The Empress’s gold chopsticks

“Jinjing, We need you.”

“Yes, Empress.”

“We need a contrivance to eat our food.  We grow tired of your fingers.”

“Empress cannot soil Royal fingers.”

“We shall do as We please.  Bring Us those gold serving…sticks.  Chop chop, Jinjing.”

“Yes, Empress.  Shall I taste Royal food with my humble fingers, Empress?”

“No, use sticks.  Get your own…the silver ones…there.”

“Empress is truly wise. Royal food is twice pleasurable.”

“Jinjing, we starve….”

“Food is tasted, Empress.”

“Give it here, Jinjing.  Food most agreeable with sticks than with your disagreeable fingers.  We hate to think what spoil lingers there, Jinjing.”

“Poison, Empress.”

Friday Fictioneers at Addicted to Purple
Photo Prompt:  Copyright Marie Gail Stratford
Word Count:  100

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at Addicted to Purple for hosting Friday Fictioneers


The use of Chopsticks may have been as early as 1766-1122 BCE in China which would put it in the Shang Dynasty. Chopsticks were used for cooking and serving and it wasn’t until much later that they were used as eating utensils in the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE)  and came into normal use for eating, in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE).”Chop chop”  is Chinese Pidgin English which could not have been founded until English sailors came into contact with Chinese in the South China Sea beginning in the 1600’s CE.  The fictitious Empress would have been in the Shang Dynasty, around 1000 years earlier…



When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

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Posted in assassination, China, fiction, flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, humor, poison
30 comments on “The Empress’s gold chopsticks
  1. Y. Zheng says:

    Fascinating history learning on the origin of chopsticks. I’ve been using chopsticks my whole life and have no idea how it came to be.

  2. Interesting story. I liked it.

    • Lucy says:

      Thank you so much. And thank you for coming by and commenting. So there are people on the other side of this screen! Lucy

      • haha I know the feeling. I’ve been blogging for a couple of months and at first I thought no one was interested in my short stories or character interviews. Keep up the good work! It’ll pay off.

  3. Imaginative story, Justina. Sounds as though Jinjing missed her chance to poison the Empress, or did I misunderstand (which is always possible.)


  4. dianathrelfo says:

    A fun take on the prompt. Liked it a lot.

  5. Thanks for sharing the history.

  6. camgal says:

    Learning something new everyday. Didn’t know the Chinese had pidgin English as well. Well done.

  7. yarnspinnerr says:

    Unique take. Nice.

  8. Kate Loveton says:

    Well done! Liked the gotcha! ending. Wasn’t expecting the foiled poison plot. I think this is one of your best stories, Lucy – and that is saying something since I’m such a fan of the imaginative things you come up with.

  9. empeck says:

    Well done story! Also, very interesting history lesson.

  10. Lucy, Good and well-written story once again. I also learned things from your research. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

  11. Dear Lucy,

    We followed similar research paths this week. 😉 Nicely done.



  12. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Lucy, So great and devious! So the taster was going to poison the Empress? Good story and thanks – I enjoyed reading it so much! Nan 🙂

    • Lucy says:

      No, thank you. I really like hearing from you. Yep. Jinjing was planning .on poisoning the annoying Empress. Too bad she chose that time to use utensils. Thanks for reading my stuff. Lucy

  13. Lovely piece of history combined with fiction.

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© [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles], [2015-2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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