coastal town

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi


by John Yeo

  Old Alexander always took the new recruits to the top of the high hill overlooking the small coastal town. This was part of their initiation and orientation into the elite fighting force that protected the townspeople from sudden attack.
  Old Alexander would always begin by relating the story of the vicious war that broke out in the area 30 years previously. The enemy had sited their guns at the top of this hill and continuously blasted the valley until the town below was reduced to rubble; heaps and piles of accumulated concrete everywhere. There was a loss of many lives but by far the greatest number of people escaped by climbing aboard the many fishing boats and assorted vessels moored in the bay.
Our people returned in force and drove the invaders out. Every building you see before you are brand new; some have never been occupied. After the reconstruction was almost complete, our enemies returned and showered the area with devastating lethal chemical weapons. There was an immediate exodus over the sea and most of the townspeople escaped, many leaving everything behind.
The war that followed was devastating. Our people can never re-occupy their homes.

© John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit..

coastal town

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi



(200 WORDS)



A prompt response for Master Class ~ ANXIOUS PEACE


Image courtesy of



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



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


Image ©️Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved


by John Yeo

 The Jackson family were well-known to everyone in the village, regular churchgoers they had made many friends over the years. Speculation had it that branches of the family had resided in this village since the days of William the Conqueror.
Tom Jackson had passed away five years before; he had been a churchwarden, chairperson on the Parish council and his wife Gina had been the hon.treasurer.

Their two sons, Ricardo and Ernesto had been a great comfort to their Mother.

Ricardo became a special forces soldier, serving in Afghanistan, with the SAS. Infrequent letters would arrive, describing the horror of war and his narrow escapes from the enemy. “We are involved in battles before they are officially fought, our undercover forces are on the attack. Our forces are involved in dogfights all over the city,”

One fateful day in November a telegram arrived Ricardo was missing in action, a hero who had saved many lives.

 Gina was devastated, many parishioners rallied around offering help and support. The situation for the family was looking grave, with Christmas the season of goodwill just around the corner.

 Then, without any warning Ernesto, her younger son was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease forcing him to undergo dialysis three times a week. Gina was absolutely shattered and asked for his name to be included in the church prayers list. A kidney transplant was the only solution.

Then one memorable day there was a knock on her cottage door and Ricardo her eldest son stood in front of her smiling. “Hello, Mum! I’m home! I escaped and I have some leave to use up.”

Shocked, Gina could hardly believe her eyes. “Welcome, home son!” Was all she could say with tears in her eyes.

When Ricardo heard about the plight of his brother Ernesto, he was quick to offer one of his own kidneys, which was obviously a perfect match.

Christmas Day arrived, and old Jeb the gardener displayed the perfect Christmas rose in Gina’s garden. “What an unbelievably beautiful rose, they say everything comes in threes. I have been blessed with three perfect Christmas presents.”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


FLASH FICTION ~ This is a flash fiction story based on a photograph of a Tree Peony taken in our garden.


Image © Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved


by John Yeo

    The searchers were ever breaking new barriers searching for supplies of the life rejuvenating substance. Flyers from neighbouring hives would do battle in the skies over new territories, where undiscovered unknown sources of nectar could be found.

    Humphrey was a warlike bee who had fought in many a stinging battle with members of a neighbouring hive. Humphrey never travelled alone, he was always accompanied by Harriet his constant companion and fellow explorer.

   One memorable day Harriet zoomed back from an exploration sortie, in a state of zizzling excitement!

   Humphrey had never seen her behave like this and he waggled his wings and zignalled his disapproval.

    “Humphrey, call out the swarm! I have discovered the largest source of nectar I have ever seen, Huge flowers, on a bush, flowers as large as a whole planet. We must stake out the territory, drive out the opposition and store up the supplies!” Harriet hummed excitedly.

      The sight that met Humphreys eyes as he flew over the fence almost stopped him in mid-flight. Huge pink blooms, shielding hearts of delight, literally oozing sweet nectar in undreamt of quantities, confronted him. There were several unidentified alien smaller bees, buzzing aggressively around.

       “Harriet; return and call for reinforcements, we need everybody here, fighters, workers, even the drones. These are very valuable sources of supply, we must drive out these aliens and stake our claim.”

      Humphrey attacked the smaller bees who reacted in surprise and flew away fast, Humphrey was delighted at such an easy conquest, as the squadrons and drones of his swarm moved in and began gathering the seemingly endless supplies of nectar.

      Rumbling waves of sound, became faintly audible, and got increasingly closer.

       ’Sounds like a storm on the way!’ thought Humphrey.

     Then as he looked up, a squadron of the alien bees arrived, followed by two of the largest bees he had ever seen. When these monsters started attacking his swarm, Humphrey got angry and charged the leader sinking his sting into the monster’s eye. Harriet could see her soulmate was in danger and promptly attacked the other large bee in exactly the same way. The remainder of their swarm then attacked the two huge aggressors from every angle and brought them down.

  Sometime later two humans were admiring the large flowers, watching the bees hard at work, one bent forward to smell the perfume.


   “Watch out, there are bees about, you may get stung!”  Said one in a warning voice.

      “Don’t worry, these are honey bees, they are harmless. The other one replied.


 Humphrey staggering under another load of nectar had to smile at that.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved