#17: All the Fixin's
Next weekend is Thanksgiving in the United States! And while people have their own various traditions when it comes to marking the holiday, one thing remains fairly consistent: you get together with loved ones and you eat.
And in between mouthfuls, you talk! In fact, dinner conversation can be an excellent and overflowing source of writing inspiration — from family dynamics and long-observed dinner-time rituals, to new-comer partners meeting the family for the first time. A family dinner can truly be mapped out using a story structure: with a beginning, followed by rising action, peaking with a climax, and then wrapping up with a denouement.
This week, each of our prompts challenges you to write a short story involving a family dinner.
P.S – Know some kiddos who will be excited to do some reading over the holidays? Check out this list of the 35 best Thanksgiving books to read with kids.
This week's prompts
Write a story about a family dinner from the perspective of an in-law who's married into the family.
Thanksgiving – 34 stories
Write a story about a family dinner that includes someone unexpected showing up.
Thanksgiving – 80 stories
Write a story about a family dinner that takes place in any time period other than the present.
Historical Fiction – 30 stories
Write a story about a family dinner that involves some kind of reconciliation.
Nonfiction – 30 stories
“Five Matzos” by Dave Jackson
Rabbi Pesach Lieberman reverently laid the matzo on the makeshift bench. Passover had always been the holiday closest to his heart. Possibly it was because his given name Pesach meant “Passover” in Hebrew or maybe it was because he had never forgotten the old days when he and his brothers, sisters and parents used to cluster around a glittering festival laden table, old and young converging together to celebrate a three thousand year old miracle.Today’s celebration, however, was goi...
“Life Found on Mars” by Christina Steele
The council had agreed. Euthanization of the immigrants would happen today at the high moon this 2052 MY (Mars Year) 549 Sol. Most were in poor health anyway, some would stay for continued scientific examination, and four of the youth who survived information intake showed educable promise would receive Partial Martian citizenship. Quatek had attended the meeting with her mother, Supreme Empress Quarmine. Quatek practiced her self-teleportation and levitation. But the word euthanized sharpened her already pointed ears. As part ...
“Favorite Thing in the Whole World” by Brittany Weaver
“Is anyone allergic to pumpkin?” Miri called from the kitchen. “Pumpkin?” Axel asked, looking up from his Town and Country. “Is that even an allergy?” “Anything can be an allergy. Like how I’m allergic to you,” Timber quipped to Axel. Miri laughed as the grown men knocked each other to the floor, tussling as Canaan shouted over their grunts. Hollers of “100 points! 100 points to the redhead!” floated from the living room to the kitchen. “You’re the redhead!” Timber yelled to C...
“DINNER WITH TIFFANY” by Deborah Mercer
Jeanette and Kenneth had just settled down to a cosy family dinner. They’d originally planned to go to the cinema, but their babysitter, Angie, had gone down with the flu and been forced to cancel. She worshipped the ground their little boy Alec crawled on, and it was hard to tell how much of the blocked up sound to her voice was because of the flu and how much was because she was fighting back her tears. Jeanette assured her she wasn’t to give it a second thought, she was just to rest up and drink lots of f...
“FREE BUT OPTIONAL” by Deborah Mercer
“The Lilacs” had gone through stages, since it first opened in the 1950s, of being called a Guest House (the first owner, Mrs Branson, had been quite determined it would never be anything so common as a Boarding House) and a Private Hotel, a Guest House again, and then simply a Hotel. Now, technically, it wasn’t classed as anything. The sign, already slightly faded by the harsh wind that blew in from the North Sea, but still pretty, with a picture of a lilac tree on it, just said The Lilacs and officially ...
“Beta Casseopeiae” by Natasha Arnold
Kept within the bounds of time and space, Ezra could not escape the impending doom of Shabbat Dinner. His hands clenched tightly to Tziviah’s arm, his gentle, hazel eyes gazing towards the family home. His sandals scuffled across the field, his wife leading him towards his worst nightmare. “Zussya and Mordechai have been keeping Abba busy,” muttered Tziviah, opening the front gates, “Afte...
“Journal” by Tiffany Wetherington
I don’t keep a diary or a journal or anything like that except for a basic planner at the office. That planner, now that I think about it, is probably the reason I don’t keep a diary. When you’re required to meticulously note what you’re doing for every minute of the day coming home and writing about your day seems a little repetitive. I’m going to label this file “Journal,” however. Maybe it will have more than one entry, it’s hard to tell, but I doubt I’ll have another experience that will fit with the one I’m about to write. Not to dis...
“The Lucky Charms” by Bella Owens
”Pass the salt, please.” “Which one, May’s organic Himalayan salt or the salt that actually tastes like salt?” Eric laughs, holding up both salt shakers. Maybelle elbows him jokingly. “You know that everyone here likes my Himalayan salt, and you are the only one who has a problem with it, Eric.” “Actually, I’ll have the normal salt.” Valentina says. “Wow, I see how it is!” Maybelle exclaims. “You know what? My Himalayan salt and I are perfectly happy without you guys!” She adds, before b...
“The Bell” by Stevie Hugo
It was time to go down, but I didn't. I had a lot to do to get ready. My hair wasn't combed. My shoes weren't on, neither was my tie or vest. I could hear Mother downstairs, ringing the little silver bell. The same one she always used when it was dinnertime. Whether the whole family was here or if it was just me and Fa...
“An Unexpected Thanksgiving” by Heidi Slowinski
The house was quiet, just the way I liked it. I'm not very social, as a general rule. A quiet Thanksgiving was just what I wanted. My mom would be home later. We'd curl up and watch Elf together. We always watched Elf together on Thanksgiving night. It was the best! She would pull out my favorite blanket and make cocoa. But for now, I had the house to myself. All was quiet and I was ready for a nice long nap.I ate a nice snack. My mom always keeps my favorite snacks available for me whenever I want. My stomach full, I curled u...
“Cantenbrook's Gift” by Alaina Logan
Hattie stared at her sewing blankly. It stood out at odds and ends, and heavens it wasn’t the best, and Hattie knew it. She held the red string in her hand, swinging the needle tied to it back and forth. “Hattie, dear, your stitching is, well…” Miss Maple trailed of as Hattie glared at her as she continued to swing the needle back and forth, back and forth. &nb...
“Fifty Nine Hudson Street” by Gordon K
Hudson Street was a quiet and cosy street on the day that Steve found himself stood outside number Fifty Nine which was his parents' house and that was where he had found himself for the first time in years, feeling anxious and reluctant to go inside. He looked around and noticed that all seemed calm and nobody seemed to be around. The sky was blue with a friendly cluster of fluffy white clouds. He couldn’t remember ever seen such a calm and perfect day ever when he had been living there. All he could recall was rain, commotion and more r...
“Family Skeleton” by Agathe Burrier
No one thought that she would actually have the nerve to show up. I think that’s why she was able to get inside, truly. No one moved. No one stopped her. She just… she just kind of showed up at the door, sat herself on the edge of a chair and smiled. By that point, there was nothing we could do to make her leave without causing a commotion.It’s not that I hate her, you know. I mean, I don’t. My aunt Susan is another story for sure, but I’m just sort of following the flow on the matter. Everyone in my family hates her. I si...
“The Thanksgiving Beyond Imagination” by Evelyn Freday
If I didn’t hurry up soon, I wouldn’t be able to enter the science contest in time. Fifth grade is when you are allowed to enter. In fourth grade, I was totally psyched about it, and when I realized I couldn’t do it, I was pretty bummed. Mrs. Albeck almost decided I could enter in fourth grade, since I was doing 7th grade math AND English, but in the end she decided I probably wouldn’t make it ...
“The Nearness of November” by Deborah Mercer
It didn’t really feel as if they were at war, and yet they were, and they didn’t know when it would be over, and longed for it to be, before it had even properly started. Mrs Phoebe Miller had always given her children a proper birthday tea, though, and she wasn’t going to change that tradition now because of what had happened just over two months ago and everybody had seen coming. It was her elder child Melissa’s 18th birthday. She wouldn’t come of age until she was 21, but it was still a signifi...
Ended on 23:59 - Nov 29, 2019 EST
Won by Ian Gonzales 🏆
Title: No Place Special
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