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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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

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.

WINKER ON THE CASE

A prompt response to ~  http://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/

No.361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

WINKER ON THE CASE

by John Yeo

  There they were!….. Dangling from the streetlamp a pair of the most frilly outrageous bloodstained knickers that PC Everard Dickens had ever seen. After the initial shockwave and the rush of blood to the head had worn off, the erstwhile Constable, called his superior officer; Detective Sergeant Winker.
“It looks like we have the first clue to this gruesome case here Sir!”

“OK! Stand aside Dickens we need a ladder and the usual equipment for recovering clues to avoid contamination.”
  DS Winker stood there pondering over the situation as it had unfurled from the time of the anonymous phone call that had led to the gruesome discovery of the two victims.
  ‘I wonder how they got up there, or indeed if they are connected to this case at all. We have the battered and broken bodies of two pensioners discovered, with their arms tied around each other. The forensic scientists are combing the entire area for clues, something doesn’t seem to add up here. My initial feeling is the garment in question is the wrong size for the deceased; now if they were a pair of outsized bloomers hanging up there logical connections could be made.’

   “Dickens!” He called loudly. “I am sure this is an amateurish sort of a red herring to lead us off the trail onto an illogical tangent. Get the garment off to the lab without delay.”

   “Yes Sir!”

   “Dickens; I want this whole area of scrubland around this path combed for clues.”

   At that moment an officer arrived with the news that a large quantity of ladies underwear had been found secreted in the bedroom of the apartment where the badly beaten man and woman had been discovered.

   “Underwear? Ladies underwear!” DS Winker exclaimed.

 “Yes Sir; in a wide variety of sizes and colours Sir!” replied PC Smithers.

    “Wow! This puts an entirely different light on the matter. I put this down as a revenge slaughter, Dickens. Someone found out the old pervert was nicking knickers off washing lines and took their revenge. I wager when that pair of soiled pants comes back from the lab the DNA in the blood will point the finger at the spouse of the culprit. Sadly we are unable to verify this without the evidence of matching DNA. Most people are averse to randomly surrendering their DNA, for any reason at all, particularly to rule them out of a murder inquiry.”

“Yes Sir this will probably finish up in the cold case file.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

Daily Prompt on WordPress ~ 2nd JANUARY 2016 ~ NOW

Write Here, Write Now

Write Here, Write Now
Write a post entirely in the present tense.

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Image from the net ~

NOW

by John Yeo

    I have been consigned to this field by Farmer Jones since yesterday morning. I have to be vigilant in my work which is easy. I just stand here with my arms on utstretched, wearing this silly hat dressed in rags. I don’t like the look of that sky above me, those black clouds have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I don’t like working in the rain, there was a slight shower yesterday afternoon and the rain was trickling down my clothes. I will hate to be standing here in the thick of a storm with the wind blowing, lightning and thunder crashing, getting soaked by the pouring rain.

    I have to stand here as a deterrent, I try to look fearsome and scary. This is what I do, that is what I have been created to do. Farmer Jones sowed his seed in this field yesterday in the morning, now a whole flock of pigeons are over there, with gulls and rooks gorging themselves on this free food. I am standing here to scare them off, but they are not fooled at all, in fact one bird has just flown off after leaving a horrible white mess on my hat. Under my feet where I stand, there is a whole earthy world of wriggling worms, slimy slugs, spiders, beetles and bugs. I have seen the birds eating masses of these and not touching the seed at all, I hope the farmer doesn’t find out, or I will quickly be out of work.

    Oh! No, please go away you lazy old crow, leave the straw in my body alone. I refuse to become part of your nest. There are two of them now pecking away and stealing my stuffing to breed. Help! Leave me alone. you crazy vermin it’s a good job scarecrows don’t bleed.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

A prompt response for “INSPIRATION MONDAY:” ~ WHERE WOLF

Inspiration Monday ~ inmonsterbadge1

Enter a caption

http://bekindrewrite.com

WHERE WOLF

by John Yeo

   He was a drifter who always moved with the whims of his ever-changing quest. A searcher for peace and serenity that drove him always ever-onward to new horizons.
 No one ever really knew him, it was very difficult to penetrate the hard shell that obscured and shielded his ever hungry-mind.
He had a four-legged companion, a tame wolf, who travelled with him and rarely left his side. Rumour had it, he had stumbled across an injured wolf cub in the forest and nursed it back to health. The wolf just followed him wherever he went after that, and a deep relationship developed between the man and beast.
  On the rare occasions his friend went missing, there would be several wolves howling in the night and his friend would be gone, sometimes for a few days.

 Perhaps it was the need for human contact that led him to make his home near our forest encampment. We were a small community of self-sufficient small-time farmer and growers. The community accepted and welcomed him with open arms and friendship, as he drifted around doing small jobs and hard laborious work for food and drink. He was very fond of the homemade rough strong cider, that was brewed by one of our fruit growers.

  One sad memorable week we discovered several dead sheep and a goat, killed by a predator and left half-eaten in the fields. Suspicion fell on the tame wolf and several of our menfolk approached the man and his wolf with guns.

 There was unease as he stood facing these angry farmers without fear, the wolf just stood beside him.

      “We’ve come for the killer wolf, step aside or die!” Shouted the leader.

  “Why? The wolf is not a killer and he stays with me.” Replied the drifter.

  Then the wolf growled and howled, and looked at his friend, there was a moment of shocked silence as the drifter whispered, “Where Wolf?”
Moving on the fringes of the forest in the distance, cautiously stalking a wild bird was a full grown wild cat. There was a volley of shots from the men as the big cat fled into the forest and disappeared into the trees.

  The next day the drifter and his friend were gone never to be seen in that part of the forest again.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved

 

Wolf Marg

Image © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

 

Picture it and Write ~ Weightless

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

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As usual the image is supplied and credited by Ermilia

https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/__picture-it-write-103/

WEIGHTLESS

by John Yeo

He found himself
As light as a feather
Floating high,
As high as the clouds
That seemed to support him.

~
He was in a state
Of pure weightlessness,
The gasses in the atmosphere
As soft as billowing silk
Holding him up.

~
Images floated through his mind.
The birds flying high
Seemed to penetrate his thought.
Drifting weightless,
He thrilled with total exhilaration.

~
He knew when in space
The body is weightless.
The initial shock quickly passed
When he realised he was dressed
For the office.

~
An alien sound shattered the
Silence on top of the clouds.
“Wake up John!”
The dream picture shattered
Into a million shards.

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Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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