HIDDEN STRINGS ATTACHED

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Puppet Army

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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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EDIBLE PORTAL

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Edible Portal

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

EDIBLE PORTAL

by John Yeo

  The two minuscule friends, from the rodent  “Mus musculus” family, scurried across a floral patterned carpet on the cottage parlour floor.  They were members of a nocturnal family of uninvited residents who lived in the thatched roof of the period cottage in the centre of the village. There was a new large colourful structure in the corner of the parlour.

  “Oh! Look at this wonderful new house in the corner here, this is just right for the children; the doors are locked, though!”   said Minnie excitedly.

    There was a loud snore from the bedroom and a grunt as Colonel Travers, the occupant and owner of the cottage turned over in his sleep restlessly. The two friends dived for cover. In the process, Micky knocked a lamp down that crashed to the floor. That sound brought a figure wearing a nightshirt and a floppy nightcap rushing from the adjoining bedroom carrying a shotgun. Stomping around the house the Colonel,  searched high and low looking for intruders.

  Cursing loudly he picked up the lamp and headed straight back to bed.

  “Oh, that was close Minnie! Let’s try and get inside this house and have a look around. The door is pretty solid but my word it does taste good; I think if we bring the whole family in we should eat our way inside and have a good look round.”

  “OK! Micky, I’ll call everyone together and we can have a feast.”

    The whole family were soon eating their way into the gingerbread house.

There was a knock on the door the next morning that got the Colonel out of bed early.

“Hallo!” Called Mrs Manners “Are you home?”

“Of course I’m bloody home, where else would I go?” came an almost inaudible reply. “Coming!” Came a louder response and the Colonel opened the door still wearing his floppy nightcap.

“Hello Colonel, I’ve come to finish the gingerbread house, how’s it looking?” said Mrs Manners, as she bustled into the cottage.

“Oh Wow; judging by the look of it, a whole nest of mice must have visited.”

“Good lord!” said the Colonel and raised his eyebrows. “You will have to demolish the house now, I will set some traps to catch the mice.”

“Sorry Colonel, I will get the ladies together to construct another house for you in time for your great grandchildren’s arrival. Merry  Christmas!”

“Thanks; Merry Christmas, Mrs Manners.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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AGGRESSIVE SLEEP

A Prompt Response for Inspiration Monday

http://bekindrewrite.com/2016/05/23/inspiration-monday-aggressive-sleep/

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Image from the net

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday: Aggressive Sleep

 

AGGRESSIVE SLEEP

by John Yeo

    “Insomnia, Insomnia, Insomnia. This awful bloody Insomnia! What else can I do? The medics have prescribed every pill and potion known to the human race. Nothing works.

I am in training and my mind is totally focused on getting the right result in the fight, my reflexes are slowing slightly. I need help, urgent help; or I will definitely lose!”

 Jason hadn’t slept for days, his manager had tried every way, no expense spared, to get his man to sleep.

 “I just can’t get to sleep, whatever I do.” Jason went on, “I keep worrying about the result and counting the money we will earn, the fight is always on my mind, night and day.”

  Tommy Ricardo was an able and experienced manager, he had handled many fighters in his career but this was new. A fighter who was gradually losing his touch, losing his reflexes, and the chance of taking the title. The glory and rewards were gradually slipping away, unless something could be done and fast. Tommy had heard of a Guru from India, who could guarantee to put Jason to sleep, but the cost was phenomenal. Tommy took Jason to see the mystic, Jason was tired; tired and nervous: His temper was brittle.

  “What the hell! If he gets me to sleep it will be worth the money I guess.” said Jason. “I suppose he will influence me to sleep, using hypnosis. Is that really worth all this money?”

 Tommy nodded in agreement and replied. “The accountants have done their sums and they maintain, this fight will be worth tens of millions if you win. We must find a way to get you to relax and sleep!”

  The Guru smiled a welcome, he sat on a pile of cushions and waved the two men to take a seat. An interpreter was present and opened the conversation with words of welcome. Then a question.

  “The Guru asked have you brought the money, we need the cash up front. He has studied the case and he guarantees that Jason will be asleep within minutes of the exchange, using a technique of his own invention.”

Tommy looked askance at Jason?  “Are you ready for this? Shall I pay them?”

“Yeah go ahead! If it works as he guarantees, then our problems are over” Jason said.

 Tommy handed a suitcase to the interpreter, after the cash was counted and taken away, the Guru motioned Jason to enter a private room.

  The next few minutes passed quickly, there was a familiar sounding crack, the Guru came out smiling and spoke to the interpreter, who turned and said, “The news is good, your man is fast asleep. Our women have covered him with rugs, he will sleep long, as his tiredness was extreme.”

 

“How did he do that so fast?”  asked Tommy.

“This is a new revolutionary, Aggressive Sleep Therapy, administered by an unexpected left hook, works every time,” smiled the interpreter.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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INDOCTRINATION

This article  was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of Culture.

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Image  Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved

INDOCTRINATION

by John Yeo

     Saul awoke with a throbbing headache, amid the noise of tortured screams, and agonised terrifying cries for help. Everywhere was pitch dark, as he became aware of the iron chains that cut into his wrists, he frantically pulled and tugged in a vain attempt to get free.

   Then his memory began to relay the events of the past few hours, before he was cruelly beaten over the head, and he had lost consciousness. A ship had approached the shore and as his tribal family began to sing and dance in welcome, a cruel merciless attack began. Many of the elderly and infirm were shot as the invaders began to surround everyone, and force march them to the ship. Saul attempted to protect his infirm Father and was viciously beaten around the head, he was never to see his Father alive again.

    After days of darkness and squalor, with a little food thrown and scattered through a trapdoor, a light became visible and the many occupants of this overcrowded hell hole were allowed to emerge. Some weakened and dispirited from the experience. There were a few who never made it, and sadly died during the passage. Saul stumbled up a narrow ladder into daylight, leaving the stench and putrid decaying flesh behind.

     The survivors were hosed down naked on the dockside, and dressed in cheap cotton clothing.

      “You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!”  Announced a stranger in a loud cruel voice, sadly nobody could understand a word he was saying. Everyone was given food and water and soon separated and individually transported to their new homes and places of hard relentless work.

   Saul was transported with some other men to a cotton plantation, and integrated with around sixty other slaves. The charge hands were also bonded slaves and they carried out the orders of a white foreman, implicitly, he would come down hard on troublemakers.

    Saul was a hard worker, intelligent and quick-witted, he could do little else but immerse himself in the work and begin to adjust to this alien culture he had unwillingly become a part of.

    After some months, the slaves were learning the language and a basic form of communication between everyone gradually developed. Saul began to learn the language with the help of Father Leon, a priest, who had been a bonded slave but was now a free man. This man spent his time visiting the workers, wherever he was allowed, offering them comfort, spiritual guidance and help in every way he was able. Saul quickly learned to communicate and to absorb the message of faith that Father Leon prescribed.

     One day he asked his friend the Father, “There is a question I would like to ask, if you have an answer for me please.”

     “Of course,” replied Father Leon, “Ask away if I can help you I will.”

    “Father, Who are the savages?  What did they mean by, ’You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!’ I memorised those words, without understanding?  How does your culture reconcile the wonderful promise of love and eternal life, with the way we were torn from our homes and lifestyles, and cruelly put to work?” asked Saul.

     “These basic cultural rituals are collective activities, ways of reaching desired objectives, and considered as socially essential. They are therefore carried out most of the time for their own sake. These men are a part of a greater whole who have never known anything else but their dominance. Greed is an evil motivator and certainly not condoned by our faith, Saul,” replied Father Leon.

Copyright. © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

FOCUS

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Image © Copyright John and Margaret

THE WRITE PRACTICE

THE PROMPT

Practice focus by writing about a football player before a big game. How does he prepare his mind? Does he visualise the game in his mind? Does he think about what it felt like the first time he played the sport?

FOCUS

by John Yeo

   The day has finally arrived. Training has been hard, videos, tactical moves on display on the blackboard, special exercises, every conceivable eventuality the coach could dream up, has been explored. Spies and scouts have infiltrated the opposition’s training ground and reported back to the boss. Yesterday we spent six hours rehearsing moves passing the ball to one another, working flash tackles, finishes, exploring defensive positions. Then another two hours studying the recorded major matches that the opposition have been involved in this season. We have tried to get inside their coach’s mind to interpret the thinking that has gone into the moves he has drummed into his team. Then, more field practice, moves and countermeasures to block their favourite modes of attack. We have even been studying the way to counter a professional foul, this is increasingly a blight on the game lately, and we have to study how to spot the signs of a lead up to a foul. Next we study avoidance with methods of hidden retaliation, a natural response if you have just avoided getting put out of the game.

    The big match is two days away and the boss has given everyone a night off, to get away from the consistent living, dreaming, eating, the game, with the total absorption of the hard intense training. We have been shut away in a hotel for almost two weeks solid now. The players are heading into town to clear the cobwebs away, we have been instructed to steer clear of too much wine, women and song. I intend to treat myself to a night at the theatre. There is a performance of Shakespeare’s, “Hamlet” at the local theatre, put on by the local repertory company. I am a great fan of this play and it will take my mind off the match. My mates all disdained accompanying me, in favour of a local nightclub that reputedly serves soft drink. I hear the coach is delighted with this plan.

    Surprisingly almost everyone turned up for training on time the next day. Two of the lads were a bit late, but no harm done, the boss has given them a telling-off, to remember. Everyone is keen and as sharp as glass. Kevin, our star striker was developing moves out of thin air. There were two very pretty female spectators on the sidelines cheering him on. Who they were,  is anybody’s guess.

      The match is scheduled to begin in one hour. There is a huge crowd in the stands and I am blanking everything out and furiously meditating on the Prince’s soliloquy in Hamlet. “To be or not to be?.” Becomes what will my rise in pay be when I raise that cup above my head.

   My mind is ablaze with the thoughts of the glory of the victory. “To Be, or To Be.”  Forget the Not. We are going to win!

Copyright © ~ Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved

A prompt response for INSPIRATION MONDAY ~ “PORTABLE NIGHT”

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Image © Copyright~ John and Margaret

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday

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A prompt response for Inspiration Monday: “Portable Night”

PORTABLE NIGHT

by John Yeo

     “Mummy, you really mean we are going to see Aunty Sheila and my cousins down there!” Exclaimed Ruthie, pointing to the toy globe, and spinning it around. “How will we get from here to there?” she asked.

   “Yes darling, we will be going by aeroplane of course, flying from one side of the world to another.” replied her Mum.

  “Mummy, Daddy says they are all upside down over there. Our daytime is their night. how will we sleep?”

  “We will adjust Ruthie, we will have to try to sleep in our daytime here and their night-time there!”

   “What about the bogeymen that only come out at night? Will they be around in the daytime there?” asked Ruthie

   “Ahh! That’s a difficult question darling, bogeymen come in all shapes and sizes, even here at home we have nasty bogeymen that are about in the daytime!”

  “Mummy, stop it! I know when you are joking, you always smile and crinkle your eyes up.”

   “Yes Ruthie, now go to sleep! We have a long journey tomorrow.”

  The next day the family took their seats on a Qantas  Airbus and were soon tucking into some tempting airline food, Ruthie was very excited. “Daddy what time is it there now?”

   “About 9 o’clock at night, they are about 10 hours in front of us over there. You would be in bed there now.”

Soon the friendly aircrew came around to make sure everybody was comfortable, and asked for all the windows to be blacked out. Ruthie was  curious about this as the sun was shining and it was still daytime outside. “Mummy why is everybody sleeping in the middle of the day?”

“Shush darling, people are sleeping, we have to try to sleep now, to catch up with the time where we’re going. The curtains turn our day into a portable night, so we can reset our body-clocks.”

 “Daddy, Where is my body-clock?”

“Shush please!” Came an irate voice from an elderly gentleman in the row behind. “People are trying to sleep. Please be quiet, or I will call the steward!”

  “Mummy, is that what you mean by a day-time bogeyman”

  “Hush Ruthie!” Said her Mother suppressing a broad grin.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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Inspiration Monday

Find more Prompts here ~

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FRIDAY NIGHT

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge.

https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

Hosted by Priceless Joy.

The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo. 

Flash Fiction Saloon

Photo © Etol Bagam

FRIDAY NIGHT

by John Yeo

    Bill entered the  bar and spat on the wooden floor. A gooey green mess landed at the feet of a woman, seated at a wooden table.  The heavy makeup she wore hid the hard, world-weary face.  Bill, adjusted his trousers, balanced on an ample waistline. Lank, greasy black hair hung beneath a grubby hat.
  “What the heck? You dirty, lousy, good for nothing!” Lucy spat right back into his bleary red-rimmed, black eyes.
  Bill took a wild swing, with his right hand, a sledgehammer of a fist missed by a mile. He cursed loudly, then doubled up in pain as Lucy kicked him square in the groin.
  A nasty shouting and screaming row developed. Bill wildly attempted to grab a fist full of Lucy’s long brown hair as her sharp, finger-nails gouged tracks across his already scarred face.
  The bar swiftly emptied as the police arrived, to end this public dispute.
Bill’s final words to Lucy were “Where’s my dinner?” The couple walked off arm-in-arm.
“Happens every Friday night!” said the barman to the policeman.

 

(174 WORDS)

 

Copyright  ©. Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

 

 

A prompt response for INSPIRATION MONDAY ~ “GROUND CONTROL”

 

A prompt response for Inspiration Monday

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A prompt response for Inspiration Monday: “Ground Control”

ENCLOSURE

by John Yeo

 “I used to be able to walk for miles through grassy fields, just enjoying the seasons turning around in the perennial cycle of life, death and birth. Wildlife was prolific in those days, the hedgerows would be full of birdsong and interesting little rustles and sounds of scampering and scurrying little feet. I would take a pen and a notebook to record my thoughts, sometimes a piece of poetry would seep into a corner of my mind and I would hastily sit on the grass and put pen to paper. There were times I would sit and sketch  Many a time, I have been caught in a storm and hastened to the nearest hedgerow and dived beneath the bushes and elderberry trees seeking shelter. Mostly I remember sunny days, cloudless blue skies, and perennial wildflowers everywhere. Life drifted on smoothly, with the peace to ramble the fields and think alone.

Then came men with guns, and fences appeared, with signs that warned. ‘Private Property. No Trespassing, Keep Out.” Life became restricted to tiny pathways of muddy footpaths sometimes overgrown and impassable. The times had changed and brought Ground Control with fenced enclosure.”

“ Yes Mr Robinson, now try to rest before ward rounds and the doctor arrives.”  A busy nurse bustled in and tidied up his bed.

“Now I have this harsh dementia and my short-term memory is gone, at least I can stroll  those bygone lanes again in my mind, Nurse.”

   “Yes Mr Robinson, try to rest now.”

 “I feel as if my mind is fenced and restricted, I can no longer freely think and enjoy the world of now, I am restricted to tiny foggy footpaths of memory, sometimes overgrown and impassable. I feel I am grounded, not in control, fenced in by the evil of dementia.”

“Yes Mr Robinson, do you need the commode now?”

 “No thanks nurse, I think I will sleep for a while.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved. 

Sunset over Bridgeman Downs

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Daily Prompt on WordPress ~ 9th JANUARY 2016 ~ WORST/BEST CASE SCENARIO

Worst Case Scenario

The Daily Prompt on WordPress

Worst Case Scenario. Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today?  Now, what about the best?

WORST/BEST CASE SCENARIO

by John Yeo

 The worst possible scenario today, would be the sad loss of someone very close to me. A phone call to say that a member of our widespread family had been taken ill and suddenly died, would be a heartbreaking blow that would be extremely difficult to endure. I don’t know how I could handle a scenario of this tragic nature. After the initial shock of this unthinkable scenario has left my imagination, the second part of this prompt should be very easy,  much easier to respond to. “Now, what about the best?”

The best possible scenario I can dream up for today, a  Saturday, would be for certain magical numbers to be announced, that would change all of our widespread families lives forever.

 A substantial amount of winnings from these magical lottery numbers would settle several mortgages for several members of the family, and buy homes for several others. In other words we would be able to change the future lives of our family dramatically. We would have money left to favour our personal charities and enough left to enable us to be comfortable for the rest of our lives.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.