Today’s writing prompt is about setting the stage for a Thanksgiving dinner. Who doesn’t like a good drama? Keep reading to see the full writing prompt and my completed version of it.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Thanksgiving Theater
Today, write a mini-drama that takes place around the table as a family sits down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Be as creative or as funny as possible. But also make the mini-drama somewhat realistic. Essentially, set the scene for a drama-filled Thanksgiving meal. Why not? Have fun with it.
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
Thanksgiving Theater, by K.E. Creighton
Sitting around the table with my family this Thanksgiving is, well… awkward. Watching everyone engage in passive-aggressive pleasantries today is like watching the beginning stages of a car crash happening in slow-mo. You know it’s going to happen eventually, and that it will be loud and messy when it does. But you also know you can’t stop it. And yet you just can’t look away from the impending wreckage either.
We all know Uncle Frank has been sleeping with Lorraine, his brother Gil’s wife’s best friend, for a little under a year now. And Aunt Sally, Uncle Frank’s wife, is actively trying to will the knowledge of the affair away (as well as Frank’s and Lorraine’s presence) by gorging everyone with fatty foods. She told me this morning she had been cooking for days to prepare this meal with my grandmother, which couldn’t have been easy. My grandmother is a perfectionist in the kitchen and always says she wants help but really doesn’t, and would rather do everything herself. And of course, she hasn’t eaten a single bite yet and is sitting at the head of the table sipping on her cabernet, judging everyone’s attire, posture, and table manners. Especially the adults.
Aunt Sally is currently heaping massive spoonfuls of mashed potatoes onto my four-year-old cousin Max’s plate. Max’s eyes are huge and he looks worried but he doesn’t say anything. He just sticks his fingers in the white pillowy pile before reaching over to try to put the extra potatoes in his older cousin Kyle’s ear. Kyle giggles and squirms away and reaches for his plate with his bare hands to grab something on it. For a second I’m excited that a food fight might break out, I’m ashamed to admit. But then my grandmother hushes them before things go too far.
Kyle is my younger half-brother who is the result of my mother’s third marriage. The half-brother my grandfather gets tangled up in knots over when he talks to him or talks about him because he doesn’t want to seem racist to others. Although he is to a certain degree— passively racist. My mom says being in the military during the Vietnam War made him that way somehow. But she and my second stepdad try to ignore it, along with the rest of us. Yet another thing to be ashamed of.
After we had said grace a few moments ago, we had gone around the table to say what we were thankful for, and we had all said we were grateful for one another, for family. But still, we all know that we won’t be eating another meal together as soon as Christmas. Especially if Uncle Gil, my stepdad, and my grandpa start talking about politics while we eat.
Then, almost as if queued up, my grandpa asks my uncle to pass the salt before saying, “So, Gil, what are your thoughts on the election a few weeks ago?” Now it’s my grandmother who looks like she’s going to start throwing mashed potatoes at someone.