The latest competition in Writers Magazine asks for a story where food is involved and I was a bit confused. There isn’t much drama in a carrot growing, is there? Then I notice it suggested – Capture the importance of a family dinner and realised it was about people eating and I started my standard practice of a list. I usually start with the obvious things and keep going until the ideas with real potential start coming. The stories that have won have been a bit dark and scary, even fantasy so there is no point in listing how Aunt Aggie ate the green napkins thinking they were lettuce but I still started with
(a) An eve of wedding meal where someone is having second thoughts.
(b) A last super before break up as the couple reconsider. He orders her favourite sweet maybe.
(c) A last meal before emigrating and leaving friends and familiar places.
(d) A first meal at the possible mother-in-laws.
(e) A first date but he is a serial killer.
(f) A christening breakfast but is the child his?
(g) The first meal cooked in their newly married home.
(h) A funeral meal where they are all suspicious of who will inherit what.
(i) A disaster in the kitchen – a fire maybe.
(j) They are starving. Maybe the people who went looking for the North west Passage and started to eat each other. There are only two left. Who is next?
For me a, b, c don’t have enough. d and g have humour potential but this is Writers Magazine but they might work elsewhere. f, h and i and might work but feel a bit flimsy. So I’m left with pushing the cannibals.
Still, from d on I think I could make something of them.