MARIGOLD MOMENTS

FLASH FICTION 

MARIGOLD MOMENTS

by John Yeo

Mary just adored them and did everything in her power to preserve the magical Marigolds that grew along the borders of her garden. She would water them daily, even when it rained. One day there was a loud knocking at the door. Mary went to open it and there didn’t seem to be anyone around, just a huge bunch of sweet smelling gold coloured Marigolds. 

‘Wonderful!’ She thought, ‘My favourite flower, they smell so freshly cut and they look so good. I must put them in a vase straight away.’

Shortly after there was another knock on the door and when Mary answered, she saw the local postman with a card in his hand.

‘Here you are Ma’am, someone has remembered it’s Valentine’s Day and sent you a card.’

‘How do you know.’ asked Mary.

‘Easy said the postman, there are kisses and hearts all over it.’

Mary smiled and opened the card immediately when she was alone, sure enough it was a Valentine’s Day card with beautiful Marigolds all over it.

 Mary wondered who the unsigned card was from.

Later that day she met Bob, the greengrocer in town and oddly he had a large Marigold in his lapel.

Mary smiled , yet still the penny hadn’t dropped until Bob blushing said to her.

‘I love your Marigolds Mary, your garden is as beautiful as you.’

Then it was Mary’s turn to blush as Bob handed her a bunch of Marigolds with an engagement ring in a box.

‘Please marry me Marigold Mary.’

© 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

THE MESSAGE

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 04/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

Photo Credit Subramanya Bhat

THE MESSAGE

by John Yeo

  I took my usual seat on the bus and folded the seat in front of me back to allow me to stretch out my osteoarthritic-riddled legs in comfort.  It was then an interesting character arrived, in the shape of a lady in her mid-forties. This lady immediately pulled the seat in front of me back down, took a seat and leaned on the side of my seat. I was able to keep my legs stretched out as she adjusted her position around them. It was then I began to take some notice of her. She had long jet black hair that was obviously helped with black dye. Her nose was large, not unattractively large, set in a face with sharp brown eyes and little make-up applied. She was dramatically dressed, totally in black, except for her grey shoes. I noticed she had her fingernails painted a bright red, and she wore a thin gold bracelet. She wrote something on a piece of paper and promptly began to fold the paper into an origami shape. As she was leaving the bus she handed me the piece of paper and left. I opened the paper to reveal the scribbled words, DON’T STARE!

(200 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. Yep, that’s really a picture of Manhattan.  Inwood Park, at the very tip of the island, is one of the few places on the island that looks as it did three hundred years ago.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

by John Yeo

Gerald stood at the top of the hill transfixed and just stood drinking in the absolute beauty that seemed to reach out and draw him on. Georgina breathlessly caught up, then gasped with surprised wonder.

Suddenly there was a chuckle as a rough looking stranger emerged from the depths of a nearby copse. A middle-aged, rather overweight, bearded man stood before them, he had long greasy black hair, with grey streaks, held in position with a battered trilby hat. His bushy black eyebrows met in the middle, atop a large crooked nose. He suddenly opened his mouth to reveal a blackened set of uneven, crooked, gap-filled teeth.

‘I see both of you young people are overwhelmed with this place. I’m Captain Ted, a hungry man and I’ll thank you to turn out your pockets and give me everything you find in them. Oh! And I’ll take that smartphone you’re clutching’

(150 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ANGEL INVESTOR

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~ ANGEL INVESTOR 

http://bekindrewrite.com

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

ANGEL INVESTOR

by John Yeo

   Billy tightened his coat against the biting cold wind. Winter winds were blasting the trees on the avenue, leaving a trail of leaves and small branches all over the pavement. Billy pulled his knapsack over his shoulder, he wouldn’t be sorry to get to shelter today.
    Billy was officially homeless now, a person of no fixed abode.
Whenever he was asked his address by the innumerable officials and interested parties he would sullenly reply, “NFA.”

    Billy lived in the basement of a large crumbling mansion just outside of town. The locals avoided the place, considering it to be haunted. Rumour had it the mansion’s owner lived abroad. An eccentric millionaire who had bought the place with his wife, who died shortly after. The owner had disappeared and left the place to rot.
Billy seemed undisturbed by the rumours and stayed put, sheltering from the elements in the basement.

      The Postman, Tom Banks was the first to be curious about the empty house, he delivered innumerable letters there and they were mysteriously collected. Once he had bumped into Billy after he had delivered the mail.
“Hi! I guess you have a forwarding address for the owner?”

   “No sorry!” replied Billy. “A chauffeur comes to collect the lot every now and then.”

“Oh! they allow you to stay here rent free then!”

“Yes!” Was Billy’s monosyllabic response.

 An old newspaper blowing down the road caught Billy’s eye. ‘Hey something to read, he thought.’

  The headlines screamed about an unknown startup company that had just patented a new product that would provide endless cheap energy to feed the starving millions in the vulnerable parts of the world.
Billy smiled inwardly as he continued to read the story. Apparently an unknown investor working through a third party had financed the whole deal. Profits from the investors stake were paid into a Swiss bank account. Curiously no one knew who this third person was.
Several new and thriving ethical businesses had received finance from this mysterious investor and the curious business world was desperate to get any information. Apparently rewards were on offer for information.

 Down at the local pub around the corner from the mansion, Jim, the local policeman was chatting to Tom, the postman.

   “A tramp you say, collecting the mail you deliver! Doesn’t sound quite right to me, I might just keep an eye on the place for a while. Let me know if you bump into him again.” said Jim.

   “Sure thing, Jim.”

   Several days later a large 4×4 car with blacked out windows roared up to the old haunted mansion and to the amazement of the hidden watchers. An unkempt old man climbed aboard and the car roared off.

   If the locals were interested before they were openly curious now and a large party gathered at the gates to the mansion with the intention of questioning anyone who came and went.

    Of course no one was ever seen coming or going again and the mystery is still unsolved.

   Six months later the crumbling old mansion was put on the market by a local estate agent and quickly sold for a price well under its market value.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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SOMNAMBULANCIA

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday ~ THE CITY THAT ALWAYS SLEEPS

http://bekindrewrite.com

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

SOMNAMBULACIA

by John Yeo

  The airship landed with a series of bumps that shook the passengers as they were drifting in and out of a querulous doze.

     “Follow the illuminated signs to the customs and the check out points.” suggested the friendly steward.

   As the passengers landed and filed down the steps leading into the terminal they became conscious of an eerie silence. There wasn’t a sound to be heard, even the wind seemed to be holding its breath.

   The first thing that caught the attention was a huge notice that welcomed visitors to the Silent City of “Somnambulancia.”

   The Captain of the airship arranged for some pods to be offloaded to an awaiting fleet of robot controlled vehicles. These were the passengers who were booked to be taken directly to isolation sleeping areas. The remainder of the passengers were in a permanent state of deep somnambulant alternative consciousness.
These citizens were returning to their homes to continue with their lives of total hibernation. Never actually waking but loving, eating, breathing and reproducing in a permanent state of somnambulance.

   This was the inbred way of life for this planetary society. The children were born with the sleeping gene and sleepwalked their way through life, becoming adults in a state of permanent semi-consciousness.

   Yet these people were the fiercest fighters the known universe has ever seen. Living life in a dream they had no scruples about how they looked in reality. Pain is never felt quite in the same way when you are asleep.

    Storms are not experienced ……

      “John!”

  The heavens speak a different language in the land of Somnambulancia…

        “John! Wake up you’ll be late for work…”

   The airship had suddenly disappeared as if one reality had swallowed up another reality.

          “John, get out of bed at once and eat your breakfast, or you will be late.”

        “Morning Mother!”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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UnCOVENTional Infiltration

A prompt response for  Inspiration Monday ~ CONVENT INFILTRATION 

http://bekindrewrite.com

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

UnCOVENTional Infiltration

by John Yeo

   “The child will be better off getting looked after by the nuns in the convent. St. Mary’s has an excellent record of taking care of the sick. I know Sister Mercy well; we have seen some extraordinary sick children walk away from the care they have received within those walls.”
    The Rector smiled as he uttered these words, knowing how distressed Mr. and Mrs. Brown were at the news that little Chloe was suffering from an incurable palsy.

   Wiping away visible tears with a paper tissue. The weary Mother looked hopeless and acutely distressed. Then turning her worry-lined face, in a broken voice she sniffed and said..

   “Father; we have been told by the medical staff that the disease will slowly get worse. Whatever can they do in the convent that the Doctor’s are unable to accomplish in hospital?” Asked Mrs. Brown.

   The Parish Priest answered in a reassuring manner with a voice that was full of the sure strength of a firm belief, he said…

  “The convent is a peaceful private area dedicated to the worship of God. The power of prayer is an incredible strong force. We have seen some amazing cures of children, written off by conventional medicine leave those walls.”

   “Father! My daughter has never been away from my side in all the ten short years of her life. Would it be possible for me to stay with her in the convent to provide emotional support?”

    “I’m sorry Mrs. Brown that would not be possible. The convent is run on severe lines, they just haven’t got the facilities to cater for guests. To the best of my knowledge the only people who leave the peace of the convent are the children who have been taken care of by the nuns.”
     The Rector hesitated for a moment after this statement; then he said,
   “I can introduce you to young Mary Stevens who left the convent five years ago after a cure and a period of rehabilitation from a serious disease.”

    Mr. Brown then interrupted with a loud response.
   “Yes please! I would like my wife to be absolutely reassured that our daughter Chloe will be in good hands and taken care of. Where can we find this young lady?”

   There was a pause before the reply came from the Rector.
“She became a nun. You will meet her when you take your daughter to the convent for treatment.”

   Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at each other and left together. As they reached the door Mr Brown turned and said..
  “Sorry Vicar, we have another appointment with the Doctor. We are sure Chloe will be better off with us at home.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

HIDDEN STRINGS ATTACHED

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Puppet Army

http://bekindrewrite.com

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PUPPRT ARMY ~ Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

HIDDEN STRINGS ATTACHED

by John Yeo

    General Waters controlled the forces at his disposal with a great deal of enthusiasm. The enemy were scattered, spread out in the hills, difficult to attack using conventional methods.

    “I want all available troops to be arrayed in an attack formation.” The General announced to his staff. There were murmurs of surprise and a shocked reaction to this plan.

  The second in command, Captain Myers stepped in and quieted the murmurs of dissent.
   “Hold fast there the next sound will result in a court martial! Is that clear?”

 There was an instant moment of quiet in the ranks as the men obediently did as they were instructed.

 Then suddenly a shot rang out as a sniper took out a man in the ranks.

     “Take cover! Fire at will!” Came the order, and every man dived for the floor, some of them loosing off shots and firing as they took cover.

    “CUT!” Shouted the director from the stalls “I’m not ready for total wipeout yet; I want to see more of a build up before the enemy opens fire. Perhaps we can have that General killed by the sniper’s bullet, then chaos reigns before the Captain takes command and starts pulling the strings.”

   “Well Mr. Solomon I didn’t write the script and you didn’t write the script. Perhaps we ought to seek advice from the author. We have an army of people behind the scenes.” Came the retort from the assistant of the assistant producer.

    “Who the hell are you?” Yelled the exasperated director.

   “I am an advisor. I represent the advertising moguls who control the finances for the movie. I will have to consult the money men before we can go any further.” Replied the young bespectacled whizz kid.

   The wise old producer coughed and spluttered a reply. “What part of this invisible army pulls the strings on my movie. I refuse to be treated as puppet of some mysterious entity who happens to have money.”

   The Great Puppet-master sighed as he arrayed his planets in synchronised formation. “When will they ever learn it is I who pulls the strings around here.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

TIME AND THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

 A prompt response to the image below supplied by THE DARK ROOM

http://ourwriteside.com/out-of-sight/

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Image supplied by the Dark Room

TIME AND THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

By John Yeo

     The sea was calm and the crew were in a state of mild intoxication, after celebrating a successful mission, looking for leave to land and spend their ill-gotten gains. They had been tied up alongside a large island when the order to sail away came from the bridge.

  Suddenly a black cloud seemed to descend from the skies and bodily lift the whole ship and crew upwards into pure pitch black darkness. There was a great deal of shaking and shuddering of the timbers and mast. The crew seemed to be entranced almost as if they had traveled through time, which indeed they had.

  When consciousness returned they were confronted with a massive concrete structure that seemed to stretch across the ocean to infinity.

  Shock and dismay were mirrored on the faces of the seamen who had never encountered anything quite like this before. A tremulous fear swept through everyone as a strange fast small vessel raced up towards them.

  The Captain ordered the gunners to man the ship’s cannon as a loudhailer sounded loud, abrasively insulting the eardrums. An action that led the first mate to shout, “This is the work of the devil!”

    “Stand to for her Majesty’s excise officers! Stand fast we are coming  aboard.” Came the message.

    “What language is this Sir?”  Asked the First mate.

    “Open fire,” ordered the Captain and they watched helplessly as their Cannon balls dropped harmlessly into the sea.

   A large flying machine with spinning blades suddenly approached from the concrete structure and blew the ship out of the water.

     There were many deaths among the crew and some were swimming in the ocean, or desperately clinging to timbers from the wreckage. Captain West and his officers were killed instantly as a missile exploded on the bridge.

    The five men who survived the attack were hospitalised, but they were unable to communicate as they spoke the language of another dimension. The seamen were incarcerated in an institution for the criminally insane and rapidly forgotten.

~

     It had been five years since they had left Plymouth Harbour in England on a gray wet windy day.

    207 swarthy cutthroats and desperadoes were the crew aboard the five-masted sailing vessel, the Lady Jane.

  Captain Rudolph West kept a harsh regime of discipline aboard; at the first sign of mutiny, the ringleaders would have their throats cut. Then their heads would be hung up on a yardarm for all to see as a warning. The Captain was broad shouldered, well over six feet tall; towering over everybody else aboard. He sported a full set of graying whiskers and a permanent black scowl that inspired fear in the toughest of the rogues who sailed aboard the good ship Lady Jane.

   The first mate Joey Jones was average height, stocky and hard as nails, a ruthless man who was rumored to have killed a man in a bar fight in Tiger Bay and was permanently on the run from the law.

   The Lady Jane had sailed for many months around the West Indies, boarding and sacking every ship that sailed on their horizon. They would murder most of the crews and loose the survivors in rowing boats without supplies onto the stormy, unruly, shark-infested seas.

  One day the Captain addressed all the senior officers in the wardroom.

   “We have had a successful voyage so far and our ships holds are stuffed full of valuables. I have decided to head for a small island in the North Atlantic where we will secrete our treasure. We will pay off the crew and every man jack of them will receive a huge bonus.”

   “Aye aye, Captain! How will we manage to hide the loot without the thieving crew knowing the location and returning to steal it?” asked First Mate Jones.

   “Ah! I have thought of that me hearties, I intend to land on a different island and I will take three trusted crew members with me. After loading ten chests of gold and jewels onto a boat, we will row around the island to another smaller island that is located five miles further on. It is one of three islands and the chosen location will be known only to myself and my three trusted companions,  Angelo, Luigi, and Carmelo.” the Captain  continued, “Any questions?”

  “Yes, Sir!” Interrupted the Bosun, Harry Glass, “How far away is this island? How near is it to the Devil’s Triangle, where many vessels have gone missing? My mate was one of the crew on a tea clipper that went missing there.”

  “Don’t worry man! Our ship is well armed and soundly built, we can withstand any threat that comes our way.” said the Captain derisively. “The island is just days away and given fair weather we will have buried the treasure and we’ll be on our way again.”

   Everything went according to plan and the crew were allowed ashore onto the larger island to drink much grog, and sample the delights of the native women. Fights had broken out and the drunken corsairs were cursing and squabbling among themselves.

  Meanwhile, the Captain and his three trusted helpers were secreting the Captain’s treasure in a small cave on a tiny palm tree covered island.

   The Captain returned to the ship alone the next day, There was a great deal of speculation among the crew as to the whereabouts of Angelo, Carmelo, and Luigi. No one dared ask the Captain, but a story went around that he had remarked to the Bosun, the three crew members had decided to stay and guard the treasure. Alive or dead was the fearsome question on everybody’s lips.

Several days after they had left the island the freak weather conditions surrounded the ship and lifted the vessel into the unknown.

Little did any of the crew realise that the treasure would never be found and their existence would soon be a thing of the past.

 The Devil’s Triangle had claimed another victim to join the many unexplained mysteries of the perilous seas of time and timeless tales of folklore.

Copyright ©  Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

(1006 WORDS)

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