I decided to resurrect and improve the following piece of Flash Fiction I wrote last year. A friend was wondering about what would one wish for in the event of miraculously having access to three wishes with no strings attached, within 200 words. I just had to make this interesting, with a little unexpected twist at the end. Word count is the most interesting way I know of slimming down a piece of writing to the bare bones.
THE LAST WISH
by John Yeo
‘Well Roger, your three wishes have almost completely expired Two of them have already been used. You are extremely wealthy and ageless, you will live as long as the world turns around the sun. I understand you have a special request for your third and final desire. What would you like?’
‘Yes Master, I have given much thought to my final request, and I ask for a companion to share eternity with, I will get lonely on my own and I would love a special friend to share my life with.
‘That is possible Roger, do you have anyone in mind?’ ‘I want to be with that Angel on the pedestal in the park, I would like a pair of wings just like hers. We could be happily together for eternity.’ ‘Are you absolutely sure this is what you wish for, to be with your Angel Roger? I can make this final wish come true for you.’ ‘Yes please Master,’ Then with a wave of the magic wand Roger was turned to stone.
We enjoyed a wonderful show for our final night of this festive break at Gunton Hall in Suffolk. We soaked up the music and magic of Elvis Presley, performed by Mark Summers, backed by the Memphis Sons; an excellent tribute band, Mark Summers, the Elvis Presley, lookalike and sound-alike was magnificent, full of the energy and sophistication required to pull off brilliant renditions of legendary song after legendary song; bringing many pleasant dormant memories to life. The audience were mainly from the age that experienced these massive hits when they were performed by the great man himself. Mark Summers had his audience waving their arms in the air while singing along to the well-remembered words of these Elvis Presley classics. With the help of an attractive lady backing singer and the brilliant sounds of his backing group, the Memphis Sons. Margaret and I enjoyed this show enormously and we finished the evening dancing pleasurably to the music as this enigmatic singer performed the encores demanded by his smitten audience.
Write a story based on an experience from your childhood — but have that experience happen to a person or group of people who are nothing like you or your family.
by John Yeo
Our boarding school was a large old country house set in 100 acres of the most beautiful wooded grounds. Sadly for the boarders, 99 of these acres were out of bounds unless there was a sporting event in progress. The school boasted two full-sized football pitches, two cricket pitches, tennis courts, both lawn and hard courts, and an outside swimming pool, that was icy cold in the depths of Winter When we were playing on our large playing field behind the school, we dug a large pit in the ground and put planks over the top and made ourselves a comfortable little den. We enjoyed our self-provided privacy in our own little world of dirt and worms and grassy comfort. One day a new pupil arrived from a well-to-do family and needed to be welcomed and looked after. Mrs. Simpson, the matron said. “Give Rodney a lovely welcome boys. He is the son of one of the school founders.”
“Yes Miss:” We all chorused.
Later that day, Rodney Blenkinsop arrived and he was quickly christened, ‘Soppy,’ for short, by one and all in view of his high-brow manners and his total dismissal of all sports as a waste of time.
After our school day had finished, Tommy Jones piped up and said. “Hey Soppy, come and play with us in our den, you will enjoy the change from your big house.”
“Oh, of course, I would love to join you. Your ignorance and continual mispronunciation of my name leads me to believe you are an inferior, up to no good idiot, Jones.”
Tommy was taken aback by this attitude and was about to thump him when Mrs, Simpson appeared.
We all then made our way to our den in the field. The boys all chuckled loudly when they noticed the total look of horror on the face of Rodney Blenkinsop.
We all piled underground and waited for the new boy to brave the dirt and mud at the entrance to our secure little den. The grins suddenly became chuckles…The chuckles became laughter… The laughter became guffaws then turned to outright glee as everyone realized that Soppy was still outside the den.
Then suddenly there was a shaking of the timbers on the flimsy roof, then a trembling of the earth around the den as the roof began to collapse.
Somehow as the main beams began to fall inwards they were stopped in full collapse.
“Get out quickly, while I keep trying to hold the wood my arms are aching. Quick! Get out now!”
“That’s Soppy’s voice,” said Henry as everyone dashed for the hole which collapsed immediately the last person escaped. The roof then caved in, taking Soppy with it into the bowels of the earth. Of course, he was rescued by a passing schoolmaster who had witnessed the whole episode. Rodney Blenkinsop soon recovered in the school sickbay, none the worse for wear. Just a few cuts and grazes as badges of his courage. No one ever referred to Rodney as Soppy again, From that day forward, he became something of a school hero.
“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/category/creative-writing-prompts/
No. 296 – Cravings: Write about craving something:
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
by John Yeo
“Phillip! Stop gazing out of the window. What is it that is fascinating you so much? You have been sitting in that chair for ages, just gazing out of the window, staring at nothing. I see the trees and our garden lawn. There is nothing else to be seen; tell me what is it that is holding your attention? What do you see?”
“Father, sorry I am deep in thought I see wealth beyond our means, I see riches enough to comfortably follow the sun from one end of this earth to the other. I see the luxury enjoyed by the super-rich. I feel our inadequacy when I see the wonderful lifestyles enjoyed by other more fortunate people, daily flashed into our home by the media. I want to be like those people, I crave the means to escape from the everyday drudgery of our humdrum lifestyle. I want wealth, travel, fine food and clothes with the chance to mix with people who know how to love life and live life to the full.”
“Philip, my son, Mother and I have given you our all, everything we possess is yours, but you are talking nonsense. You are an intelligent young man and you will go far in your chosen profession, everyone thinks highly of you and you will be extremely comfortable one day. Please forget these impossible ideals of limitless wealth. Crave to be happy and comfortable with a lovely wife and family, this is a realistic set of ideals that you will certainly achieve. Banish these impossible cravings and live.”
“Father, I love and respect you and I value your advice; but I see how hard you have to work to survive, I see the lines on your face that reveal a life that has lived through some tough times. I have this unbearable craving to be wealthy; I will do anything to escape and luxuriate in the life lived by the super-rich. I feel if I can find a way to accumulate enough money quickly, I will be able to satiate my cravings that hunger for wealth and the life my needs require.”
“What do you mean by anything; Philip? I see a glittering pathway in front of you with a happy comfortable future, but these unrealistic desires are impossible to achieve. How do you propose to get rich quick to accumulate the money to fund the lifestyle demanded by these impossible cravings?”
“Father, I have a plan, a brilliant plan that involves a mathematically infallible system I have worked out how to break the banks of all the major casinos in this country. I have spent the last two years working day and night on this system. It is an unbreakable chain of numbers that will certainly get what I want.
I just need your help to start the ball rolling with some cash, I know you will be able to get a second mortgage to help me by advancing me some funds. Of course, I will be able to pay you back as I will be extremely wealthy.”
Philip’s father’s, angry, shocked, face revealed his feelings.
“Gambling!” He exclaimed. “You propose to borrow money from your Mother and me to fund your risking everything by gambling? Never son! This is something I will never condone, I am sure there is no such thing as a perfect system, and I refuse to have anything to do with any hair-brained scheme just because of your insatiable desire to be wealthy.”
Philip looked strangely nonplussed by this reaction, “Father I am sorry you feel this way, I was sure you would help. I have already approached a firm of unsecured lenders to raise money to test the system, and it really works. I have paid them back their loan with a huge sum of interest. I thought you would welcome the chance for our family to be unimaginably wealthy. I would use the initial winnings to invest in the stock market and we would have more than enough to enjoy life to the full.
Philip smiled as he left the house that day, never to return in his parents lifetimes. He became extraordinarily wealthy by using his system and diversifying the winnings, thus defeating his craving for limitless wealth.
Sadly another craving slowly took over his life, as he craved the excitement of the turn of the cards. The unbreakable system proved to be as fallible as his Father had predicted.
A prompt response to ~ http://thinkwritten.com/category/creative-writing-prompts/
271. Patterns: Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
by John Yeo
Patterns: Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.
Tom looked hard at that sentence on the wipe board.
“Hey Walter! What the heck does that mean, patterns? What is the good Shepherd going on about? I mean what on earth does he mean by patterns that occur in life?”
Walter, commonly known to one and all as the Swot, scratched his head vigorously. Rumour had it, the more vigorously the swot scratched his head, the less likely it was that he would come up with an answer.
“I dunno what Mr.Shepherd means Tom, I’m not too sure how the patterns that do occur, and appear to colour our lives could ever be visible. Take the routine of an ordinary day. We rise, we live our lives in our own separate, totally different ways. We sleep at probably different times, for different lengths of time. Yet a pattern of behaviour has been formed. We need to sleep and we need the awareness of the day to express ourselves in totally different ways by waking up.”
“Hmm! That seems like a broad interpretation of the question, Swot. Surely there are no visible patterns that occur, I mean. How about birth? There are so many ways a person can be born into this world, surely you will never form a pattern out of birth?” Tom said, more puzzled than ever.
After another agitated scratch of the knowledgeable brain cell carrier, the Swot replied. “Yet an actual birth is a part of a pattern that occurs and re-occurs all over the world, and has done since the birth of humanity, thereby forming a huge undeniable pattern of life.”
“Oh! Wow!” Exclaimed Tom, “I see what you mean! That could also be applied to death, everyone dies in innumerable different ways. Yet the pattern is there. An ever expiring pattern of people’s lives coming to an end, through death.”
Walter grinned wickedly and gently remarked to Tom. “I think I see a certain pattern of behaviour when I observe the good Mr. Shepherd, teasing his lambs, by leading them to intellectual slaughter. A habitual pattern of events that occurs with annual regularity.
In the Clouds: Go cloud watching for the day and write about what you imagine in the clouds.
Image ~ Courtesy of Pixabay.com
PICTURES IN THE SKY
by John Yeo
Peter and Pauline had climbed to the top of the steepest hill in the district, Old Tom’s Tor, the view from the peak was stunning, fields, mountainous valleys, and verdant green forests spread out before their eyes.
Peter flattened himself on the soft green grass and lay back, enjoying the opportunity to rest in the glorious sunshine.
Pauline laughed and joined him on the ground. ‘This grass is so soft and comfortable we will have to be careful we don’t fall asleep in the warmth of the sun, look at the colourful wildflowers growing unruly and freely all the way down the steep slopes: Beautiful!’ said Pauline.
‘You’re so right. Pauline, what a wonderful place; look at that sky, blue as sapphire, with milky white and creamy clouds scudding across freely. I can see shapes in those clouds, can you make out a flying horseman, led by an angel with her wings spread out.’
‘Yes! Oh yes, Peter! Isn’t that a wonderful sight? I must grab my iPhone and take a photo…Oh no, it’s changed already!… Do you see a map of the world? Britain and the United States are closer together on the sky map. The divisions between the separate continents and peoples are all blurred. That huge cloud breaking in from above seems to be taking control.’
‘Yes, Pauline that’s right a continual reflection of the changing patterns of the future! Look again and the picture is one of the powerful elements merging and becoming one with each other. The separations seem to be gone and the sapphire sky is the backdrop to an ephemeral forecast. Look flying birds with their wings outstretched chasing the dawn of a new age.’
‘Peter it’s getting late, we must make our way back down the mountain now, before dark sets in.’
‘Pauline I have a question for you; this magnificent background is the perfect place to ask. Pauline, will you marry me? We can be wed here, at the top of Old Tom’s Tor. I will arrange for a priest to marry us here. Please say yes.’
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.