ANXIOUS PEACE

A prompt response for Master Class ~ ANXIOUS PEACE

http://ourwriteside.com/anxious-peace/

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ANXIOUS PEACE

By John Yeo

The fighting was bloody, countryman against countryman. Explosions were tearing the country to bits. The stench of death and blood was so close it turned the stomachs of the most battle-hardened warriors.

   The stone farmhouses were dilapidated and dirty providing a temporary lodging place for the refugees from the war.

  Amy’s husband was away fighting on the borders.

   The birth pains were terrible Amy struggled and pushed as hard as she could, but the child refused to enter the world. This reluctance was causing a great deal of anxiety to the village midwife who was begging her to really try hard.

    “Push darling, push harder. Your baby is almost here!”

  Finally, a healthy baby was delivered, closely followed by another.

    “Two!” exclaimed the village midwife. “You have two wonderful strong young twin boys.”

   Sadly there was no reply from the mother. It was a difficult birth and the midwife was unable to save Amy, who died from a massive hemorrhage.

  A fire broke out in the kitchen of the farmhouse where the two young men were born. Villagers rushed to help the rescuers evacuate the inhabitants.
The guns were getting closer, the fighting was fierce. This internecine war had been going on for years. The leader said we would have to evacuate our homes and leave.

   The refugees suffered much deprivation and hardship as they traveled across the country seeking sanctuary.

  The babies were separated and taken to different parts of the war-torn country.
One brother, Amin went north to a small township, where the war quickly changed the ruling faction and he was raised as his dead father’s enemy. A father he would never meet.
Emir was dragged south and raised by a family loyal to the reigning powers.

   They grew to manhood separately, raised amid the hardship and deprivation both quickly becoming strong quick adults.

   There was a gasp from the assembled hierarchy when the two leaders of the warring factions met.
The two sides met to begin a peace process. Separate histories, separate beliefs. Yet brothers by birth who would begin to try to do the seemingly impossible and strive to begin life in an anxious peace.

   They were identical, in looks. Two people who had never met, yet they had risen to command two different factions. Fighting the same war on opposite sides. Peace negotiations began between twin siblings separated at birth who were both chasing the same dream from different parts of the country.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

A prompt response to this photo from ~ The Dark Room on Our Write Side

http://ourwriteside.com/a-bridge-to-nowhere/

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THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

by John Yeo

  Rambling along a pretty lane bordered by tangled shrubs, Megan and I were enjoying an unplanned afternoon walk through the glorious countryside.

The hot Springtime sun shone between fluffy clouds that skittered across a clear blue sky. Hedge sparrows and small finches darted to and fro across the path.

    “The birds are building their nests in these thick bushes, to raise their families,” I remarked to Megan.

Nodding she said, “Just look at those pretty yellow primroses growing along the wayside banks.” She picked one and sniffed the soft yellow petals.

 “They are not perfumed at all, but they are so soft and velvety.”

Wood pigeons and rooks were feeding, as we skirted a newly ploughed field.

We approached the edge of some thick woods, green and luxurious with dense shrubs and leafy, branchy trees as far as the eye could see. The shady woods looked inviting.

 “I wonder if they are private property.”

I mused when suddenly Megan exclaimed…

  “Look, just there at the edge of the woods, a tiny deer. It looks like a fawn in distress. Oh! it’s limping; where are the parents? Can we go and have a look, Joe?”

  “Of course! Come on let’s go.”

   We quickly made our way towards the edge of the woods. The handsome speckled brown and white baby deer seemed totally unaware of our approach.  In our haste to get to the casualty, I tripped and fell. I suffered no serious damage, just a few minor grazes.

The startled fawn looked up at this unusual noise and headed into the woods.

Megan and I without thinking followed the limping fawn along a tiny track through the dense woods. Startled woodpeckers and woodland jays flew high into the treetops as we approached.

The track led us to the banks of a wide river and we continued following the path along the banks of the river. The riverbanks were marshy at the edges covered in large yellow flowers. Moorhens and ducks were swimming among the reed beds, ducking their heads beneath the clear water to feed.

Suddenly I realised we were in a fix as we didn’t know these woods at all.

Megan suddenly said. “Joe are we lost? I have never been here before: Do you know where we are?”

 “Not exactly Megan, I think if we continue to follow this track along the riverbank we may come across a cottage. We might even meet one of the locals.”

We came across a separate pool alongside the riverbank full of the most beautiful, pink and white water lilies.

 “Those coots are having a feast on the small creatures in that impressive little pool,” I remarked.

 We continued along the riverside path and before long a wooden bridge on stilts loomed up in front of us.

  “Joe, perhaps if we cross the river over that bridge we may find an easier path.”

We breathed a sigh of relief when a canvas structure came into view.

  “That looks like a fisherman’s shelter Megan; I hope there is someone inside  who can guide us on our way.”

  “Hallo! Is anyone in there?”  I called loudly.

I opened the flap to the front of the tent to discover a wizened elderly man holding a fishing rod over the water. A rather strange looking elderly man wearing a floppy elfin hat dressed in multicoloured clothes looked up as I opened the flap.

  “What do you want? What are you strangers doing in these woods? This is private property.”

  “Sorry!” I said, “We were following an injured fawn, and we got lost. We just want to go home now. If you can show us the way back we would be happy to leave your private woods at once.”

The old man just nodded and said, “Which way did you come?”

I gestured to the path along the river.

 “We wondered if we crossed that bridge we would come across a direct path back the way we came,” I said.

 The strange old man jumped at this. “No! Whatever you do, don’t go over the magical bridge. That is the dividing line, Mad Molly lives in a shack on the other side. You will never be the same again if you come into contact with her. I will personally escort you to the edge of the woods. We will return the way you came on this side of the river. I’m Archie by the way, If we take the shortcut you will be home in no time.”

Archie escorted us to the edge of the woods and waved goodbye. We made our way along the familiar country lanes towards home.

 We soon arrived at a pretty little pub set in a well-kept garden full of fruit trees and flowers, with inviting looking tables and chairs.

  “Let’s stop here for a drink;” I said.

 “Yes please;” answered Megan.

I entered the comfortable bar to order the drinks and as the landlord was pouring them I related our adventures in the woods. Our contact with Archie and the magical bridge and his timely warning about mad Molly.

This resulted in roars of gleeful laughter from the landlord and the patrons in the bar.

  “Sorry!” Said the landlord. But you wandered onto the estate of Lord Archibald and Lady Arabella Fortescue-Jones. Lord Archie always referred to his mother-in-law as mad Molly.

Lady Arabella frowned on this and the bridge is the result. To cross the bridge is to enter a world where hunting shooting and fishing is banned. Lord Archie is not allowed to cross the magical bridge and Lady Arabella never visits his side either.”

We finished our drinks and made our way home. We have a wonderful after dinner story to dine out on for the next few years.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

MUSICAL CHAIR

A prompt response for  Inspiration Monday ~ MUSICAL CHAIR

http://bekindrewrite.com

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MUSICAL CHAIR


by John Yeo 



The natural sounds are music to my ear
Resounding round my comfortable chair,
My life will begin and end as I sit here.

The magic of the sound swirls far and near,
Harmony soaking through melodic air;
The natural sounds are music to my ear.

Smooth melodies drifting sweetly clear,
Sounds around my chair answer a prayer;
My life will begin and end as I sit here.

Life becomes love becomes music clear;
A dreamy soulful symphony where
The natural sounds are music to my ear.

Trance becomes a pre-hypnotic tear,
Memories sing of a future I will share
My life will begin and end as I sit here.

The music with my chair wings steer
Mind to crystal clarity without care.
The natural sounds are music to my ear
My life will begin and end as I sit here. 



Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

CANNIBALS

A prompt response for Master Class ~ CATERED CONTRAPTIONS

http://ourwriteside.com/catered-contraptions/

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CANNIBALS

by John Yeo

    “Blender Rothsbottom, at your service Sir. We are the most inventive organisation in the known universe. We are responsible for many innovations that have added to the supreme quality of life for many different life forms that inhabit the outer regions of the galactic sphere. How can I help?”

   The uniformed Staff Captain of the interplanetary explorer craft, Intrepid,  had arrived at this unusual artificial asteroid several nanoseconds ago and was immediately approached by this robotic sales machine.

  “We have travelled through several galactic time warps, using the suction power of the Inter-Universal time tunnels attached to the interspersed Black Holes looking for an organisation that can rebuild a new head. Our Commander’s brain is controlling the ship from the confines of a glass in the laboratory. His body is in the infirmary, kept alive with many artificial aids. We need a head to completely restore him to normality. We are hoping your organisation will have the necessary resources to come to our help.”

  Staff Captain Bourke was pleading with a coldly calculating artificial intelligence. A man who was incapable of the illogical emotions that his makers had. They were just not programmed into his system.

  “Of course; this will be an easy task for our technicians. I will have to come aboard and examine the Commander to assess the requirements.”

  Blender Rothsbottom was an alien construction. He was a wealthy robot with his metallic claws in many pies.

   “We have inserted many artificial heads onto many alien robots in the past. The difficulty arises over the alien measurements provided by the recipients. My techies will accompany me to assess the requirements.”

    Sometime later the ship was landed on the asteroid by the gang of techies who proceeded to break the whole thing up and dismantle the robotic occupants piece by piece.

    Blender Rothsbottom was quickly on the interplanetary thought visual media to report that the intergalactic scrapyard had just taken delivery of a shipload of spare parts to cater for any construction at the right price.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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UnCOVENTional Infiltration

A prompt response for  Inspiration Monday ~ CONVENT INFILTRATION 

http://bekindrewrite.com

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UnCOVENTional Infiltration

by John Yeo

   “The child will be better off getting looked after by the nuns in the convent. St. Mary’s has an excellent record of taking care of the sick. I know Sister Mercy well; we have seen some extraordinary sick children walk away from the care they have received within those walls.”
    The Rector smiled as he uttered these words, knowing how distressed Mr. and Mrs. Brown were at the news that little Chloe was suffering from an incurable palsy.

   Wiping away visible tears with a paper tissue. The weary Mother looked hopeless and acutely distressed. Then turning her worry-lined face, in a broken voice she sniffed and said..

   “Father; we have been told by the medical staff that the disease will slowly get worse. Whatever can they do in the convent that the Doctor’s are unable to accomplish in hospital?” Asked Mrs. Brown.

   The Parish Priest answered in a reassuring manner with a voice that was full of the sure strength of a firm belief, he said…

  “The convent is a peaceful private area dedicated to the worship of God. The power of prayer is an incredible strong force. We have seen some amazing cures of children, written off by conventional medicine leave those walls.”

   “Father! My daughter has never been away from my side in all the ten short years of her life. Would it be possible for me to stay with her in the convent to provide emotional support?”

    “I’m sorry Mrs. Brown that would not be possible. The convent is run on severe lines, they just haven’t got the facilities to cater for guests. To the best of my knowledge the only people who leave the peace of the convent are the children who have been taken care of by the nuns.”
     The Rector hesitated for a moment after this statement; then he said,
   “I can introduce you to young Mary Stevens who left the convent five years ago after a cure and a period of rehabilitation from a serious disease.”

    Mr. Brown then interrupted with a loud response.
   “Yes please! I would like my wife to be absolutely reassured that our daughter Chloe will be in good hands and taken care of. Where can we find this young lady?”

   There was a pause before the reply came from the Rector.
“She became a nun. You will meet her when you take your daughter to the convent for treatment.”

   Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at each other and left together. As they reached the door Mr Brown turned and said..
  “Sorry Vicar, we have another appointment with the Doctor. We are sure Chloe will be better off with us at home.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

NOISE MIRAGE

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: NOISE MIRAGE

http://bekindrewrite.com

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NOISE MIRAGE

by John Yeo

    “Mr, Eagleton, I am afraid your hearing is well below par and deteriorating rapidly. My advice to you is to take advantage of one of our superior hearing aids, and enjoy what little hearing you have left.”
  The Consultant looked grave as he uttered these words solemnly. “I understand you are a professional musician and your hearing is extremely important to you. Sadly I have to inform you of the fact that you will be profoundly deaf within months.”

  Charles sat stunned in the surgery, unable to move, replaying the words over and over again in his mind. Like the sounds of a funeral dirge, marking the end of his career and his livelihood.

     “Is there no hope of any form of treatment that will counteract the diagnosis? Anything at all, I would even consider a double ear transplant. Please, Doctor; I will pay anything for the chance of a cure.”

     “I’m sorry Mr. Eagleton, there is nothing to be done. My advice is to enjoy every sound you hear as if it is the last sound you will ever hear. Sadly anything you seem to hear in future will be chords and musical passages from your lifetime of musical memories. Something of a noise mirage. Memories of music replaying in your consciousness forever.”

  Charles Eagleton allowed this news to penetrate to the centre of his very being.

     “May I use your toilet please Doctor?”

   “Of course Mr. Eagleton, you know which door by now.” replied the Audiologist, smiling.

    Charles Eagleton locked the door of the large well-fitted disabled toilet and morosely sat on the seat cover. ‘There’s no point in going on; I can’t forever rely on music by mirage! I had a feeling this would happen, good job I thought things through. Vincent Van Gogh was right. What good are ears if you can’t hear anything, I might as well cut the useless appendages off. Maybe I will be able to get some hearing on the other side.’

  He pulled a large sharp kitchen knife from his attaché case and stood before the bathroom mirror poised to cut his ears off and perhaps he thought, ‘I may die of the pain and loss of blood.

   Suddenly the beautiful melodic sound of Beethoven’s seventh symphony resounded through his consciousness, filling his mind with the power of the music.
‘Of course, Beethoven was profoundly deaf at the end, yet he still produced such beautiful music. Perhaps there is something in the theory of a noise mirage, taking the form of beautiful music.’

 He quickly replaced the knife in his briefcase and walked into the consulting room.
   “Thanks Doctor for being so frank; I can see I will have to make some life-altering plans now.”

   “Of course Mr. Eagleton; we will be here to help in every possible way. Make another appointment with my secretary, and we will work together. Goodbye!”

“Thanks, Doctor, I will. Goodbye,”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserveddu

TIME AND THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

 A prompt response to the image below supplied by THE DARK ROOM

http://ourwriteside.com/out-of-sight/

concrete-bridge

Image supplied by the Dark Room

TIME AND THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

By John Yeo

     The sea was calm and the crew were in a state of mild intoxication, after celebrating a successful mission, looking for leave to land and spend their ill-gotten gains. They had been tied up alongside a large island when the order to sail away came from the bridge.

  Suddenly a black cloud seemed to descend from the skies and bodily lift the whole ship and crew upwards into pure pitch black darkness. There was a great deal of shaking and shuddering of the timbers and mast. The crew seemed to be entranced almost as if they had traveled through time, which indeed they had.

  When consciousness returned they were confronted with a massive concrete structure that seemed to stretch across the ocean to infinity.

  Shock and dismay were mirrored on the faces of the seamen who had never encountered anything quite like this before. A tremulous fear swept through everyone as a strange fast small vessel raced up towards them.

  The Captain ordered the gunners to man the ship’s cannon as a loudhailer sounded loud, abrasively insulting the eardrums. An action that led the first mate to shout, “This is the work of the devil!”

    “Stand to for her Majesty’s excise officers! Stand fast we are coming  aboard.” Came the message.

    “What language is this Sir?”  Asked the First mate.

    “Open fire,” ordered the Captain and they watched helplessly as their Cannon balls dropped harmlessly into the sea.

   A large flying machine with spinning blades suddenly approached from the concrete structure and blew the ship out of the water.

     There were many deaths among the crew and some were swimming in the ocean, or desperately clinging to timbers from the wreckage. Captain West and his officers were killed instantly as a missile exploded on the bridge.

    The five men who survived the attack were hospitalised, but they were unable to communicate as they spoke the language of another dimension. The seamen were incarcerated in an institution for the criminally insane and rapidly forgotten.

~

     It had been five years since they had left Plymouth Harbour in England on a gray wet windy day.

    207 swarthy cutthroats and desperadoes were the crew aboard the five-masted sailing vessel, the Lady Jane.

  Captain Rudolph West kept a harsh regime of discipline aboard; at the first sign of mutiny, the ringleaders would have their throats cut. Then their heads would be hung up on a yardarm for all to see as a warning. The Captain was broad shouldered, well over six feet tall; towering over everybody else aboard. He sported a full set of graying whiskers and a permanent black scowl that inspired fear in the toughest of the rogues who sailed aboard the good ship Lady Jane.

   The first mate Joey Jones was average height, stocky and hard as nails, a ruthless man who was rumored to have killed a man in a bar fight in Tiger Bay and was permanently on the run from the law.

   The Lady Jane had sailed for many months around the West Indies, boarding and sacking every ship that sailed on their horizon. They would murder most of the crews and loose the survivors in rowing boats without supplies onto the stormy, unruly, shark-infested seas.

  One day the Captain addressed all the senior officers in the wardroom.

   “We have had a successful voyage so far and our ships holds are stuffed full of valuables. I have decided to head for a small island in the North Atlantic where we will secrete our treasure. We will pay off the crew and every man jack of them will receive a huge bonus.”

   “Aye aye, Captain! How will we manage to hide the loot without the thieving crew knowing the location and returning to steal it?” asked First Mate Jones.

   “Ah! I have thought of that me hearties, I intend to land on a different island and I will take three trusted crew members with me. After loading ten chests of gold and jewels onto a boat, we will row around the island to another smaller island that is located five miles further on. It is one of three islands and the chosen location will be known only to myself and my three trusted companions,  Angelo, Luigi, and Carmelo.” the Captain  continued, “Any questions?”

  “Yes, Sir!” Interrupted the Bosun, Harry Glass, “How far away is this island? How near is it to the Devil’s Triangle, where many vessels have gone missing? My mate was one of the crew on a tea clipper that went missing there.”

  “Don’t worry man! Our ship is well armed and soundly built, we can withstand any threat that comes our way.” said the Captain derisively. “The island is just days away and given fair weather we will have buried the treasure and we’ll be on our way again.”

   Everything went according to plan and the crew were allowed ashore onto the larger island to drink much grog, and sample the delights of the native women. Fights had broken out and the drunken corsairs were cursing and squabbling among themselves.

  Meanwhile, the Captain and his three trusted helpers were secreting the Captain’s treasure in a small cave on a tiny palm tree covered island.

   The Captain returned to the ship alone the next day, There was a great deal of speculation among the crew as to the whereabouts of Angelo, Carmelo, and Luigi. No one dared ask the Captain, but a story went around that he had remarked to the Bosun, the three crew members had decided to stay and guard the treasure. Alive or dead was the fearsome question on everybody’s lips.

Several days after they had left the island the freak weather conditions surrounded the ship and lifted the vessel into the unknown.

Little did any of the crew realise that the treasure would never be found and their existence would soon be a thing of the past.

 The Devil’s Triangle had claimed another victim to join the many unexplained mysteries of the perilous seas of time and timeless tales of folklore.

Copyright ©  Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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