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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DONNY

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

http://daily.wordreference.com/2017/01/05/intermediate-word-of-the-day-swing/.

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DONNY

by John Yeo

  

   When Donny was a young man he used to love going to the local park with his Father. Dad would push the seesaw up and down to give young Donny a ride, then push him down the slide. Donny would laugh and squeal for more, at the excitement of the moment.

   Donny’s favourite was easily the swing, he enjoyed the feeling of flying through the air and the uncertainty of this ride as his Daddy pushed him higher and higher. Swinging up and down with the momentum of magical uncertainty.

   “Higher, higher! I want the swing to be upwards. Ever higher! Please; Daddy.” Squealed the little fellow excitedly.

    On the way home, Father, who habitually walked along swinging his arms was emulated by little Donny, and soon both father and son were swinging along the road together all the way home.

  As the years passed by, Donny; now a young man spent three years at university studying economics. He became a member of a swinging rock group, playing a golden trumpet, a young rocker, always in the swing of the social scene. It was at a student ball when Donny met Maria, then after a whirlwind courtship, they were soon wed and happily married.

  In spite of the embarrassing situation that occurred when they discovered their neighbours were involved in a wife-swapping group. Swingers who hinted to our couple they would be welcome. An invitation that was rapidly declined.

Donny became a successful entrepreneur, wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. A man who was both liked and respected at home and in the world of finance.

  A keen golfer, it was rumoured he had a swing worthy of a professional,

  In his later years, Donny dabbled in politics and was soon in line to become the leader of the local political party. There had been a huge swing in public opinion and he was soon elected as leader of the party. Of course, there was opposition and a lot of sour grapes as his opposition had been a well-liked respected politician.

  One day a lone wolf gunman took a shot at Donny and missed killing a bodyguard.

   “You’ll swing for this! Swing on the end of a rope until you are dead! An eye for an eye.” Came several shouts from the crowd.

    Donny never did retire, he was always involved in some form of business operation.  His fortune depended on the swings of the temperamental stock exchange.

  He was found one day dead from a heart attack, swinging in a hammock in his beloved garden.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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

 

  

 

27th November 2016 ~ Poetry Challenge ~ Day 27

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27
By: Robert Lee Brewer ~ November 27, 2016

For today’s prompt, write a falling apart poem. The poem could be about a crumbling house, tree losing its leaves, or a car that’s breaking down. Of course, people break down and fall apart all the time–in both large and small ways.

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FALLING APART

by John Yeo

 

“Stress!” Shouted the Psychiatrist bluntly.
“You mean you’re really seriously unwell,
Living here in this wonderful country,
Cozy In a comfortable hotel.
Can you be suffering emotionally
When you have everything you really need?
You live in the lap of pure luxury
Self indulgence bordering on plain greed.

You say you are bothered by some bad dreams,
That intrude on your mental wellbeing .
Some of us have to work hard and it seems
Your state of mind is beyond bad dreaming.
I have three ex-wives with kids to support.
My dreams are a nasty reality:
Reality’s a dream that can’t be bought
I am suffering emotionally.

I get drunk every night to ease the pain
Of my personal unhealthy casework,
Then I get up early to work again
My mind is making my life go berserk.
I soak up suffering without complaint,
My workload never ever decreases;
I’m sorry my dear you are feeling faint
And your soft life is falling to pieces.”

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

21st November 2016 ~ Poetry Challenge ~ Day 21

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

Day twenty-one

.

By: Robert Lee Brewer ~ November 21, 2016

For today’s prompt, write a thinking out loud poem. If you’ve ever been caught thinking out loud, this poem does that. If you haven’t done it yourself, chances are you know someone who thinks out loud; channel that today.

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TALKING OUT LOUD

by John Yeo

We always knew when the twins were around
Peter would whistle, with a merry tune.
Paul would talk quietly to himself aloud
Their whole world was built on creative sound.

Hitting the heights with his every note
Peter courted his audience sublime
With joyful musical composition.

Paul became a writer transforming words
Rehearsing poetry and prose aloud
Vocalising and testing words out loud
Testing his thoughts on the listening birds.

Creative patterns of words and music
Together a symphony fantastic.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

7th November 2016 ~ Poetry Challenge ~ Day 7

2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7
By: Robert Lee Brewer ~ November 7, 2016

For today’s prompt, write an activity poem. Of course, the first activity that springs to my mind is writing poetry, but there are many other possible activities from which to choose: running, driving, folding clothes, tying knots, casting lines, dancing, sleeping, and so much more. Pick an activity and write it out.

AUTUMN ON THE ALLOTMENT

by John Yeo

Autumn winds blowing from the north.
The day dawns, cold with thick grey cloud
Just becoming visible,
I leave the house at first light.
A solitary bird greets me as I arrive
Flying off with a cry of alarm.
I pick up my spade and begin to dig
Turning the clods of earth over.

~

I take a break to gather some crops
Leeks, Cabbage, Kale and Carrots.
A productive autumn bounty.
I continue to dig and turn the soil.
Rooks and Magpies are calling loudly.
Swirling wind scatters leaves around.
As my spade works, earthworms appear
Surfacing from the depths of the ground.

~

My mind drifts with the swirling leaves.
‘How can you photograph the wind?
You can’t!’ I answer the question.
‘You can only photograph the winds breath.
To watch a large Gull, gliding on the wind stream,
Lazily floating across the turbulent sky.
To see the distinctive plumage of a Jay
Frantically seeking cover from leafless trees.

~

This is the allotment on an autumn morn
Fresh air provided by a restless wind
Close to nature in the awakening dawn.
Exercise aplenty as I wield the spade.
Fresh organic vegetables to harvest.
Nurturing produce from the tiniest seed.
Meeting up with fellow gardeners.
A satisfactory activity to the thinking man.

~

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.