future is surely best left in the hands of God.”
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved
Erica Armstrong Dunbar| Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge | Atria / 37 Ink | March 2017 | 19 minutes (5,244 words)
Two years after the death of her owner, Betty learned her mistress was to remarry. She most likely received the news of her mistress’s impending second marriage with great wariness as word spread that Martha Custis’s intended was Colonel George Washington. The colonel was a fairly prominent landowner with a respectable career as a military officer and an elected member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. His marriage to the widowed Martha Custis would offer him instant wealth and the stability of a wife and family that had eluded him.
A huge yet necessary transition awaited Martha Custis as she prepared to marry and move to the Mount Vernon estate, nearly one hundred miles away. For Betty…
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A prompt response to Our Write Side ~ Coldly Calculating: DRESSED TO THE NINES
DRESSED TO THE NINES
By John Yeo
DRESSED TO THE NINES
By John Yeo
A murky sky threatened to burst out into a storm as we drew up at the gated entrance to our destination. We had to abandon the car at the main gates as they were inaccessible, due to a large padlock and chain.
A long winding overgrown path pointed the way to Crossways. In days of yore, this would have been a smart well kept drive for the legions of horse-drawn carriages that carried many carousing visitors.
Miranda and I were following my family tree, apparently, this was lately the residence of my Great Grandmother, Lucy Landers.
The house was large with at least six bedrooms. The conspicuously obvious anomaly was sticking out of the dilapidated roof. No less than ten crooked chimney pots strategical scattered over the many layers of sloping roof.
“The place looks empty John, although I thought I saw a wisp of smoke coming from one of those chimneys at the back,” Miranda whispered.
“Why are you whispering darling? There isn’t any possibility of smoke. The place has been empty for ages. The agents who are dealing with the estate say my Great Grandmother disappeared some years ago leaving instructions and funds for retaining the staff. Apparently, they left when the money ran out. I am the sole survivor of this branch of the family.”
At that moment with a loud angry growl, a large black cat streaked across the path directly in front of us and disappeared into the undergrowth at the side of the path. We both jumped in alarm and hurriedly continued on our way to the double doors that guarded the main entrance.
I inserted the ornate metal key provided by the agents, into the doors.
With a harsh teeth-jarring screech of metal, the doors swung open. The overpowering smell of decay and damp penetrated our very being as we entered. We openly gagged in unison at this repulsive odour.
“Hallo!” I shouted loudly: “Is anyone at home?”
Miranda jumped at this: “Why did you do that? There is no one here; stop it.”
“Sorry:” I replied: “You did say you saw smoke from one of those weird chimneys.”
The house was stuffed full of dusty old furnishings that had been hurriedly covered with an assortment of covers.
“Did you hear that?” Miranda suddenly said.
“What?” I asked.
“John! Stop playing games; surely you heard that awful creaking sound from the upper rooms. Sounds like something is scratching around up there.”
“Probably rats moving around; I imagine this place is full of rats and bats. That enormous black cat has its work cut out here.”
We explored the ground floor moving gingerly from room to room, slowly gaining in confidence as we finally reached the bottom of an ornate staircase. There were signs of damp and decay everywhere.
With a deafening crash of thunder the threatened storm broke. Jagged flashes of lightning lit up the inside of the house. I kept flashing our torch into the dark mysterious corners, nervously, as we began to climb the creaky stairs.
Many oil paintings decorated the walls of the stairway. ‘These are my ancestors’ I thought as we climbed the stairs.
Miranda grabbed my arm tightly as we reached the upper floor and began examining the bedrooms.
Crumbling ornate tapestries decorated the walls of the richly furnished rooms.
As we opened the door to the master bedroom Miranda jumped back and screamed and we both retreated fast; I loudly slammed the door shut. With my heart racing and in a state of shock.
I loudly shouted: “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“Sorry, darling!” I shouted as I kicked the door open again: “I have to find out who that figure was just standing there in that room!”
I gingerly entered the room and approached the figure. There was no response as I quietly approached the well-dressed figure in front of a large wall mirror.
Then to my astonishment, I found I was confronted by an extraordinary lifelike mannequin, dressed to the nines in an outfit that would have done justice to royalty.
Miranda and I ran from that room down the staircase and braved the storm rather than stay in that property a moment longer. Perhaps the setting and the mysterious disappearance of my late ancestor added wings to our heels.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved
A prompt response to ~ http://thinkwritten.com/category/creative-writing-prompts/
No. 293. Get Well: Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick
by John Yeo
I understand your feelings
You’re under the weather
Below your normal par,
Not yourself at all.
The doctor says you will recover
Get back to normality soon.
I bring news that will make you smile,
I can’t guarantee you’ll be pain-free
No miracle’s on the cards.
Listen to the mystery of numbers,
A sequence of fortunate figures
That have healing power built in.
I know I’m not making things clear,
Your puzzled look is a good sign.
This news will set you on your way
This ticket has healing power;
The power to make your life easy
Lead you along a path to recovery.
Your life will change for the better now
You have won a fortune on the Lottery.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.
This is in the nature of a practice run before I decide whether to take part in Poetic Asides November challenge.
A prompt response to ~ http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
- Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.
By John Yeo
“Hello! This is the tech department speaking, All,our engineers are taking calls at the moment, your call is important to us; please continue to hold, all calls will be recorded and may be used for training purposes. Meanwhile enjoy some tinny, robotic, royalty free music.”
🎶🎵 🎶🎵 🎶🎵
“Hello, this is tech support here, what is the nature of the problem? We can help in most areas of computer science at affordable rates.” Said a robotic, tinny sort of voice at the other end of the line.
“I have a problem with my emails, the inbox is up to 5000 unread items and still they are flooding in. How can I stop this interminable flow of junk mail?” I asked.
“This is the tech department speaking, in the tech department. Please provide your credit card details, we will sign you up for our five-star service treatment, where we take full control of your emails and delete the junk from the important day-to-day effluence. We will then charge you a small fee every month to keep the unwanted flow down. I can assure you of our best possible five-star service in the future.” continued the robotic voice at the other end of the line.
“Oh! I just need some advice at present, thanks. What can I do?
“Stand on your head and count to ten, then eat porridge for breakfast, easy on the sugar, it can be deadly.” replied the robotic voice.
“What? Are you serious? How the heck can that help to stop the flow of junk mail?” I. asked.
“Well Sir, it’s all about the quality of the oats, they are capable of producing the necessary flatulence that can stem the abominable flow of excreted matter.” replied the tinny voice.
“Look here!” I responded aggressively. “I am becoming somewhat miffed at your insolence. I am asking for help here not for your unwanted nonsensical comments.”
“Please calm down Sir! Try frying your eggs sunny-side up when you next eat breakfast. Works wonders when it’s raining.”
“Are you joking? You stupid inconsequential idiot! What’s your name? I intend to report this to your head office!” I shouted now getting madder than ever.
“May I suggest you do the splits on a live rail at the nearest tube station Sir.” carried on the voice at the other end of the line. “My name is Tobor, I am in charge of communication at the moment, all my superiors are either in a meeting or at lunch at the moment. Kindly provide your credit card details and all your computer passwords to enable any repairs to go ahead.”
“Right I’m hanging up this phone now Tobor. Your superiors will be hearing from me!”
“Thank you, Sir, your call is important, we look forward to hearing from you again soon. Have a nice day!”
Copyright © Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved