Pepi Wins Daunt Short Story Contest

Congratulations to Pepi, Gr. 6, who had one of the winning entries in the Daunt Books Short Story Competition.

The collection will be published later in the year with 14 others from varying grades.

Here is Pepi’s winning entry:

The Collector
by Pepi E.
Age 11

Once in a very small town, not too far away from yours, lived a man. An old, crippled
sort who you’d expect to spend life at home with a newspaper as old and crippled as
he. But this story is not about that for this old man was an avid collector. A collector
of feelings.  He’d stroll around the town and record the most pure or amazing things
he experienced in his leather bound book . A flickering candle, the aroma of a scarlet
flower, the sensation of a tear running down a cheek.  This unusual collection
astounded the people in the village just as it astounds you now – The villagers were
unsettled by him and wanted to help the man get on with a more normal life.

They all gave him their recommendations but each never seemed to help.
Blacksmithing for a start was not his thing. He’d begin his hard work  then stop
when he heard the clang of metal, drop all his things and write it all down. Even
after that, he’d begin to record the feeling of powdery soot on his fingers, and
the ferocity of the fire. He couldn’t work with animals, he could only stroke them for countless hours, irrespective of creature, noticing their fur, their breath. The villagers only had one more solution for the dreamy man: music. Surely, they thought he could conduct a single orchestra without documenting something? But once again they were wrong. The old man only danced around the stage absorbing  all he could. It seemed he could do nothing useful. Backstage the old man groaned. He had never believed there was anything wrong with the writing but now he began to wish that he could collect buttons or yarn and be more like the others.

He took a final look at the book and settled it down onto the grimy stone floor. This was a large decision but he stiffly shook his head and began to hobble away. Yet before he could open the backstage door, the most beautiful thing struck his entire body. He was quite sure that it was a sound but it seemed to engulf his body like a liquid. Still standing frozen in awe, the man heard the sound get louder and louder until into his vision, came an old woman who looked almost as beautiful as the music she was singing. He stared at her and listened intently to her music and grabbed his book of favorite things. He tried to write everything he noticed about her but found he had already written all of her features down in previous entries, when he wrote about the moon, twilight on water or the smell of fresh vanilla. Suddenly, the old gentleman knew what the meaning of this book was. He closed the book, and passed it gently into her grasp. “This is you.”

Copyright Pepi E., Age 11

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