ORPHAN

This article was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of  ~ What’s in a Name?

 

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME

ORPHAN

by John Yeo

   Our name is the handle by which we are handled.
The childhood is a time of a happy innocent vulnerability. My early childhood was spent in idyllic peaceful happiness, I was an only child brought up by two wonderful parents. Tom, my father was a gentleman farmer. This self-styled title always amused him as he worked from dawn to dusk on the land.

    “I’m a farmer and a gentleman, ask my wife Molly, how gentle I am.”
My Mother, Molly would gently smile and nod in agreement.

  What’s in a name? Certainly a contradiction, as far as my Dad was concerned.

    “Aren’t gentlemen supposed to be rich and lead a luxurious, cushioned wealthy life?” I asked grinning. At eight years old I was as sharp as a razor and very cheeky.

    “Come on Tom-junior eat your tea. Mind you finish those greens they are the secret of good health.” said my Mum smiling broadly.
Mum was a hard worker helping Dad on the farm. She somehow found the time to support the local WI. Sometimes the farmhouse would resound with her ladies busy chatting together, earnestly discussing matters of great importance.

   Such was our family’s happy life until the day of that terrible road accident that changed my life forever. We were out for a Sunday drive to the next village to visit my Uncle Bob when a huge tractor pulling a trailer full of heavy logs crashed into our tiny family car. My Mum and Dad were killed instantly and I was trapped…. Upside down in the back seat; still alive.

    At that moment my life was to change forever, I instantly became an eight-year-old orphan and a problem for the Social services. Uncle Bob and Aunt Millie took care of me for a few weeks but they were unable to make this a permanent arrangement as they had four children and very little space.

    I had become an orphan, now this is a name that due to our vivid Victorian literature has become irrevocably linked to poverty and pity. A state of unwantedness that generated much hardship and sorrow.

     I was fostered by several kindly families at the start of my new station in life and finally, I was adopted by a nice family.

    Mr. and Mrs. Smithers and their four children, all boys older than me, lived in a huge sprawling house in an acre of beautiful gardens with woods and fields stretching towards the horizon.

     The next few months passed in a blur as I quickly became accustomed to my new station in life. It was a slow degenerative process as I became that orphan, who was not really one of us. Quite unworthy to be a real part of the family. I was bullied by the children and ignored by their parents except for when I was expected to wait on them.

     “That boy will do the work! The orphan will clear the table!” said Mrs. Smithers.

 Somehow I had become a person without a name, a legal slave, fed and watered and expected to wait on the family hand and foot.

      ‘The orphan will do the job!” Was the favourite saying of the oldest son, a cruel vindictive fellow.

  I became insecure and frightened to get up in the morning. I refused to go to school in case I said something that would get me in trouble at home later.

     Eventually, I ran away and made my way back to my childhood family home. I was shy and reluctant to knock on the front door and I made my way around the back. A dog started barking loudly and a lady who I vaguely recognised, exclaimed;

    “Hello young Tom junior; what are you doing here? Come inside and have some tea.”
  At that I burst into tears, this was the first time I had encountered such familiar kindness for ages.

     “You must recognise me I am Rose, we used to come here for our WI meetings to see your Mum. My hubby and I bought the farm. Don’t cry Tom, come inside you are welcome.”

    That was five years ago now. I shudder at the memories of that period I spent as just a nameless orphan.

    I now live here in my old/new home with kindly new parents who have made me welcome. I feel secure in the knowledge that there is always an essence of our departed loved ones around guiding us in spirit.

 Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

FICTION NOTICE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

WINKER ON THE CASE

A prompt response to ~  http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/

No.361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

WINKER ON THE CASE

by John Yeo

  There they were!….. Dangling from the streetlamp a pair of the most frilly outrageous bloodstained knickers that PC Everard Dickens had ever seen. After the initial shockwave and the rush of blood to the head had worn off, the erstwhile Constable, called his superior officer; Detective Sergeant Winker.
“It looks like we have the first clue to this gruesome case here Sir!”

“OK! Stand aside Dickens we need a ladder and the usual equipment for recovering clues to avoid contamination.”
  DS Winker stood there pondering over the situation as it had unfurled from the time of the anonymous phone call that had led to the gruesome discovery of the two victims.
  ‘I wonder how they got up there, or indeed if they are connected to this case at all. We have the battered and broken bodies of two pensioners discovered, with their arms tied around each other. The forensic scientists are combing the entire area for clues, something doesn’t seem to add up here. My initial feeling is the garment in question is the wrong size for the deceased; now if they were a pair of outsized bloomers hanging up there logical connections could be made.’

   “Dickens!” He called loudly. “I am sure this is an amateurish sort of a red herring to lead us off the trail onto an illogical tangent. Get the garment off to the lab without delay.”

   “Yes Sir!”

   “Dickens; I want this whole area of scrubland around this path combed for clues.”

   At that moment an officer arrived with the news that a large quantity of ladies underwear had been found secreted in the bedroom of the apartment where the badly beaten man and woman had been discovered.

   “Underwear? Ladies underwear!” DS Winker exclaimed.

 “Yes Sir; in a wide variety of sizes and colours Sir!” replied PC Smithers.

    “Wow! This puts an entirely different light on the matter. I put this down as a revenge slaughter, Dickens. Someone found out the old pervert was nicking knickers off washing lines and took their revenge. I wager when that pair of soiled pants comes back from the lab the DNA in the blood will point the finger at the spouse of the culprit. Sadly we are unable to verify this without the evidence of matching DNA. Most people are averse to randomly surrendering their DNA, for any reason at all, particularly to rule them out of a murder inquiry.”

“Yes Sir this will probably finish up in the cold case file.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

PICTURE IT AND WRITE ~PETER, PAUL and MARY

This is the latest Picture it and Write prompt from Ermilia’s blog.

https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/__picture-it-write-98/

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by HelloLanaya

As always the image is provided and credited by Ermilia

PETER, PAUL AND MARY

by John Yeo

Peter and Paul were very close, brothers who took care of each other.
Since their miracle birth, their lives were entwined,
joined at the hip, a part of each other.
The separation operation, was a very risky affair.
After many hours under the surgeons knives,
they woke to a world living separate lives.  
Separate souls with separate brains and separate personalities.
They have lived together all their lives,
competing and laughing with one another.
In the face of danger they stood together, mostly fighting each other,
Peer pressure to be unique was always very strong.
Mum and Dad washed their hands of the brothers at a very early age.
Peter and Paul at Uni. met a very pretty girl who was Mary.
They both fell violently in love.
Mary was flattered, very astute , she never returned their hints.
One day the brothers were locked in combat over Mary’s obvious charms.
“Stop! before you hurt each other,
I love you both equally, you will always be precious to me!”
Peter looked at Paul with mistrust in his eye and hatred in his heart,
“If what she says is true brother
perhaps we should never have been cut apart.”
Paul responded with a gentle remark.
“Brother and friend, be happy with Mary,
I am happy to be unique and free,
I am happy to be me! “

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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