General Non-Fiction posted August 4, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Unexpected, for sure ...


by Wendy G

A Surprise Event Contest Winner 

Five of us descended in two-year intervals from twenty-two years old to fourteen, and then there was a gap to our eight-year-old brother, Neil.

Money had been scarce throughout our childhood. Although we had never gone hungry, we had never been to a restaurant – our special treat was greasy fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, maybe once or twice a year.

I was leaving home. Our parents announced that we would have a family meal at a posh restaurant to mark the occasion.

Starched white tablecloth and napkins, silver cutlery, superior-looking waiters in black … we felt more than a little out of place, despite wearing our best clothes, and show-casing our best manners.

Even the menu was daunting, but after considerable deliberation, we all chose with care, hoping for a memorable and delicious dish for this special evening. Neil opted for fish, a comfortable and unsurprising choice.

We observed other diners and tried to imitate their nonchalance. It was not easy to be at ease.

Finally the waiters headed towards our table, setting out their platters with care. Neil's place remained empty.

Then the waiter returned – with Neil's platter covered. The waiter carefully placed it before him, and with a dramatic flourish, lifted the cloche.

Neil burst into tears – surprise, followed by shock and bewilderment, overcoming him. There lay … a whole fish, head still attached, and a silvery, glassy eye in place. He was horrified.

"I can't eat that!" he exclaimed in a panic. "It's watching me! Will some-one swap with me?"

Equally stunned, none of the rest of us wanted the fish with the eye. So this was what fine dining entailed!

Father's amusement soon changed to irritation. He reluctantly offered his own meal to Neil, and took the offending platter.

Mercilessly he sliced off the head, covered the eye with vegetables – and ate.

We all watched in silence, unbelieving. Let's just say the evening was memorable.

To this day, none of us has ever ordered fish in a restaurant. We just go to the local take-away!


Writing Prompt
Your true story entry must include yourself and 1 brother, both from the same father and mother. Word Count--300-350 / Black font only /Keep it G rated, suitable for children

A Surprise Event
Contest Winner



344 words.

Note: "Take-away" variations

Take-away or takeaway: England, Wales, Australia, Lebanon, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and occasionally in North America
Takeaways: India, New Zealand
Take-out or takeout: U.S., Canada, and the Philippines
Carry-out or to-go: Scotland and some dialects in the U.S. and Canada
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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