DEVASTATION

WEDNESDAY 17 JUNE 2020

BLOG POST

Write a piece describing the devastating effect of the Coronavirus Covid19 on a single family.

DEVASTATION 

by John Yeo

 Jose was a successful hotelier, his wife Maria was his backbone and his inspiration. They had built up La Casa del Puenta. The hotel was excellent and attracted many tourists from around the world. They had a reputation of being the first hotel in Spain to have been awarded a certificate of excellence by Jules Fargo, a well known travel experience organisation that could make or break the future of a hotel. 

 It was during the high season that the rumours of something nasty began swirling around the media waves. It was Maria who became worried first, her sister had suddenly become seriously ill and was in a large hospital in the city. 

    ‘Jose,’ she said, out of the blue one day, ‘I have to take the day off tomorrow to go and visit Consuella in hospital.’ 

     Without hesitation, Jose said. ‘Of course darling, I will manage. You have built up some wonderfully adaptable staff to cover for you.’

    ‘Thanks Jose, I will give her your love and take a few things to ease her stay while she’s in hospital. I don’t know quite what’s wrong with her exactly but I’m sure she will get over it.’

 Little did either of them realise what life-changing events were about to happen that would have untold repercussions on their comfortable everyday life.

 Later that day the news broke of the serious infectious disease that was sweeping through Spain. The news bulletins on the media were frantically warning people not to travel. To stay put, and keep themselves isolated from everyone else. The hotel emptied over the course of that single day, as guests checked out. The hotel reception desk telephones were constantly busy with people ringing to cancel their bookings. 

 Some members of the hotel staff immediately packed up and left, to be with their homes and families, contrary to the official advice.  Suddenly everyone who Jose and Maria came into contact with was wearing a medical mask. Maria had instantly dropped her plan to visit her sister in the city, as the significance of what was happening became clearer.

 The food deliveries suddenly dried up except for a few local farmers who dropped off their produce directly to the hotel.

  Information began to become clear, the country was in the grip of a worldwide pandemic. A deadly disease was sweeping the world and had reached Spain. The advice was to stay put and not go outside. 

 Over the next few days the hotel became like a large hollow shell, the swimming pools were deserted with the bars and the restaurant permanently empty. None of the loyal hotel staff remained as they had slowly fled home to their families, contrary to the government advice. Jose and Maria kept to their suite. The freezers in the kitchens were full of frozen food, and the wine cellar was reasonably stocked. However they had to spend a long time just destroying the fresh food and filling the bins.  

   Horror-stricken, they had kept up with the news of the deadly outbreak and as the body counts grew on a daily basis they became increasingly frightened.

 One positive thing that was happening was the continued visits of Farmer Lorenzo, bringing fresh milk, eggs and bread and most importantly local news.

 Apparently many local people were sick and there was much sadness and the streets were deserted wherever you went.   

  Lorenzo  said, ‘I dare not walk on the streets of town as some young men are breaking into local shops to steal food.’

  Maria replied, ‘Oh no! Where are the police?’

    ‘The police are forced to keep the peace, but there is a lot of sympathy for the hungry people. Food stocks are running short, due to stockpiling by the wealthy.’ replied Lorenzo.

    Two weeks later when Lorenzo arrived with his fresh produce he found the hotel deserted. The local postman shouted from his van parked across the road. They are both in the general hospital, seriously ill with this evil virus. Lorenzo couldn’t control the tears that formed in his dark brown eyes.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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A HOSTAGE OF WAR

Today What Pegman’s Saw. travels to Chechnya in the republic of Russia. As always, feel free to stroll around until you feel inspired to write up to 150 words. When you’re finished, post a link to your story on the InLinkz page to share with the other contributors. Remember that reading and commenting on the other stories is a big part of the fun!

Image from the net Al Jazeera

A HOSTAGE OF WAR

by John Yeo

Dawn broke over the war-torn streets of Grozny. Russian aircraft had devastated another area of the city overnight. Abdullah and Melissa were moving furtively on their way to feed the Russian hostage. They were both aware of the land mines that were still around. When they reached the dilapidated garages they were surprised to find Bashir, waiting at the entrance.

‘Food won’t be required, the hostage is dead.’

‘Dead! How come?’ asked Mellisa. ‘Did he try to escape?’

‘No!’ replied Bashir, ‘Selina killed him! Apparently her whole family were wiped out last night; she came straight here in a rage and killed him. It’s not a pretty sight, she went wild.’

‘ No!’ Screamed Melissa, ‘Where is she?’

‘She’s in a terrible state, hysterical, begging for forgiveness from God, she’s in shock!’ Bashir replied, tears drenching his eyes.

Abdullah put his arm around his friend, said. ‘We’ll take care of her.’

(150 WORDS)

Image from the net, (Pinterest}

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Travel Information

Grozny has only partly stabilized enough to be safe for travel. Take extreme caution when visiting war-torn areas as there are some unexploded land mines. Rebels often take tourists as hostages, so try to blend in with the population.


Travel Warning WARNING: The UK Foreign Office and other governments advise against all travel to Chechnya. There have been many incidents of foreign and Russian citizens going missing, or being killed or kidnapped.
Government travel advisories
United Kingdom
(Information last updated Dec 2018)

MUSED MOURNING

A prompt response for Master Class ~ Assignment ~ Mused Mourning

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/master-class/

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MUSED MOURNING

by John Yeo

The black-edged cards were delivered to many friends and family in distant parts, announcing the sad news, with the date and time of the funeral.
The deceased man’s wife had tears in her eyes, as she checked the wording.
The children of the couple, rallied round her, sympathetically consoling her, while holding back their personal tears.
There was no positive response over the next few days, just guarded replies expressing deepest sympathy.

The day of the funeral arrived and the dead man’s wishes were followed as the service in the little village church took place in his desired format.

We were gathered around the grave. Thirty people, composed of the close family and friends of the deceased, stood back as the priest mouthed the last rites. Some were openly crying as the poetic words were expressed over the remains of someone who was once a respected member this small community.

My mind drifted over the life of this unusual person.
His childhood spent in an unsettling wartime environment. Followed by a spell in a reasonably happy home, with brothers and then newly acquired stepsisters.
Then came Boarding school and the trials of learning in a regimented environment.

Youth, with the challenging teenage years, and the swinging sixties, with blue jeans and rock and roll. Girls and dances: Everlasting love, followed by several broken hearted partings.

Love and marriage, fulfilled with happy children and the many ups and downs of
a successful career, followed by a happy retirement.

My mind continued to rove over the peaks and troughs of this familiar man’s life.

How could he have found the dream, and lived with peace and contentment having experienced so many peaks and troughs?

My inner self, placed myself forward in time. Would my life’s end reflect the life I have led, or would my demise be just another death, mourned by the few, and forgotten by the many?

Perhaps if I follow my path through life and take life as it arrives?
My mind continued to drift, musing over the obvious realization that a life lived has already passed. The past is fixed and unchanging.

I will certainly live life while I have a life to live.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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TOUR-de-FARCE

Images Courtesy of pixabay.com

A prompt response for ~ Inspiration Monday: Tour-de-Farce

http://bekindrewrite.com

TOUR-de-FARCE

by John Yeo

    The caravans were parked in a circle on the village green, strategically encircling a large canvas structure, affectionately known to all as the big top. The circus had come to town!  Overnight the village green was transformed, closed in, with a huge area roped off.

  A siren shattered the calm of the village as a paramedic arrived, just in time to deliver a healthy bonny boy with a powerful pair of lungs.

 Billy arrived, born in a caravan; his arrival coincided just as the evening performance was about to begin. His Mum and Dad were professional Clowns

    Postnatal depression soon kicked in; Billy’s Mum was clearly affected by giving birth. Her husband was sympathetic, although he was suffering from a long-term depression himself.

   The circus was always on tour, village to village, town to town, a different background to get used to all the time.

 Dogs guarded the children while the family worked in the big top. Friends; all circus  performers, Acrobats, Jugglers Tightrope Walkers and Dancers all took responsibility to care for the children.

  The Ringmaster ruled the roost, travelling, always travelling; another week, another town as the circus toured the country.

  Education on the move, Billy attended a different school in every town the circus visited. Mum and Dad taught him all they  knew. How to be funny! How to apply makeup to please the customers.

  Uncle Coco committed suicide by overdosing on antidepressants

  Mum and Dad were more sorrowful than ever. They practiced a new water routine to keep the customers happy. The makeup  told a different story as the painted smiles hide the truth. The matinee audience roared with laughter on the day of Uncle Coco’s funeral.

  Billy found the funeral sad as the hearse delivered the coffin containing Uncle Coco’s remains that were quickly consigned to the flames. Uncle Coco’s ashes travelled through many small towns until the touring circus reached his home where his ashes were ceremoniously buried in the local cemetery.

  Another week another small town, the circus tour was never ending. The big top always full, to bursting.

 Billy began to grow up fast and sharp, he became a quick-witted, sensitive young man, following in his father’s footsteps.

 A very gifted clown who knew how to make people happy with his funny routine.

 Then one sad day in the life of Billy arrived with a tremendous shock, Rover his trusty Labrador dog who, went with him everywhere, died suddenly. Billy was devastated at this turn of events, crying uncontrollably. The time for the show arrived and Billy’s father was desperately trying to calm him. As he applied makeup to Billy’s face, the ringmaster arrived and insisted he take his place in the circus ring.

With these words his, Father sent him to the circus ring.

“Laugh Billy, Laugh! You are a clown to fool around and make people laugh. You will always work in the circus on a perpetual Tour-de-farce. No one will ever understand the tears of a clown.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

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COMPASSION

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge.

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.

Gaucho Horses

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Scott, author of the blog, Scott’s Place

COMPASSION

by John Yeo

The Gaucho regarded the penned wild horses with a sadness that welled up into a sympathy for these beautiful creatures. As he regarded this latest herd of captives waiting to be broken and tamed one of the horses held his gaze. He began to feel an extreme sadness for the loss of freedom of the wild horses roaming the range. It was almost as if this magnificent creature was communicating with him as pictures formed in his mind, of the love between a stallion and his favourite mare. The colts running and jumping along with the herd as they traversed the range. Wind rustling through the brush and ruffling the manes of the free-moving, fast-galloping horses.
“I have broken in so many horses in my long career, I have never felt this way before!” He murmured.
The wild horse held his gaze, he felt a deep compassion well up inside of him. The horse whinnied and tossed its head.
Entranced the gaucho unlocked the gate and set them free.

(171 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

This is in response to a challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. If you would like to participate in this challenge or need more information, please click the following link:

https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

 

Velvet Verbosity ~ 100 Word Challenge ~~ Jester

 

 THE JOKER

by John Yeo ©

Michael had a reputation for fun and laughter, everybody loved his sense of humour and went along with him in his merriment. Often when we were down in the dumps, an off-the-cuff remark from Michael would lift our spirits to new heights. His brand of humour was not a bullying, vindictive cruel variety, all the laughs were gained by pure quick-wit, from unusual situations. There was another side to Michael that he never displayed.. A deeply sad thoughtful side. He struggled desperately to keep this sad side under control. The jester played the joker, to trump the face of despair.

Written in response to the 100 word challenge from Verbal Verbosity~~ JESTER

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BE STRONG~A LIFE HAS GONE

This is the latest Picture, from the picture it and write series from Ermilia’s blog

http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/__picture-it-write-84/

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silent dying by laura makabresku on Flickr

BE STRONG~
By John Yeo

The peace of the moment.
Reflected in Stillness and Silence,
The shroud tries to conceal
The awful tragic truth.
A young life lived, so short,
So sweet and full of laughter.
The curse of the cancer that eats away,
The frailty of our human defences.

Many a care you faced in a life,
Shrugged away with the ease of youth.
You lived a life in an enquiring way,
Never realising the awful truth.
Many tears have now drowned the moment,
Your short life has sadly expired.
The cancer sapped your strong free will
Until the fight for life back-fired.

Now you lie here, at peace,
We all find it so hard to bear,
Our frailty shows in the tears we shed,
As we say goodbye with a prayer.
Life is a passage from here to somewhere,
A stage in the eternal journey.
A short sweet life has left today
Thanks for the life-long memory.

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