PAINTED WORDS

MONDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2021

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..

Prompt ~PAINTED WORDS

PAINTED WORDS

by John Yeo

    Joe Young was 18, the second youngest in his family, his elder sister was at university studying to become a nurse. Joe was a budding painter keen to take up an art course in college. The postman had delivered an invitation to attend an interview and he was excited.  He quickly dialled up his friend Betty to find out if she had received her invitation.

   ‘Hey Betty!’

    ‘Joe! I tried to get you earlier, but your phone was busy. Good news! My interview is next Wednesday at 09;00, in London.’

   ‘Wow! My interview is at midday! Maybe we can go together if you like.’

   ‘OK Joe!  Are you worried about your recent experience when the local police caught you writing slogans with a spray can about global warming and big business?’

   ‘Not really Betty, they gave me an unofficial warning as they caught me decorating a derelict building. I won’t even bother to mention it.’

    ‘That’s great! I’ll meet you at the station on Wednesday, Joe.’

The week dragged along slowly with both Joe and Betty on tenterhooks. They both called each other almost every day, rehearsing their responses to the questions they were likely to face during their interviews.

   Joe actually contacted the local police station to enquire if he should raise the worrying issue and he was assured there wasn’t any problem.

  In spite of this they both arrived late at the railway station. They were soon running down the platform at top speed as the train had been sitting in the station for several minutes before they arrived. 

      “C’mon Betty! Keep up, we mustn’t miss the train, I’ve been waiting so long to get this interview over with. Means a lot to both of us.” Joe said, literally tugging her along.

  ‘Alright Joe, I’m coming! Please don’t pull my sleeve like that. You will ruin my new coat, I bought it especially for this college interview. It will be great to go to the same Art college.’

    ‘Wait, please wait!’ shouted Joe to the Guard who stood on the platform with a flag and his whistle, which he raised to his lips ready to set the train in motion. He smiled as the young couple dashed up and jumped into the nearest carriage. 

   ‘Phew, that was close!’ Joe went on, as Betty collapsed in the nearest seat to the door. The train soon pulled away from the station into the leafy countryside speeding through the rural beauty of England on the way from their hometown of Ware to the city of London. It was then that they took notice of the other two passengers in the carriage, an elderly gentleman with a smartly dressed young lady, both were politely smiling, as Joe and Betty settled back into their seats.

   ‘Look at that wonderful view Joe,’  said Betty. ‘Beautiful farms and country houses set in acres of rolling countryside.’

    Joe grunted in reply, as he put his head down studying his iPhone intently. The closer they got to the city, the more derelict and decrepit the buildings looked as large blocks of flats and terraced houses became views of factories and industrial units. The buildings were covered in graffiti; an amazing variety of shapes and patterns and pictures that seemed to accentuate the general state of urban decay. 

    Betty was shocked at this change of scene. ‘Joe, that’s disgraceful, look at that shocking rubbish and abandoned litter, piled around the buildings and the graffiti all over the walls!’

     Joe looked up from his device and said, ‘Betty, I hate the rubbish and the piles of junk all over the place but I think some of the graffiti is good and actually has the effect of brightening up the urban landscape.’

    Betty then replied, ‘Joe, that graffiti is mostly rubbish and has no meaning, just block initials and hearts and zigzags.’

    There was a polite cough as the elderly gentleman in the opposite corner of the carriage broke in. ‘I beg to differ, young lady, graffiti is an example not only of urban decay it reveals the underlying artistic decay of the population. This is an example of youth expressing themselves in the nearest they can get to pure art.’

    Joe then looked closely at their traveling companion and gasped, ‘You are Sir Larry the television artist, who has made money from urban art! We are off to college to be interviewed for our places.’

   The young lady then smiled and said, ‘Sir Larry will be on the selection panel!’

 Betty said, ‘I hope I haven’t put my foot in it by what I said.’

 The gentleman smiled and said, ‘I am sure you will get a place; both of you, I am a prime example of artistic decay, I was a graffiti artist once a long time ago.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

SHOCK LIFESTYLE CHANGE

TUESDAY 10th OCTOBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

FIRST LINE PROMPT ~ Bacon sandwiches always reminded her….

SHOCK LIFESTYLE CHANGE


by John Yeo

  Bacon sandwiches always reminded her of the time she spent visiting a smallholding in the depths of rural Wales. Philip Jones was a hard worker on his land and managed to come close to self sufficiency in food. 

   My college roommate Patsy, his only daughter, would always extend an invitation to spend time with her family on this beautiful smallholding. Patsy was a tall girl, with long red hair and freckles all over her face and arms. We have always been inseparable friends.

     Patsy stopped me in the quad one beautiful spring day.           ‘Are you coming to stay with us again this year again Belle? you know you are always welcome. Dad always appreciates your help and we can enjoy ourselves in the village again. They still hold the Saturday dance in the village hall.’ 

Patsy had a habit of shortening my name from Annabelle

   “Yes please! I can hardly wait.’

  During the History lecture that afternoon my mind drifted over the coming visit. I was looking forward to playing with the farm animals again, feeding the chickens, walking the dogs and mucking out the pig sty. I had grown quite fond of the friendly  single family pig, I always had time for Priscilla, I swear she was extremely intelligent and I would converse with her while I was in the sty.

   The last two weeks at college passed in a blur, and we were soon on a passenger train speeding through the beautiful green hills and valleys that famously go to make up Wales. We were met at the village railway station by Mr Jones who shook my hand. 

     ‘Hi Annabelle lovely to see you again.’

  He gave his daughter a huge hug and smiling broadly

       ‘Hello Freckles! climb aboard both of you.’ Patsy frowned at this old nickname.

  In contrast to Patsy, Mr Jones was a short, stocky, well muscled man, with an unruly mop of brown hair that he kept in place with a fashionable Barbour hat. He loaded our bags onto the vehicle and we were soon on our way.

   We arrived at the smallholding where we were greeted by Mrs Jones, with a large pot of tea, a huge plateful of bacon sandwiches and buttered scones. Mrs Jones was a beautiful lady, tall with long red hair; it was obvious which side of the family the freckled skin came from.

 The bacon sandwiches were delicious and I couldn’t help enquiring after my friend Priscilla the family pig.

 There was an embarrassed silence as Mr Jones pushed the plate of bacon sandwiches towards me and offered me another sandwich. 

  ‘Such is the reality of life on a self sufficient smallholding.’

It was from that precise moment I became a life-long vegetarian.

©️ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

PICTURE IT AND WRITE ~ THE PAINTED SMILE

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

https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/picture-it-write-73/

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As usual the image is supplied and credited by Ermilia

THE PAINTED SMILE

by John Yeo

   Everyone else was laughing, except for me, I was embarrassed for her and felt her pain. Children can be cruel to one another sometimes, especially when someone looks slightly different to the norm. Mandy was born with a birth defect to her mouth in the shape of a permanent smile, the other children called her names and she was continually bullied.

  I became her friend, we went everywhere together.
I arranged to meet her after our classes that day. She came into view wearing green and pink wellington boots, the rain hadn’t stopped for two whole weeks and muddy puddles were everywhere.

      ‘Hi Mandy! Would you like to come for a coffee? I am having trouble with the homework project and I want your help.’

   There was no response and Mandy avoided eye-contact, I looked at her closely and I could see tears in her eyes. I had been taken in at first by the painted smile that hid poor Mandy’s tears. She stamped her foot into a large muddy rainwater puddle and sobbed.
      ‘Why won’t they leave me alone, I hate it when they laugh at my face, I wish I was normal.’

     ‘Oh Mandy, I am so sorry you are feeling down, I think you are pretty, that smile is infectious, you always cheer me up whenever I see you.’

  Mandy stamped very hard into another puddle making a large splash.
‘I want to look normal and angry when people tease me so I can stop them from hurting me.’ Mandy said, kicking the water again with her boots splashing water everywhere.

   I then had an idea, what if we covered her mouth with very heavy makeup that would hide her false smile and see how she got on in class with a natural scowl.

     ‘Mandy I have an idea, let’s go and visit my Grandma who was a makeup artist, I am sure we will get some help from her.’

      ‘Oh thank you!’ Mandy said with a smile that I am sure was a real smile this time.

    My Gran worked wonders and hid the permanent smile with some special makeup. Mandy was delighted with the result and wearing her new scowl she went back to school.  

   A different Mandy emerged, more confident, she began to single out the abusive bullies but instead of seeking revenge she befriended the girls and became very popular.

  Then she asked my Gran to remove the makeup.

      When the rain came down again Mandy was dancing through the puddles in her green and pink wellies, singing in the rain with her natural smile on her face again.

Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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THE GET-TOGETHER

ROBERT LEE BREWER’S WEDNESDAY POETRY PROMPT.
http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-278

For today’s prompt, write a framily poem. That’s not a typo. I’m thinking framily: friends and family (you know, like Sprint’s framily phone plan?). Okay, it’s a little silly using the word “framily,” but when have I avoided silly? Write a poem that involves (or is inspired by) your friends and family. Everyone should have a good story to tell, whether it’s funny, sad, serious, etc.

THE GET-TOGETHER

By John Yeo

~

The coach sped through the dark night,

We were on the way to grieve,

Sadness had gripped the dying embers

When Grandfather passed away.

~

Many people gathered to mourn his flight,

To wish him well, now he had taken his leave.

The get-together, the homily, everyone remembers.

A fine man with his humorous way.

~

Friends and family gathered, to respect his wishes.

A solemn occasion, the priest began to read

These words were his testament from beyond,

Addressed to us all as we waited.

~

My dear friends and family, I have no issues,

To leave. I love you all and I say God-speed!

Be as happy as I was, I love you together,

MY FRAMILY, I love you all still.

~

Copyright © Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved.