They called him ‘Dopey Dan’. A kid had coined the nickname when Dan first drifted into town, on the back of a cool autumn breeze. The name had stuck, like the dirt that besmirched his threadbare clothes and weather-beaten face, but he’d made it his own. It was as good as any he’d had over the years.

Dan was enamoured with the once fine town houses he shambled past, the unkempt park where he could snooze in the pale sun, before kids might find and taunt him, and he admired the town’s majestic, though ancient bridge, beneath which he found shelter.

Law enforcement didn’t seem to bother Dan much and when they did, just before they were about to bundle him into a patrol car and drive him to the city limits, something more important would distract them and they’d depart with a skid of tyres and wailing sirens.

He’d spend most of his days walking the streets, humming tunes or seeming to converse with birds and other fauna. People used to shake their heads and gave him a wide berth, but he would still smile at anyone he encountered. Even those that had no time for him walked away energised and the sun seemed warmer on their backs after sighting him.

The park remained his favourite haunt and occasionally a passer-by would give him the remains of their lunch or a half cup of coffee, and he would bless them for their kindness.

Dan meandered through avenues and boulevards and the town prospered and grew. Revitalised communities came together and Dan’s beloved park regained its former glory. Even the young, so eager to escape the confines of the town when they could, no longer felt an urge to leave.

A year passed and Dan vanished just as the seasons turned and leaves took on shades of red and copper brown once more. His loss blew through the town like a chill wind.

Too late, people realised that he’d belonged to them, and they to him. The light had dimmed and now autumn shadows loomed large.

0 0 votes
Post Rating
Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.

Support our Family-Friendly Mission

Our vision of a new Internet is family-friendly, elegant and educated. 

If Voice.club has enhanced your life, if you've enjoyed the stories, the comments and the wonderful community, we ask you to help keep our vision thriving!  

Your donations keep Voice.club alive!
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
20 days ago

It is too late before they’d realize the value of Dan to them, that Dan belongs to them. It is a very sad and gripping story, Paul. Well written. 

Last edited 20 days ago by Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
19 days ago

You’re welcome, Paul. You portrayed it well with Dan.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
20 days ago

The picture that accompanies your story is gorgeous, Paul. We never really know those who walk amongst us, do we, although we’re often quick to judge. Dan, as proved, is far from dopey. And we never know what we have until it’s gone. I loved your story of this gentle, kindly soul as warm as the colours of Autumn.

Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.
Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate (@thompson-emate)
20 days ago

Wow! An emotional one. Dan’s passing away was unexpected. I thought at the end, tables would turn around for him. A nice story, Paul.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
18 days ago

There are some excellent stories in this competition so far, and this is another one of them, Paul. A very poignant story. Let’s hope that the next town that Dan appears in is more appreciative of this kind and gentle man.

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
17 days ago

A beautifully written story, Paul, with a title and picture that invite us in. I think of Dan as a being outside of normal time and space. I hope he pays my town a visit. Every community needs a “Dopey Dan”. When he comes, I hope we recognize him!

Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.
Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister (@alan-kemister)
6 days ago

Hello, great photo and great story. You’ve told a rather dark story, but made it light. And if he hadn’t moved on at the end, you wouldn’t have the same forceful message – we should all try harder to appreciate the Dopey Dans in our lives.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 day ago

Paul, I couldn’t help thinking that he must have been there for a reason, but the people didn’t recognise it until it was too late. That is so often the case in life. Although he was ‘homeless’ (although, if he is otherworldly – as seems to be the case, he might disagree), he seemed content. How often do we miss the good things in life just because it doesn’t conform to what we consider to be the norm.

Most Voted Comments

Avatar
8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


Avatar
5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


Avatar
4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


Avatar
3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


Avatar
3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


Avatar
3

The Fisherman and the Sea

A good story with a strong message. The time has come that we should do…


Avatar
3

The Fisherman and the Sea

It is giving me great joy to read such beautiful comments from you.Thank you for…


Avatar
3

Voice.club 2020 Year In Review – OPEN

The New Year has always been a time for reflection, and to focus on what…


Mary Kot
3

Endure and Sing

I wish all of us were more like this little mouse! His confidence and courage…


Avatar
3

Endure and Sing

I'm really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an amazing job and I'm so…


Recent Comments



Become a PatronHelp support our family-friendly mission

Contest – CLOSED – Scary

14
0
Selected Authors may submit comments (5 Credits)x
()
x
Scroll to Top

Sharing a Post

Why do my friends need to SignIn to read the post I shared?

Actually, this is a voting security feature. Only club members can read posts submitted into a contest. Since anyone reading the story is able to vote (click the Like button), we reserve these capabilities to members who SignIn. Before we implemented this security feature, people were voting multiple times and making the public voting process unfair and out of balance. To fix this, our staff finally decided to allow only members who SignIn to read the stories. Membership is free and easy, and ensures our club is safe, secure, and family-friendly!

Gems Stories are public:  On the other hand the Gem stories are different, since there is no voting on Gems. During a Gem event, your friends and fans can come on and read without a SignIn. This is one of the great advantages of the Gem events.