Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Queen of Castoffs - Flash Fiction - A to Z Challenge

Who am I? Rag picker, bag lady, fortune teller, thief. Call me what you will, it's all the same to me. While you sleep in your banal beds, I curl up upon the grates, enveloped in the city's fetid breath. I have no need to squint myopically at signposts and gadgets in my hand; I know every twist and turn, every whispering slinking alleyway, every stone-faced mirrored canyon in these parts.

Once I had a home, but the walls suffocated me, and the tick tick tick of the clock mocked the beating of my heart. At night the floorboards creaked as the house settled into the earth, taking me with it.

If you pity me for having nothing of my own, think again. What appears to be the detritus of humanity is a treasure trove, entrusted to my safekeeping. Odds and ends, bits and pieces, some of which are soiled (and I shall clean them), some of which are dull with age or use (and I shall polish them), some of which are valuables, lost along someone's path, or discarded out of pain or necessity (and I would return them if I could). There is even a gem or two, which I have glibly stolen and pocketed; I take them out from time to time, in sunlight and moonlight and streetlight, to watch them glitter and shine and cast their colours into the darkness.

Sometimes I array these things of mine, which were once yours, on the sidewalk. I sort them and rearrange them and form pleasing patterns with them. Perhaps, as you pass by, you will recognize some part of your life, or your past, something which was once your own. Maybe you'll see something which you never had, but can put to some good use. I have more than I will ever need; take it, if it pleases you.

You are welcome to it; that is the purpose of my storytelling, after all.


  1. Sucker punch last line! Love it. A storyteller using that title as their "character"...just so many things could be done with that, esp in this everything (& many people) are disposable. Queen of Castoffs...taking you in on a daily basis.

  2. for my ongoing story; for my commentary on theater arts, education, and the like. Yes, it seems screwy the way I did it, but my website for business is

  3. Very neat allegory - well expressed.

  4. Queen of the castoffs indeed, and a very gracious one at that.

  5. This could have easily been shaped into a poem, as well. Perhaps that's the mark of great prose. Some wonderful lines here.

  6. You are always weaving a tapestry with your words, so colorful and full of interesting pictures, characters, life. I love the texture and feel of it. As always, amazing!!

    As far as poppies go, I have a picture, still unfinished, but I could take a photo of a portion of it. If you're needing it for tomorrow, I could email it to you. If it's not what you have in mind, you can always look on google images. Let me know, I'd be happy to send a pic to you!

  7. Li, you are an amazing writer and I am hooked on every word in every story. I would read a book of your stories over and over as they each have such meaning. I look forward every day to what you will come up with for the next letter in the alphabet.

    Glad to see Heather hooked up with you here about the poppies. We are all really connected in this world and all here to help each other along our paths.