Family Dinner: Friday Fictioneers

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 6.29.33 PM

© Fatima Fakier Deria


I stood and looked at the remains of the dinner party I’d thrown for the family. Chairs were hurriedly pushed back and skewed. Most of the time Alan had sat with his back to our Dad’s new wife. At least if there had been blood spilled it would have soaked into the sand around the tree. It was never like this when Mum was alive. Only since Dad found his new  toxic partner. They’d tried so hard to like her, for his sake.   

Sighing I said, “Mum you taught us well – at least they cleared the table.”

With thanks to Rochelle Wiseoff -Fields who hosts Friday fictioneers and also Fatima Fakier Deria who provided the photo prompt.


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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51 Responses to Family Dinner: Friday Fictioneers

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    Having been there after my parents separation I can vouch for the tricky situation. Neatly done Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Moon says:

    A very moving story, Irene. Coping up with a new mother occupying the chair beside their dad, left empty by their mother, is difficult as it is, I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be for Alan and his siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynn Love says:

    Families are so difficult, aren’t they? Especially when someone new comes in. Well told tale Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra says:

    Such a difficult time in family life, and you captured that perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Irene,

    So much story in this one little snippet. Family dynamics are sometimes difficult, aren’t they? You’ve captured it here. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  6. pennygadd51 says:

    What a super story, Irene! You tell us such a lot about the family. You manage to combine the dramatic (Alan’s behaviour, and the mention of blood soaking into the sand) and the domestic (“at least they cleared the table.”) in a most satisfying way. I hope the daughter’s efforts eventually bear fruit, although I fear there’s little chance of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lisarey1990 says:

    Great story. Things seem like they are going to get messy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You caught family dynamics very well in your piece. The line about spilled blood truly lets the reader know how toxic the new wife is.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dale says:

    Rare are the times where the “new woman” or “new man” are accepted point blank. When my parents separated after 29 years I welcomed both new partners with open arms. They each made my parents happy so who was I to judge? Sadly, not all feel the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh dear, something bad’s going to happen methinks! Excellent Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. yarnspinnerr says:

    A very real issue these days. Great take.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. gahlearner says:

    Oh dear, I can feel the sparks fly here. What an ugly situation to be in. Such toxic addition to the family will break it up, very likely. But is she, or do the kids want to see her that way? Great writing, Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Families at the best of times can be difficult to get along with, the broken ones are even trickier I’m sure. Great story. There’s just one point of confusion for me, is the narrator the daughter of the family, i.e. Alan’s sister? The ending seems to suggest so, but the rest of the story has references to ‘their father’ etc, which becomes third person.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. James McEwan says:

    Difficult one this and well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. granonine says:

    Made me think of a client I working with. This is a true-to-life situation, and one wonders how a man could choose such a toxic second wife after having such a lovely first wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You portrayed the complexities of family well, nicely written story! =)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dahlia says:

    Very nicely portrayed Irene!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dan Bohn says:

    Ohhhhh, that was kinda sad Irene. “Toxic” that word stung, but “Mum you taught us well” made up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You’ve illustrated the confusion and messiness of families so well. And yet we need each other so much. That’s life! Well written, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sometimes it’s a wonder that it works at all… but toxic never works.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s so hard to see someone we love in this type of relationship. You described the scene well.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. athling2001 says:

    Great last line! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This hit home for me as we have an older couple living with us. The man can’t see just how unstable and addicted his wife is. Leads to a lot of awkward silences at dinner!

    Liked by 1 person

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