A WINTER’S NIGHT IN THE CITY

A REEDSY PROMPT

IMG_3411

A WINTER’S NIGHT IN THE CITY

by John Yeo

  The time by the clock on the Cathedral spire chimed with three loud sonorous peals, assaulting the night and the eardrums of the lone figure wrapped in a dirty blanket, who was lying almost out of sight in a stone archway.

 In the near vicinity, a loud siren screamed with an urgency as an ambulance sped through the city streets, answering a distress call or transporting a sick or injured person to hospital.

 A vicious wind, whipped around the tall tower blocks across the way causing a harsh updraft. The rain, correctly forecast by some of the passers-by; the few who took the time to talk had temporarily become slashing sleet. A chilling sleet that quickly turned to icy hard drops that stung the face of the figure lying prone on some sheets of cardboard. Clearly visible was a partially torn off address label that simply had the word Amazon left for all the world to see.

 Suddenly Spot, the dog lying close to this frozen figure gave a low growl and bared his teeth.
  ‘What is it, boy?” Exclaimed Freddy, the sad supine sleeper who was forced to spend his nights out in this unfriendly cold atmosphere. Freddy tried to wet his frozen lips with spittle to enable his words to become audible.
Freddie had suffered a marital breakdown several months before and he was now forced to live on the streets.
Spot gave another louder growl as a four-legged, doglike creature padded past them on the pavement.

  ‘Ah! I can see him.’ Said Freddie to himself, ‘An urban Fox on the prowl for food scraps, you’ll be unlucky here Foxy. We’re both starving, it will be a while until any hopes of food arrive.’

 Soon another sound broke the silence as Karla, a heavily made-up lady of the night stepped out of a taxi that suddenly drew up alongside the curb where Freddie was sleeping. Flicking her long peroxide blonde hair from her eyes, she frowned at Freddie and said,
  ‘Hey there! I brought you a cold hotdog and a cup of coffee. You’d better drink this fast before it turns to ice!’

 A strong smell of cheap perfume wafted into the alcove, mixing and fighting for supremacy over the damp musty smell of unwashed humanity.

  ‘Thanks!’ grunted Freddie, wiping ice crystals from his lips. ‘Are you by any chance an angel?’

Freddie broke the hotdog in half and gave half to the dog.

  ‘Are you kidding? All my flying high is in my dreams. I’ve had a rough night, one of the punters tried to beat me up. If I had a minder I would have been fine, but I don’t believe in encouraging pimps to steal from me.’

   ‘What happened?’ Asked Freddie.

 ‘I kicked him hard between the legs and ran for my life. Goodnight to you, I would invite you home but my husband and the kids are fast asleep up there.’
With that she entered one of the tower blocks across the way, clip-clopping on her outrageous red high heels.

Soon with a sudden silent glare of headlights, two police cars stopped and stationed themselves across the street, right outside Oscar’s, a large nightclub a dozen yards or so away.
  ‘Must be chucking out time Spot, the law has arrived in case of trouble.’
As the club emptied, two bouncers stationed themselves each side of the door, a large crowd of people surged out into the streets at once.

The worldly-wise policemen just sat inside their high visibility police cars watching. They knew it was far too cold for any of the club crowd to hang around causing trouble. A fleet of taxis soon started ferrying the clubbers away and before long silence descended on the city streets again.

Dawn broke and as Freddie was drifting into a fitful dozy state. Spot gave a loud bark as a man in a Salvation Army uniform, wearing the familiar peaked hat greeted him with a friendly grin on his ruddy chilled face.
  ‘Are you OK? I’ve got sandwiches and a hot drink here if you feel like eating.’

 Freddie grabbed the plastic carrier bag and immediately wolfed down a cheese and pickle sandwich. Mouthing his thanks, Freddie sipped the scalding coffee, that burnt his insides as he swallowed the steaming fluid slowly. He wrapped his hands around the outside of the polystyrene cup for warmth. Spot made some hungry doggy noises and Freddie fed him half a cheese and pickle sandwich,

  ‘Thanks be to God and the local supermarket’s largesse,’ said the kindly soldier of the Lord. ‘Are you in need of anything? I can take you to a shelter but I’m afraid dogs aren’t allowed.’

  ‘Then no thanks!’ Freddie replied, ‘I go nowhere without Spot, he’s my constant companion.’

  ‘I understand,’ replied the kindly man, ‘Here’s an address where you can get help in the morning, even with Spot staying with you for a short while.’

  ‘Thanks again,’ answered Freddie. “Goodbye!’

A road sweeping vehicle trundled by, with large brushes that swept up most of the detritus left in the road by the clubbers who seemed to consume vast quantities of fast food washed down with cans of drink and coffee.

Morning broke as the thick clouds in the sky lightened slightly. The persistent rain and sleet had stopped now. Freddie dragged himself to his feet and picked up his crutch. He rolled up his sleeping bag and his blanket and packed them into a large canvas bag.
He headed for the local hamburger restaurant where he could use the toilets and clean himself up a bit if the staff didn’t notice that he hadn’t purchased anything.
He tied up Spot outside and muttered, ‘Sorry boy, I won’t be long, I have an appointment at the hospital today. Got to get my leg sorted out.’

Spot whimpered and stood guard over the three bags that were all the possessions Freddie owned in the world.

Soon the roads were full of traffic, cars, and buses transporting workers heading for the city offices as another winter’s night in the city drew to a close.

Copyright ©️ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

Advertisements

THE AFTERMATH

The Aftermath 

by John Yeo

SV104115

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

http://ourwriteside.com/crushed-sunlight/

Images courtesy of pixabay.com

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

master-class-featured-image

LIQUID LUCK

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment  LIQUID LUCK 

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

img_1796

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

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

master-class-featured-image

ANXIOUS PEACE

A prompt response for Master Class ~ ANXIOUS PEACE

http://ourwriteside.com/anxious-peace/

war

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

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

master-class-featured-image

HEY!

image

Image from the net

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Man’s First Word

http://bekindrewrite.com

HEY!

by John Yeo

   There was silence in the outer hemispheres of the galaxy for millennia. The elder trolls were unique in the areas of communication throughout the exo-galactic panoply of extraordinary people. Their way of communicating by nonverbal means had been raised to new heights.

  On an extraordinary blue planet, life was formed and developed. Asteroids had collided and re-collided. Comets visited;  bringing chemicals to permeate a life-giving mix of chemicals giving rise to unique life-forms. Exoplasm mingled and re-mingled again in the hands of the entity that was controlling the flow of matter.

  The life forms mixed and remixed, soon a survivor in the likeness of the controller emerged. “Hey!” Thought the controller; “I am almost there!”

 Then to his delight, he heard the word. “Hey!” Repeated back to him.

 Shocked he silently strained his ultrasonic hearing to the limits.

  Then the silence was broken by the familiar sound of his Mother’s voice resonating around the galaxy.

  “God! put your toys away! It’s late!”

“Oh; Mother! Please; Can’t I just have another couple of eons?”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

img_9739-1

http://bekindrewrite.com

TURNIP AND CHIPS

img_1526

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Vegetable Oppression

http://bekindrewrite.com

TURNIP AND CHIPS

by John Yeo

“I tell you it’s the Turnips fault; ever since he was voted in with a narrow majority, we have been forced to be openly aggressive to anything and everything. I always used to think it was the Sprouts and Runner Beans that were full of wind. This Turnip fellow has majestic plans to sort out the rest of the allotment and stick strictly to home-grown vegetables in future. No more imports of any description will be allowed in.” The Pumpkin puffed out, as he openly flicked a large slug from attempting to gnaw into him, with a large frond attached to one of his leaves.

A group of Iceberg Lettuces standing in a neat row nodded in agreement in the strong wind, their spokesman addressed the assembly; “Don’t blame us! We voted for the Onion; a good choice: Not exactly a Spring Onion, you understand, but a super experienced Onion. An Onion that knows its Radishes from Beetroot.”

The Pumpkin continued; “The Turnip has promised some incredibly wealthy nutrients, riches beyond our wildest dreams. The powerful fertility from the rear end of some home-grown equines. An economic miracle is on the way.”

“Surely there is no way our economy can function without the cheapness and convenience of the new varieties of F1 interbreeding and Scientifically modified imports.” emphatically stated a venerable Pak Choi.

“No way? Our esteemed Turnip is decidedly against all mass-produced cheap imports and proposes we will function quite successfully with our own homegrown vegetables. The new leader didn’t hesitate to propose a solid wall be erected right around the allotments, preventing entrance by all alien varieties of vegetables.” the Pumpkin went on.

An army of potatoes, smartly dressed in heaped up piles of rich khaki fertiliser stood to attention, awaiting orders from their commanding officers. Always at the ready to be roasted, fried or mashed for the good of the allotment appetites.

Meanwhile grumbles of discontent at the new order were heard among the Carrots and Swedes and several other varieties of vegetables. Particularly certain sections of the Jerusalem Artichokes and Asparagus.

There were also rumbles of discontent among certain self-seeded wild flowers whose seeds had drifted onto the allotments from neighbouring areas. Dissatisfaction was noted with certain inferences and some mysterious patterns of thought as to their place in the future plans of the allotment growth.

Threats of anarchy and revolution were brushed off by the Turnip administration. Peace would certainly require a re-count and possibly a re-seeding of the whole administration to promote new growth and eliminate oppression.

The whole assembly agreed that the well tended allotment site would continue to function successfully regardless of the vegetable at the head of the assembly during the future growing seasons.

 

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.

img_9739-1

http://bekindrewrite.com