As Normal as it Could Be

Submitted into Contest #34 in response to: Write a story about a family game night.... view prompt



“Go fish!”

They hadn’t had a game night, not in forever. 

“Do you have any twos?”

She looked around at her smiling, happy family and wondered if this could have ever happened under different circumstances.

“Hah! Hand them over!”

Probably not.

“What about any sevens?”

She peeked down at her cards and smiled. She didn’t have any sevens.

“Go fish.”

This wasn’t normal.

“Dad, do you have any queens?”

Her mom was supposed to be working. She never stopped working. Yet she wasn’t working now.

“Ah, fine. Good guess.”

The twins were supposed to be arguing. But here they were, laughing and smiling along with everyone else.

“Mom, do you have any nines?”

She was supposed to be packing her lunch, putting together her schoolbag. It was a Wednesday night. But she wasn’t. She was being a part of the family.

“Nope! Go fish.”

Even the dogs had all settled, with a reassurance that the family was going to stay at the house, as they had done for the past two weeks.

“I know you have the ones. Gimme!”

This wasn’t normal.

“How did you know? Ugh!”

Before last week, they hadn’t sat down for dinner together as a family.

“Give me the ones!”

They had made dinner, all together, and sat down at the actual dining table. Not in front of the TV, but at the table, to have a real discussion.

“Here, here. I’m just messing with you.”

They hadn’t done that in forever. But she didn’t mind. It just wasn’t normal.

“Do you have any kings?”

Just last week, the three siblings had all taken the dogs for a walk together. 

“Nope. Go fish.”

They were cooperating, working together. Definitely not normal.

“Mom, do you have the nines?”

Her mom was always working. She always made time for the family, but this was different.

“You asked me that earlier. Still no!”

She was normally always stressed. But tonight, she was relaxed. And that wasn’t normal.

“Sweetie, do you have any fives?”

Nobody had left the house in over a week. 

“That was half of my hand!”

They were supposed to be bored, to be sick of each other.

“I think I’m winning!”

Normally, they would all be bored by the end of a weekend. Just two days.

“Team up on mom, guys!”

But they weren’t. And that wasn’t normal.

“Mom, do you have any sixes?”

She didn’t really mind that it wasn’t normal. 

“You always seem to know what I have…”

She had started reading a new book. It was pretty good, considering that it was another young adult dystopian future novel. The book had been sitting on her shelf for months, as she never had the time to do that earlier. But now she could.

“Bud, I think you’re cheating. Hey!”

She had taught herself the ASL alphabet within two days of being at home. It didn’t seem like much, but she would have never been able to do that with school.

“Fiiiine, you can have your sixes back.”

She had started a new craft. She had decided to make a blanket out of all her old t-shirts. And she was making considerable progress. She had actually decided to do this over a month ago, but she had already reached the step of sewing within a week of starting.

“You can keep them, just no more cheating. Back to the game!”

She was enjoying learning Spanish. School made it a tedious task, but she was learning in a way that helped her. It was weirdly fun.

“Got any eights?”

She was even writing. She had started a new story, one that she was actually excited about. And she had decided to stick with it, unlike the cluster of first paragraphs that she had given up on. She was already up to four pages.

“Go fish!”

And all of that definitely wasn’t normal. Not even close.

“I’ve only got one card left. What happens then?”

The family even had a puzzle sitting out. The boarder had been done, and there were parts coming together. And weirdly, the puzzle was the most normal thing there.

“I think that you’re out.”

So, nothing about this game night was normal.

“Do you have any threes dad?”

Not the circumstances.

“Of course… not!”

Not the family.

“Darn it! Who has the three?”

Not what the people were doing. 

“Me! Give me yours. Hah!”

But somehow, with all of the craziness going on, it seemed okay.

“Now I only have one card!

Them, sitting around the table, playing Go Fish.

“Got any sevens?”

It was the most normal that it could be.

“Go fish!”

And it was definitely strange.

“Aww! We’re getting so close.”

So she looked up and around at her family.

“Can we play Clue next? I’m good at that game.”

The cards in the drawing deck were low.

No, I want to play Life!”

Nobody had more than three cards in their hand.

“Lets finish this game first, okay?”

Dad had 1 set.

“Do you have any jacks?”

The twins both had 2.

“Nope. Go fish, you loser!”

Mom had 4.

“Do you have any aces?”

She had 3.

“I said, do you have any aces?”

And she knew that she wasn’t going to win, but she still said,

“Go fish.”

March 23, 2020 14:26

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Sherry Torgent
13:25 Apr 02, 2020

You created a good picture of what's going on in a lot of homes. Makes you think.


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Julia Roberts
13:59 Mar 30, 2020

This is a cute and creative story. I love the balance between the reflection and the present, and overall the story is very wholesome.


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