Hello everyone. This month I received 38 entries from 19 authors. One was disqualified for only being 87 words, another for being 101 but fortunately both authors had sent in other stories so still had a chance of being picked.
Every story entered this month was written to the theme (of being a ghost story). Yay.
The winning stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to. They were clever, surprising, eek-making (in a good way), or gave me a warm fuzzy feeling (without being sickly).
You may have chosen a different order or indeed not placed one or more of them so if you entered and didn’t find your story / stories here, don’t lose heart. You probably only just missed out (there were originally eight highly commended then I whittled down to the maximum three) so do enter new stories this month*, next month, whenever you like (but not in advance!). It’s an ongoing competition and free, so you could win at any time. There were new and familiar names this month so anyone could win… it’s all dependent upon whether your story grabs me, for whatever reason (whether it be clever, funny, unusual, quirky, or sweet).
As well as the top three and Highly Commended, there are some ‘Honourable Mentions’. They don’t win anything but they were so close to being Highly Commended that I wanted them to know how close they came. It’s still something for them to put on their CVs.
*The theme for November is ‘winter warmth’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Thursday 30th November.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
J Simon Oliver with ‘An Invitation’
She gathered her skirt as she knelt down low to see between the bricks. A small hole through which the light shone seemed to shimmer and pulsate.
She dipped her head to peer into the beam, feeling its intense luminance sting her pupil. She raised a finger to the opening which invited her.
Passers-by didn’t seem to notice as her whole hand and then arm reached inside, shafts of light darting alongside.
Soon her whole being had passed through, her warm smile aglow always. Once her trailing foot was out of sight, the light drew black, and the hole faded.
Mark Sadler with ‘The Rest in Pieces’
When we moved in, the previous occupants warned us we would be entertaining a ghost. They advised us to buy a few jigsaw puzzles.
“You can pick them up cheaply in the charity shop,” said Mr May.
“Take one puzzle piece from each box and leave them by the fireplace. They’ll all disappear. Every so often, do one of the jigsaws and leave it overnight. The following morning the final piece will have been added.”
I once crawled into a remote corner of the attic and saw all the missing pieces suspended in thick cobweb. I did not disturb them.
Joshua Crafford with ‘Slow Roast’
The family sat around the table, colourful paper crowns adorning their heads, laughing as they passed around plates laden with potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings.
From his seat, the father carved liberally at the leg of meat before him, distributing thick slices around with festive glee.
At the centre of the table, the rest of the meat lay in all its slow roasted glory. From her vantage above them the girl observed the scene, ethereal head poking through the high ceiling.
He had been right though, thought the ghost begrudgingly; she did look good with an apple in her mouth.
Laura Besley with ‘Till Death Us Do Part’
The first signs of trouble came on a chilly Saturday morning in October when an estate agent turned up to see Kenneth.
Selling? Over my dead body, I thought.
Every viewing he had, I made sure I was present. I moved things, created chilly corners, loud bangs, squeaks and creaks. Everyone took the hint. Even Kenneth. After a month of trying, he took the sign down.
‘You win again, Agatha dearest,’ he said, with a sigh.
Don’t feel sorry for him, dear reader. He should’ve thought of all this before he bumped me off and buried me in the cellar.
- ados123 with ‘The Road to The Bay’
- Gaynor Jones with ‘Never Mess With a Gardener’
- Justin Rulton with ‘Not Really Gone’
- Karen Rodgers with ‘Fun and Games’
- Paul Isaac with ‘Bed of Bones’
- Rowena Fishwick with ‘Under the Ice’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Carol Shea with ‘Chat Up’
- Lyndon Loweth with ‘Enough!’
Congratulations, everyone. The entries for this month are already drifting in. Remember, you can send up to three per month so rather than miss out on a chance by sending one story, do submit more.
If you’ve enjoyed these stories and / or just want to leave a comment, please do so below and / or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org., although I won’t (can’t) discuss forthcoming entries unless it’s a general query.