SOMNAMBULANCIA

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~ THE CITY THAT ALWAYS SLEEPS

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SOMNAMBULACIA

by John Yeo

  The airship landed with a series of bumps that shook the passengers as they were drifting in and out of a querulous doze.

     “Follow the illuminated signs to the customs and the check out points.” suggested the friendly steward.

   As the passengers landed and filed down the steps leading into the terminal they became conscious of an eerie silence. There wasn’t a sound to be heard, even the wind seemed to be holding its breath.

   The first thing that caught the attention was a huge notice that welcomed visitors to the Silent City of “Somnambulancia.”

   The Captain of the airship arranged for some pods to be offloaded to an awaiting fleet of robot controlled vehicles. These were the passengers who were booked to be taken directly to isolation sleeping areas. The remainder of the passengers were in a permanent state of deep somnambulant alternative consciousness.
These citizens were returning to their homes to continue with their lives of total hibernation. Never actually waking but loving, eating, breathing and reproducing in a permanent state of somnambulance.

   This was the inbred way of life for this planetary society. The children were born with the sleeping gene and sleepwalked their way through life, becoming adults in a state of permanent semi-consciousness.

   Yet these people were the fiercest fighters the known universe has ever seen. Living life in a dream they had no scruples about how they looked in reality. Pain is never felt quite in the same way when you are asleep.

    Storms are not experienced ……

      “John!”

  The heavens speak a different language in the land of Somnambulancia…

        “John! Wake up you’ll be late for work…”

   The airship had suddenly disappeared as if one reality had swallowed up another reality.

          “John, get out of bed at once and eat your breakfast, or you will be late.”

        “Morning Mother!”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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ORPHAN

This article was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of  ~ What’s in a Name?

 

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WHAT’S IN A NAME

ORPHAN

by John Yeo

   Our name is the handle by which we are handled.
The childhood is a time of a happy innocent vulnerability. My early childhood was spent in idyllic peaceful happiness, I was an only child brought up by two wonderful parents. Tom, my father was a gentleman farmer. This self-styled title always amused him as he worked from dawn to dusk on the land.

    “I’m a farmer and a gentleman, ask my wife Molly, how gentle I am.”
My Mother, Molly would gently smile and nod in agreement.

  What’s in a name? Certainly a contradiction, as far as my Dad was concerned.

    “Aren’t gentlemen supposed to be rich and lead a luxurious, cushioned wealthy life?” I asked grinning. At eight years old I was as sharp as a razor and very cheeky.

    “Come on Tom-junior eat your tea. Mind you finish those greens they are the secret of good health.” said my Mum smiling broadly.
Mum was a hard worker helping Dad on the farm. She somehow found the time to support the local WI. Sometimes the farmhouse would resound with her ladies busy chatting together, earnestly discussing matters of great importance.

   Such was our family’s happy life until the day of that terrible road accident that changed my life forever. We were out for a Sunday drive to the next village to visit my Uncle Bob when a huge tractor pulling a trailer full of heavy logs crashed into our tiny family car. My Mum and Dad were killed instantly and I was trapped…. Upside down in the back seat; still alive.

    At that moment my life was to change forever, I instantly became an eight-year-old orphan and a problem for the Social services. Uncle Bob and Aunt Millie took care of me for a few weeks but they were unable to make this a permanent arrangement as they had four children and very little space.

    I had become an orphan, now this is a name that due to our vivid Victorian literature has become irrevocably linked to poverty and pity. A state of unwantedness that generated much hardship and sorrow.

     I was fostered by several kindly families at the start of my new station in life and finally, I was adopted by a nice family.

    Mr. and Mrs. Smithers and their four children, all boys older than me, lived in a huge sprawling house in an acre of beautiful gardens with woods and fields stretching towards the horizon.

     The next few months passed in a blur as I quickly became accustomed to my new station in life. It was a slow degenerative process as I became that orphan, who was not really one of us. Quite unworthy to be a real part of the family. I was bullied by the children and ignored by their parents except for when I was expected to wait on them.

     “That boy will do the work! The orphan will clear the table!” said Mrs. Smithers.

 Somehow I had become a person without a name, a legal slave, fed and watered and expected to wait on the family hand and foot.

      ‘The orphan will do the job!” Was the favourite saying of the oldest son, a cruel vindictive fellow.

  I became insecure and frightened to get up in the morning. I refused to go to school in case I said something that would get me in trouble at home later.

     Eventually, I ran away and made my way back to my childhood family home. I was shy and reluctant to knock on the front door and I made my way around the back. A dog started barking loudly and a lady who I vaguely recognised, exclaimed;

    “Hello young Tom junior; what are you doing here? Come inside and have some tea.”
  At that I burst into tears, this was the first time I had encountered such familiar kindness for ages.

     “You must recognise me I am Rose, we used to come here for our WI meetings to see your Mum. My hubby and I bought the farm. Don’t cry Tom, come inside you are welcome.”

    That was five years ago now. I shudder at the memories of that period I spent as just a nameless orphan.

    I now live here in my old/new home with kindly new parents who have made me welcome. I feel secure in the knowledge that there is always an essence of our departed loved ones around guiding us in spirit.

 Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

FICTION NOTICE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

UnCOVENTional Infiltration

A prompt response for  Inspiration Monday ~ CONVENT INFILTRATION 

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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 

HIDDEN STRINGS ATTACHED

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Puppet Army

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PUPPRT ARMY ~ Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

HIDDEN STRINGS ATTACHED

by John Yeo

    General Waters controlled the forces at his disposal with a great deal of enthusiasm. The enemy were scattered, spread out in the hills, difficult to attack using conventional methods.

    “I want all available troops to be arrayed in an attack formation.” The General announced to his staff. There were murmurs of surprise and a shocked reaction to this plan.

  The second in command, Captain Myers stepped in and quieted the murmurs of dissent.
   “Hold fast there the next sound will result in a court martial! Is that clear?”

 There was an instant moment of quiet in the ranks as the men obediently did as they were instructed.

 Then suddenly a shot rang out as a sniper took out a man in the ranks.

     “Take cover! Fire at will!” Came the order, and every man dived for the floor, some of them loosing off shots and firing as they took cover.

    “CUT!” Shouted the director from the stalls “I’m not ready for total wipeout yet; I want to see more of a build up before the enemy opens fire. Perhaps we can have that General killed by the sniper’s bullet, then chaos reigns before the Captain takes command and starts pulling the strings.”

   “Well Mr. Solomon I didn’t write the script and you didn’t write the script. Perhaps we ought to seek advice from the author. We have an army of people behind the scenes.” Came the retort from the assistant of the assistant producer.

    “Who the hell are you?” Yelled the exasperated director.

   “I am an advisor. I represent the advertising moguls who control the finances for the movie. I will have to consult the money men before we can go any further.” Replied the young bespectacled whizz kid.

   The wise old producer coughed and spluttered a reply. “What part of this invisible army pulls the strings on my movie. I refuse to be treated as puppet of some mysterious entity who happens to have money.”

   The Great Puppet-master sighed as he arrayed his planets in synchronised formation. “When will they ever learn it is I who pulls the strings around here.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

CHARGE AND RECHARGE

Prompt response based on the word of the day ~6th January 2016 ~ CHARGE

http://daily.wordreference.com/2017/01/06/intermediate-word-of-the-day-charge/

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CHARGE and RECHARGE

by John Yeo

    “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.

“Certainly Sir.”

    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!”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved
 

JANUARY BLUES

This article  was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of January Blues

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JANUARY BLUES

Sowing the Seeds of Recovery

by John Yeo

    Uplifting Christmas carols and music. Sparkling, colourful lights have now been replaced with  the shock of the after-effects, and the  cold gray  winter weather of January.

   A moment of taking stock, counting the cost of the revels that have gone before.

  This time of the year can be a lonely time after the celebrations are over and the family have all left and gone their separate ways

  We plan to visit several people, neighbours, and friends who we know will appreciate a chat and a few moments of company. A cheery word in the right ear can bring magic to a sufferer of January blues.

  For some, January is a time of reflection on the past year, with high hopes for the future We feel the lowness of mood, that follows the high Christmas cheer, of the celebrations with friends and neighbours.

    January is a month of gloomy darkness.

  Cold, dreary weather,  when the blue of the skies is obscured by gray cloud, midwinter frosts, and freezing temperatures.

  There is a recognized uneasy mood affected disorder around, known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD for short. Light therapy is a way this disorder is treated by exposure to artificial light.  

  Perhaps another way to combat SAD is to bask in the benefit of the light that the enlightenment of the epiphany has revealed, by the special relaxed calmness that can be obtained through prayer and having faith that the future is a mystery that has yet to be solved.

  Another way to chase the blues away is by planning a holiday, this is one of the most popular ways to combat the January blues. Just seeing piles of brochures with photographs of beautiful blue skies,  and impressive surf with waves pounding into some golden sands is certain to lift the most downtrodden spirits.

    Sadly the alluring TV adverts and seductive  brochures, that drop through many of our letterboxes, can actually contribute to a deep feeling of depression, especially when some of us will never have the financial means or health to take advantage of them.

    Again this is a time to be considerate and cautious, with the sure knowledge that things can improve with the reaching out of a warm connecting smile.

  As a gardener and an avid grow-your-own enthusiast on my allotment. Easily the most satisfying, rewarding and entertaining way to spend those long January evenings, is with an enormous pile of seed catalogues and brochures; planning the growing year in advance. I can picture myself in the Spring, sowing tiny minuscule seeds, taking care of the seedlings to promote growth. I can close my eyes and picture an array of wonderful flowers in full bloom. I can picture fresh wholesome tasty vegetables that will bring a smile of satisfaction to my face with the sheer joy of accomplishment.

  The January blues will swiftly become a faint memory as I look into the gardening future.

 “Cheer up my friend Spring will certainly arrive. How are you today?”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

TOUR-de-FARCE

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A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Tour-de-Farce

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TOUR-de-FARCE

by John Yeo

    The caravans were parked in a circle on the village green, strategically encircling a large canvas structure, affectionately known to all as the big top. The circus had come to town!  Overnight the village green was transformed, closed in, with a huge area roped off.

  A siren shattered the calm of the village as a paramedic arrived, just in time to deliver a healthy bonny boy with a powerful pair of lungs.

 Billy arrived, born in a caravan; his arrival coincided just as the evening performance was about to begin. His Mum and Dad were professional Clowns

    Postnatal depression soon kicked in; Billy’s Mum was clearly affected by giving birth. Her husband was sympathetic, although he was suffering from a long-term depression himself.

   The circus was always on tour, village to village, town to town, a different background to get used to all the time.

 Dogs guarded the children while the family worked in the big top. Friends; all circus  performers, Acrobats, Jugglers Tightrope Walkers and Dancers all took responsibility to care for the children.

  The Ringmaster ruled the roost, travelling, always travelling; another week, another town as the circus toured the country.

  Education on the move, Billy attended a different school in every town the circus visited. Mum and Dad taught him all they  knew. How to be funny! How to apply makeup to please the customers.

  Uncle Coco committed suicide by overdosing on antidepressants

  Mum and Dad were more sorrowful than ever. They practiced a new water routine to keep the customers happy. The makeup  told a different story as the painted smiles hide the truth. The matinee audience roared with laughter on the day of Uncle Coco’s funeral.

  Billy found the funeral sad as the hearse delivered the coffin containing Uncle Coco’s remains that were quickly consigned to the flames. Uncle Coco’s ashes travelled through many small towns until the touring circus reached his home where his ashes were ceremoniously buried in the local cemetery.

  Another week another small town, the circus tour was never ending. The big top always full, to bursting.

 Billy began to grow up fast and sharp, he became a quick-witted, sensitive young man, following in his father’s footsteps.

 A very gifted clown who knew how to make people happy with his funny routine.

 Then one sad day in the life of Billy arrived with a tremendous shock, Rover his trusty Labrador dog who, went with him everywhere, died suddenly. Billy was devastated at this turn of events, crying uncontrollably. The time for the show arrived and Billy’s father was desperately trying to calm him. As he applied makeup to Billy’s face, the ringmaster arrived and insisted he take his place in the circus ring.

With these words his, Father sent him to the circus ring.

“Laugh Billy, Laugh! You are a clown to fool around and make people laugh. You will always work in the circus on a perpetual Tour-de-farce. No one will ever understand the tears of a clown.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

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