Flash Fiction

Bag Lady

My life’s a testament to bad choices.

School was nothing more than survival of the fittest; a grind house of juvenile traffic – kids fed in, drones puked out. The worst time of my life, and I was the bloody teacher! Then came the Metropolitan Police.

That’s when I met Dinah. I hated moving her on; she’d not done any harm apart from offend people’s noses (and I bet hipster photographers made a fortune from her), always squatting in the same place under the railway bridge in Arsenal; inert, drooping and stinking like a pile of human laundry.

I also hated moving her because she reminded me of childhood; I was an unhappy kid so I created an imaginary friend I’d forgotten till now.

It sort of got out of hand; ‘It was Kittie,’ I’d say (she was always kicking over the trash).
‘I suppose Kittie wet your bed too, did she?’ Dad would reply.

Course, my superiors had no interest in Dinah, and the Met got tarnished beyond repair in the nineties after all the racist stuff, so I quit.

Actually, I was sacked. Because of Dinah, but that’s another story.

Nowadays I empty bins for a living and, today, obsessing about Dinah. Because today I walked through Gyre Woods and saw her lurching along the track.

‘Need help, love?’ I said, smelling as ripe as her, but she just slumped when I touched her. I looked into her hood and saw she was covered in old newspaper and plastic bags, so I pulled her hood back.

A confetti of condoms, receipts, butts and God knows what else slowly tumbled out from Dinah’s coat. She shrivelled as if someone let the air out of her till there was nothing left but a mound of litter.

That’s when I remembered Kittie.

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