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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INDOCTRINATION

This article  was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of Culture.

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Image  Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved

INDOCTRINATION

by John Yeo

     Saul awoke with a throbbing headache, amid the noise of tortured screams, and agonised terrifying cries for help. Everywhere was pitch dark, as he became aware of the iron chains that cut into his wrists, he frantically pulled and tugged in a vain attempt to get free.

   Then his memory began to relay the events of the past few hours, before he was cruelly beaten over the head, and he had lost consciousness. A ship had approached the shore and as his tribal family began to sing and dance in welcome, a cruel merciless attack began. Many of the elderly and infirm were shot as the invaders began to surround everyone, and force march them to the ship. Saul attempted to protect his infirm Father and was viciously beaten around the head, he was never to see his Father alive again.

    After days of darkness and squalor, with a little food thrown and scattered through a trapdoor, a light became visible and the many occupants of this overcrowded hell hole were allowed to emerge. Some weakened and dispirited from the experience. There were a few who never made it, and sadly died during the passage. Saul stumbled up a narrow ladder into daylight, leaving the stench and putrid decaying flesh behind.

     The survivors were hosed down naked on the dockside, and dressed in cheap cotton clothing.

      “You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!”  Announced a stranger in a loud cruel voice, sadly nobody could understand a word he was saying. Everyone was given food and water and soon separated and individually transported to their new homes and places of hard relentless work.

   Saul was transported with some other men to a cotton plantation, and integrated with around sixty other slaves. The charge hands were also bonded slaves and they carried out the orders of a white foreman, implicitly, he would come down hard on troublemakers.

    Saul was a hard worker, intelligent and quick-witted, he could do little else but immerse himself in the work and begin to adjust to this alien culture he had unwillingly become a part of.

    After some months, the slaves were learning the language and a basic form of communication between everyone gradually developed. Saul began to learn the language with the help of Father Leon, a priest, who had been a bonded slave but was now a free man. This man spent his time visiting the workers, wherever he was allowed, offering them comfort, spiritual guidance and help in every way he was able. Saul quickly learned to communicate and to absorb the message of faith that Father Leon prescribed.

     One day he asked his friend the Father, “There is a question I would like to ask, if you have an answer for me please.”

     “Of course,” replied Father Leon, “Ask away if I can help you I will.”

    “Father, Who are the savages?  What did they mean by, ’You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!’ I memorised those words, without understanding?  How does your culture reconcile the wonderful promise of love and eternal life, with the way we were torn from our homes and lifestyles, and cruelly put to work?” asked Saul.

     “These basic cultural rituals are collective activities, ways of reaching desired objectives, and considered as socially essential. They are therefore carried out most of the time for their own sake. These men are a part of a greater whole who have never known anything else but their dominance. Greed is an evil motivator and certainly not condoned by our faith, Saul,” replied Father Leon.

Copyright. © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

PICTURE IT AND WRITE ~ WISDOM AND DIET

This is a latest Picture it and Write prompt from Emilia’s blog ~20th January 201https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/picture-it-write-83/

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As usual the image is supplied and credited by Ermilia

WISDOM AND DIET

by John Yeo

    The wise man was a scholar of wide renown, he had written many books in his short life and had a high intelligence. It was said that his last lecture before he sadly passed away, contained many secrets of how he maintained his robust health and his extraordinary brain-power. The wise man swore by the hidden properties in his diet.

   “Fresh fruit and vegetables contain many micro nutrients to keep us healthy and wise. I am a firm believer in the effects of eating large quantities of oily fish to gain the benefits of the amazing properties of Omega 3 fish oils. I eat a lot of oily fish. Sardines and Mackerel cooked in many delicious ways. I can eat ten to fifteen Sardines in a single sitting. I believe that the accumulation of these oils and the micro nutrients will allow us to live longer and become more intelligent!”

    Six black horses, with black plumes pulled a black carriage to the church as the wise man went to his grave, with all due pomp and circumstance. Many people attended the funeral of this man who was respected around the world for his insight and judgement.

   Among the mourners along the roadside were a venerable retired couple, Jack and Lil, who had come to pay their respects. As the cortège passed them, Lil turned to Jack with a tear in her eye and asked, “How did he die?”

  Jack wiped away a tear and replied “He choked on a fish bone.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved.

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A prompt response for “INSPIRATION MONDAY:” ~ ELEMENTALLY MY DEAR

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Image © Copyright John and Margaret

ELEMENTALLY MY DEAR

by John Yeo

“Why? Darling what is the problem?”

“You know how much I dislike the man, especially after the way he behaved towards his wife and child. The idiot just up and abandoned them, leaving home with the first woman who happened along. Bringing the subject down to the simplest element of disgust I feel for him, hatred is not a pleasant word. However hatred and distaste together, go for a potent reason to analyse the basics. Why would a man just destroy everything he has built up over a number of years? I tell you my opinion is starkly simple, primitive, and basic, full of hate, disgust, and other elemental emotions.”

“Wow Darling! That is very strong reaction.”

“Simply Elementally my Dear.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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http://bekindrewrite.com

PICTURE IT AND WRITE ~ A HARSH REALITY

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

https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/picture-it-write-74/

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As usual the image is supplied and credited by Ermilia.

PICTURE IT AND WRITE ~ A HARSH REALITY

by John Yeo

     The very wealthy man had a vision, he approached the local authorities with a large sum of money, to be used for the good of the local people who still lived in the town where he grew up as a lad.

     The plan was for a green space, with flowerbeds, pretty shrubs, and trees where wild birds were able to perch and nest. Many benches were to be strategically set up, to allow elderly folk or mothers to rest while their children were at play. Waterfowl were to be encouraged to swim on the stream, flowing through this oasis of rest and tranquility and a yearly annuity would be set aside for the upkeep and maintenance of his dream.

    His plan was welcomed with open arms by the grateful folk, who served on the town council, and an agreement was quickly reached. The Mayor named the park after this very generous benefactor, and a statue of him was erected in a small enclosed garden in the centre of this beautiful green, open space, in memorium of his generosity.

     Ten years later there was an extraordinarily brutal killing in the town, and the news media were congregating at an overgrown, neglected, little-used open space set in the middle of an urban conurbation. A young lady was standing alone with tears streaming down her cheeks, amid the littered open area, in the centre of this rundown little park. Empty beer cans and plastic bags were everywhere under the rusted broken seats and carelessly tossed into a stream that was flowing through. A moss-covered, chipped and broken, unrecognisable statue had been overturned and upended into the water.

           “Why are you crying Miss?” Asked a hard-bitten seen-it-all news reporter.

      “I cry for the love of my Grandfather who had a dream that is now shattered and smashed by unthinking unashamed vandals. I cry for the visible drop in the standards of living, that allows the memory of a very caring man to be ground into the dirt and detritus of drink-sodden ne’er-do wells. Above all I cry for justice to be meted out to the killers of my beloved sister who was abused and murdered here in the very place where his dream came to fruition. God may have mercy on their vicious souls! “

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

Fiction Friday Prompt ~LOVE ON SITE

THE RATTLING BONES

The life and works of Lori Carlson

https://therattlingbones.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/fiction-friday-prompt-13/#comments

Good morning, fellow writers! It is the first Friday in July. Hope your summer is going well! It’s time for Fiction Friday!

Today’s prompt is to write a story about a construction worker who makes a discovery of a lifetime at a construction site. You set the scene, decide the discovery, and figure out how it will impact his/her life.

Keep the story between 500-1000 words.

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Image from the net

LOVE ON SITE

by John Yeo

The construction site was a huge area, almost a mini town. Seven hundred and ninety-five men were employed here along with a good number of women.
One young lady in particular relished her job, she had always been a bit of a tomboy and followed her Dad into his trade much to the surprise of her Mum. Grace was a welder used to working under enormous pressure, she had worked alongside Paul for six months solid now. They were very good friends and some would say, almost an item. Paul was a loner he usually had no time for anyone, Grace had almost melted his heart of stone.
Monday morning and Grace arrived with bloodshot eyes, red-rimmed from shedding very many tears.
Paul shocked, shouted, “What’s wrong Grace, why have you cried so hard and so long? I have never seen you so upset!”
“Don’t worry Paul, it is very personal, I cannot tell you, please trust me and don’t ask questions.”
“I would like to know my friend, but when you are ready.”
The site hooter sounded and they began to work. Paul was deep in thought as he could see Grace was hiding her face behind the welding mask.
It was even more of a shock to everyone close to where they were working, when the site manager arrived with two uniformed policemen asking to speak to Grace.
“Would you accompany us to the office please Grace?”
Paul was mystified and very upset, he wondered what the heck was going on. There was very little welding getting done in their section that day.
Grace returned to work and Paul, full of a feeling of great relief embraced her unashamedly. “I am so happy to see you, what happened? Why were you questioned? I must have some answers? Please Grace.”
His face mirrored the concern as he gently tried to allay her fears.
“Paul I discovered a carton full of money in the communal changing room, after you had gone home on Friday. When I handed it in, I was informed it was stolen money from a break-in, hidden by the thieves on the site.”
Grace poured a cup of tea for both of them, from a flask that she had brought from home for her lunch break.
“Why were you crying so much, when you did the right thing Grace?”
“I am so sorry Paul, I didn’t mean to think badly of you, but I was in shock. I have been agonising all weekend, stupidly thinking that you may have been involved and led into trouble by the suspect. I know you and his group drink together in the local pub. Please forgive my stupidity!”
Paul was taken aback and quickly swallowed his cup of lukewarm tea. Realisation suddenly dawned on him.
“Grace you mean to say you were crying because you thought I was involved and you had got me into trouble?”
“Yes I am a fool I know, but I have grown very fond of you and I don’t want to lose you.”
Paul smiled broadly, then quietly took her into his arms. His mind was turning cartwheels as the situation began to sink in. He then knew he had found the love of his life and he never ever wanted to let her go.
“I always liked this job and I enjoyed working with you on this site. We have met on site and I plan to wed you and stay in our life together forever. Will you marry me?”
Grace blushed as she accepted Paul’s proposal. “Of course silly, I love you!”
The wedding took place six months later in the middle of a construcion site. The Bride wore overalls and a safety hat to match the grooms outfit .They arrived by truck and the priest wore a hard hat above his clerical collar. The best man had a welding mask attached to his face and there was a horrible moment when he could not find the ring, but after a quick lift of the mask, the priest mouthed the time honoured words. Paul slipped the ring on Grace’s finger
Then Paul and Grace said “I do!”.
The priest said , “You may now kiss the bride.”
Almost one thousand construction workers raised a cheer that was heard two miles away.

They were remarried in a local church six months later, after the banns had been properly read. The bride wore a dress of sparkling white and members of their families and many friends were there to see them on their way to a life of ecstatic happiness. Their lives were now welded together forever. They both found love on a building site.

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

THE BENCH

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge. The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.

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This week’s photo prompt is from pricelessjoy.

THE BENCH

by John Yeo

Potts, the park attendant was an overbearing man, a stickler for rules and regulations. He came down hard on dog-walkers who allowed their pets to foul the footpath. Litter louts were frowned on and ordered to place the despised rubbish in a bin.

 Several notices around the lake requested people not to feed the ducks. Every day Potts caught sight of a little old lady on a bench by the water-side with a bag full of bread feeding the ducks. Potts would continually remonstrate without effect as she would completely ignore him and feed the ducks. One day Potts sat next to her and tried to reason with her. “The bread attracts rats and vermin which are a danger to children, who are vulnerable to disease.”

 The old lady turned to him with a wry smile and said: “Son, you will never make me stop, these birds are my family, I have nothing except the cancer that is eating away my soul. Hard-hearted Potts wept as his Mother continued to feed her ducks.

(174 words)

Copyright (c) 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

TEARS

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge week 7. The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.

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Thank you to pixabay.com (free to use photographs) for this week’s prompt photos.

TEARS

by John Yeo

The acid attack was horrific, Joey screamed, penetratingly loud, as pain raced through his head. Skin was burnt to shreds from the structure of his face, Joey’s crowning glory, his hair, was burnt off in seconds. He passed out and was raced to the burns unit at the local general hospital.
One year later after many operations by plastic surgeons some semblance of normality returned. Joey refused to be seen in public and became a recluse. He left our town and disappeared, it was rumoured he had joined some gypsies and was travelling the countryside by caravan.
One day Lisa our daughter, came home from school very excited, “Daddy the circus has come to town!”
Saturday night we had the best seats in the big top and Lisa was laughing merrily at the antics of Joey the clown. He came to speak to her and Lisa asked “How did you become a clown Joey?” His painted smile never altered hiding the tears of a clown.

(165 Words)

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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

Picture it and Write~ KITH and KIN

This is the latest Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog
https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/picture-it-write-51/

Ermilia Picture Kith and Kin

One Tree Hill Screenshot. Original image found on Buddy

As usual the image is supplied and credited by Ermilia

KITH and KIN

by John Yeo

What’s up sister? I hate to see you lying here in the rain, crying. Come inside in the warm, I will explain to Mum and Dad, how you never understood what was happening.”
“My dear brother John, I cannot face the world anymore, I fell deeply in love and he laughed at my feelings afterwards. Mum and Dad would never understand.”
“Sister Sandy I will stand by you, we have shared a lot together during our lives, through our schooldays when we were growing up together.”
“John I want to run away. I made a mistake. Will they ever forgive me?”
“We will stay and face the music together Sandy, I will stand by you, we will fight the world together!”

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

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Picture it and write ~~ His Best Friend

This is the latest Picture it and Write prompt from Ermilia’s blog.
https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/picture-it-write-48/
As always the image is provided and credited by Ermilia

petals on a bench

HIS BEST FRIEND
by John Yeo

 He sat on a bench in the orchard, savouring the beauty of a magical spring. The blossom from the tree above drifted down on him as his thoughts drifted over the sad news that had hit him like a sledge-hammer. 
 He smiled inwardly as he contrasted the gentle brush of the falling petals on his skin with the thought of a brutal sledge-hammer. The news had been devastating, ripping through his mind and tearing his world apart. He knew life would never, could never, be the same again. Less than a year, the specialist had said, he could not suppress a tear, then he was suddenly sobbing uncontrollably. 
 Why? They had been inseparable, never seen apart, very good friends from day one. Then his trusty four-legged friend slowly hobbled towards him and gently placed his paws on his knees. Looking up at him with soulful eyes, he licked his masters hand as if to say: Good-bye is never really Good-bye. Suppressing the tears, he patted and smoothed his faithful friend’s fur, then stroked the old dogs head. The petals continued to fall, covering the bench and the ground below the seat as living tears.

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