SUCKED INTO A DREAM

 

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FLASH FICTION

 

In response to a prompt from The Writer’s Academy Penguin, Random House

PROMPT

A woman starts a job in a psychiatric unit and is transported into the clients’ hallucinations. Can she get back?

 

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SUCKED INTO A DREAM

By John Yeo

 

     Tanya woke with a start, shaking her auburn curls, she sat up suddenly. A harsh wind rattled the television aerial on the roof of the maisonette she shared with her husband Tom. A loud snore indicated that Tom was still fast asleep on the other side of their king-sized bed. A film of perspiration covered her forehead, she vaguely remembered being frightened to death in a dream. Yet in spite of the feeling of abject fear and the lingering odour of perspiration, she could never remember what her dream had been about.  ‘Happens all the time lately.’ She thought.

Tanya turned and nudged Tom who woke up suddenly with a grunt.

      ‘Whassermarrer?’ he grumbled, ‘I was enjoying a dream of a tropical paradise then.’

     ‘Good for you,’ responded Tara, ‘I can never remember what I dream about. C’mon, get up! I have to start my new job in the hospital today, and it’s important I get there on time,’

  An hour later Tanya, having experienced the harassment of an uncomfortable journey to work by public transport, reported for duty on Clement Ward at the Eastchester general hospital.

  Her new colleagues on the Ward were welcoming and friendly, there was one exception, an overweight young lady with a short mousy brown haircut who abruptly introduced herself as Brenda. It was later she found out she was replacing Brenda’s best friend who had left under strange circumstances.

   Tanya took an instant shine to the Ward Clerk Jane, who welcomed her with an invitation to lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Jane was the same age as Tanya, also a Mum of a daughter, who was looked after by Grandma during the working day. Jane was a bubbly medium height blonde haired young lady and the two women hit it off with each other immediately.

   The morning passed quickly on the busy ward for Tanya, she was introduced to the six high dependency patients, her predecessor had been responsible for looking after. The hardest patient to get any response from was Ruth, a young lady who remained asleep for most of the morning, regardless of the efforts of everyone to wake her. Yet somehow there was a flicker of interest in her eyes whenever Tanya came close to her bedside. At one point Ruth actually opened her eyes, but quickly appeared to drift back into a deep sleep.

   Tanya was relieved when it came to lunchtime, and she eagerly made her way to the restaurant to keep her lunch date with Jane.

      ‘How are you getting on?’ Asked Jane after the two women had exchanged some warm small talk as they began to build on the instant rapport that had occurred between them.

     ‘Fine!’ replied Tanya. ‘I’m a bit puzzled as to why my predecessor left and why I got such a negative reaction from Nurse Brenda.’

  ‘Well it’s an easy question to answer as far as Brenda is concerned, they were close friends and Brenda was hoping to be recruited for the job you are doing. I heard a strange story about one of the patients who seemed to have a hold over your predecessor. Something to do with dream interpretation, I think.’

   ‘Oh!’ exclaimed Tanya, ‘I bet you are going to say the patient was Ruth. I’ve had some strange effects whenever I went near to her this morning.’

    ‘You’d better inform Sister Griffiths about those effects, I would hate to see you experiencing any untoward effects, especially now I have got to know you.’

 Tanya nodded assent and shrugged off the mysterious implications of this conversation. The two women enjoyed a pleasant lunch together and arranged to meet again.

   Tanya was shaken later that afternoon as she was administering medication through an intravenous drip, to Ruth who was fast asleep, A sudden flood of images filled her mind as she seemed to be transported to another dimension. Strange ethereal shapes were floating around Ruth, seeming to draw Tanya into their mysterious world. Tanya was being inculcated into a strange dream world deeper and deeper into this hallucinatory place. Tanya was aware Ruth was present and seemed to be drawing her closer laughing wildly with an invisible strong presence.

  Tanya felt raw fear coursing through her brain as she began to try to shake herself free from this dream world. Tanya realised Ruth was dreaming and somehow she would have to try to wake her up. How do you wake someone when you are a part of their dream?

  Tanya screamed as loudly as she could manage in this strange environment. ‘Ruth, wake up, Ruth please wake up now!’

  There was no response of course just wild laughter, and Ruth began to realise this wasn’t going to be easy.

  The strange shapes became clearer and suddenly an outside force seemed to be taking over.

   ‘Ruth please wake up!’ Yelled Tanya.

There was still no reply, just the subvocal sound of wild laughter.

  ‘Ruth!’ suddenly Tanya felt a shaking of everything in her consciousness, hard vigorous shaking as if a sudden earthquake had erupted in the dream world.

  ‘Ruth, what’s happening?’ Tanya yelled.

 A strong vigorous shake shook her body as a separate voice shouted. ‘Tanya wake up, Tanya!’

 As her eyes opened, Tanya met the worried gaze of Sister Griffiths who was shaking her roughly to wake her up.

   ‘Wake up Nurse, you seemed to have passed out, drink some of this water. What happened?’ Sister Griffiths looked kindly at Tanya as she led her into her office.

  ‘Would you like to tell me what happened just before you passed out Nurse?’

 Sister Griffiths picked up a pen from her desk and began to fill out a form her greying hair was cut quite severely short, but in spite of this, her face radiated kindness and understanding.

Tanya proceeded to relate the events that had overtaken her since she had come on duty.

   ‘I must have been dreaming, but it’s funny I can remember everything, I never usually can bring dreams back into my head.’

  Sister Griffiths said, ‘Don’t worry Nurse, I think this is exactly what I expected you to remember. I’m going to authorise a few days off for you and I want you to go home and rest. I will be talking to the Psychiatrist and I’m sure when you return Ruth will have been transferred to an isolation ward, where she will receive special care.’

    ‘Thanks, Sister Griffiths!’

Tanya left the hospital, still slightly bewildered at the unusual events of her first day at Eastchester hospital and was soon on her way home.

 

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Copyright ©️ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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BROTHERLY OPPOSITES

 

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PROMPT

 

“Choking on ash I watched helplessly as the great tree Yggdrasil burned.”

Hmm! Well here goes…

 

BROTHERLY OPPOSITES

by John Yeo

 

 First of all, I had better introduce myself. My name is Dumbmetheus. I live in the shadow of my heroic older brother Prometheus.

I was not in the picture when he stole that amazingly useful substance, fire, from the Gods. I was away practicing throwing the discus for the fun of it.

 When Prometheus quietly showed me this amazing substance, I could see he was onto a winner instantly.

 

‘Look here Dumby! This will change the direction of the whole of humanity. I can see the many uses these flames can be put to. I intend to introduce it to the mortals  slowly and let them find some methods of using fire.’

 

‘Wow, Prom! Surely the Gods will realise it was you who stole it!’

 

‘It’ll be too late then Dumb. Mankind will have the fire by then and it will improve life enormously.’

 

Well, I ask you, here he was with an outright miracle and he was prepared to hand it over to the crowd for nothing.  How stupid can you get? Suddenly a plan began to form in my thinking. Why don’t I steal some of this fire and sell it off to the highest bidder?

 

I took my chances and quietly took a burning flame in the shape of a torch and speedily made my way to hide among the branches of the great tree, Yggdrasil.

Suddenly a flame leaped from the torch and to my horror the huge tree caught fire. I picked up the torch and ran for my life.

Choking on ash I watched helplessly as the great tree Yggdrasil burned. I dumped the torch into a fast flowing river and began to run. Wherever I ran the fire followed me as if it was chasing me. I jumped into a lake and swam to the middle. The fire was everywhere, there was no escape as the great tree roots went under the lake.

 

Suddenly I heard a shout. ‘Hold on Dumbmetheus!’

To my great relief, I could see Prometheus in a gilded winged chariot. He reached down and snatched me out of the water, just in time. We flew high into the upper heavens and escaped the fiery inferno.

Sometime later tiny shoots appeared on the charred remains of the great tree Yggdrasil. Regrowth was speedy.

 

Prometheus guessed how his gift had escaped and dumped me on an isolated planet before he returned to face the music.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

~~~~~~

When I first caught sight of this prompt, my first thought was… Who or what is Yggdrasil? Fortunately, Wikipedia came to my rescue along with a couple of other online sites.

This is what I came up with…..

 

Yggdrasil is an immense mythical tree that connects the nine worlds in Norse cosmology. Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the …

~~~

Yggdrasil is the tree of life, and it is an eternal green Ash tree; the branches stretch out over all of the nine worlds in Norse mythology, and extend up and above the heavens.

Yggdrasil is carried by three enormous roots, the first root from Yggdrasil is in Asgard, the home of the Gods.

 

 

THE MURGAL TREE

Golf course Hill

FLASH FICTION


PROMPT

‘A child’s imaginary friend needs to convince the child he’s real so he doesn’t disappear.’

 

THE MURGALTREE

by John Yeo

   The Murgaltree quietly moved in the wafts of the imaginary breezes in Teresa’s mind. He had been rehearsing an important piece of information in the depths of his voluminous trunk.

     ‘I know I’m unique, talking trees are not accepted by the rootless ones. Teresa’s parents must learn to accept our existence or we are nothing.’

  Teresa broke into his thought stream. ‘How can we go about that? No one will ever believe us.’

  The tree’s branches trembled visibly as he replied. ‘I have no idea, Tess. Perhaps if we can find another sensitive mind, we will be able to convince them.’

  Teresa smiled and suddenly thought, ‘What about my Uncle Peter? I swear he is the same, he has been in and out of hospitals because he hears strange words.’

   ‘We must try Tess! Bring him tomorrow and we will let him in on our secret. We must do something or I will disappear.’

  ‘Are you sure Murgy? What if he doesn’t understand?’

  ‘We must give it a try Tess bring him tomorrow.’

That evening Tess and her Uncle were walking in the large gardens at the back of their house.

    ‘Uncle, do you believe trees could ever talk?’

  ‘Anything is possible Tess, Why do you ask?’

     ‘Will you come to meet someone with me tomorrow please Uncle?’

  ‘Of course Tess! Who will we be meeting?’

   ‘It’s a surprise Uncle!’

 The next day, a brilliant Sun was shining from a blue sky. Birds were singing and flying to and fro in the woods as Teresa led her Uncle Peter to the lake where the Murgaltree was located.

Teresa stopped under the tree and thought loudly,

  ‘Hello, Murgy!’

  ‘Hello Tess!’ replied the tree using the power of thought.

Uncle Peter looked startled but he never said a word.

   ‘Did you hear that Uncle Peter?’

  ‘No Tess! What do you mean? Did I hear what?’

 Teresa looked sad and disappointed.

   ‘What can you hear Tess?’ Asked her Uncle. ‘Please don’t say you hear voices. They will never understand. I know.’

  ‘OK Uncle Peter, I think we should go home now.’

A few days later Tess arrived home,

broken-hearted, in tears.

  ‘Someone has cut down and killed the Murgaltree,’ she wailed.

  Uncle Peter looked away and looking unhappy he said. ‘Perhaps it’s for the best Tess? Talking trees can get people into a lot of trouble. No one seems to take it seriously, I know!’

Tess never recovered from her sadness and she became known as the lady of the woods. Ever hunting and haunting the glades searching for another friend to replace the Murgaltree.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

 

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SHOCK WAVES

Crescendo
FLASH FICTION ~CRESCENDO

A Prompt response to the daily Prompt on WordPress. September 8th 2017

SHOCK WAVES

by John Yeo

    Kelly was restless, the reason was beyond her, she couldn’t make it out. What was happening? Why did she feel so uneasy?
  There was nothing that could be pinned down to a concrete reason for this strange unease that seemed to be flooding throughout her being. Kelly rose from her bed, shook her mass of blonde hair and switched on the television. She grabbed the remote and pressed the volume button. Hard. Without any effect. There was no sound, there has got to be a fault with my TV set, she thought, She went over and punched the button to turn on the radio. Still no sound from there either.
     It took a moment or two to register on her consciousness. Then with a scream…”I can’t hear anything…I’ve gone deaf overnight. What can I do? I can’t phone anyone up because I won’t be able to hear anything!”
 The silence that seemed to descend and flood her being, was like nothing she had experienced before. Just absolute silence; nothing could be heard by her at all.
     ‘I must get some help!’ she thought to herself and she rushed out into the street without thinking, then she suddenly realised she was in a shortie nightie.
  A passing builders labourer, a stocky man with a shock of red hair, suddenly emitted a piercing wolf whistle. He was with two friends and they all curled up with laughter.
    Kelly was angry about this. “Help me you dirty swine! I can’t hear anything!”
  They continued to laugh and one said. “You heard that whistle because you angrily reacted.”
   Kelly suddenly realised she could hear every word and every noise was getting louder and louder. She suddenly became embarrassed and aware she was on a busy street with next to nothing on. The traffic noise became overwhelming and just got louder and louder, deafening her mind with an unbelievable intensity. Now scared out of her wits, she raced back into her flat. There the television was on at full volume and the radio was blasting out a crescendo of deafening music. Kelly rushed to switch them off, she was soon lost in silence again.
   There was a knock at the door. Mrs. Jones her nosey neighbour stood on the doorstep.    “Are you alright love? I heard your loud music blasting out when the lights came back on. We had a general power cut and everything went off.”
Kelly dried her eyes on the back of her hand, and screamed with relieved laughter, she gave Mrs. Jones a massive hug as she mumbled her thanks.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

GATOR

 

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GATOR

by John Yeo

It was the first time that Joe had been white water rafting, and he was enjoying it immensely. But as the raft rounded the river bend, they were stunned by what they saw. 

   The broiling, bubbling intensely fast deluge had brought a huge log from below the surface, that lay blocking the way. There was no visible way around this obstacle and the two friends were gobsmacked.

     “Joe lean over towards the bank, we will have to crash first, then physically try to shift that log.” yelled Frank.

           “OK Frank! We are probably too late. Look out!” 

Whack!.. A large bang; then there was a short silence as the raft collided with the log.

Then to their horror, after a fast movement the log suddenly came to life and a huge pair of teeth-lined jaws opened.

‘Oh no! That’s a huge bloody Alligator.’ thought Joe

 The raft was now upside down as the creature dived beneath the surface.

The raft continued down the rapids upside down for a few seconds then suddenly righted itself and the two friends were left looking back at the spot where the Alligator had dived beneath the surface.
 “Wow!” said Frank, “That was a narrow escape, I hope that monster doesn’t come back!”

  

  “Let’s get out of here Frank!”

 The alcohol flowed freely in their hotel later that day as the two friends related their narrow escape to all and sundry. Pretty soon with the shock and some slight exaggeration, fiction melded the facts and the Alligator became so huge it was impossible for the average sized mind to picture the beast. 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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ONE OF THOSE DAYS

Writer’s prompt
First sentence ~ Last sentence
Ask a friend to write down two sentences. The sentences should be seemingly unrelated.

Two sentences from Margaret which must begin and end the story. Either one first or last.

(1) Mary arrived at the station just as the last train of the day was leaving.

(2) There was a clap of thunder and flash of lightning just before the lights went out.

~~~~~~

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ONE OF THOSE DAYS

by John Yeo 

    There was a clap of thunder and flash of lightning just before the lights went out.
    “Not another bloody power cut! I will have to remember where I put the candles Sooty!”
  Mary cursed as she tripped over a pair of red high heeled shoes she had kicked off in the hall earlier. “I was fortunate there, wasn’t I Sooty?”

  Mary had developed the habit of talking to her feline friend over the years.
When her best friend Sue remarked on this habit over afternoon tea one day. Mary responded with the reply; “She often answers with purrs, mews and a friendly rub on my legs.”
   Sadly on this occasion Sooty was invisible as her black fur had made her melt into the background.
  Mary was able to locate candles and even a torch with live batteries, which was a surprise as she hadn’t used it for months.
  Another crash of thunder shook the very foundations of the house and with a loud squeal, Sooty jumped on her lap.
    A flash of lightning lit up the room and the sound of heavy rain on the windows heralded another crash of thunder.
     “Not really a night for going out Sooty; but I will have to go and check on Mum in Walford, 20 miles away. She is on her own and probably scared to death. I can’t get a signal for my IPhone, due to this weather. I will have to take the car.”
Ten minutes later, found Mary desperately trying to start her car without any success.
   “Damn it Sooty! I will have to take a taxi, it will be expensive, but at least I will be able to get a train home. I will have to brave the weather and walk down to the taxi rank. A good fifteen minute walk away: Now where did I put the umbrella?”
  Luckily there was a taxi on the rank and an hour later Mary was knocking loudly on her Mothers front door. There was no response and she was getting quite worried; when Mrs. Harvey a neighbour appeared and said,
  “She was fine earlier, I have a spare key, I can let you in if you like, Mary.”

     “Yes please Mrs. Harvey.”

     A shocking sight greeted their eyes as they entered the hall, Mary’s mother was lying unconscious in the hall.
  Mary quickly called an ambulance from her mother’s line and two paramedics arrived.
‘Good job there is a connection here she thought’
   With a sigh of relief Mary saw her Mother revived and there wasn’t anything seriously wrong. The ambulance took her to hospital for a few checks and she was kept in overnight.
  Mary realised she had made no arrangements for transport to get her back to her home. A friendly paramedic offered to drop her off at the railway station.

  Mary arrived at the station just as the last train of the day was leaving.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

LUMPINESS

Prompt response based on the word of the day ~ January 2017 ~ LUMP

http://daily.wordreference.com

LUMPINESS

By John Yeo

 

    The clinic at the general hospital was crowded with patients waiting to be examined. There was a strong antiseptic smell everywhere.

The charming tea lady who worked for the friends of the hospital smiled as she asked.

     “One lump or two?”

      “Sorry! Our names have just come up on the board.”

  A little later, after a thorough examination, the physician asked the two patients to be seated.

  “Well, we have to have this investigated as soon as possible. There is nothing to worry about, everyone has lumps all over their bodies. I would like you to come into our outpatient department to carry out a small investigation procedure.”

  Dr Carswell the physician tried to look totally relaxed, but the obvious concern was clearly visible beneath her outward facade.

     “OK Doctor: When shall I come into your office again to see you?” enquired seven-year-old Jamie excitedly.

   Mrs, Durant, Jamie’s Mother quickly smiled and said; “Don’t worry Jamie.”

   Then she turned to the physician and said. “I will make an appointment for him on the way out Doctor.”

   Mother and son left the hospital together and joined the crowd on the highway. There was a great lump of people demonstrating against the latest cuts to the NHS budget.

      “Hey, Mum! When have I got to go back to see the nice lady doctor?” asked Jamie.

   “Next week Jamie, I know you like her.”

   “Look out Mum!” Jamie suddenly exclaimed. “You are about to tread in a lump of dog poo.”

   “Ooh! That was close; these are my new shoes. Well done Jamie.”

  “Where are we going now, Mum?”

   “Jamie, you know we always visit Granddad on Tuesdays.”

“Oh yes;” said Jamie shivering visibly. “I hope he has got a good fire going it is freezing cold today.”

 They were soon seated comfortably in front of a roaring coal fire in Granddad’s cottage. The smoke was drifting into the parlour a strong smoky smell permeated everything.

He casually tossed another lump of coal on the fire; smiling broadly he asked

     “How are you doing young Jamie?”

     “He has to go and see a nice lady doctor at the hospital next week Dad: Don’t worry it’s nothing serious.”

   Mrs Durant replied;  Jamie was busy feeding lumps of bread to the wild birds through the open back door.

  “That’s good news, Mary. Did you hear about the death of Bruce my poor dog? The vet had to put him down; it bought a lump to my throat when I remember the good times we’ve shared together.”

     “I can see you are putting on weight Dad since you have stopped taking that dog for a walk. You are becoming a great fat lump, I will have to try to replace poor old Bruce for you.”

   Jamie came rushing into the room from the garden.

   “Granddad the postman brought this letter and asked me to bring it to you.”

    “Thanks, Jamie: I wonder what this is?” Tearing open the envelope he suddenly laughed out loud.

     “It’s from the Premium bonds people; I have won a lump sum of £5000.00 pounds. We can all have a good share out now. We must enjoy life while we can, I heard on the radio there is a huge lump of rock approaching, an asteroid is  nearing our planet that will wipe us all out when it arrives.”

   Later that night as his Mother tucked him into bed. Jamie said. “Mum, will the asteroid hurt Heffalump when it arrives?” Cuddling his toy elephant tightly to his chest.

   “Don’t worry Jamie, Heffalump can never get hurt by anything.”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.