It’s that time of year again. The turkeys are sprinting toward their golden-brown destiny, potatoes all amash, gravy cascading from spouts across the nation. We are officially staring down the barrel of what we here in the States know as Thanksgiving, and for purely many reasons that have nothing to do with raw gluttony and decadence, we are all very excited.
Of course, not everyone is in the spirit. It’s not a universal holiday, but it is a universal feeling. Everyone knows the warm afterglow of a good meal in good company. And that’s what we’re going to try to capture here, because…
This week’s prompt is:
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
RULES AND GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED! (again, again)
Read them below to participate! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
As I alluded to in the opener a up there, this isn’t explicitly about Thanksgiving. Those stories are totally acceptable and will fulfill the prompt, but also feel free to draw on any idea that evokes the prompt’s theme. If it has anything at all to do with a jubilant feast of any kind, it’s fair game.
For reference, this could mean a feast shared among cannibals, told from the perspective of a not-so-lucky meal. It could mean something meager and threadbare—scraps of melon rind and chewed ham hock—cobbled together in the depths of poverty. Taking a step away from the table, and it could be an outside perspective looking in on the merrymaking. Maybe someone less fortunate, feeling envious, mournful, distant. Or maybe someone altogether unaffected, seeing great value in their own, smaller, less decadent jubilation.
Whatever you serve up, know that we’re all waiting here with growling bellies. Let the feast begin!
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!
Rules and Guidelines
We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from this public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- One submission per participant.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- No more than 350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
- You must leave a review on two other submission to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long (if you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post).
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or credits will be provided.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.
“A Fireside Guest” by Magan (Legends of Dracora series) (350 words)
The teenage human astronaut huddled in her cloak, excitedly curious. Her captors? Rescuers? She didn’t know what to call them, finished adjustments to her disguise. The young cheetah and flying squirrel were about her age in their respective animal years, if she had to guess. They had pulled her from her wrecked shuttlecraft in primitive, homemade spacesuits, and she had saved them from a killer tree on the way to town, but she was still unsure of her fate. They had treated her wounds, feeding and sheltering her. But they made every attempt to hide her from their families and neighbors.
Despite the language barrier, they conveyed to her the basics of events. She was invited to a festival, but couldn’t go outside as she was. The reasoning was unclear, but she guessed it concerned her being a literal alien to their world. It wouldn’t do to cause town-wide panic.
The costume was a hooded patchwork of dyed, fur-like wool, with the cloak covering it, along with face paint and candle wax prosthetics. The teen looked like a strange ape when facing the mirror, which she supposed was the closest thing they could compare her to. She had seen no other humans from the giant hollow tree that was their apartment. The valley’s other inhabitants were also these recognizable yet sapient animals, both predator and prey.
The cheetah and squirrel, satisfied with their work, lead her through moonlit shadows cast by other massive tree-buildings and past burrows to the town center. Bonfires blazed, reflecting fiery hues of autumn leaves. Food and drink were laid out; wines, ciders, meads, and meat from odd plant-sheep she had spied in the fields, among more familiar dishes. Children sat spellbound by stories, while others burned small offerings. Townsfolk danced to energetic music, and several whirled flaming objects in dazzling displays of skill.
The human stared in disbelief. The fire was alive! Fire-creatures danced with the townsfolk all night. At dawn, the elemental spirits were coaxed into firepots, carried indoors against winter. She now knew why families shared food with their hearth fires every meal.
“The Feast of Tartarus” Submitted by Connor/Dragoneye
“My children, come!”
The booming voice of the Archfiend echoed within the cavernous chamber. A cacophony of demons, the Unwanted masses of flesh, the giggling Imps, the Beasts’ course fur, swarmed around the foot of the throne, gazing up to their father. A gust of chilling wind perpetually swept within the, with snow caking the stone floor and shards of ice jutting out of the walls.
Each of Nulgath’s six eyes glanced over the army of fiends, only to spot the odd one out. Among the rest of the demons, whose bodies were cold as death, hovered the warm crimson shape of the devil Raskerov. His black hair and ragged cloak rippled with Tartarus’ churning winds.
“If it weren’t for our brother’s help, we wouldn’t have retrieved the altar.” At Nulgath’s feet sat a large silvery chalice, with a fluid as red as Raskerov’s skin swirling within. Nulgath gestured to the devil, saying “It is only honorable for you to take a drop of this chalice, Reanimator.”
Raskerov meandered past the host of fiends to the foot of the Archfiend’s throne. His gaze met his reflection within the wine, with his long winding horns as the center of attention. “I thank you for this…. offering, but I have much greater business to attend to,” he spoke to Nulgath.
The Archfiend’s legion of eyes narrowed, sneering over his “nephew” who refused to accept his boon. However, his immediate contempt was softened by the memory of his bargain: Raskerov’s assistance in obtaining the altar. “I… understand,” he replied, before flatly ending with “now take the altar.” The stone tablet in Nulgath’s clutches then levitated over to the devil’s hands. As soon as his hand grasped it, a small flash of smoke and embers dispelled his shape, and the tablet with him.
The lesser demons that gathered raised once again a discordant clamor, mixed with both fervent laughter and hushed chatter. “For the retrieval of our forefather’s relic, now we dine!!”
A High Night Dinner Submitted by: Exce
It had been a hard year. First father had died, then brother fell in the service of a lord.
A medallion was all we had been given back.
The Great Night came and with snow thick on the ground the cold managed to claw its way in and stay despite the fire trying to burn it out.
In those days, I slept with the medallion in my hands, and I could have sworn there was a warmth to it.
I dreamed of past years, filled with happiness. And wished for their return.
High Night came once again. All light gone from the sky, as if all the stars had died.
Mother was cooking a meager meal in the hearth, made from what little we had.
That’s when it knocked on the door. Our cabin was a few hours of walk from any village, and after father’s death his friends had visited less and less, Mother’s home village was far too distant for anyone to visit.
As I opened the Door I could see a smile despite the cold.
Outside was a man wrapped in furs with a mule.
Once mother saw the man, she invited him in with a smile and he brought in the saddlebags from his donkey.
Mother sent me and my brother out of the room, talking to the man alone for a moment. Once we were called came back, the table in our big room was filled with different kinds of food, some I recognized, and others that were foreign.
Meat and vegetables, pastries and fruit.
All cold seemed to have fled, and the strange man smiled as we came back, mother pouring a steaming brown liquid into cups.
Without his furs, the man was vaguely familiar. He had unkempt red hair, and a pale scar across one side of his face.
“Eat, drink, and be merry!” Those were his words and mother told us he was an old friend.
And so, this High Night was a happy one after all. By the mercy of a friend sharing what they had with those who had nothing.