NEW FANGLED BIRTHDAYS

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

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Image ~ Courtesy of pixabay.com

NEW FANGLED BIRTHDAYS

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

 

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A Special Birthday

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

 

Seventy

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.

GLASS STARSHIP

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~

GLASS STARSHIP

http://bekindrewrite.com

 

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IMAGE COURTESY OF pixabay.com

 

Glass Starship

by John Yeo

  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.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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THROUGH THE PRISM

Prompt…Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

 

PRISM

Image ~ Courtesy of pixabay.com

Through the Prism

by John Yeo

   “Quickly Sister Mary: What’s it like? I fancy the ultraviolet light from the sunshine will make me feel so good. Draw the curtains, I can almost taste the wind on my lips. Does the rain really wash away people’s troubles? Sister Clementine was reading to me the other day and the book said water can be holy and miracles have been known to have happened if you bathe in cool clear crystal water.”

  Sally had been bedridden for the past two years of her young life following a strange reaction to an accident. A paraplegic in the days of early Anglo Saxon Britain didn’t have an easy life, even the only child of an important tribal chieftain. The Monastery was charged with her care and she had been brought up in the total care of the Nuns and had never been allowed to leave her room.

   Sister Mary sighed as she quickly drew the curtains.

  “Yes of course Sally. You sound cheery today. Are you feeling better?”

  “I can feel colours and sense beautiful sounds that seem to filter through a window made from diamond glass. The power of this prism reflects the sunshine into a healing rainbow. Please Sister Mary, can I be carried outside to lie in the healing rays of the sun?”

  “I don’t know darling; we will have to ask the Mother Superior and the Healer. If it was my decision I would have to agree and we could make the arrangements immediately.”

  “Please ask them for me! I had a dream of a beautiful storm. A storm that filled the sky with fire and awful crashes of thunder. Cleansing water and eternal fire that burns away pain and drenches the soul in healing power.”

  Sally shouted these words which seemed to bounce off the cruel, cold, hard stone walls.

Sister Mary was shaken at this and cried, “Sally, calm down, I will fetch the Mother Superior and ask her permission for you.”

Then she quickly left the room.

  Almost immediately a bright blue light lit up the room, an ethereal light that touched every corner of the innumerable atoms that made up Sally and her surroundings.

  Sally smiled as she rose from the bed of animal furs and skins and walked away from the monastery. Never looking back and never to be seen again. Search parties were sent out by her Father, desperate to find his Warrior Princess.

 

Copyright ©️Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

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BLISSSFUL BLASPHEMY

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment ~ Blissful blasphemy

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/master-class/

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Blissful Blasphemy

by John Yeo

   Horace stumbled as he entered the local bar and nodded to the landlord.

        “You OK mate?” enquired the landlord anxiously. “You seem to be a bit unsteady on your feet! Careful there Sir. What can I get you?”

Horace spat on the wooden floor and glared at the man behind the bar.

        “I’m OK, I tripped over your bloody carpet. I’ve half a mind to sue your establishment.” was the aggressive retort.

  Horace opened his grubby raincoat to reveal a mud-splattered pair of trousers tied up with string around the waist. He pulled a paper bag from his pocket and removed a bundle of notes, peeling off a tenner, he placed it on the bar and said, “Get me a beer.”

  It was then the landlord was overcome with the odours emanating from Horace’s clothes. Stale beer mingled with many other questionable smells that put him in mind of a refugee from a pig farm.
Two or three other customers in the bar instinctively moved to one side as this horrible odour arose and wafted around the bar.

      “Phew!” exclaimed Alphonse the local car dealer, to his glamorous wife Estelle.
“Drink up my love, let’s get out of here before we catch something nasty. I really don’t know what this place is coming to.”

The landlord then interrupted and addressed Horace, quite bluntly.

      “Get out of here you stinking freak! I refuse to serve you. You are already pissed out of your head.”

At this, Horace let rip with a tirade of curses and threats, beginning and ending with the questionable birthright of obnoxious barstewards.

Alphonse said to his wife Estelle. “Come on darling. Let’s go, we don’t have to put up with this tirade of blasphemous language.”

Then, a voice from the corner of the bar that seemed to come from behind a cloud of smoke piped up.

      “When cursing or profanity is uttered colloquially, it is a sin that can be forgiven as a common sin against decency. Punishment should be meted out in response to the level of harm done.”

The landlord then turned and addressed the stranger in the corner.

      “Father if I put a boot up this filthy mouthed drunks rear as I eject him from the premises, will this be punishment enough for his insolence?”

   “Allow me to speak to the gentleman, I’d like to get to the bottom of this.” Responded the Priest.

     “Go ahead.” said the landlord, “As long as you get rid of him for me.”

      “Excuse me, Sir, I feel you have many problems to be resolved. I noticed your obvious wealth when you left that money on the bar. I would like to offer you a drink of tea at the rectory and a chat.”

With a snarl and another tirade of the vilest blasphemy that had ever come close to assaulting the ears of the Priest. Horace staggered out the door, followed by the landlord who landed the sharpest boot up the oblivious tramps rear end.

A few days later a letter arrived from a firm of city lawyers, containing a summons for the landlord to answer charges of common assault on one Squire Horace Batchelor.

The Priest wasn’t surprised at this turn of events as he was heard to mutter to himself. “Blasphemy can sometimes lead to a state of blissful serenity brought on by the proceeds of ill-gotten gains .”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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FUTURE HERALDRY

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~

ANGEL INVESTOR

http://bekindrewrite.com

 

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Image © John and Margaret

 

FUTURE HERALDRY

by John Yeo

      Horace Weatherall was an extremely successful industrialist, a man who had made millions from his own efforts. Now Lord Horace, since he had received an honour from her Majesty the Queen, he wished to fulfil a need to pass on something special to his children.
  At a meeting of the brightest minds in his organisation he laid out his plans to procure and institute a brand new heraldic presence, for his family’s future.

    “The design must be technologically perfect, something that will stand the test of time and never date!” Said Lord Horace emphatically.

    “OK Boss, I will get the finest minds we can find on the job and see what we can do.” replied Steve. “It could be expensive as the designs will be extensive and intricate, some of these so-called creatives charge the earth for the simplest of designs.”

   Steve Smithers his project manager spoke for the whole brainstorming team present on this occasion.

    “Now look here Smithers , money’s no object to me! Just get the design together, I want my heraldic fingerprint to resound through time forever.”

  “Yes Sir!”

  Six months later in May 2017, in a field in Kent in the garden of England several new heraldic designs were on display awaiting judgement from Sir Horace for the finest most futuristic design. A design that would adorn the industrial battlements of the Horace Weatherall foundation. Every item connected to the company would be adorned with the future company crest.

  The Knights were awaiting the signal and soon they paraded before his Lordship colourfully adorned with the most incredible heraldic livery.

  Thumbs were firmly down, for design after design, as Sir Horace dismissed almost every creative idea, until just two futuristic knights remained. Both knights were in such fabulous attire they reeked of historical futuristic significance, yet bade fair to make an illuminating lasting mark on the immediate future.

  “I find it impossible to make a decision, both designs are equally suitable. I suggest a bloodless jousting tournament between two sets of knights defending their colours. May the best side win and I will offer much gold to the victor and the designers.”

  Cheers resounded around the Kentish field as the tournament began.

  Black and Gold, versus White and Sapphire.

  Soon a silence fell as the match began and the first chess pieces were silently moved across the board. Knight after Knight toppled the pawns and the Bishops on either side as the battle was waged.
Then the final joust as two knights remained on the field. Soon the White and Sapphire knight thundered towards the opponent and it was all over. Sir Horace put his thumbs together steepled his hands in a gesture of pure admiration for both Knights.
    “I choose both heraldic designs, to be flooded throughout the company. We will alternate the designs on a biannual basis. Checkmate on both sides to commemorate a drawn match.”

   At the end of the day the two designs were amalgamated to become one fantastic work of heraldic art that lasted until the sun set on the last day of the future.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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ANGEL INVESTOR

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~ ANGEL INVESTOR 

http://bekindrewrite.com

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

ANGEL INVESTOR

by John Yeo

   Billy tightened his coat against the biting cold wind. Winter winds were blasting the trees on the avenue, leaving a trail of leaves and small branches all over the pavement. Billy pulled his knapsack over his shoulder, he wouldn’t be sorry to get to shelter today.
    Billy was officially homeless now, a person of no fixed abode.
Whenever he was asked his address by the innumerable officials and interested parties he would sullenly reply, “NFA.”

    Billy lived in the basement of a large crumbling mansion just outside of town. The locals avoided the place, considering it to be haunted. Rumour had it the mansion’s owner lived abroad. An eccentric millionaire who had bought the place with his wife, who died shortly after. The owner had disappeared and left the place to rot.
Billy seemed undisturbed by the rumours and stayed put, sheltering from the elements in the basement.

      The Postman, Tom Banks was the first to be curious about the empty house, he delivered innumerable letters there and they were mysteriously collected. Once he had bumped into Billy after he had delivered the mail.
“Hi! I guess you have a forwarding address for the owner?”

   “No sorry!” replied Billy. “A chauffeur comes to collect the lot every now and then.”

“Oh! they allow you to stay here rent free then!”

“Yes!” Was Billy’s monosyllabic response.

 An old newspaper blowing down the road caught Billy’s eye. ‘Hey something to read, he thought.’

  The headlines screamed about an unknown startup company that had just patented a new product that would provide endless cheap energy to feed the starving millions in the vulnerable parts of the world.
Billy smiled inwardly as he continued to read the story. Apparently an unknown investor working through a third party had financed the whole deal. Profits from the investors stake were paid into a Swiss bank account. Curiously no one knew who this third person was.
Several new and thriving ethical businesses had received finance from this mysterious investor and the curious business world was desperate to get any information. Apparently rewards were on offer for information.

 Down at the local pub around the corner from the mansion, Jim, the local policeman was chatting to Tom, the postman.

   “A tramp you say, collecting the mail you deliver! Doesn’t sound quite right to me, I might just keep an eye on the place for a while. Let me know if you bump into him again.” said Jim.

   “Sure thing, Jim.”

   Several days later a large 4×4 car with blacked out windows roared up to the old haunted mansion and to the amazement of the hidden watchers. An unkempt old man climbed aboard and the car roared off.

   If the locals were interested before they were openly curious now and a large party gathered at the gates to the mansion with the intention of questioning anyone who came and went.

    Of course no one was ever seen coming or going again and the mystery is still unsolved.

   Six months later the crumbling old mansion was put on the market by a local estate agent and quickly sold for a price well under its market value.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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