THE FROTH OF A CONMAN   

SUNDAY 11th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Last Post on WordPress’

Prompt FROTH

FROTH

by John Yeo

  The conundrum for the day was how to turn a seemingly ordinary five letter word like froth into an interesting Blog post. 

   My ever-creative mind conjured a situation where my main character; call him Phil, a go ahead young man who unwittingly has become the target of Silas, a smooth-talking con man. Phil has engineered a number of lucrative deals for his employer HMQ and is in receipt of a generous bonus. 

  Silas has arranged a meet to discuss some dodgy investments. Realisation of the situation has set in for Phil, but curiosity drove him to attend the ill-starred meeting.

 I wrote a villanelle style poem to describe the meeting and the outcome. 

 After all this is poetry month and so far I’ve completed a poem-a-day……

THE FROTH OF A CONMAN   

by John Yeo



I avoided getting caught in his intricate web,
Becoming just another part of his vocal froth;
With guarded responses I never turned my head.

~

I kept my distance stayed free instead,

I’m part of a suit tailored from a different cloth,
I avoided getting caught in his intricate web.

~

The froth on his promises never soaked my bread;
The smart trickster used words to subtly rebuff,
With guarded responses I never turned my head.

~

The inn where we met was a place to dread,
Our meeting started smooth then dirty and rough

 As I avoided getting caught in his intricate web.

~
I escaped clean away quickly or I’d be dead,
Using my ingrained logic, I stayed my wrath;

With guarded responses I never turned my head.

~

I avoided the invitation to join in the thread
Of broken promises stirred into a palatable broth;
I avoided getting caught in his intricate web,
With guarded responses I never turned my head.



© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ESCAPE

SATURDAY 3rd APRIL 2021

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Daily Post on WordPress’  

Prompt ~ ESCAPE

Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from.)

ESCAPE

by John Yeo

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine

Wear a mask, respect distance, stay safe at home.

Escape to the beaches of Australia is a distant dream.

~

Another update with frightening statistics between 

Dreaming of a future far beyond the present unknown 

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine.

~

Memories of past travels fill our days as we scheme

To visit distant shores flying above the ocean foam

Escape to the beaches of Thailand is a far distant dream.

~

Hope springs eternal with a successful jab of vaccine 

Fake news and rumour cloud the post-Covid syndrome

Life in lockdown has become a pleasant routine.

~

Sunshine, sandy beaches, rest, relaxation intervene 

We enjoy the present but look forward again to roam

A visit to the family in Australia is a distant dream.

~

The future begins to look clearer on the crystal screen 

Covid statistics show a pandemic in monochrome 

Escape to the beaches of Australia is a distant dream.

Life in lockdown has become a familiar routine.

~

 © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Unsurprisingly this was always going to be an incredibly easy prompt to respond to, as everyone is currently embroiled in a worldwide pandemic. It is impossible to plan an escape from an ongoing, ever-changing situation. However the poem certainly answers the prompt.

RUNAWAY

 Prompt  ~. Tell a story from your favorite era.

THE RUNAWAY 

by John Yeo

     I woke up in a haystack at the side of a large field near the village of Sparkwell. I’d run away from our home near Dartmoor after a pedlar had visited our village with the news that the Spanish were on their way to Plymouth with a huge armada. 

  My name is Jim Wilson, I’m 15 years old and I can hardly wait to get there and join the navy. My Dad and Mum wouldn’t let me volunteer so I’ve run away to join up. Oh! I think I may be in luck, here comes a hay wagon.

     ‘Hey stop! I need a lift. Stop!’

The driver slowed and turned his weather-beaten face towards me. He was wearing a worn black outfit that most farmers and their vassals who followed the Puritan religion wore.

     ‘Hop on the cart son; I’m only going about two miles along this road. Where are you headed?’

 I started to climb onto the back of the cart but the driver signalled to me to sit beside him on the front. I answered his question with the single word Plymouth.

     ‘Plymouth! that’s about ten miles from here. Why are you heading that way?

      ‘Have you heard the latest news? The Spanish are on the way and I want to join the navy to help with the fight.’ I responded.

      ‘No! I didn’t know they were nearly here. I had heard they were on the way to invade England and King Philip wanted to inflict the Catholic religion on us. I’m sure the Queen has organised a fleet to meet them, but I know we’re heavily outnumbered by the Spaniards.’

  I introduced myself and explained that I had left home and had spent the night in a haystack.’

    ‘Probably the one in the field where I stopped to give you a lift. I’m Farmer Frank, Have you eaten anything today? No, I didn’t think so. Why don’t you come to our farmhouse and share breakfast with my family. My wife will look after you and we can see if we can find someone who is heading towards Plymouth Hoe. That’s where you are certain to find the English fleet. I believe Sir Francis Drake is in command of the fleet.’

    I was so grateful for his help, I couldn’t help smiling broadly, I thanked him by offering to do some jobs around the farm for him. He readily agreed to this and we were soon pulling up outside some ramshackle barns and outhouses where Farmer Frank unhitched the horses and I was shown where the fresh hay was. I filled the feeding trough and poured some buckets of water into the water trough. I enjoyed a substantial breakfast and met the Farmer’s wife Sarah and their two strapping sons Terry and Robin. I was then asked to clean out the pig sty and the stables to pass the time while Farmer Frank went to make some enquiries among his neighbours. 

  I set to work willingly and cleaning and clearing up after the animals while Terry and Robin went off to work in the fields. Farmer Frank was visiting several people in the neighbouring farms and didn’t return until late. I must admit I was feeling dead tired when it was time for our evening meal. Sarah the farmer’s wife had fed me a lunch of cheese and apple with a huge chunk of rough bread earlier in the day.

  Farmer Frank said,  ‘Jim, not good news I’m afraid; nobody is going towards Plymouth for a while, but you’re welcome to stay for a few days and earn some money working on the farm. You can sleep in the small barn’

 I reluctantly agreed to this and I made my way there and settled in the corner on some warm hay. I was so tired, but you can imagine how much sleep I got when I heard the sound of bolts on the outside of the door getting drawn and I realised I was locked in and a prisoner.

  I tried the doors but they were firmly shut and I desperately searched for an exit to enable me to escape. I found a boarded up window high in the barn and began to physically break the rotten wood that comprised the window frame. A barn owl had made a hole and I smashed my way out through this, to the consternation of the owls that were screeching loudly as I broke out. As I jumped through the hole and landed on a pile of straw ten feet below, the farmyard dogs began barking loudly. A lantern was alight inside the farmhouse as I hobbled away, having twisted my ankle when I landed. I hid in a huge water-filled wooden barrel and escaped across the fields before dawn.

   I was fortunate to be picked up along the road by a pedlar who was heading into Plymouth. This man was a tinker who made a living selling and repairing pots and pans. A large red-faced friendly travelling man who was jovial and glad of my company. He introduced himself as Peter Potter. He was shocked when I described my recent experience with Farmer Frank and said he would spread the word everywhere he went for people to be on their guard.

 We were both surprised to find Sir Francis Drake calmly playing bowls when we arrived. Apparently the Spanish were defeated by the weather. I joined up anyway and soon became a cabin boy on the good ship, VIctory.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

A SIZABLE SANCTUARY

TUESDAY 11th AUGUST 2020

This post is written by response to a prompt by ‘M’ on WordPress which can be accessed by following the link below.

August writing prompts

A SIZABLE SANCTUARY

by John Yeo

The motor cruiser was steeped in luxury

Every need of the occupant was catered for

The sea would always be a sizable sanctuary.

~

The Captain headed off on this voyage in a hurry

The passenger laid back watching the receding shore

The motor cruiser was steeped in luxury.

~

The wind on the waves blew calm and blustery

As the boat left for distant parts to explore

The sea would always be a sizable sanctuary.

~

The rich man had left the pandemic instantly

News broke of the deaths and spread, so sure

The motor cruiser was steeped in luxury.

~

The awful truth of the dangers and the discovery

The symptoms were much too plain to ignore

The sea would always be a sizable sanctuary.

~

His medical team monitored his health constantly

As the wealthy man gazed from his position offshore,

The motor cruiser was steeped in luxury.

The sea would always be a sizable sanctuary.

~

© Written by John Yeo

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

RUTH

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment 

JAILED INNOCENCE 

http://ourwriteside.com/assignment-jailed-innocence/

monastary

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

RUTH

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.

master-class-featured-image

EVERYONE ELSE WAS LAUGHING

A writing prompt from Grammar About..

http://grammar.about.com/od/topicsuggestions/a/50Prompts.htm

bull

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

EVERYONE ELSE WAS LAUGHING

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

SPACE MIRAGE

Red planet

Image from the net

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Dust Moat

http://bekindrewrite.com

image

Image  Copyright John and Margaret

SPACE MIRAGE

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

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http://bekindrewrite.com

 

UNDERWATER SKY”

A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Underwater Sky

http://bekindrewrite.com

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

UNDERWATER SKY

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

img_9739-1

http://bekindrewrite.com