Image courtesy of pixabay.com
RANDOM FLASH FICTION
by John Yeo
The stick was thrown as far as the strength of my human arm would allow. A small bundle of fur would race along the grassy parkland to retrieve it and a well gnawed stick would be returned to my feet, dripping with doggy saliva.
Allow me to introduce Skip, a small, unclassifiable mongrel dog who had somehow managed to attach himself to our family. It must be every young persons dream to have a faithful four-legged friend to take care of. Skip arrived in our house after the family next door decided to emigrate to Australia. Obviously we were chosen by Skip who had seen us coming and going and received many occasional strokes and pats when he was walked by his owners on a daily basis.
Skip was a small light brown velvet coated dog of many variations. The nearest classification one could get for Skip would be a German Shepherd mixed with a Labrador, mingled with a Golden Retriever. The resulting entity was a fearless little bundle of fur intensely loyal and brave.
One memorable day, Skip and I were walking each other in the parkland for our daily exercise. Skip had the habit of disappearing into the undergrowth after chasing birds and any other small creatures that moved.
Suddenly I was confronted by an unaccompanied Pitbull Terrier who stood in my path growling menacingly. I froze as I had heard many stories of people who had been scarred for life after an attack by these vicious dogs. I wasn’t sure what to do next, I knew it would be fatal to run away so I just stood still, staring the Pitbull Terrier straight in the eyes. The ugly growls became louder and more threatening. I could actually see saliva dribbling from the teeth and jaws of this menacing creature.
Suddenly there was another fearsome sound as a small bundle of fur leapt from the undergrowth barking loudly and with a frightening growl seized the larger Pitbull Terrier by the throat drawing blood. The two animals went for each other in a cloud of dust and swirling pieces of fur. Skip bravely stood his ground and I could see he was actually beginning to wear the larger dog down. Then after a few minutes that seemed to drag on into hours, the Pitbull Terrier was beginning to get the better of the brave little mongrel.
With a shout a young man appeared, carrying a dogs lead. ‘Sampson’ here. The Pitbull let go of Skip’s foreleg and answered the call.
I rushed to pick up my poor brave companion and not stopping to talk to the owner of the Pitbull, I quickly made my way to the local Vet.
Sadly Skip lost a leg, but the Vet managed to stem the blood and save my faithful friends life.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved
A REEDSY PROMPT
A WINTER’S NIGHT IN THE CITY
by John Yeo
The time by the clock on the Cathedral spire chimed with three loud sonorous peals, assaulting the night and the eardrums of the lone figure wrapped in a dirty blanket, who was lying almost out of sight in a stone archway.
In the near vicinity, a loud siren screamed with an urgency as an ambulance sped through the city streets, answering a distress call or transporting a sick or injured person to a hospital.
A vicious wind, whipped around the tall tower blocks across the way causing a harsh updraft. The rain, correctly forecast by some of the passers-by; the few who took the time to talk had temporarily become slashing sleet. A chilling sleet that quickly turned to icy hard drops that stung the face of the figure lying prone on some sheets of cardboard. Clearly visible was a partially torn off address label that simply had the word Amazon left for all the world to see.
Suddenly Spot, the dog lying close to this frozen figure gave a low growl and bared his teeth.
‘What is it, boy?” Exclaimed Freddy, the sad supine sleeper who was forced to spend his nights out in this unfriendly cold atmosphere. Freddy tried to wet his frozen lips with spittle to enable his words to become audible.
Freddie had suffered a marital breakdown several months before and he was now forced to live on the streets.
Spot gave another louder growl as a four-legged, doglike creature padded past them on the pavement.
‘Ah! I can see him.’ Said Freddie to himself, ‘An urban Fox on the prowl for food scraps, you’ll be unlucky here Foxy. We’re both starving, it will be a while until any hopes of food arrive.’
Soon another sound broke the silence as Karla, a heavily made-up lady of the night stepped out of a taxi that suddenly drew up alongside the curb where Freddie was sleeping. Flicking her long peroxide blonde hair from her eyes, she frowned at Freddie and said,
‘Hey there! I brought you a cold hotdog and a cup of coffee. You’d better drink this fast before it turns to ice!’
A strong smell of cheap perfume wafted into the alcove, mixing and fighting for supremacy over the damp musty smell of unwashed humanity.
‘Thanks!’ grunted Freddie, wiping ice crystals from his lips. ‘Are you by any chance an angel?’
Freddie broke the hotdog in half and gave half to the dog.
‘Are you kidding? All my flying high is in my dreams. I’ve had a rough night, one of the punters tried to beat me up. If I had a minder I would have been fine, but I don’t believe in encouraging pimps to steal from me.’
‘What happened?’ Asked Freddie.
‘I kicked him hard between the legs and ran for my life. Goodnight to you, I would invite you home but my husband and the kids are fast asleep up there.’
With that she entered one of the tower blocks across the way, clip-clopping on her outrageous red high heels.
Soon with a sudden silent glare of headlights, two police cars stopped and stationed themselves across the street, right outside Oscar’s, a large nightclub a dozen yards or so away.
‘Must be chucking out time Spot, the law has arrived in case of trouble.’
As the club emptied, two bouncers stationed themselves each side of the door, a large crowd of people surged out into the streets at once.
The worldly-wise policemen just sat inside their high visibility police cars watching. They knew it was far too cold for any of the club crowd to hang around causing trouble. A fleet of taxis soon started ferrying the clubbers away and before long silence descended on the city streets again.
Dawn broke and as Freddie was drifting into a fitful dozy state. Spot gave a loud bark as a man in a Salvation Army uniform, wearing the familiar peaked hat greeted him with a friendly grin on his ruddy chilled face.
‘Are you OK? I’ve got sandwiches and a hot drink here if you feel like eating.’
Freddie grabbed the plastic carrier bag and immediately wolfed down a cheese and pickle sandwich. Mouthing his thanks, Freddie sipped the scalding coffee, that burnt his insides as he swallowed the steaming fluid slowly. He wrapped his hands around the outside of the polystyrene cup for warmth. Spot made some hungry doggy noises and Freddie fed him half a cheese and pickle sandwich,
‘Thanks be to God and the local supermarket’s largesse,’ said the kindly soldier of the Lord. ‘Are you in need of anything? I can take you to a shelter but I’m afraid dogs aren’t allowed.’
‘Then no thanks!’ Freddie replied, ‘I go nowhere without Spot, he’s my constant companion.’
‘I understand,’ replied the kindly man, ‘Here’s an address where you can get help in the morning, even with Spot staying with you for a short while.’
‘Thanks again,’ answered Freddie. “Goodbye!’
A road sweeping vehicle trundled by, with large brushes that swept up most of the detritus left in the road by the clubbers who seemed to consume vast quantities of fast food washed down with cans of drink and coffee.
Morning broke as the thick clouds in the sky lightened slightly. The persistent rain and sleet had stopped now. Freddie dragged himself to his feet and picked up his crutch. He rolled up his sleeping bag and his blanket and packed them into a large canvas bag.
He headed for the local hamburger restaurant where he could use the toilets and clean himself up a bit if the staff didn’t notice that he hadn’t purchased anything.
He tied up Spot outside and muttered, ‘Sorry boy, I won’t be long, I have an appointment at the hospital today. Got to get my leg sorted out.’
Spot whimpered and stood guard over the three bags that were all the possessions Freddie owned in the world.
Soon the roads were full of traffic, cars, and buses transporting workers heading for the city offices as another winter’s night in the city drew to a close.
Copyright ©️ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.
Images Courtesy of pixabay.com
A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: 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
I am taking part in Mondays Finish the Story 19/10/2015, which is a challenge that provides a photo prompt and the opening sentence to your story. The rules indicate that the story you come up with must be between 100-150 words, not including the given opening sentence.
The link below takes you to Part Forty-Five
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
Finish the story begins with:
“Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.”
Something’s not quite right here!’ He thought, ‘I get the distinct impression that someone is very close by watching me.’
Angelo had been to visit Isabella, and taken tea at her house in the Mango tree. As he stumbled along the forest path, the branches of the bushes and trees seemed to be reaching out to him, tearing his clothes, scratching his face, he could hear the sounds of vicious dogs close behind him, they seemed to be getting closer all the time. He climbed a large tree to hide and take refuge. Then there were gunshots, very close by his hiding place, followed by the sound of a pack of hounds, tearing and fighting over the flesh of a downed animal. Luigi was quenching his bloodlust by hunting helpless animals, and revelling in watching them get torn to pieces by his trained hounds.
Marg and Hillary were in London……..
To be continued…..
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.
Six dogs pulled the sled through through the ice-fields. We were returning home with our catch from the rocky bay. The first three dogs were all from the same litter, with pure white fur that was almost invisible against the snowy background. They had an affinity for each other as they led the other three dogs, who were a mixture of the breed, snarling and yelping as they pulled the sled. They were all working as a team.