BLISSSFUL BLASPHEMY

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment ~ Blissful blasphemy

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Blissful Blasphemy

by John Yeo

   Horace stumbled as he entered the local bar and nodded to the landlord.

        “You OK mate?” enquired the landlord anxiously. “You seem to be a bit unsteady on your feet! Careful there Sir. What can I get you?”

Horace spat on the wooden floor and glared at the man behind the bar.

        “I’m OK, I tripped over your bloody carpet. I’ve half a mind to sue your establishment.” was the aggressive retort.

  Horace opened his grubby raincoat to reveal a mud-splattered pair of trousers tied up with string around the waist. He pulled a paper bag from his pocket and removed a bundle of notes, peeling off a tenner, he placed it on the bar and said, “Get me a beer.”

  It was then the landlord was overcome with the odours emanating from Horace’s clothes. Stale beer mingled with many other questionable smells that put him in mind of a refugee from a pig farm.
Two or three other customers in the bar instinctively moved to one side as this horrible odour arose and wafted around the bar.

      “Phew!” exclaimed Alphonse the local car dealer, to his glamorous wife Estelle.
“Drink up my love, let’s get out of here before we catch something nasty. I really don’t know what this place is coming to.”

The landlord then interrupted and addressed Horace, quite bluntly.

      “Get out of here you stinking freak! I refuse to serve you. You are already pissed out of your head.”

At this, Horace let rip with a tirade of curses and threats, beginning and ending with the questionable birthright of obnoxious barstewards.

Alphonse said to his wife Estelle. “Come on darling. Let’s go, we don’t have to put up with this tirade of blasphemous language.”

Then, a voice from the corner of the bar that seemed to come from behind a cloud of smoke piped up.

      “When cursing or profanity is uttered colloquially, it is a sin that can be forgiven as a common sin against decency. Punishment should be meted out in response to the level of harm done.”

The landlord then turned and addressed the stranger in the corner.

      “Father if I put a boot up this filthy mouthed drunks rear as I eject him from the premises, will this be punishment enough for his insolence?”

   “Allow me to speak to the gentleman, I’d like to get to the bottom of this.” Responded the Priest.

     “Go ahead.” said the landlord, “As long as you get rid of him for me.”

      “Excuse me, Sir, I feel you have many problems to be resolved. I noticed your obvious wealth when you left that money on the bar. I would like to offer you a drink of tea at the rectory and a chat.”

With a snarl and another tirade of the vilest blasphemy that had ever come close to assaulting the ears of the Priest. Horace staggered out the door, followed by the landlord who landed the sharpest boot up the oblivious tramps rear end.

A few days later a letter arrived from a firm of city lawyers, containing a summons for the landlord to answer charges of common assault on one Squire Horace Batchelor.

The Priest wasn’t surprised at this turn of events as he was heard to mutter to himself. “Blasphemy can sometimes lead to a state of blissful serenity brought on by the proceeds of ill-gotten gains .”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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THE AFTERMATH

The Aftermath 

by John Yeo

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The four walls of a large empty house, can be dreadful to a lady of quality. Since the Admiral had passed on to the high seas of the unknown, his good lady was left high and dry, as it were. Elspeth was terribly upset and it was several months of wearing the required mourning black, and privately drowning her feelings in waves of tears, before she was able to begin to socialise again. Her two children and their families had been wonderful, rallying around and visiting her sporadically, but over the months the visits became more and more infrequent. Then the terrible, shockingly unbearable, loneliness, began to set in. Every knock at the door of the large four bedroomed, detached house, set well back from the road, sent a jolt of expectation resounding through her very being.

 Elspeth missed Admiral Theo, her dearly beloved husband, tremendously; she missed the sociable rounds of meetings with the officer’s wives and the pomp and ceremony of the Naval get-togethers.

  Elspeth wasn’t strictly a religious person. Devout in her own unique way, she would attend church when the need arose. This always seemed to coincide to the times when her feelings of abject loneliness began to take hold and she needed to reach out for human contact.
 The fact was, Elspeth was on the verge of an unmentionable solution to her myriad problems of lonely heart wrenching solitude. 

 One Sunday, a new face appeared in the pews of the fairly isolated village church and a lady dressed in dramatic black arrived alone. Elspeth immediately approached and introduced herself, sensing a kindred spirit.
  “Hi! I’m Elspeth: You’re new here. A warm welcome to you, come and join me on my pew. We must have a chat after the service. They serve a wonderful cup of tea here.” 
     “Oh! Of course. Thank you so much, I would like that it will be so nice to have someone to talk to. I’m Gill, I have downsized our house and I have moved into a cottage along Honeysuckle Lane.”
     “Welcome Gill.” whispered Elspeth, At that moment the Priest led the choir down the aisle to commence the service.
 Elspeth’s mind was racing during the service, she sensed a friendship forming that could blossom into something that could change her life, rescuing her from the intolerable loneliness she had endured recently.
  The two ladies met and conversed intimately after the service. Finding they had a great deal in common, Gill said.

       “Why don’t you come and have some lunch? You will be welcome to join me before I leave.”
 Elspeth instantly agreed, however her face fell when her new found friends words sank in and she realised the implications.
      “You are leaving!” She interjected quickly. “”Already, it seems you have just arrived. Where are you going?”
       “Oh! I’m going on a long sea cruise to the Caribbean, I don’t believe in letting my sorrows overwhelm me. I intend to take the bull by the horns and live life to the full! We only buried my poor darling, Henry a month ago and it has been such a rush moving house and now getting ready for this cruise. Henry and I talked about going on a cruise a year ago and I know he will be with me in spirit all the way.”
  This stunned Elspeth to the core. ’A cruise! I hadn’t thought of anything like that.’ she mused…. 

Then she thought, ‘Dare I? What would people think of me if I suddenly announced I was off on a cruise? What about the children and my adorable grandchildren? Rags, my faithful four-legged friend is bound to miss me.’ 
Then she was about to speak, when Gill suddenly said.

     “Why don’t you join me? I am sure the cruise line could find room for you. They have some spare cabins and we don’t leave for a couple of weeks. Plenty of time to make some fast arrangements.”
       “Wow! Let me think things through Gill, I’m tempted to say yes straight away. Anything to get away from this lonely life, however I must speak to the children, although I don’t see much of them these days.”
    “Sure thing.” replied Gill. “Look,” she continued. “I’ll phone the cruise line and see if they will fit you in, I’m sure they will. You speak to your family, and if you are ready. Let’s go and have some fun.”
   Finally these two new friends, who had hit it off so well from the start accompanied one another on that first sea cruise together. Thus began the many highs and lows and scrapes and narrow escapes of our two sailing friends who traversed the world on the high seas together. 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

CRUSHED SUNLIGHT

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment ~ CRUSHED SUNLIGHT

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Master class~
Our Write Side
Assignment CRUSHED SUNLIGHT

CRUSHED SUNLIGHT

by John Yeo

      “Daddy is dying Rachel: Don’t cry; he wouldn’t have liked you to be sad.” said Ginny, to her younger sister.
Both girls were standing at the bedside of their Father.
George Billings had led a full carefree life and was in a coma, having suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

    The nurse bustled into the bedroom and tidied up the bed. “Keep talking to your Daddy girls, he may be able to hear you! Tell him how much you love him.”

  George could clearly hear every word but he was so engrossed in the dream that seemed to have overtaken his very being.

   Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, he opened his eyes and clearly said;

       “I can’t let myself crush the sunlight!”

Then he returned to his dream and seemed oblivious of everything.

      ‘Sera and Simu were tiny bugs that fed on the nectar provided by a huge Sunflower.
These two lovable creatures lived and loved in a microscopic world that is invisible to the natural human eye.
A world of infinite pleasures where endless streams of nectar provided by their huge flower sustained them in their eternal bug life.
Sera had a secret weapon an extra long tongue that could reach into the heart of the deepest nooks protected by the Sunflower’s huge petals.
Simu would carry the nectar crop to huge storage nests deep underground, secreted in caves formed by the roots of their home. This storage sustained them during the long sleep that was brought on by the lack of the sunshine that sustained their home and provided the food of eternal life.

   One fateful sun-drenched day in the heart of their single Sunflower home, which housed a whole community of these tiny creatures. Change erupted, in the shape of a hoard of buzzing flying giants that proceeded to steal huge swathes of their endless flow of nectar.
There was a panic among the peoples of the floral community as their world was invaded by these greedy aliens.

  The leaders met and decided there was nothing they could do except pray and implore the great Spirit to help.

   Lady Senata the superbug, the Mother of all creation said comfortingly.

       “We may be tiny and defenceless but I have a plan. I will call on the powers that are in the ether to come to our rescue!”
  Then with a crushing crash, something large collided and flattened their home to the ground. There was a sudden blackness that descended as the sunlight was crushed out and obliterated.’

   

George’s dream continued as he remembered his garden and how he used to tend the Sunflowers.
    ‘I never realized the damage my boots would do when I accidentally trod on my Sunflowers. How much life was lost as I crushed the fragile blooms into the ground.’

     “Nurse! Daddy isn’t breathing anymore!” screamed Rachel.
The nurse quickly ushered the children from the bedroom and then returned to draw the curtains, blotting out and completely crushing the rays of bright eternal sunshine.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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SOMNAMBULANCIA

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

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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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LIQUID LUCK

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment  LIQUID LUCK 

http://ourwriteside.com/assignment-liquid-luck/

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Assignment: Liquid Luck

Liquid Luck

by John Yeo

   The economic news was gloomy and depressing. Oil prices were going through the roof, creating hardship and a loss of income to many. Food was becoming more expensive to produce and ship around the globe.

   Hank Gerome was a gambler, he gambled on the stock market, frequently losing, but sometimes, on a rare occasion Lady Luck smiled on him and he backed a winner. Such was the result and the outcome of his friendship with Marvin Price, the two friends were much the same age and both single financial adventurers.
They had invested in an oil well in Texas, and were partners in a gushing never ending source of liquid gold.

  In the time honoured way, of easy come, easy go, the two friends traversed the world, globetrotting together.
London, England; opened its doors to the wealthy carefree friends and they were staying in a famous five star hotel.

  Hank and Marvin were enjoying a pub crawl, when in the city centre they decided to cross the main city bridge over the busy waterway.
In days past this river was an important lifeline. The main artery for vessels carrying goods for trade both Worldwide and from the Northern and Southern cities and towns of the United Kingdom.

     “Do you see what I see Hank? There is a woman ahead who looks as if she is about to jump into the river!” Shouted Marvin.

  “Yes!….Hey wait up! We’re coming to help, what’s up?” asked Hank in a concerned voice.

  Startled the woman on the bridge shouted. “Stay away from me I’ve had enough; I can’t go home, I’ve lost everything!”

  Hank stood his ground and gently said: “It’s OK: Don’t worry l’ve been where you are now. Let us help you, I won’t come any closer if that’s what you really want. What happened? What are you doing here? What’s your name?”
Meanwhile Marvin had raced back across the bridge for help.

   The woman was openly crying like a baby, sobbing. “Stay back or I will jump. My name is Jenny, I have lost everything in a stupid investment. I was once a financial whizz kid, everything I touched turned to gold. Our family travelled the world in luxury nothing was too good for my children. They have been brought up to have anything they desired. Now Lady Luck has pulled the plug and my luck has gurgled away in the form of a liquid stream taking my will to live with it.”

  In the near distance a cacophony of sirens sounded as the emergency services arrived in force. The woman on the parapet wavered on the brink, looking down as if hypnotised by the inky black waters.

  “No! Stop! Please don’t jump!” shouted Hank. “What about your family? Your children will miss you if you go ahead.”

 The woman laughed wildly, loudly, madly, then with a single step into the wild windy night she was gone.

  Lady Luck had left a residue of this lady’s fortune behind however, the river police were waiting in a launch below and fished her out of the river.

  Hank and Marvin insisted on keeping in contact with Jenny, who made a complete recovery from her recent sad state of mind, and was soon happily reconciled with her family.
Jenny contributed much to the lives of the two friends, bringing a strange steadying influence.

  Thus, the infamous Three Financial Marketeers were born. They began to live the dream without relying on the unreliable influence of Lady Luck.
 Three prongs on an unbelievable financial tool that began to cultivate the opportunities that presented themselves.

  Three financial brains amalgamating in a series of adventures that would soon shake the world.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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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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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.

ANXIOUS PEACE

A prompt response for Master Class ~ ANXIOUS PEACE

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ANXIOUS PEACE

By John Yeo

The fighting was bloody, countryman against countryman. Explosions were tearing the country to bits. The stench of death and blood was so close it turned the stomachs of the most battle-hardened warriors.

   The stone farmhouses were dilapidated and dirty providing a temporary lodging place for the refugees from the war.

  Amy’s husband was away fighting on the borders.

   The birth pains were terrible Amy struggled and pushed as hard as she could, but the child refused to enter the world. This reluctance was causing a great deal of anxiety to the village midwife who was begging her to really try hard.

    “Push darling, push harder. Your baby is almost here!”

  Finally, a healthy baby was delivered, closely followed by another.

    “Two!” exclaimed the village midwife. “You have two wonderful strong young twin boys.”

   Sadly there was no reply from the mother. It was a difficult birth and the midwife was unable to save Amy, who died from a massive hemorrhage.

  A fire broke out in the kitchen of the farmhouse where the two young men were born. Villagers rushed to help the rescuers evacuate the inhabitants.
The guns were getting closer, the fighting was fierce. This internecine war had been going on for years. The leader said we would have to evacuate our homes and leave.

   The refugees suffered much deprivation and hardship as they traveled across the country seeking sanctuary.

  The babies were separated and taken to different parts of the war-torn country.
One brother, Amin went north to a small township, where the war quickly changed the ruling faction and he was raised as his dead father’s enemy. A father he would never meet.
Emir was dragged south and raised by a family loyal to the reigning powers.

   They grew to manhood separately, raised amid the hardship and deprivation both quickly becoming strong quick adults.

   There was a gasp from the assembled hierarchy when the two leaders of the warring factions met.
The two sides met to begin a peace process. Separate histories, separate beliefs. Yet brothers by birth who would begin to try to do the seemingly impossible and strive to begin life in an anxious peace.

   They were identical, in looks. Two people who had never met, yet they had risen to command two different factions. Fighting the same war on opposite sides. Peace negotiations began between twin siblings separated at birth who were both chasing the same dream from different parts of the country.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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