I never thought I would ever write stories, which would be published in my later life. It all started when my English Teacher Davies-Jones asked the class to write a story about a cricket bat and the best three would be read in class. How boring, a cricket bat. At the time I had graduated from reading the Hotspur to Biggles a fictional WW1 flying Ace written by W.E. Johns. My father had also flown SE5’s during the war. I decided to weave a story around my own fictional flying Ace who always carried his lucky cricket bat with him on patrol. Having handed in my effort I promptly forgot about it, although I had enjoyed writing it. A week later Davies-Jones read the best three, when the rounds of applause had finished, he announced he was going to endeavour to read my story not because of its perfect punctuation, and spelling, which were atrocious, but because of its imaginative plot. From that day I was scribbling, barely legible at times, on note pads about places and things that have happened to me over my life.
A year after the war had begun my father, who was flying bombers across the Atlantic for the RAF, decided to move us to Bristol where, in his opinion, we would be safe from the Luftwaffe bombings. How wrong he was, night after night my sister and I huddled up to our Mother as we crouched terrified under the staircase wondering would it never end, would the next howling bomb hit us. Our father then moved us back to Coulsdon, where we were subjected to the Buzz Bombs and later the V2’s. I remember the celebrations when it all ended on VE day then VJ day, and it was all over, or was it? By now I was eighteen and received my call up papers and was drafted into the Palestine Police Force, and saw the Birth of Israel, with all its terror and fighting, leaving in the last British convoy out of Jerusalem. ‘Would You Shoot Me.’ published in Alfie Dog, and Fast fiction, originated from my time in Palestine.
Arriving back in Britain My Father decided that I should learn to fly. After obtaining an ‘A’ Licence, I flew a Tiger Moth around Lympe Airport, and acted as co-pilot on multi engine aircraft for my father. The story ‘Angela and the Red Moth’ published in Fast Fiction came from the time I spent Flying at Lympe.
Answering an ad in an overseas paper, I crossed the Atlantic in the RMS Aquitania, probably one of her last trips, disembarking at Halifax Nova Scotia. I then went by train to Manitoba where I started work on a grain farm. While ploughing a field alone at night I told myself a story of a haunted creek. The creek being near where I was ploughing, later I scribbled it down but never did anything further. After spending a winter on the farm alone and in temperatures of 50 below zero, and still scribbling stories. I decided to return to England and seek warmer climates.
Passing Rhodesia House near Trafalgar Square I spotted an Advert in the window wanting Policemen. Having been in the Palestine Police Force I thought my chances were good. Two weeks later, I boarded the Winchester Castle for Cape Town, much warmer, and the start of a new life.
Two years later, I met a nurse, and after a few adventurous dates we got married, and have been together ever since 61 years. We have travelled to many places together that are fast disappearing, like fishing on the banks of the Zambezi watching Hippos playing in the waters, Elephants crossing the river to the islands. Seeing a Leopard on the road one night inspiration for ‘A Leopards Coat’ published in Fast Fiction and Alfie Dog.
While in Rhodesia I joined a group of writers, even bought a portable typewriter and lots of Tippex, and amassed many rejection slips. Eventually I wrote a mini biography on my father, which was accepted by Aeroplane magazine UK in two parts.
In Perth Australia I again joined a group of writers who were very helpful, and eventually had ‘Desert Stars’ published in Fast Fiction who have now published 9 of my stories, and I have 6 with Alfie Dog.
I have now got many files of scribbled stories, but find it difficult punching in letters on the key board, apart from keeping up with my computer that seems at times to have a will of its own. So we scribble on. Thanks for reading about who I am, hope I haven’t bored you.
A Coffee and A Rose – Peter Youell
I was once given the task of writing a story around the phrase. “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” In thirty minutes, I managed to write it in my almost undecipherable long hand in the allotted time. Over the years, and having had many a lonely coffee in small cafés, on rainy nights in Britain long ago, this story evolved. Of a father and daughter who lost one another, only to find one another unknowingly, and too late.
He stared out of the window. He saw the colours of the rainbow, as the light from the street lamp shone through the raindrops running down the windowpane. He looked down, and surveyed the cold dregs of his empty coffee cup. It was warm inside the café and he was reluctant to leave. The young woman at the counter paused in her wiping, and looked over at the solitary figure by the window table. Would he never leave, she wondered. She could see he had long finished his coffee, and she really would like to close up and go home. He looked very lonely. An unexplained sadness came over her.
A Rising Tide – Peter Youell
Over the last 3 Years Queensland Australia has suffered from severe floods. This story is woven around one the floods, and the people caught up in it.
“I’m not going!” Jenny said turning away from Cole, her red hair swirling around her shoulders. She liked him a lot but was not quite sure of her true feelings toward him; his English mannerisms clashed with her outback upbringing. How they managed to get along together was a mystery to her. “I am only thinking of your safety,” Cole said quietly. Jenny turned, “Are you?” “Yes, I am. At least your Mother and Father agreed it was safer to leave the farm. You know the weather bureau doesn't issue storm and flood warnings for nothing.” His voice trailed away.
By My Side – Romance Collection
Two 5* reviews on Amazon
By My Side brings you 20 of the best romantic stories from writers around the world.
Be transported to the past in the war-torn Three Months of Summer and back to the present in the gentle modern everyday situation of The Pool Doctor. Feel your heart racing through the ethical dilemmas in Would you Shoot Me? and the danger and drama of Run From the Sun.
These stories will transport you to a world of love and romance and leave you breathless. In far-away locations or in everyday situations there really is someone for everyone.
Paperback sales UK ONLY - the book will be sent to your Paypal address unless advised otherwise.
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Finding Lisa – Peter Youell
2100 words Ghost Story
While travelling in the Eastern Cape many years ago, I stayed overnight in the small town of Uniondale. It was here that I heard the story of the young woman that appears on the road into Uniondale, she sometime hitches a ride with motorist and then disappears. In 1968, a young couple travelling on Easter weekend were involved in a tragic car accident, some twenty kilometres from the town, the young woman died. The first recorded appearance of the young woman was on Easter weekend in 1976. The description of the woman matched that of the woman who died in the tragic accident in 1968. Needless to say I did not see her on my way into Uniondale. The story ‘Finding Lisa’ was created around the young woman who appears on the Uniondale road. Like Lisa I hope she finds what she is looking for.
It was evening as the ancient five-ton truck rounded the bend in the road. The driver quickly shifted into a lower gear, at the same time gunning the accelerator to keep the momentum going up the steep gradient. Stephen, a young man in his early twenties, did this run every month, selling an assortment of goods from his wholesale business to shops along the way. He was about to change gears again, when he became aware of the girl sitting in the passenger seat next to him. Her delicate profile silhouetted against the side window, as she looked straight ahead into the gathering dusk.
The Leopard’s Coat – Peter Youell
The inspiration for this story came from an incident that occurred many years ago, when on a lonely moon lit road in Africa a Leopard crossed my path, fortunately I was driving a motor vehicle. I remember vividly its snarling face staring at me through the window. Further, around a bend in the road, and in the glare of headlights a Duiker bounded across the road, I had in all probability interrupted the Leopards hunt.
The old prospector stopped talking. In the ensuing silence, the sounds of the African night pressed in from the blackness that surrounded the hotel veranda. Derek squirmed uncomfortably as trickles of sweat ran down his back, he reached for the beer at his side, and took a sip; it was warm and flat. The prospector looked up as a large moth dazed from its continual dashing at the only light on the veranda, fluttered onto the plank floor between them. “I’ll have another,” he said, holding up his empty glass. Derek gestured to the waiter lounging by the verandah rail, with a nod he disappeared. “You don’t believe a word do you,” the prospector grumbled.
The Third Cup – Peter Youell
Euthanasia and the consequences of such an act have been fiercely debated over the years. This story of a man and his wife who have to face the consequence of such an act, and how they eventually found happiness.
For a long time Gail and her friends had been curious about the man who had moved into the Old Mill house at the end of the village high street. The ceaseless gossip and speculation had brought no one any closer to knowing who he was, or where he had come from. Even the estate agent, who had sold the place, said he had just walked in, paid cash, signed the documents in the name of William Paige and walked out. A few days later he had moved in. Except for walking down to the village and purchasing his groceries, he kept very much to himself, shunning any overtures made.
Would You Shoot Me? – Peter Youell
2090 words Romance
They met when they were young he was only eighteen and doing his national service in The Palestine Police, she was a little older and was at the time a suspected terrorist.
This story is included in the collection By My Side
Amanda looked up from the photo album she was browsing through “How did your Mother and Father meet?” she asked, “It must have been very late in their lives.” “What makes you think so?” Brett, her husband asked, coming over from the dining room table where he had been working. “Well, look at this photo of them on their wedding day. They weren’t exactly young, were they?” Brett looked over her shoulder and stared at the photograph of his mother and father. “Well not really, sometimes couples don’t find themselves for a long time.”