Long-listed in the Fish International Short Story Competition 2013/2014.
Peter is a skilful shoemaker who often stays up late catching up with some accumulated work… until one night he receives an unexpected visit that will change his life forever. For all ages.
Targeted Age Group:: 8+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I, like Peter the Shoemaker, often stay up late catching up with accumulated work. And sometimes I imagine I see shadows or ghosts speaking to me. I have a vivid imagination and tend to fantasy a lot.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have always admired artisans and crafts people. I like perfectionist people who work hard and are proud of their work. The idea of a shoemaker as the main character for my story appealed to me, and a hard working man labouring until the early hours of the morning was the perfect scenario for the shadows appearing and talking to him.
The village was shrouded in darkness, only the silhouette of the towering mountains looming in the distant horizon. All the people in this rural neighbourhood slept peacefully. All except for one: Peter the shoemaker, who despite the late hour persisted in putting patches on shoes; his old, wooden table crammed with shoes and soles of every age and colour, and the ancient clock in the living room marking the unstoppable hours.
But something was different tonight; indeed something was remarkably different. The shoemaker did not look tired, pale, or sleepy as on countless previous nights. On the contrary, he looked excited, dedicated, and very young. He worked with passion, with devotion, showing an acute interest in every single movement of his needle, as if performing a surgical operation. His meticulousness was unheard of.
The cuckoo clock struck 6 in the morning and Peter’s face lit up with excitement.
“It’s almost time now,” he said to himself. “Before long the gnome will be here and my wish will be granted. Good heavens how much happiness!”
At 7 o’clock sharp, as promised, the little figure of the gnome reappeared, now with a sleepy face.
“Well?” he enquired. “Whom did you make your first shoes for?”
“I made them for my father. I remember it clearly. We were very poor and he was always wearing the same old pair of shoes. They were so old and ragged that they could hardly provide any warmth or comfort to his battered feet. I wanted to help and so…” said Peter with a thoughtful expression, “I made my first shoes!”
After a prolonged pause he continued,
“They looked so nice and comfortable, and he enjoyed them so much that I decided then to become a shoemaker.”
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