Wiikwemkoong Fun Day library short story contest winner

Wiikwemkoong Librarian Lanell Mejaki presents Charlize Recollect with a cheque for her winning entry.

A fictional account of the founding of Wiikwemkoong’s ‘Andy’s’

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story by 11-year-old Charlize Recollet of Wiikwemkoong won the Wiikwemkoong Library short story contest. The contest was held in honour of Family Literacy Week and in conjunction with Wiikwemkoong Family Fun Days.

by Charlize Recollet

Andy lay in his bed wide awake at around 8:30 trying to fall asleep but also thinking of life. Suddenly, while wondering if toucans could ride dolphins and how it would work, a great, amazing idea struck him! He leapt out of bed and hurried into the kitchen and took out a pen and a pad of paper and scribbled down notes about this stroke of genius. A store called Andy’s, a grocery store that provided all sorts of things ranging from fresh produce to snacks to frozen products and all the rest, even a coffee shop that sold sandwiches and hot meals. About an hour later he was done, the notes taking up two whole pages. And if you were to look inside you would see what he planned to sell how he’d make enough money to purchase items and a location and possible names for said store. ‘’Yes, finally the notes are done! Now I’ll go to sleep and get the stuff done tomorrow,’’ exclaimed Andy.

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The next morning, Andy got up and did his morning routine which consisted of washing his face, brushing his teeth, and every other day he’d shower and this time he showered extra good to stay awake today. He usually did this while thinking of last night’s dream and this particular last night’s dream was about the thought that Andy was thinking of before he thought of the amazing store. Andy combed his hair and left to go see the price of the location he planned to purchase. When Andy got home after a long day of planning and reviewing and adding up prices Andy slumped down at the kitchen table and looked at the high number one last time, then glanced up at the clock, 2 pm. Andy sighed.  He went outside to the shed to get a fold up card table, some poster paper and tape and sharpies. He carried them over to Willow Street and nearly dropped them over a handful of times. When he got permission from the restaurant owner to set up his stand, he first set up the card table and then taped the sign on the card table, next he wrote “collecting funds to open Wiky’s first grocery store.” After about four hours of just sitting there and chatting with donors, Andy got up and took the stand down and went home.

Charlize interviews poetry contest winner Shane Cooper for her new online children’s current event program.

$1,234.56. That was the amount Andy had gotten from donors that day with every other person donating and saying they were happy someone decided to do this. After a few days of doing this and getting similar results, Andy just had a few hundred dollars to go before the big goal was reached and he could open his store. Andy was so excited he could hardly contain it. Then he got a letter in the mail, a few actually, most of them stating he hadn’t gotten the job but one stating he had gotten the job as a supply teacher at the Pontiac School and could start the next day because a teacher for the seventh grade wasn’t there.

Andy leapt up and did a little dance out of pure excitement that he had gotten the job. The next morning, he got out of bed at 6 am to finish off his lesson plans for today. He brushed his teeth and washed his face then put on some nice clothes and set out for the day. But, when Andy came home he was dead tired because of students and lack of coffee break and instantly went upstairs to go take a nap. After about a few months Andy finally had the full sum of money ‘’yes! Yay! Finally! I can get started on phase 2 of my plan!’’

Andy shouted joyously after getting the final paycheck. When Andy came to the school to quit his job later that day he told his boss very carefully about why he was quitting so she accepted and Andy went to the high school. You see Andy had made colorful flyers yesterday asking if students wanted to work at Andy’s.

The next day Andy got a couple of forms in the mail which were resumés from students. Andy quickly wrote some letters accepting the students’ requests for the jobs. Around a week later the shop had fully prepared and the grand new opening was planned. It was opening its doors  to the public for the very first time. I say this because that was a line in Andy’s opening speech ‘’and now that the shelves are stocked, workers are fully prepped and the tills are ready, we can now let the public in!’’ Andy shouted the last line as the doors opened and costumers streamed in and checked the store out. Some went to the back to get sandwiches and hot meals. Others looked at groceries such as milk and eggs and their respective prices. Proud parents congratulated their teens on getting the job, while parents with kids looked at toys in general merchandise. Andy’s old boss, the chief and the previous owner, came to Andy and told him “this is going to go far, kid” and “I’m proud of your perseverance, after all kids aren’t exactly easy to deal with, especially if you’re not their actual teacher. Thanks.”

“Guys, this went pretty well for a late night thought, kind of better, actually. I was thinking that I would have give up on this dream or it would at least take a bit longer. So, this is great!’” Andy said thankfully and excitedly.

Years later, Andy’s resides at 2174 Wikwemikong Way in Wiikwemkoong, and is the main grocer in Wiky with stores such as: The Source, Ace Hardware and you can’t forget general merchandise. Andy’s grand idea was successful in the beginning and basically went only uphill from there. It’s a great store (except for the prices, which they could lower). I can’t wait to see how it’ll evolve in the future (and its possible competitors).