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Thread: A Winters Tale

  1. #1

    A Winters Tale

    Christmas Eve dusk falls early as heavy clouds have been gathering all afternoon,Peter closes the curtains and puts another log on the fire, pours himself a large malt and a glass of wine for his wife,he lifts his glass to Jock he says ,to Jock his wife murmurs.


    Her mother having died recently Claire was spending Christmas in the village, having no living relatives she had gladly excepted the invitation of an old school friend to spend Christmas with her family in the country,anything was better than spending Christmas alone in the house she had shared with her mother.Claire had many friends and work colleagues but they would all be spending Christmas with their families, Christmas is a lonely time when you are on your own.


    Christmas Eve dawned clear and bright a marked contrast to the previous days squally snow showers , and touch of frost at dawn with the result that by mid morning it was a clear sunny day there was even a touch of warmth in the sun especially if you could keep on the move.

    Claire's friend Fiona has some family business to attend to that would keep her occupied until late afternoon,so Claire decided she would go for a walk to kill a couple of hours, she had spent the odd weekend here in the past with her friend and they had taken several walks in the glen, she remembered in particular the stunning views from the stalkers path and that's where she headed now.

    Claire had been walking for half an hour or so and was on the path that zigzaged its way up the hill above the old ruined shooting lodge,the present estate owners having built a new house in a more accessible part of the glen,suddenly she was abruptly roused from her daydream by a shout
    looking up she spotted a tall bearded figure on the path a little way ahead he had a rifle slung on his shoulder and was accompanied by a large dog a deer hound she thought, by his dress she was pretty sure she had encountered the estate stalker,he continued to shout and swear at her telling her she had no right to be there and must go back immediately he carried on this foul, mouthed tirade for some time before abruptly turning his back on her and striding off up the path .

    Determined to tell him what she thought of his manners Claire set off in hot pursuit after him, young and fit though she was Claire found that he was drawing further and further ahead of her, until eventually she lost sight of him completely.

    Claire was determined that he would not get away with his foul mouthed rant and had made enquiries as to where the estate stalker lived, thus she found herself stood at his cottage door nursing her anger as dusk fell, as soon as her urgent knocking was answered she knew she had made a mistake , this was a much younger man, not nearly so tall,and clean shaven, I have made a mistake Claire stammered I am looking for the tall bearded stalI am the only stalker here these days Peter replied though in times gone past there were three, well she said I met him on the path above the old lodge and he was extremely rude to me.

    I think you have had the misfortune to meet auld Jock peter said, he appears to walkers on the stalkers path from time to time come in take a seat and I will tell you all about him.

    That's why each Christmas Eve for the past forty odd years Peter and Claire drink a toast to auld Jock because if she had not encountered him on the stalkers path, then she and Peter would have been unlikely to ever meet,
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 01-01-2016 at 20:29.

  2. #2
    I have submitted a few articles over the years both on SD and elsewhere, but until now have only really written of my experiences,i have never dabbled in fiction or should I say partial fiction until now.

    There is a tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas particularly in Scotland so this seems as good a time as any to tell this tale.


    The fiction part well Peter and Claire are figments of my imagination and the lodge is some distance from the stalkers path mentioned Oh and our ghostly stalker is not called Jock.

    As for the rest well draw your own conclusions,let me say right from the outset that I am sceptical as far as ghosts
    are concerned, but there is something happening here that is hard to reason, this sighting of the angry stalker has been seen off and on for at least sixty years usually on the path but not always he has been encountered on other parts of the hill usually accompanied by his hound but not always again usually seen on a bright sunny day not the usual setting for a ghost though I did hear of someone who encountered him in the mist,he usually shouts at people but others have said he just glared at them not usual , ghostly behaviour is usually reported as repetitive

    No person has ever reported seeing a ghost only complain in the village shop or pub about the stalker they have encountered, no local has ever seen him or if they have the are keeping silent about it, in fact most locals say its a lot of rubbish.

    Several years can pass with no reported sighting then suddenly someone will comment in the village about the extremely rude bad tempered stalker.

    No local stalker fits the description and none of them have a deer hound, the tweed has been identified as a local one, though there is no record of anything befalling a stalker that would cause the area to be haunted as one would normally expect,an imposter over a period exceeding sixty years highly unlikely and for what reason.

    Some twenty or more years ago there was a piece in the Scots Magazine on this ghostly apparition but much to the locals delight it did not give the exact location just as I have chosen not to do so here.

    Ghost or some logical explanation though I don't know what that could be,until someone comes up with a plausible explanation its only a Winters Tale.
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 01-01-2016 at 20:27.

  3. #3
    You should give exact location, then open a tea wagon

  4. #4
    You should write some more boggy and post them up on here, i for one have enjoyed what you have written in the past. Go on you know you should!
    ATB.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by foxinmad View Post
    You should write some more boggy and post them up on here, i for one have enjoyed what you have written in the past. Go on you know you should!
    ATB.
    Me too . I have been trying to persuade him that he should start writing a book. If he wrote of his experiences, interspersed with other interesting tales, it would sell well.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Norm View Post
    Me too . I have been trying to persuade him that he should start writing a book. If he wrote of his experiences, interspersed with other interesting tales, it would sell well.

    Yes, why not give it a go, boggy? Everyone's got a book in them, so it's said. Once it's done it's done, and even if it doesn't sell a lot of copies the royalties are always nice to get! I had a backlog of royalties paid on my first book earlier in the year, and it was a pleasant surprise - a few grand I hadn't budgeted for
    Hope my second book will hit the shelves in May.
    It's a hugely satisfying thing to do.
    Use a "proper" publisher though, rather than self- publishing, although it needn't be a big company - the internet gives everyone the same marketing opportunities these days.

  7. #7
    Hi there Jim, The book thing is a good idea. I already have a few chapters of one written. Needless to say A couple of our escapades together in bygone years feature. Not that I have actually named you!!!! I normally get a lot done when I am laid up after some operation. Should have been in hospital right now for major back op , but NHS X ray machine broke down on Christmas eve. Hope to reschedule very soon and her indoors has warned me that once home she will keep pushing the laptop in front of me to do more. Not asking you to go and do something desperate to get laid up , but worth getting on when things are quiet at times. We will have to liase to see if we are telling the same stories and pick the best version!!!!!!! Have a Happy New Year Jim........John
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at the Stalking Fair, Scone & Moy 2017




  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    Hi there Jim, The book thing is a good idea. I already have a few chapters of one written. Needless to say A couple of our escapades together in bygone years feature. Not that I have actually named you!!!! I normally get a lot done when I am laid up after some operation. Should have been in hospital right now for major back op , but NHS X ray machine broke down on Christmas eve. Hope to reschedule very soon and her indoors has warned me that once home she will keep pushing the laptop in front of me to do more. Not asking you to go and do something desperate to get laid up , but worth getting on when things are quiet at times. We will have to liase to see if we are telling the same stories and pick the best version!!!!!!! Have a Happy New Year Jim........John
    Thanks John Happy new Year to you and yours, going to be a quiet one for me, and that's unusual , got a bug nothing serious but it has floored me just going to see the bells and head for bed OMG I must be getting old lol.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    ,he continued to shoot and swear at her telling her she had no right to be there and must go back immediately he carried on this foul, mouthed tirade for some time before abruptly turning his back on her and striding off up the path .
    Not sure that I would follow anyone who was shooting and swearing at me though? I was expecting a married and happy ever after ending?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by baguio View Post
    Not sure that I would follow anyone who was shooting and swearing at me though? I was expecting a married and happy ever after ending?
    Typo. I guess we're the proof readers...

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