A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment 



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by John Yeo

“Innocently trapped in a prison of her own construction.”

  The sky was a mottled gray, cloudy with a stiff cold breeze. There was a dank autumnal smell of decaying leaves in the air.

   Two women were waiting at the imposing secure gates of Turney Abbey. An attractive young lady conservatively dressed in a gray suit and a middle-aged lady in a maroon coat with the collar turned up.

   There were tears in the eyes of the older of the two as they waited.

   “Auntie Eleanor; I know what I want! I have decided to follow my strong beliefs and give myself to God. My heroine is Mother Therese. I want the peace of worship and the satisfaction of working and making friends with people of a like-minded faith in God.”

   “Mary! Do you realise that once you have committed yourself to this way of life; it will be extremely difficult to leave after you have made it past the solemn or perpetual profession of the holy vows.”

     “Yes; but Auntie Eleanor: I never want to get hurt by anyone again. I know you will say that is not a good enough reason to enter a convent but I am a devout Christian and I want the peace and security to worship unhindered.”

    “My darling, I will tell you a story of a distant relative in Ireland who became a nun and died of a twice broken heart that destroyed her faith and led to an early demise.” The elder of the two women cleared her throat and began to relate a tragic tale.

    “Ruth was an attractive young lady who got good grades in college and was headed for a career in nursing. She fell in love with a young man from the same village. Sadly he was a fraud and left her brokenhearted to face a lonely future without the means of support and little chance of furthering her studies or getting work.

    Ruth decided to take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and follow the path into a convent. There was no one to counsel her about this hasty decision and she was soon admitted to a convent.”

   At this moment there was a cacophony of noise from the rookery behind the high imposing walls of Turney Abbey. As if something in the vicinity had interrupted the silence of the afternoon and spooked the Rooks.

     “Aunt Eleanor, please go on, what happened to her? How did she die?” asked Mary.

   “All went well for the first few months and she took the solemn vows. Soon the harsh mundane reality of life in the convent began to tell on the intelligent young lady. Restricted to a wholesome but limited diet, there was never enough food to sustain her completely. Worn down by the drudgery of long hours of hard work and prayer. Restricted to the company of her fellow sisters, Ruth began to pine for her former life.”

  Eleanor stopped for a minute to wipe a stray tear that was running down her cheek.

   Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she continued.

   “Then she made the mistake of confiding in Sister Agnes a sister who worked alongside her in the kitchen garden. This was a sad mistake, Sister Agnes was a bully and a vindictive person who took advantage of the situation and made Ruth’s life a misery. Threatening to expose her as an evil charlatan who had lost her faith in God. Taunting her that she would finish up in hell if she broke her solemn vows. Ruth became frightened of the consequences of leaving and became too worn down to argue.”

   Mary gasped and said. “She was trapped in a way of life that became a prison. A never ending sentence for the rest of her life!”

   “Yes Mary; She pined away and a few months later, she was discovered dead in her bed. The official cause of death was diagnosed as a mysterious virus that had struck her suddenly and she had been called to God. Unofficially we all knew she had died of a hopeless, helpless, broken heart. Sister Agnes was unrepentant, but the strange thing was, she was found dead in her bed from heart failure exactly one month later.

  At that moment the gates to Turney Abbey swung open and a kindly looking nun smiled and said, “Can I help you?”

  “No thank you!” exclaimed Mary “We are just passing by!”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.




A writing prompt from Grammar About..


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by John Yeo

   The show was billed as a top-notch experience, not just a comedy, an amusing experience; one that would cheer everyone up. It struck Gino’s nerves to the core when the lights finally went down. He knew then that this embarrassment would never make him laugh. There he was with his trousers in his hand being chased out of a farmer’s field by a fierce bull with long sharp horns. His face was hidden, but his bottom was clearly on display as he desperately tried to outrun the fierce bull. He knew very well whose rear that was; he had a clear recollection of the course of events leading to this unfortunate incident.

  Gino and Alex were out filming and photographing wild birds with the local photography club.

  “Look Alex! That’s a rare Egret on the banks of the brook running through that field: Let’s climb over the gate and try to get some photographs.”

  “Should we?” Alex cautiously asked. “Surely it’s private property. I’ll come with you to the gate but that’s as far as I’ll go.”

   The rest of the group also declined to enter the field and waited with Alex watching and filming the Egret from a distance. Gino quietly crept up on the unsuspecting bird and secreted himself in some bushes on the bank and began filming. Suddenly Nature of a different variety intervened and he thought, ‘It’s a good job I’m under cover. That curry I had last night is having a devastating effect. I will squat here behind these bushes.’

 There was heard a bellowing roar and the sound of galloping hooves as a huge 2000 lb bull arrived and charged towards him.Gino grabbed his trousers and ran hard for the gate where his friends from the group were waiting and filming his escape, curled up with hysterical laughter.

  Now one week later the group were sharing their birdwatching experiences!  ☮

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


Red planet

Image from the net

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Dust Moat


Image  Copyright John and Margaret


by John Yeo

 The castle looked fantastic. We had arrived in orbit around  a mysterious red planet. A massive fortress loomed up as we arrived and our spacecraft began to orbit around the planet. A construction that seemed so mysteriously huge it was visible from space.
   “Wow!” ejaculated Palmer, the officer in control of the outer cameras.  “What’s that? It seems to be shining like gold in the path of the light reflected from the twin Suns orbiting the planet.”
   “I’m not sure but I think that is actually gold, or it could be a brand new material unknown to our science. We better get down there and take a look. Prepare to land. Take your places  everyone in the landing party.” said the Captain.
   “OK, Captain”  shouted  Palmer, “Remote surface readings, indicate an atmosphere that is identical to Earth’s. There is a solid surface, one mile away from the castle. The area around the castle, however, is reading as unstable, almost like a quicksand in the desert. I can only describe this as a dust moat. There is no indication of life anywhere at this time.”
  “stand-by team! We are going down. Follow my instructions to the letter, we must be on our guard against all eventualities.”

 The desert Suns were competing with each other to scorch the surface of the planet, as the spacecraft set down as close to the castle as possible.
Gold was the card that drew the travellers to this scorching, parched, planet. A solid gold castle that promised astounding riches.
After the travellers had left the spacecraft, they found themselves trekking through the desert towards the castle. A castle that seemed not to be getting any closer but seemed to be exactly the same distance away.
 A strong whirlwind began to swirl the surface dust of the planet, covering everything and everyone. Visibility became poor, then impossible, the team quickly erected pods to shield them from the swirling, whirling maelstrom of dust.
Some time later when the storm had abated, the team emerged from their shelters to an astounding discovery. The castle had completely disappeared, the Captain immediately ordered the mission to be aborted with a rapid return to the ship.

  As the spacecraft took off and entered an orbit around the planet, the officer on the watch gasped as the gold castle was clearly visible on the planet once again.
  “Captian! Look a bridge has appeared across the dry moat, do you think this is a sign of welcome!” exclaimed officer Mcquirter.
 The Captain was dismissive and ordered the spacecraft to continue into space.
   “We will record this as alien science; an astonishing planet, I am not prepared to risk our lives by landing again. We narrowly escaped a strange fate, a dusty quicksand moat can suck the unwary into a painful death. Onward team!

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved




A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Underwater Sky

Underwater sky

Image ©  John and Margaret

The tide comes in~As a watery dawn appears in the sky~A brick was lobbed in the water~Another fishy asteroid appears


by John Yeo

    Pikey peeped out from his hideaway in a hole in the riverbank. A hungry Pikey who hadn’t eaten for three days: always on the lookout for an easy meal. When a fly landed on the water above he pounced and missed, dazzled by the magnification of the sun shining on the water from the sky above the river. Hunger pangs were boring holes into the walls of his stomach, it had been three days since he had eaten; a small fish that was already injured and easy prey.

   A shadow fell from the watery sky above the river and he darted back into his burrow, a large rock sailed by the entrance and landed with a squelch in the mud at the bottom of the river. Probably another asteroid collision, they seemed to occur with increasing frequency at this time of day. Two laughing young schoolboys walking by the river growing stones in the water were blissfully unaware they were making waves in aquatic science.

   Suddenly there was a splash as something entered the water from the underwater sky, Pikey stiffened his dorsal fin, as a fat frog began to swim close to the riverbank. He waited patiently for this edible gift from above to get close enough to allow him to strike. To his dismay, a large white seagull snatched the frog from the water and flew off into the cloudy sky above the river. Pikey entered the reed beds hunting for food as large oval raindrops began to splatter the surface of the river from the now dark watery sky. The sun had disappeared behind the clouds when a fat looking fly settled on the water above once, twice, then again. Pikey was more interested in a school of tiddlers swimming nonchalantly by, he snapped his jaws on three fish at once swallowing them whole.

    The fat fly, outlined in the sky above, now clearly visible, drew his attention, he waited for it to settle once again on the surface and he pounced. Pikey bit hard as he felt a sharp object in the corner of his mouth, he twisted and pulled to dislodge this alien object. Meanwhile, he could feel a tug as his whole body was drawn towards the sky above the river. Pikey fought hard, swimming from side to side, desperately trying to get free from the line that was slowly but surely pulling him up towards the underwater sky at the surface of the river. After a massive superfish tug and a headlong dive, there was a snap and with a feeling of joyous relief Pikey swam and swam as far away from that stretch of the river as possible.

   Two years later Professor Pikey was addressing a school of student Pikelings with a stern warning to avoid flies that drop in from the underwater sky.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved



I am taking part in Mondays Finish the Story 11/05/2015, 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.

The link below takes you to Part Twenty-Two


© 2015, Barbara W Beacham

Arriving at the beach she reflected on her life.

With her thoughts unbound, Bella’s mind raced from her deep love for the organisation to her secret love for Alberto, Don Fernando’s son.

Bella was dragged to a launch by several masked men. The launch was moored in a very isolated bay surrounded by rocky cliffs, seemingly impregnable to attack from all sides.
A sudden alien sound filled the air as two helicopters approached. A blast of gunfire cut down the masked men. Bella was hit by a stray bullet, she screamed as a jolt of pain seared through her body. The leading helicopter landed and five men led by Marg raced to collect Bella. An intense volley of sporadic gunfire came from the surrounding cliffs as a counter attack began. Marg and Angelo carried Bella to the copter which took off immediately and flew to the fortified mansion of Don Fernando. He was shocked ………

(150 words)

To be continued

The link below takes you to Part Twenty-Two


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge. The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.

Thank you Ady for our prompt photo this week

The boatman’s organisation were paid thousands to smuggle the family onto the mainland. They were escaping from a brutal regime that would have jailed Mr Shah and sold his wife and children into slavery. When they saw the transport for the last leg of the journey they were shocked. The boatman assured them all would be well as they would never be considered suspects on a paddle boat. That would be considered a pleasure trip.
A patrol boat sped by as they were halfway across the bay and ignored them. The family raised fishing rods and pretended to fish when a helicopter flew overhead. They reached land-fall, when a patrol ordered them to stop and produce their papers. With their hearts in their mouths, Mr Shah reached for the forged papers in his wallet. A radio crackled into life and the patrol instantly sped off on their motorcycles in the direction of the waterside. The family breathed a united sigh of relief and made their way ashore to a new life.

(175 Words)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This is in response to a challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. If you would like to participate in this challenge or need more information, please click the following link:

Mysterious Island (5)

I am taking part in Mondays Finish the Story 05/01/2015, 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.

The link below takes you to Part Four


Image supplied and credited by Monday’s finish the story.


by John Yeo


Silently as the people watched, the black hawk helicopter lifted into the air
The detonation of a rocket laid waste to one of the outhouses. Under attack and in danger, Marg and the team were quickly whisked away through a door leading to a flight of stairs down to a concrete bunker in the basement. Ripples of shock visibly ran through everyone as they raced down the stairs through a maze of tunnels emerging an hour later in a farmhouse, about a mile away. Marg managed to hitch a ride to the airport where she was soon safely on a flight back to England.
Later, Marg heard the sad news, several members of the Don’s family had been killed in the surprise raid. The plans laid at the meeting were to be put into action as revenge for this insult was now a matter of urgency. Marg was expected to report to the mysterious Island for training. The Brigadier was hopping mad~

(149 words) ~ To be continued ~

The link below takes you to Part Four


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.