GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2h

This was my original draft before I had to trim the whole deal to just 150 words.

 

Goodbye Cement Factory

 

by John Yeo

 

  Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession in his village. This enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day, loading the heavy cement bags onto a conveyor belt. He kept himself going to work until the factory came to a standstill one terrible day. Just like that without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work to feed his aged parents. At the end of the first month of idleness, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened and weakened following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.

  Desperately Chan approached Hung Li, the storekeeper, who had offered to buy his bicycle and reluctantly parted with his only form of transport. Too late, he returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat. A fisherman who lived an idyllic life on the river, close to Nature. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner in the fishing business. Chan adopted a large black Cormorant, who would feed on fish from his hand. Chan revisited the family grave to pay homage. The Cement works reopened and the harsh industrial life continued for some.

  Chan lived well from his fishing and bought a boat of his own. Later he got married to his old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. The Cormorant flew away for a while and returned with two baby chicks who followed Chan’s boat everywhere. Feeding from the hands of Chan and Ching and Mary Lee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

(341 WORDS)

Goodbye Cement factory

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2

GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

by John Yeo

Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession, this enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day. Without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work, to feed his aged parents. Soon, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened, following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.
Desperately Chan approached the local storekeeper, who bought his bicycle for cash. He returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat, a fisherman. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner.
Chan lived well from his fishing and got married to his  old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. 

(150 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ENSLAVEMENT BY ADDICTION

I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…SLAVERY.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

MODERN SLAVERY

by John Yeo

 The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about slavery, is the horror of the period between 1600 when legal mass slavery was reputed to have begun in the UK and 1863 when slavery was officially abolished in the USA.

Although slavery in one form or another actually began much earlier, in the form of war captives, and the domination of one tribe by another.

 However, slavery comes in many forms; human slavery is just the tip of a hidden iceberg. Almost every one of us is a slave to addiction in one form or another. Whether it be one of the obvious big four, Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, or Gambling or another enslaving addiction such as the habitual rejection of food as in questionable diets and slimming fads that could lead to the horrors of Anorexia or Bulimia.

 A miser’s enslaving addiction is the storing up of wealth and hatred of expenditure.

Addiction can take many forms, in fact, people can become addicted slaves to almost anything, from eating too much ice cream to viewing obscenity.

By far the newest trap, with the potential to become the biggest modern path into enslavement comes in the form of Internet addiction. Particularly the new, so-called, Social Media, it starts as a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends but it can slowly and insidiously become a time-consuming, enslaving addiction. ‘Just one little look!’ becomes hours and hours of pointless time-wasting.

 The dangers of internet enslavement to the younger generation have been recognized and well-recorded. This has the potential of becoming the biggest threat to the unwary in recorded history. With the added side effects of leading the young astray along a maze of unforeseen addictive paths. Children, of all ages and many adults, are becoming bombarded with images and alluring, time-consuming pathways embedded in the World-Wide-Web.

This is not to downplay the obvious advantages of the web for education and instant communication.

One of the biggest challenges in the near future will certainly be a coming to terms with the effects of this widespread, self-inflicted, modern form of enslavement of the unwary; who become ensnared by this highly addictive web.

©️John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

INVISIBLE DESTRUCTION

 

coastal town

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi

INVISIBLE DESTRUCTION

by John Yeo

  Old Alexander always took the new recruits to the top of the high hill overlooking the small coastal town. This was part of their initiation and orientation into the elite fighting force that protected the townspeople from sudden attack.
  Old Alexander would always begin by relating the story of the vicious war that broke out in the area 30 years previously. The enemy had sited their guns at the top of this hill and continuously blasted the valley until the town below was reduced to rubble; heaps and piles of accumulated concrete everywhere. There was a loss of many lives but by far the greatest number of people escaped by climbing aboard the many fishing boats and assorted vessels moored in the bay.
Our people returned in force and drove the invaders out. Every building you see before you are brand new; some have never been occupied. After the reconstruction was almost complete, our enemies returned and showered the area with devastating lethal chemical weapons. There was an immediate exodus over the sea and most of the townspeople escaped, many leaving everything behind.
The war that followed was devastating. Our people can never re-occupy their homes.

© John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit..
https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/

coastal town

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi

 

 

(200 WORDS)

ELECTRICITY AT WHAT COST

I wrote the following piece of flash fiction for our church magazine in response to the theme of Electricity. Sadly there is a lot of truth embedded in this little tale Somewhere there has to be a solution to our need to power new homes for our ever increasing population. At what cost?

ELECTRICITY AT WHAT COST

by John Yeo

The electricity of inter-species tolerance and communication in action.

  The sun was shining and although it was quite cold, we decided to go for a stroll around the lake. Sweet chestnuts and empty husks lay in great profusion under the trees. Autumn leaves underfoot scrunched as we strolled along a well-worn path. There was a distinctly autumnal feel to our walk, as we strolled along treading the crunchy leaves underfoot. Many sweet chestnuts and husks were piled under the trees, left behind by the ever-busy grey squirrels as they secreted sweet chestnut kernels in hidden larders as a store of food for the long winter months ahead. Many of these playful squirrels were chasing each other up and down the trees as we strolled along. A good number of Moorhens and Mallard Ducks were swimming on the surface of the lake and in tiny inlets under the trees. The ever-present avaricious Gulls were swooping around over the lake and floating on the water squabbling with each other. We passed a pair of Egyptian Geese sleeping on the banks of the lake, who obligingly awoke and posed for a photograph as we walked by. Many Wood Pigeons were pecking around in the grass, it’s a wonder there is food enough here to support this large community of different species of birdlife, together with the Squirrels and the ever increasing number of Rabbits.

   Then, nailed to a tree was a notice. We had heard rumours on the communal grapevine about the fate of this beautiful spot, and here it was plain for all to see. The owners of this lovely beauty spot had sold out to big business. This beautiful area was to be destroyed and replaced with two giant wind turbines and a mast for telephone and broadband reception. The bases of these three monstrosities would be concreted over for stability and ease of maintenance. These two turbines would generate enough electricity to power up to 6000 homes.

Sadly, we continued along our way, thoughts were racing through my mind. Ripples in the lake betrayed the presence of many large fish, the lake is situated within a few hundred yards of the coast. Freshwater fish obviously thrive here, kept under control by the attention of the local family of Herons. Another pair of Mallard Ducks swam lazily on the surface of the water and a Moorhen raced for cover as we walked noisily by on the multi-coloured leaves. Suddenly there was a movement at a small pool on the banks of the lake as a large Toad with a distinctive yellow stripe along his back came into view. He didn’t hop along he almost walked out of the reeds alongside the pool.

‘My God!’ I thought, ‘I don’t believe it; that is certainly a Natterjack Toad. A member of a protected species. This development will never go ahead’

Our mood suddenly became euphoric as the implications of this discovery became clear.

I quickly pulled out my iPhone and began taking many photographs of this saviour of the natural environment.

The rest is history, the turbines were relocated, providing the much-needed electricity for the planned new homes and in the following Spring many baby Mallard ducks and Egyptian Geese will be born here and there should be strings of Natterjack Toads eggs in the pools surrounding our beautiful protected lake.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

THE RELENTLESS SEA

I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to this months theme of WATER..

 

The Relentless Sea


by John Yeo
  

  Driftwood, bobbing and bouncing on the top of the waves, was the first clue that Old Tom had claimed another unwary, unsuspecting victim. 
 Our hearts sank whenever large spars of wood came drifting in on the foamy, relentless, rough waves in exceptionally stormy weather. 
 Old Tom was the name given by the locals over many centuries to a line of cliffs that were hidden at the entrance to the harbour. Obscured from the sight of incoming vessels by the high waters. There was a large rock, shaped like a giant, hence the name and the well deserved ugly reputation. 


Several battered suitcases and wooden barrels arrived bobbing into the waiting arms of the people lining the shore. These wrecks always drew a crowd of locals searching for the remains.
 This wreckage seemed to be different than the usual detritus that floated into shore.
  

    “I wonder if there were many lives lost out there this time. Last time Old Tom claimed twenty-nine. I hear we must be thankful for small mercies, the rocky arms of Old Tom have embraced many of our enemies in the past and saved us from invaders.” Billy Martindale said to his wife Josie.
  

  Josie looked pale and drawn, dragged from her customary hard routine of caring for their home, she had always accompanied her husband to lend assistance if there was a shipwreck.


   “I sincerely hope not!” she replied.
  

Billy and Josie had lived on the cliffs of this perilous coastline for thirty-five years, a harsh way of life, that both of them had learned to accept the hard way, as they knew no other. They had two sons Bert and Jack, who had long since left the safety of their home and gone to sea.
The first of the dead floated in.
  

    Josie gasped, “It’s a baby! Oh no! Look, Billy.”
  Then another group of bodies was washed up on the shore. These were families, and the horror set in as the extent of this tragedy began to slowly unfold.
The Coastguards and the Lifeboats returned to shore after a fruitless search for survivors. 
The newspapers reported another boatload of refugee asylum seekers had been drowned that day off the rugged, rocky coast.
 At the final tally, Old Ben had claimed another forty-nine lives. 
Sadly the horrors that drove these people to seek sanctuary, seem so ongoing and insoluble that we can only pray for future peace and goodwill in this world.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 


BURY THE SEEDS ~ SPRING

 I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to this months theme of SPRING.

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SPRING

by John Yeo

To the gardener, Spring is an exciting season of birth-rebirth and renewal.

 Seeds are planted in the sure hope that new life will spring from the ground in the form of food and flowery sensations. Some plants in the borders appearing dead and past resuscitation suddenly spring back to life from their Winter dormancy. The cacophony of birdsong and calls that is known as the dawn chorus begins as wild birds build their nests laying numerous eggs, nurturing and helping them to develop into chicks.

Spring always a season of new life has been extra special for us this year as Margaret and I have been presented with a new Great Grandson, a Spring baby. I wrote this poem which I have dedicated to him and I am delighted to share here as a tribute to all concerned with our grateful thanks to God.

 

BURY THE SEEDS

by John Yeo

 

Bury the seeds in the minds of the young,

Nurture and take care of their fertile minds.

Allow them the freedom to think things through

Watch the growth of ideas spring forth.

Harvest the results of future growth

In technology, the arts, and science.

Enjoy the improvements in life.

~

Bury the seeds of peace and freedom,

Nurture a caring, sharing empathy for all.

Allow a mixture of cultures in life

Promote a feeling of self-worth with thought.

Harvest the feelings of peace and love.

No more war, free speech with equality.

Enjoy sharing the feeling of a natural life.

~

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

SKIP

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

RANDOM FLASH FICTION

SKIP

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

 

‘I’M TRYING TO FIND MY WAY. CAN YOU HELP ME?’

A REEDSY PROMPT

“I’m trying to find my way. Can you help me?”

Carriage

‘I’M TRYING TO FIND MY WAY. CAN YOU HELP ME?’

by John Yeo

……….This remark was addressed to a figure who was just visible lying prone amid the debris under the arches close to the riverbank.
 A tall man was struggling to keep his balance against the strong wind that had whipped up within the last few minutes. He pulled his smart tailored cloak around his shoulders and turned up the brim on his stovepipe hat. A hat and cloak that was rarely ever seen on the streets anywhere this century. A fashion that had long since disappeared into the realms of history.
     ‘That stupid coach driver obviously had no idea of where he was going,’ he thought.   ‘Here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere.’
 Charles Dackens was a gentleman farmer, his business had gone well today and he was heading for the Eagle Star, his favourite coach house. Somehow a thick mist had descended from nowhere and the driver had taken a wrong turning. Sadly the lead horse had lost a shoe and the horse-drawn carriage could go no further. The coachman had given him some garbled directions and he was completely lost.

   The day had started roughly for Bengy, he had pains all down his shoulders and in his bones. Harshly, all his days seem to begin this way lately. It hadn’t improved in the hours he had spent on the streets all day. This latest sleeping spot was not up to his usual requirements, here under the arches there were at least ten rough sleepers on any one night. ‘Still, at least there is safety in numbers, unlike my last situation,’ Bengy mused. ‘Those devils were merciless in their drunken taunts, the painful kicks and blows are still ingrained in my memory. I am almost afraid to go to sleep now in case they come around here.’
Bengy jumped at the sound of this voice that seemed to emanate from somewhere in the swirling mists on the street.
‘Eh? What’s that? Who’s there? I have no money, nothing of any value. Please don’t hurt me.’

   Charles Dackens stepped forward and doffed his hat to the prone figure.
   ‘Please don’t be frightened. I said I’m trying to find my way. Can you help me? I find it such a struggle to keep my balance in this high wind, please can you direct me to the Eagle Star coach house. It can’t be far away, I think I took a wrong turning somewhere. I will make it worth your while, I promise you.’

  Bengy regarded this strangely dressed figure sleepily, he had had no sleep so far this wild windy night. The mist was now quite thick and he could barely see the man who was asking the question, but the voice sounded friendly enough. Bengy didn’t feel threatened.
   ‘Sorry Sir, I can’t help you. I don’t get far these days now I’m out of work. Since my dear wife passed away and I started gambling, I’ve lost everything. I could probably lead you to the nearest coach station where you would certainly get directions.’
The stranger said. ‘Thanks my friend, I would gladly make it worth your while. I better introduce myself, I’m Charles, what’s your name?
     ‘Bengy’s my name, I’m sorry if I seemed suspicious, I took a wrong turning sometime ago and I’ve been struggling to keep my balance ever since. I’m the one who desperately needs some help to find my way.’

 At that point, to Bengy’s utter surprise a coach drawn by two magnificent grey horses drew up.

    ‘Ah, there you are Sir! I’ve been searching everywhere for you. I managed to find a blacksmith and I got the horseshoe fixed.’

  Charles Dackens turned to Bengy and said, ‘Jump in Bengy! I’m sure we’ll soon find our way together.’

   Bengy didn’t hesitate, and the coach and horses disappeared into the swirling ever-thickening mist.

Copyright ©️ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

OSWALD ISLAND

A REEDSY PROMPT

You are an explorer who’s just discovered a new island.’

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OSWALD ISLAND

by John Yeo

   The press conference was well attended, with representatives from several of the national newspapers and a few reporters from regional papers.
There was a presentation of sketches and photographs on display of a substantial rocky landmass located in a sunlit sapphire sea. There was a large indentation in the centre that was a natural lake with a channel leading to a bay that formed a natural harbour.

‘First things first Ladies and Gentlemen of the press. My name is Captain Oswald, I own that luxury yacht moored in the harbour. We have just returned from the Indian Ocean, where my island is located.’

Mike Molloy, an ebullient Irish reporter employed by the Daily Torment, a national tabloid newspaper. ‘You are referring to this discovery as your island
Captain? How can you lay claim to an island for yourself. Surely you should be claiming it for the nation?’

‘My friend I have discovered this paradisiacal island, exactly 101 miles off the coast of Tango, located in the South Pacific Ocean. Even now as we speak several members of my crew are in residence guarding my property. I have laid claim to this new land and I propose to sell shares to anyone interested in the future development of my land.’

There was a sudden loud general hubbub as questions were fired at Captain Oswald, a short, stocky man with a shock of sandy coloured hair.
A large familiar-looking man raised his hand and shouted.
‘Peter Swinburne, from the Daily Scare. Supposing you are overruled by the government of Tango and the island is confiscated. How do your investors know they will be able to get their money back?’

‘Mr Swinburne, my word is my bond and I guarantee to refund all monies that will have been invested in my property. I have the financial backing of a leading worldwide firm in the futures investment industry. This will be a first class investment with the minimum of risk. I have been assured by a member of the Tangoan government that this new island is just outside their territorial boundaries and is open for development. I have agreed to allow the Tangoan government a full half share of any future profits.’

Another voice shouted a question, this time it was a lady reporter. ‘Geraldine South, from the Seaview Independent local paper. I would like to know how much of these future profits will be invested locally in these Isles.’

Captain Oswald smiled and replied. ‘There is no question that this government will receive substantial funds in exchange for protection from marauding pirates and gangsters. I have been assured this is possible and a feasibility study is underway as we speak. Of course the bulk of our trade will be with tourists and businesses from here. Holidaymakers will flock there, the ultra-wealthy will build their homes there.’

A tall distinguished looking man then stepped up and said,
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to bring this press conference to a close now. I am a lawyer representing Captain Oswald. I would appreciate it, if all further questions could be directed to my office. I propose to leave a pile of my address cards at the back of this hall.

The next few weeks were exciting as far as Captain Oswald was concerned. Money was flooding in from interested investors as speculators queued to get a piece of the action. The funds were quickly channeled into building projects and advertising.

Captain Oswald had returned to his island and made the trip back several times. He now worked from a plush office in the centre of the financial hub of a city on the mainland.
When the first warnings started to come through, Captain Oswald was attending a plethora of meetings with his new partners and the banks.
The first newsflash was seemingly insignificant, just a suggestion that there was a hurricane due to touch the coastline of his private island.
The news came through as Captain Oswald had a meeting scheduled with the press to announce a public naming ceremony of his new island. Unsurprisingly the island was to be named Oswald island and would be officially recognised by all concerned.

The reports of the power and devastation caused by the hurricane in the South Pacific Ocean became more and more alarming. The weather forecasters had named this powerful storm, Hurricane Esmeralda, a name that would forever be indelibly imprinted on the mind of Captain Oswald.

Within days the Captain and his crew were travelling at full speed towards the Tango islands in the South Pacific following a spate of reports of the devastation and the loss of life caused by Hurricane Esmeralda. There was a lack of news after a while due to the power lines that had been severely damaged by the storm.
Several days later they were approaching the point where Oswald Island was located but to the horror and surprise of the Captain there wasn’t any sign of his island.

Captain Oswald screamed to his first mate, ‘Barnicle, where’s the island?’

‘I dunno Captain, it should be right in front of us.’

‘Have you got the right coordinates man?’

‘Yessir! Positively Sir.’

It took a few seconds for the dreadful realisation that Oswald Island was gone and would never be seen again. Washed away and destroyed by Hurricane Esmeralda, the island was now at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
The Captain took this discovery surprisingly philosophically.

‘Well life’s a gamble, they say things come and go, Nature provides and Nature takes away. C’mon Barnacle, head for Tango, I need to cash in my chips.’

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved