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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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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RESOLUTION

Prompt response based on the word of the day ~30th December 2016

http://daily.wordreference.com/2016/12/30/intermediate-word-of-the-day-resolution/

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RESOLUTION

by John Yeo

  “My New Year resolution!” Exclaimed Sir Jarvis, “Is to make a million, I don’t care how I make it, I intend to cut corners, tread on the ingrained resolutely negative opinions of as many people as becomes necessary.
   I am going to look closely at what is going on in the family business and solve the problems that are haunting us. Once I bring these problems to a resolution, we will see the way ahead clearly with an improved resolution of the optical illusion that is blinding us all to the severity of the current situation.”
  The members of the board were stunned into silence at these ominous words:

   Ferdinand the manager of the family business was suddenly white with shock. “What do you mean Sir Jarvis? Treading on people! Surely not our loyal staff? Or bringing hardship to our suppliers? I can only think your resolution refers to the customers, surely we will never get away with screwing another million pounds out of our long suffering customers?”

    “No Ferdinand; none of these outrageous solutions will answer the need for a swift resolution to our problems. My ultimate resolution of this situation is to sell up and retire on the proceeds. I should easily make my resolved figure from the sale as we are still a going concern.”
  There was uproar as the members of the board realised the implications of this decision.

  Sir Jarvis was resolved in his decision and went on speaking with newly strengthened resolution. “My decision is irreversible, resolved and set in stone. I’m selling out.”

  There was a pause and Sir Jarvis went on to say. “I have had an offer from an entrepreneur who is prepared to pay the price and keep the staff on. My apologies for the suddenness of this resolution. I feel this new management will inject new ideas into our business.
Our paintings and prints, artworks and illustrations will continue to shine with an incredibly brilliant new resolution, under the golden influence of the new President. God Save the Company!”

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

MESS

Prompt response based on the word of the day ~ 19th December 2016

Word for the day ~ MESS

mess

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MESS

By John Yeo

“How the heck are we going to get out of this mess? The books will never balance unless we get a new set of staff to manage the North office.”

  “Boss I had to get rid of everyone in one swoop. The accountants warned us that the whole branch was in such a mess that it was liable to bring the company down.” This was said with some vehemence by Jack Smithers the MD:

    “Look here Smithers; I asked you to go in hard and sort out the mess! Not mess the whole thing up; by sacking everyone and  closing the branch down.”

  “But Sir Brian….”

  “Don’t but me Smithers: You’re a mess. You’re fired. Now get out of here!”

 Jack Smithers gulped and looking angry he shouted back at this cruel ruthless obnoxious tyrant.

   “Sir Brian, I have a whole new set of staff ready and waiting to reopen the North office. I have personally vetted and selected these people myself, but I refuse to allow them to begin unless you rescind this mistaken decision and offer me a substantial pay increase. This is the only way you will recover from this mess.”

    The Boss narrowed his eyes and lit a huge cigar from a box on his desk and looked thoughtfully at Smithers, then he suddenly grinned and said.  “Jack we have known each other a long time now. I trust your instincts. We will discuss this further at my club. I always think clearly over a good mess of grub from the Directors Club mess.

   The Boss flicked the ash from his cigar towards a huge ashtray located at the edge of his kidney-shaped desk, missed, and brushed the ash on the floor. As he swept the dusty fragments off the desk a cloud of messy residue blew all over his expensive suit. Looking exasperated he pressed the intercom and yelled.   “Gladys! can you come in here at once and bring something to sort a mess out?”

     “OK Sir Brian!”

  A short time later two security men entered the office and escorted Jack Smithers off the premises.

  “Sir Brian’s parting words were, “Never try to wriggle out of a mess with blackmail Smithers!”

 

Copyright  © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

  

 

HARD HUDDLE

Prompt response based on the word of the day ~ 16th December 2016

Word for the day ~ HUDDLE

huddle

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HARD HUDDLE

By John Yeo

 

 Tom and Tess were identical twins, always together they stood by each other through thick and thin, whatever came their way. Tom would take care of Tess in every possible way. When school bullies started to bate and try to separate the twins, Tom put his arms around Tess and they went into a huddle to protect themselves from the bullying blows from all sides. Tom and Tess would then usually get rescued by a charitable passerby.

  When the twins took up self-defence lessons, their Mother wanted to know why? Laughingly she said, “ You two were huddling together before you were born; it showed up on the scan.”

  The twins were determined they were going to get their own back on these bullies and after a few self-defence lessons, they were shown how to attack and fight back. The next time they encountered these people on the way home; they went into the usual huddle together. The bullies then responded by attacking the twins; raining blows on the two clinging, huddling twins. Suddenly the twins; like the proverbial worms turned and started fighting back, drawing blood from two of the attackers instantly. The rest ran furiously away defeated; leaving the two ringleaders huddled together in a pool of their own blood.

  Tom and Tess left school and became directors of a group of companies that was christened the “Hard Huddle:”  encompassing many diverse areas of business that were successful by grouping loosely together in a defensive huddle of companies.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

CRANK-SHAFTED

 

Prompt response based on the word of the day

Word for the day ~ CRANK

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CRANK-SHAFTED

by John Yeo

 “I tell you he’s a cranky old buzzard! Every time one of the local’s dogs pulls on the lead and steps onto his front lawn, he races out of the front door yelling his head off; cursing and waving his arms around. Why doesn’t he invest in a fence alongside the path? In my view, he ought to be locked up before he resorts to violence!”  Mrs. Manners was annoyed and sounding off at PC Bott.

“Hmm!” Said the Constable thoughtfully:  “You say he charges out of his door shouting? Has he ever made any direct threats of violence, or actually attacked anyone?”

“Not that I know of,” replied Mrs. Manners. “I will certainly ask around; lots of the neighbours here are fed up with the old rascal.”

 “Well, Mrs. Manners, I will have a word with him about this threatening behaviour and see what he has to say, but that is all I can do.”

 “I hope you won’t mention my name Constable, I don’t want any trouble, he’s probably mad at me since my husband went for him with a car crank handle. Purely in self-defence, you understand.”

 “Your husband did what? Exactly what do you mean by self-defence?” Asked the police officer suddenly stern in his manner.

   Mrs. Manners hesitated for a moment before she said with tears in her eyes. “Well, it happened this morning: Our little doggie Poochie pulled on the lead as we passed the property, and did his business on the old man’s lawn. I always pick the droppings up with a plastic bag. There was the usual terrible reaction as the old man came charging at me shouting and swearing. My husband had been trying to start the car with a crank handle and as the madman came rushing towards him he hit him with the crank handle.”

 “Don’t worry Mrs. Manners, I’ll deal with this: Is your husband home? I will need him to be here.”

   “Yes Constable: He’s indoors, he will be a great help with your enquiries.”

  The policeman took a deep breath and picked his radio up!

 “Can I have backup urgently please!”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

25h November 2016 ~ Poetry Challenge ~ Day 25

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

By: Robert Lee Brewer ~ November 25, 2016

For today’s prompt, write a tape poem. The poem could be about transparent tape, duct tape, video tape, or even tape worm. Anything that you can bend into a tape poem is fair game.

WriteStrong

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TAPED

by John Yeo

Gwendolyn sat stately in her study;
A robber entering through the sliding door,
Brushes at hand poised and almost ready.

Her easel was set up firm and steady.
The villain approached silently and sure;
Gwendolyn sat stately in her study.

Gwendolyn thought this shade far too ruddy ;
The figure crept across the shiny floor.
Brushes at hand poised and almost ready.

The artist picked a gun up carefully;
Two hands reached out as she began to draw,
Gwendolyn sat stately in her study.

She felt the rough tape cross her mouth tightly,
She coolly fired once, then once more.
Gwendolyn sat stately in her study
Brushes at hand poised and almost ready.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.