Happy Families

Photo prompt © Singledust

Happy Families

It was supposed to be a celebration.

David drummed his fingers on the tabletop as his siblings exchanged barbs. Couldn’t they make an effort to get on? Just one evening was all he asked for. But no – they couldn’t even maintain the facade of a happy family for a few hours. He gritted his teeth.

He’d planned the meal so carefully. The table had been booked at their favourite Chinese restaurant – the one they always visited for family occasions – and he’d persuaded everyone to attend. Attendance, though, did not mean cooperation.

Jenny’s hand came to rest upon his, her gentle touch stilling his fingers.

It was his eldest brother who noticed first, falling silent as his gaze fell on the ring. One after another the others followed suit.

“You’re engaged?”

“Yes. But that’s not all.” He placed a hand on Jenny’s still flat stomach, and his family erupted into excited congratulations.

“I don’t know why you were so worried,” Jenny teased.

David rolled his eyes. “How do you feel about our baby being an only child?”

Word count: 175

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. These week’s prompt was provided by Singledust. Thank you for a great prompt, Gina!


23 thoughts on “Happy Families

  1. This story made my heart swell, love at it’s sweetest between two people who need so few words to communicate with each other. You really wrote a scene from a dinner that could be taking place anytime soon or has happened and you were sitting in the same restaurant watching the joyous occasion, you captured the family atmosphere so well Louise!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Gina. Being a singleton I always worry about writing romantic moments, so I’m happy you felt the relationship worked. I am part of a big family though, with the usual tricky family dynamics, so in many ways the family atmosphere could be taken from one of many meals I’ve experienced! Thanks for visiting. 🙂 And thanks for the great prompt, as well. 😀

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      1. I would like to think being single or not we are made from the same fabric that appreciates companionship and how we find that in our real lives doesn’t matter to how we write it, and you tell a beautiful take of a special bond between two people, you are certainly a romantic at heart. Without giving too much away, I have been a “singleton” most of my adult life but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the soft kind moments between people who care a lot about each other. Once again we prejudge so harshly. It’s all in our make up. You have been brought up in a big family full of love and companionship just like I have , so it’s easy to see the love shared even it may exactly be our story, we were still part of the page it was written on. Pardon if I may have overstepped some boundaries here but I think that’s why we connect so easily with each others words, our families have played a huge role in our make up . While I never found the happiness my parents had together, I am happy I got to grow up watching their love.


  2. He’s concerned about a repeat in sibling rivalry among his children , so having only one would be fine with him, but all families have their moments of unrest. If their child does not have siblings there is always some other member of the family for moments like that.

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    1. I’d say that being an only child causes completely different issues, as well. I’m one of six, myself, and I might have occasionally wished I were an only child (we’ve always squabbled a lot), but I know they’ll always be there for me if I need them. An only child doesn’t have quite the same network of support. Thanks for reading, Jessie. 🙂


      1. No, you are right, an only child does not have the same network of support. Our granddaughter is an only child and I’m sure she would love to have a sibling to share things with, but she does have friends even though that is not quite the same thing. I come from a family of three girls and I often wondered what it would be like to have a brother. I guess others like my sister’s children wonder what it would have been like to have a sister. 🙂


  3. I really like the contrast between the hostilities exchanged between David’s family members and his loving, peaceful relationship with Jenny. Nicely written!


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