This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..



by John Yeo

   The two friends were excited as they were making their plans for an exciting trip. Edward and Fiona were both students at  the School of Oriental and African studies at the University of London. The plan was to travel to Africa and explore as many Ancient religious sites as possible during the Summer break. 

  Edward, who was the son of an army, cavalry officer, was a six foot tall athletic young man, with long red hair and sparkling brown eyes that lit up when he grinned, which was quite often. His rather long nose was somewhat camouflaged by a bushy moustache. A pair of thick plastic spectacles balanced on the end of the said nose, completed his facial adornments.

  Fiona, his friend and would-be travelling companion, was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist with a large manor house in Hampshire. Fiona was a bubbly brunette with medium length, curly hair and deep set dark brown eyes. 

   The expedition was soon set up and the two friends were introduced to Mustafa, their tour guide and his team of six bearers who were to accompany them on the jungle trek. He was a thin man, with short, tightly curled hair and a face covered in the pock marks of an early dose of chickenpox. His eyes were bright and reflected a friendly, quick intelligence.

  They began to make their way through the dense jungle, following overgrown trails little known to anyone except the natives. The jungle became more and more overgrown and Edward and Fiona were slashing their way along the trails wielding sharp machetes. This was extremely hard work and tempers became frayed and everyone was feeling the pressure of the task ahead; to reach the first temple.

  They arrived at a rock-strewn valley with a gentle river running through. They cleared away vegetation from a glade and set up camp for the night. The first temple on their schedule was just a few hours away.

  That evening around their camp fire, Mustafa and his team entertained the two friends with mystical tales of the religious ceremonies and ritual events that took place in the temple they would be visiting. Fiona and Edward tasted a special brew of leaves that gently calmed them and allowed them to imagine the magical mysterious life of the temple priests.

 The next day’s journey proved even more trying than ever, as the jungle became  denser as they drew nearer to the first temple.

Fiona and Edward were showing the effects of the hard onerous work required to clear their way and started bickering at each other.

  ‘I wasn’t aware this trip would be quite as tough as this.’ grumbled Fiona, ‘I’m not used to this laborious hacking away through a jungle. How come we have to go through this sort of hard work?’

     ‘Don’t blame me!’ retorted Edward. ‘Surely you realised the jungle wouldn’t be easy. I can always arrange for us to be picked up by helicopter when we reach the upcoming temple.’

    ‘How can we pay for that?  Without wiring our parents for funds and risking their reactions to us flunking out of the trip.’ asked Fiona.

    ‘Oh! Let’s just get there, we can decide what to do when we arrive at the temple.’

     An hour later they had reached the temple and were introduced to a number of the temple priests who lived with their families in a small village. The rigours of their journey were quickly forgotten as excitement took over. The structure of the age-old rocks that comprised the walls, with strange carvings and statues everywhere accentuating Mustafa’s mystical tales of the night before.

 The two friends spent the evening participating in the ceremonies and spent hours writing, photographing and recording the mystical temple night.

 The next day they had to come to a decision?

© ~ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved