A Dark / Sunny Day – Peter Pitt
2200 words General / Historical Fiction
Usually, if you want to vote, you go to a polling station set up in a school or church hall, but in 1938, Stefan journeyed to Tilbury and boarded a German Cruise Ship, to be able to cast his vote outside British Territorial Waters. Janet, his young wife, is worried when he doesn’t return home on time.
‘Surely this trip is a waste of time?’ Janet said as she placed a plate of bacon and egg on the kitchen table. ‘Hitler marched into Austria a month ago, didn’t he?’ ‘I know,’ Stefan said excitedly, ‘That doesn’t mean all Austrians want the Germans there.’ Stefan spoke English with only a slight accent, but when annoyed or excited, as now, his accent become more pronounced. ‘I have been lucky to be given the chance to vote, many other subjects over here haven’t had that chance as there’s only so many the ship can carry.
A Question of Conscience – Peter Pitt
1300 word General Fiction
Many of us harbour a secret from our past. Yet, at some time or other in our life, we feel we have to tell someone about it. For Bernice, she felt this was the time to tell Miles, her solicitor, about hers.
Bernice, an attractive middle aged lady, was watching the ball she had just struck speed down the fairway, when suddenly, a sharp pain gripped her chest. She gasped, her body stiffened before dropping her golf club. ‘What is it?’ Anne, her golfing partner cried. Before Bernice could reply, she collapsed. Anne rushed to her side, but her friend was unconscious. Bernice Nicholson was a popular member of the club, as her husband had been until his death. She was also a successful business woman, running a chain of Stationery shops. But not many people knew that she was also, a writer.
A Romance Long Age, But Not Forgotten – Peter Pitt
1500 words Romance
An open letter. An explanation, to a former girl-friend of over sixty years ago, of why I agreed to our break-up.
Dear G… We have not set eyes on each other for over sixty years. Yet, I have never forgotten you, and indeed, still feel love for you. All those years ago, I was really ‘in love’ with you. What was it that night, coming from the cinema, having had little conversation that prompted you to say ‘Perhaps we should stop seeing each other?’ Although, in my heart I did not want our relationship to end, I found myself saying ‘Maybe we should.’
A True Reflection – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Helen was a very attractive young woman, but like so many others, she wished she could change her looks slightly without having to resort to cosmetic surgery. One busy day, she was shocked to find that her wish had been granted
Helen turned off the shower, grabbed the towel from the rack and wrapped it around herself. She now felt fully awake. The large bathroom mirror had steamed over making it difficult for her to see. Taking up the end of the towel she wiped a section clean. What she saw made her gasp, and involuntarily take a step back. There was another woman’s face. She automatically turned her head, but she was alone. She looked back at the mirror, the woman was still there. Helen raised her hand to her face, the reflection did the same. Her fingers examined the contours of her face – but it was not her face.
Behind the Nets – Peter Pitt
2300 words Women’s Fiction / Crime
In the 1930’s, most suburban homes had net curtains at their windows. But would they be enough to shield, Sybil, from her husband’s indiscretions?
Sybil, a woman in her early fifties, paced back and forth in the front room of her house. She went to the bay window and lifted back the lace curtain, looked out for a second, then let it drop back. From a box on the sideboard she took a cigarette and lit it, then moved to the radio and turned it on. After a few moments for warming up, an announcer’s voice said; ‘This is the BBC regional programme, there now follows a talk by the….’ Sybil quickly turned the dial until she found some dance music. ‘Ah, Radio Luxembourg, that’s better, isn’t it Freddie?’
Birth of a Secret – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Keeping a secret can be very pleasant, such as, when you know something nice that is going to happen to a friend. But there are other kinds of secrets that can fester in one’s mind, and cannot be told. That is what Sally is about to find out.
Through masses of billowing chiffon, a beautiful woman in a low cut gown was spraying perfume on her shoulders. A handsome young man appeared and clasped her in his arms. A voice-over of a man was saying; ‘SAC, the aroma men will find hard to resist. Be one of the first women to experience SAC, the ultimate in perfumes.’ Sally reached across the kitchen table and turned the television off. She was smiling, a smile of self-satisfaction, as she was already wearing the perfume. She continued with her task of preparing dinner, spreading soft garlic cheese on thinly cut steak, rolling it up and securing it with a cocktail stick.
Colin’s Chance – Peter Pitt
Colin was happy at becoming a journalist on a new film magazine. But on his first assignment, which concerned delving into the past, he seemed to upset people living at the present time.
I turned off Shaftesbury Avenue into Wardour Street and quickened my pace. I didn’t want to be late in handing in my reviews. Since leaving college I had been trying to get work in the media – something in TV, films or journalism, and, had managed to get myself a slight foothold into journalism. Each week I reviewed a number of films for ‘Screentime,’ a new film magazine. I was only paid a small fee for each review which was certainly not enough to live on, but it was something. On reaching the magazine’s office, I handed my notes to Jenny, the editor’s secretary.
Gatecrashers – Peter Pitt
1500 words Humour / General Fiction
Faye and Sidney, a middle-aged couple have an unusual hobby – if it could be called a hobby. However, it lands them into trouble when they are accused of a robbery.
That Sunday afternoon was warm and sunny. In the hotel, where a middle-aged couple, Faye and Sidney, were attending a wedding reception, it was even warmer. The room was crowded with guests wearing evening dress. Their animated conversation rated a high decibel level. On a long buffet table there was a fine selection of savouries, including: olives, cucumbers and cocktail pastries. A glass partition separated this room from a larger room where waitresses were putting the final touches to the tables for the main function. Faye and Sidney moved over to the table and filled their plates with canapés, vol-au-vents and fish balls.
Gnomes – Peter Pitt
1700 words Women’s Fiction
Julia is married to Ray. Their shop, on the pier of a seaside town, displays in front of it: Garden gnomes – comic hats – buckets and spades, etc., Ray, has high hopes of making his fortune with some of his personally made gnomes. It could be that the gnomes have other ideas.
Julie stood in the doorway of a shop on the pier, which sold seaside goods. Her husband, Ray, was busy arranging their stock on stepped shelves in front of the shop. Leaning against the side of the door, she looked wistfully at him as he worked. She realized he was not the man she’d married, only three years ago. He’d changed, and not for the better. Two elderly women stopped to look at the goods displayed. One of them looked shocked. ‘They are disgusting, Millie,’ she said turning to her friend.
Our Meeting With Ted – Peter Pitt
1600 words Ghost Story
Zoe, a teenager, dislikes cemeteries, but, she agreed to accompany her Mother who wished to tend to a grave. The visit gave Zoe little reason to change her mind about them.
‘How much longer, Mum?’ my daughter asked wearily. I glanced out of the window of the bus. ‘The next stop, I think.’ ‘About time,’ she said. ‘Well, it wasn’t my fault we got held up in the traffic.’ The bus slowed down. ‘Don’t forget your shopping, Zoe.’ I said getting up from my seat. She pulled a face and followed me off the bus. ‘This way,’ I said, ‘the cemetery is only a few steps along.’ ‘But I’m tired, Mum.’ ‘Tired,’ I exclaimed, ‘you can’t be tired. When I was thirteen, I was on the go all the time.’ She gave me one of her looks. We reached the cemetery gates, entered through an archway and passed a gatehouse.
Out of the Mist – Peter Pitt
1700 words General Fiction
After visiting her daughter and son-in-law, Irene decides to take the motorway route home, as it’s quicker. But that’s not how it turns out.
‘Bye mum,’ my daughter called as I walked to my car. ‘Which way are you going home?’ she asked. ‘I’ll take the motorway, it’s quicker,’ I replied, waving to her and my son-in-law as I turned out of their driveway. I was so pleased now to have a car, and not have to rely on Tom, my husband, to pick me up. I’d only had it a couple of months. It was an old Ford Fiesta, but I couldn’t have loved it more had it been brand new. Joining the slip road to the motorway, I was pleased to find that the traffic was light. About a mile further on I came across patches of fog.
Passion from the Past – Peter Pitt
2400 words Women’s Fiction
Alice, who lives with her husband in a retirement apartment, is shocked when she hears that a new tenant is moving in. She thinks, he maybe a gentleman that she knew in in the past.
Alice was tidying the bedroom in her retirement apartment when she happened to glance out of the window. Her body froze at what she saw. A man was walking away from the building – a man from her past. Her stomach churned over, she felt decidedly odd. Surely it couldn’t be, Jim. She hadn’t set eyes on him for over thirty years. Although, he wasn’t quite the man she remembered. His hair was now grey and he walked with a slight stoop. But she was sure it was him. What could he be doing here? Not thinking of buying a flat she hoped. He was accompanied by a younger woman, they got into a car and drove off.
Roy’s Secret – Peter Pitt
2000 words General Fiction
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had taken a different path in your early life? A different career, a different partner, or even taken a different train. Roy, a young lad at the time, made a trivial movement, in 1942, when he went back into his aunt’s house during an air-raid. This minor action changed the whole of his life.
The train burst out of the darkness of the tunnel. It was travelling at speed and coming directly towards the boy. He glanced at the points – they were closed. He made to move, butt before he could do so the engine’s wheels had jumped the points, derailing the train. Roy lifted the engine and carriages putting them back onto the track. He was standing in the centre of his uncle’s model railway layout. It was situated in the small bedroom of a semi-detached house. Downstairs, in the living room, Roy’s aunt and uncle were enjoying a social evening with his parents. It was a regular occurrence, one week at one house and the next with the other. No travelling was involved as the families lived in the same street.
The Birthday – Peter Pitt
2000 words Science FIction
The year is 2032. It is Avril’s 15th birthday. In the morning mail, apart from her birthday greetings, there is an official communication from the Ministry of Life.
‘You don’t look very happy,’ Zilla said to her friend Avril as they came out of school. ‘I’m all right, it’s just the thought of that project we’ve been set to do.’ ‘Oh, it’s not so bad,’ Zilla said. ‘An Aspect of Life, it’s a title that gives us plenty of scope.’ ‘I know,’ said Avril, but my mind’s a blank at the moment.’ ‘Why not write something about your birthday. It’s tomorrow, isn’t it?’ Avril pulled a face, ‘It’s a bit pathetic to write about that.’ In the morning Avril was awoken by the sound of the post machine in the hall.
The Black Dog – Peter Pitt
900 words General Fiction
‘Dogs Not Allowed,’ a notice said on the gate of a small walled garden. Two elderly men met regularly in this garden, close to the shops.
One of the men had an unfortunate experience in the garden.
A grey-haired elderly man was sitting on a park bench. He looked up and saw, a man approaching. ‘And how are you today, Bernard? He enquired, as his friend placed his shopping bag on the bench and sat down beside him. ‘I think I’m okay,’ said Gordon. ‘The old joints playing up a bit, but I suppose you must expect that at our age.’
The Catalyst – Peter Pitt
1000 words General Fiction
It is not always wise to make things happen, as a budding writer found out, to his cost.
No matter how I tried, my mind was a blank. If I’d been an established writer I could have called it ‘writers block’ but I’d only written a couple of short stories since joining a creative writing group. The leader of the group had given us an opening line for a story. It was: ‘Everyone in the office was concerned when Mary didn’t turn up for work on Monday.’
The Day Death Wore Boots – A Collection of Ghost Stories
Find out if the miniature Western town is really a toy in the title story. Was Jed Holloway’s death really down to faulty brakes – The Haunted Rig? You want to go home from your holiday in the Costa Del Sol but is it safe – Spanish Midnight? Does it matter that you don’t believe in ghosts when the ghost believes in you – Shard?
From Pompeii to the Wild West, from Australia to the shores of the United Kingdom the spirit world may be closer than you think!
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The Devil Inside – Peter Pitt
1600 words Women’s Fiction
Beryl, who retired shortly after her husband, Fred, expected to have a peaceful retirement. But Fred, unintentionally, put an end to her expectations.
Beryl, with a policeman beside her, sat in a hospital waiting room, deep in thought. She remembered exactly when the trouble had begun. It was at the retirement party the department store had given her. The guests were mostly colleagues, but she had been allowed to invite a few friends, and of course, her husband, Fred, who had himself recently retired. During the evening, Vera, from china and glass, started telling fortunes. When she looked at Beryl’s hands, she gave them only a cursory glance, saying quickly, ‘Oh, I see a long and happy retirement for you,’ before moving on to Fred.
The Flowers Know Who Love Them – Peter Pitt
1300 word Fairytale
Long ago, a princess had difficulty in making a choice of which of her two suitors she should marry. To help her make the right choice, she paid visit a old wise-woman in their village.
This story is included in the collection Thrice Upon a Time
In the land of Fairdonia there once lived a princess whose name was Petrina. She had blue eyes, and long golden hair, but her most enchanting feature was her smile. It was radiant and seemed to penetrate people’s hearts with happiness. Petrina lived in a palace with her father, the king of Fairdonia. The palace had three towers, one was red, another, blue, and the tallest one, in the centre, yellow. The gardens surrounding the palace, displayed a great selection of flowers including, beds of tulips, daffodils, and also many species of exotic flowers.
The Meeting – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Julie was adamant about something being done to eradicate an accident black-spot in her village. But the meeting she attended to discuss the problem, turned out to be not what she had expected.
‘You going to the meeting?’ The voice startled me. I looked around to find it belonged to a man walking alongside me through the village. ‘Yes I am,’ I replied, ‘You too?’ He nodded his head. ‘Won’t do any good, you know.’ ‘Oh, why?’ I asked. ‘Never does, we can’t seem to get it across to them.’ The man was in his thirties and wore a trilby hat and a suit. ‘Have there been other meetings then?’
The Omen – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Anna is awoken during the night by the noise of an aircraft engine. She becomes alarmed when, Simon, her husband, seems not to hear it.
‘Simon,’ Anna said shaking her husband, ‘Can you hear it Simon? Wake up.’ Simon stirred. ‘What is it?’ he murmured half asleep?’ ‘It’s that aeroplane engine again, can’t you hear it?’ Simon sat up in bed. ‘I can’t hear a thing. Anna gave a long sigh. ‘No, it’s gone now’. For the past week, Anna had been woken in the early hours of the morning by the sound of an aircraft that seemed very close to the house. ‘I’m sorry, Simon, but when I woke you the aircraft was right overhead, really loud.’
The Pavement Artist – Peter Pitt
2600 word Fairytale / General Fiction
A chance meeting, in a café, with an old man could change the course Paul’s life. But what will his wife have to say?
‘Is this seat taken?’ the old man asked. Paul, a smartly dressed young man glanced up from his cup of tea. ‘Err, no, sit down.’ The old man, wearing a cap and dressed in scruffy clothes, slopped his tea in the saucer as he sat down opposite Paul. ‘It’s busy in here today,’ he said in a slight Irish accent. ‘Oh, yes, I hadn’t noticed,’ Paul replied turning back to his cup of tea. Paul was thinking about Lynn, his wife, and how she would react when he returned home. ‘Don’t tell me, you didn’t get the job.’ she would say – as she always did whenever he went for an interview – as if it was always his fault.
The Swing – Peter Pitt
1300 word Mystery / Ghost Story
To Barbara, taking her dog for a walk in the park was a pleasant task. However, one day, something happened to change that.
Included in the Collection ‘The Day Death wore Boots’
‘There you go,’ I said releasing the lead from Bodie’s collar. The dog quickly ran on ahead of me. It was a cold, winter day and I was glad to have put on my new fur boots. A mist was hanging over the ground, so I wasn’t surprised to find the park empty. I walked along the path and around the bend where, in the summer, the roses would be out in profusion. Bodie was running about enjoying himself, stopping every so often to savour a scent of something on the frosty ground. We passed the children’s play area. On a seesaw, in the centre, there were piled a large number of empty Coca-Cola cans, just waiting to be toppled over. Next to them the swings hung motionless in the foggy silence.
The Vase – Peter Pitt
1000 words Children 7 – 10 years
Have you ever felt guilty about something you haven’t been the cause of, yet people may believe you were the culprit? Hopefully not. But it can happen, as it did to Tim, a schoolboy, when staying at his Aunt’s house.
Tim turned the key in the front door of the house and let himself in. ‘Anyone at home?’ He called out, but there was no reply. He wasn’t expecting anyone to be home as his Aunt had told him that she wouldn’t be back from her WI meeting until about five. Entering the front room he threw his school books onto the couch and moved towards the TV set, but stopped suddenly as he saw what was on the carpet – a shattered vase.
Those Unsaid Feelings – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
No one enjoys visiting the dentist. Mandy definitely didn’t, and to make it worse, she bumped into Allen, her husband, from whom she was separated.
Mandy was tense. She sat with her hands clasped tightly in her lap, but the tension vanished immediately the dentist said those magic words, ‘Everything is fine, no fillings’ As she eased out of the chair, he said he’d see her again in six months. After making the appointment with the receptionist, she stepped out of the large Victorian house and was just about to descend the stone steps to the pavement, when, in the distance, she saw Allen coming down the road. Her first thought was to run down the steps and hurry off in the opposite direction, but ‘No,’ she decided, she mustn’t panic.