ghosts and appirations

All tcwg site members (and any other interested parties) are invited to read and enjoy the stories entered in the February 2019 creative writing competition.
If, having read all the stories, you would like to register your vote for the winner and placings please follow the voting instructions set out below. This is not obligatory, but if you choose to join in, your participation will be very much appreciated.
JUST FOLLOW THE LINKS TO ALL THE STORIES (which are listed below), AND YOU WILL FIND EACH STORY IN TURN.

The deadline for entries into the February 2019 Creative Writing Competition passed at Midnight on the 28th of February 2019.
The topic for February 2019 was set by the winner of the December 2018 competition and was …  GHOSTS and other Apparitions.
“This could be anything from a purely fictional ghost story or any real or imagined witness accounts of an unexplained ‘sighting’ of what might be commonly referred to as ‘a ghost’.”

10 stories were entered and accepted for inclusion.

VOTING PROCEDURE.
As in previous months, when recording votes it will help if voters will make sure to quote the name of the story when posting.
Voting can now commence and will continue until 11 p.m. on  Monday the 11th. of March 2019.
There are no restrictions as to who is allowed to vote, all that is asked is that the voter reads all the stories and votes according to their preference. A brief reason for the choice is welcome but not mandatory.

The voting will be for the first three stories … 5 points for first place, 3 points for second place. and 1 point for third place, and please do not submit any point combinations other than 5. 3. and 1.
Votes should be registered in the reply box below.
Writers are requested not to vote for any of their own entries, and all voters are asked not to comment at length about the stories, or record any thoughts that you may have on them, until after voting closes.

There will be no detailed summaries posted as to how the voting is progressing throughout the voting period but as soon as possible after voting closes a tabulated list of results will be posted separately and the winner declared. Voters who would like to describe in detail the reasons for their choices, or comment at length about some or all of the individual stories, will be given the opportunity to comment on a separate page that will be set up at the end of the voting period and after the result has been posted.

Here are the links to all the stories. (If I have inadvertently missed any entries, or if anyone has difficulty with the links, please advise).

THE INN ON THE GREEN. Written by Colmore.
https://colmore1954.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/the-inn-on-the-green/</

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THE APPARITION. Written by Atiller.
https://atiller16.wordpress.com/an-entry-for-the-february-2019-tcwg-competition/

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THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT. Written by BillyFoster.
https://billyfoster67.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/there-is-a-light-that-never-goes-out/

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FORCES FOR THE GOOD. Written by ExpatAngie.
https://angiefiction.blogspot.com/2019/02/letting-go-and-healing-and-all-that.html

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THE STONE. Written by Giselle.
https://chateauxenespagne.com/stories-2019/the-stone/

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EAVESDROPPING.  Written by Gazoopi.
http://gazoopi.com/?p=213

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EMILY. Written by AmericanMum.
https://americanmumsite.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/february-2019-entry/

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GRANDMA BROWN. Written by Araminta.
https://detectivemouse.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/grandma-brown/

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PLAN B.  Written by Capucin.
https://davidgoodwin935.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/plan-b/</sp

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THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS. Written by Bleda.
https://bleda22.wordpress.com/the-man-who-never-was/

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Pleasant reading everybody, and please remember to vote.

51 thoughts on “The February 2019 TCWG voting page. Find links to all the stories and voting instructions here.

  1. OK votes:
    1. “Eavesdropping” – Gazoopi – 5 points
    2 “Emily” – American Mum – 3 points
    3. “The Stone” – Chasteaux en Espagne – 1 point.

    If I could I would have awarded a 2nd equal and given Angie a point.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry my earlier comment was addressed to you. My other problem is that I am trying, when time permits, to build on a very early story of mine on this site (The Bridge at Pau) so
        I started reading more about the French Resistance and memoires of SOE officers. I need to change the basis of the story. But worse than that, being a natural historian and loving France, I am now into the history of the Resistance for its own sake. And the whole thing gets more complex. Bought another SOE biography this time of Pearl Witherington (the model for Charlotte Gray) in Marlborough today.
        And I’ve come across the wartime memoires of Patrick Leigh Fermor who kidnapped a German General in Cyprus (honest!) and got him to Egypt. He wrote a book about it. Long ago (20 plus years) I’d read his account of his walk from London to Istanbul (Constaninople) in the 1930s when he was about 19 – 20. Then I discovered he’d married the daughter of one of the Eyres-Monsalls who owned Dumbleton Hall near us, as I stumbled across his grave in Dumbleton Church, half engraved in Greek as he lived most of his life in southern Greece.
        Oh happy literary ramblings.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello everyone! Congratulations Colmore on choosing a topic which has inspired all these exciting and unusual stories. I enjoyed reading them all. I had planned to watch the six nations this weekend but got the date wrong so have had a very enjoyable and thrilling time reading your stories.
    Here are my votes for the February stories
    Eavesdropping by Gazoopi
    Emily by Americanmum
    Grandma Brown Araminta
    Hms to everyone else

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Giselle,
      I think you mentioned the massacre in the Vercors. It’s dealt with in Richard Heslop’s book “Agent X” (an account of Heslop’s time in SE France. I’ve now wonder if there was a family connection with a former neighbour just outside Hereford – he was a high-ranking officer in “you know what” in Hereford. Our neighbour disappeared for several months at the time of the First gulf war and came back with a suntan (plus he spoke Arabic I believe). He once bemoaned his lack of sporting prowess tho acknowledged he’d “represented Her Majesty at shooting”.
      By the way, I forgot to thank you for the 5 points.

      Like

  3. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m finding it more difficult to write at the moment with a full-time job and being quite busy. Feeling quite weary of an evening. But I enjoy a really good ghost story – I really commend you all to the ghost stories of M.R.James (the real master of the genre), Robert-Louis Stevenson and M.R.Benson. And more modern writers like Michelle Paver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the recommendations, will try and get hold of them, good luck with your job and do make time for your writing!

      Like

    2. Giselle,
      Know all about Vera Atkins – very important in SOE head Office in Baker Street – as I’ve read quite a lot about the SOE. Anne-Marie Walters “Moondrop to Gascony” (she was the courier for the Wheelwright Circuit of the SOE which extended out towards Tarbes and Pau – hence my current nervousness with my old story) mentions Vera. She also appears in MRD Foot’s History of the SOE in France, George Millar’s “Maquis” and various other books I’ve read . I’m reading another history of the Resistance at the moment and have Pearl Witherington’s memoirs to read (she was organiser of one of the SOE circuits).
      I was thinking of shifting my story further north to the Dordogne but there were some really grisly events up there – committed by both sides – and touched on in one of the Patrick Walker “Bruno” books (about the Dordogne policeman) which has as a backdrop the Resistance train robbery on the German bullion train at Neuvic – the biggest train robbery in history (took far more than the Great Train Robbers).

      Like

      1. Hi Colmore,

        My views on the issues you raise about your novel (to be ignored if unhelpful):

        If the Dordogne suits your story then don’t be put off too much by grisly events. You can allude to them and describe them concisely rather than giving a blow-by-blow account. Readers generally know that atrocities are committed in war by both sides, so detailed descriptions may not add much.

        The key thing is to include the details that are important to the plot. Too many massacres will depress the reader: I was put off the Vercors book in the end because it was one massacre after another – not only the military details but photographs and biographies of those who lost their lives. The region is full of Resistance memorials, sadly.

        The other thing about your story is that amongst all that darkness it’s best if the main character survives, so maybe stick with their point of view, and tell it as a first-person eye-witness account written some time after the events. (‘It must have been nearly dusk when I looked out of the window. The farmhouse was surrounded.’ etc.) This will also allow some censoring of unpalatable details (‘I don’t know how I survived. All I can remember is…/ they told me later that…’).

        Just a thought!

        G X

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Giselle,
          Thanks for this. My problem – like most people writing on a historical theme – is not to intrude on the history too much. (I have a love of history and in another life I would have been a history don or teacher, but another story.) I think Pau might be sufficiently out of the Wheelwright action to allow me to continue.
          The Dordogne – 70 French civilians were killed by Germans in Tulle and the bodies hung from lamp posts and houses. The Germans killed 17 Resistance men so the Resistance selected 17 from a group of uniformed Germans who’d surrendered (so subject to POW rules) and shot them in cold blood (tho’ no doubt with huge provocation). Their bodies were only repatriated the other month.
          I’ve read today – on the train to London – that the Germans often killed resisters and family and “hostages” with axes. Something I was unaware of until today. That’s if not sent to death camps.
          Don’t get me wrong tho’ I’ve known quite a number of modern Germans and I liked them (one in my earlyish 20s was very pleasant….. but she had a boyfriend back home – drat!). My German teacher in sixth form was German and grew up in Hamburg in the late 1920s and 1930s and she imbued a lifelong hatred of fascism/extremism in me. Most of the literature we read was anti-fascist – Boll, Lenz, Borchert, Frisch. Frau Goodwin was a superb teacher.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. I too am fascinated by history, and I find that one of the problems writing historical fiction is that I get so sidetracked by the research that I don’t put enough energy into inventing the story. The first and second drafts of my novel have been more a series of events than a story that’s ‘about’ something. But I’ll get there in the end…
        Good luck with your story – I’ll look forward to reading it one day!
        G X

        Like

  4. Oh wow that is all very interesting and fascinating. There is still so much to learn about the French resistance- it must have been a terrible time. Have you read ‘Fair stood the wind for France ‘? By H.E.Bates
    Your story of the Bridge of Pau was very good.

    Like

    1. Angie, I was going to develop the Bridge at Pau but I’m struggling as I have to be careful. One of the SOE’s most successful “circuits” (codenamed Wheelwright) worked near there – I’ve just finished the memoirs of the circuit’s courier, Anne-Marie Walters, (“Moondrop to Gascony”). The memoirs of George Millar are interesting. He was a POW in Africa, interrogated by Rommel, escaped from a train in Germany and made his way back across Germany, France and Spain to England, joined the SOE and ran a circuit around Besancon in eastern France . He won the MC, Croix de Guerre and Resistance Medal. Some of the stories he tells are hair raising, like stealing petrol from a German depot using a road tanker 3 nights running, the young lad who arranged two train crashes in about half an hour whilst cycling to see his girlfriend; also sad – the 19 year old who got shot in a raid.
      I was going to move the story further north to the Dordogne (scene of the biggest train robbery in history) but there were some very unpleasant happenings around there – and not just by the Germans. One of the Martin Walker novels on the local policeman, Bruno, uses the memory of the train robbery as a back stop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A fascinating topic Colmore. I came across Vera Atkins on the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography not long ago and she was a vague inspiration for my December story about the boy meeting his mother at the station. The Special Operations Executive was a department where women played an active role and took huge risks, which was why her story particularly appealed to me. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/74260 – if you don’t have access to the ODNB you can get this via a library card, try the Library of Birmingham where you just need ID and evidence of address to join, you don’t need to be a Birmingham resident.
        There is a very interesting illustrated book about the Vercors and its grim history of the Resistance, written in French. Vercors, les sentiers de la Résistance.
        G X

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What a terrible time for Europe that was, so many stories still to be told. Thank you very much for all that interesting information.
        One of my favourite beaches is called Plage 44 because that’s the allies landed there in August 44 to begin the liberation and it seems impossible that such a happy vibrant place was not so longer a place of conflict and fear.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello everyone, many thanks for a great read this month and here are my votes:

    5 points – THE STONE by Giselle
    3 points – PLAN B by Capucin
    1 point – THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT by Billy Foster

    HMS to Gazoopi and Araminta

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great stories this month – votes finally allocated below:

    5 points PLAN B. Written by Capucin.

    3 points THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT. Written by BillyFoster.

    1 point THE STONE. Written by Giselle.

    HM to Angie, Colmore and AmericanMum.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A good selection of stories – thank you everyone.

    My votes:
    5 points – the Inn on the Green, by Colmore
    3 points – There is a light that never goes out, by Billy Foster (welcome back!)
    1 point – Grandma Brown, by Araminta

    HMs to everyone else,
    G X

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi everyone.
    I know that I rarely (if ever) vote in this competition, but if BBB *** can submit a story (of a sort), then I don’t see any reason why I should not try my hand at this voting lark.
    So here goes …

    5 points – PLAN B. Written by Capucin.
    3 points – EMILY. Written by AmericanMum.
    1 point – EAVESDROPPING. Written by Gazoopi. (Along with a big welcome back and ditto to BillyFoster).

    If it was possible I would have liked to scatter a few more points around (if only to have got up BBB’s nose), but I’ll abide by the rules (for a change) and content myself with saying how much I enjoyed all (but one) of the other stories.
    And, ‘in for a penny and in for pound’, I might even attempt to justify my choices by submitting a review later.

    *** Brother Billy Bighead. It’s a family thing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much thanks for the point and the welcome, Atiller.
      On 25th Feb I had an operation on my left shoulder, which forced me to stay indoors. After going crazy confined to the house, there was nothing I could do except write a story. Ill try to keep it up.

      Like

      1. Hi Gaz. I’m told that shoulders are one of the most tricky parts of the body to operate on due to the complicated bone structure and multitude of tendons etc. Both my wife and daughter shattered their shoulders and neither regained full movement even (in my daughters case) after three operations.
        I’m pretty well confined to the house and garden 5 and a half days a week (mostly by choice) but I don’t have a problem with crazy. I leave that to my companions Bleda and Frankie..
        They go at it hammer and tongs so I let them get on with it …. you’d be surprised how therapeutic that can be.
        Have you tried inventing couple of fictional frogs (preferably green), and allowing them to take the strain?
        Regards to Bettina. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, Atiller, you certainly are not losing your memory. Well done to remember the fictional frog. I still sometimes take on a bad conscience when I think of dear old Bubbles still seething in her lovely cottage all these years later 🙂
          Yes, the shoulder is a complicated joint, but if it was only working in two dimensions, as the knee, it would make for a rather complicated life.
          I am recovering well but still a long way from being better than before the operation.
          The best part about it is that we set our sights on painting the outside of the house before it becomes too hot. That means March to May latest. I mostly make the tea, while Bettina is up the ladder 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Firstly, thanks to everyone for the points, very much appreciated!

    Secondly my votes and gosh how difficult again this month:

    5 points Emily AmmericanMum
    3 points to Bleda, The Man Who Never Was,
    1 point to Expatangie Forces for the Good

    HMs to everyone else, really could do with more points to share around!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. EAVESDROPPING. Written by Gazoopi 5pt
    Emily by Americanmum – 3 pts
    the Inn on the Green, by Colmore – 1 pt

    TBH I could have given points to a lot more stories and had to read n read again. Good feb for stories. Well done everyone. very entertained

    Like

  11. Hi Mum,
    I wouldn’t tell him even if I did.
    But that ‘man with the webbing belt’ story is old hat as far as I’m concerned, he’s been boring people with that old chestnut for years.
    The landlord down at ‘The Feathers’ has threatened to bar him for life if he ever dares mention it to his customers again.
    Many a time he’s emptied the bar before he’s even got to the bit about the ‘white fivers’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Here are my votes for this month:-

    1st – 5 Points – Plan B – Capucin
    2nd – 3 Points – There is a light that….. – Billyfoster
    3rd – 1 Point – The Stone – Giselle

    As I have mentioned before, to help me evaluate the stories I have a points system, and Billy, Giselle and Colmore all ended with the same points, so after great thought I chose Billy for 3 and Giselle for 1 point. Sorry Colmore. On a different day I would probably have selected them slightly differently, but thought I should let you know.

    Like

  13. Here is the result of the February 2019 tcwg competition …
    In First place with 23 points is PLAN B. Written by Capucin.
    And in Joint Second place is EAVESDROPPING. Written by Gazoopi,. and EMILY. Written by AmericanMum, each with 17 points.
    Well done and congratulations Capucin, win next month as well and for the hat-trick we will award you with a complimentary pencil sharpener. 🙂
    Congratulations are also due to our joint runners-up for equally vote-worthy stories, and it is good to see that Gazoopi has retained his touch.

    Thank you to all entrants for competing and keeping our little comp. on the road, also not forgetting our voters, without whom the competition would be rather meaningless.
    Plus our customary thanks to AmericanMum for her diligent collating work behind the scenes, and a special ‘thank-you’ this month to Araminta for sorting out my earlier posting problems.
    So, all in all, a fine team effort all round … thank you all.

    The details of the voting for each story will follow in due course, courtesy of AmericanMum.

    Like

    1. I’m so sorry, I thought I had until tomorrow night to vote, I was sure the 13th had been mentioned…..not that it matters, but I put Capcuin 1st/American Mum 2nd and Atiller (The Apparition) third….well done everyone, and thanks for such a good turn out……hoe to be back with something this month, keep on writing, Pav x x

      Like

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