Weekly Writing 03 - Unwanted

Once upon a time, I lived on The Shelf. My life was fairly static. My home, my prison, was surrounded by a plastic bubble backed by cardboard that left little room to move. There I would sit with all the others, waiting for the time of the Choosing. Hoping beyond hope that I would become one of the Chosen.

All day people would come and look at me. They would stare and point. Once and a while one would take me down and for a moment I would dare to hope that I had been chosen. The hope would rise from deep within and I would dream of living the life. We would all hear the stories from others who were chosen, chosen but returned. Stories of laughter, of joy, of belonging. The Returned were desperate to get back to it. They’ve been there. They’ve had what I wanted. Someone to play with. Someone who would love me unconditionally. It always seemed just out of reach. It was. The dream would die as I was placed back on The Shelf. There to remain. Unwanted.

Until today. A kindly looking old man took me from The Shelf and looked me over. He spent a lot of time scrutinizing me and my accessories. I tried not to let the hope build, but it was hard not to. I fought at it, pushing it down, desperate to avoid disappointment once again. Instead, I found myself being carried away. Images rushed past me as I was taken further and further from The Shelf. My heart soared. I was one of the Chosen.

At first life was a blur as I was taken from place to place. I went from warmth, to cold, then back to warmth. Then things began to slow. I was placed with care into a box. Lovingly cushioned amongst brightly colored tissue paper. I slept.

I woke to the sound of paper ripping and children squealing. Light spilled into the box, blues and reds and greens, blinking and dancing. I found myself in the hands of a small boy. If the stories were true, I would be freed from this prison and would be free to play. Free to love.

Instead, I was set aside. I watched the boy tear into other brightly wrapped boxes and bags. He laughed and clapped and sang as more of the Chosen were placed beside me. Soon, the boxes and bags were gone, leaving nothing but paper.

One by one, the other of the Chosen were freed from their cardboard and plastic prisons. But not me. Only I remained trapped. Only me.

I was taken from the room of lights and placed on another shelf in a small room full of shirts and pants that hung from a long pole. The door closed and I was alone in the dark. Why was I here? Why didn’t the boy free me? Was I not one of the Chosen?

Then I knew. I was to be returned. I wasn’t wanted. The boy didn’t want me. I was to be one of the Returned. I would go back on The Shelf. I would not be freed. I would not know joy, nor love. I would not know what it felt like to belong.

As I felt sleep take hold, as I thought of life back on The Shelf, I tried to reassure myself that this was all for the best. That I would be chosen one day. That I was wanted. I just had to be patient. My time would come.

After all, we were built to wait.

Story Dam
This comes from a story prompt from storydam.com which said: "Since many of you don’t appear to be being challenged enough, we’re going to step our game up a little for the Dam Burst prompts…starting today. You get to play the part of the gift (Mwah ha ha!) Write a piece in which you, the gift, have fulfilled your destiny—to be given to someone… only they don’t want you."


  1. More harsh than the discarded on Christmas morning. Nice suspense

    1. Thank you for the visit and the comment. :)

  2. Aww, so sad...that poor unwanted...what? I'm guessing a toy?

    I almost thought it would be a collectible, meant to remain pristine and unopened, much to its disappointment.

    Very clever :) Visiting from Story Dam

    1. Yes, it was a toy. In my mind it was an action figure :)

  3. Really nice take on the prompt! The only thing I would suggest is a relook of the first paragraph. You say "Once upon a time" as though it was some time ago when he was chose, though it really wasn't that long ago. You also say that your home was surrounded by a plastic bubble. I would think in this instance, his home(or prison) was a bubble. Neither are a big deal, but you want to maintain a sense of reasonable time lapse. (The other is just a matter of wording.)

    Aside from that, especially toward the end, you really do a great job of building that sense of disappointment and anguish. Great job!

    1. Those are some really good points. Thanks!