Lessons at the Dinner Table: The Wonder of it All

dinnertimeEver wonder what makes a particular group of people click? And then keep on clicking for years afterwards? Essentially, such interaction requires ‘role acceptance.’

If you ever wish to learn how a person interacts within his/her designated family role, the dinner table is an excellent place to begin your investigation. As a matter of fact, families who don’t interact around a dinner table traditionally don’t interact well with one another in other areas of their lives.

Here’s an edited excerpt from a little dinner table investigation in At the Water’s Edge, where Douglas Donnelly has just returned home from a business trip to find a most unexpected and interesting interaction culminating between his two eldest sons.

I revised this little blip of insight to meet the Trifecta Writing Challenge standards for Week Fifty-seven. The word to be included is wonder (without variation), based upon its third definition: (noun) 3: rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. The writing also has to be between 33 and 333 words. (I’m at the exact maximum.)

More than anything else, I hope you enjoy interacting with the Donnelly family, as you get to know them better while clicking with their group.


Wey frowned, directing his own heated gaze onto Wil. He couldn’t understand why his brother had chosen their Ma’s lovely house guest as the target of his murkiness lately; and even Wey, normally light-hearted, was being infected by this sudden personality change.  Not that Wil hadn’t always been more intense about everything, by Wey’s standard, but things were getting out of hand here.

Douglas was next to notice the sudden change in atmosphere, looking upon his wife in utter confusion. Cairine simply glanced back his way with an agitated, baffled shrug, as if to convey, ‘And this is how it’s been while you were away. Welcome home.’

Keeley leaned over to their guest, whispering something in her ear and giggling. Danielle attempted to muster a polite grin for Keeley’s sake. Wey hummed to himself – well, pretending for it to be to himself – to test the waters. Wil pretended to ignore him while continuing to sulk. Danielle wriggled in her chair.

 Cairine let out an aggravated sigh, moving to stand and gather plates; but Douglas reached for her arm, giving a nearly imperceptible shake of his head. He was home, this was his family, and they would be having breakfast together. Plus, he was taking particular interest in the effect the pretty American guest was having on his two sons.  He’d never seen either of them make much effort towards courting a young wan. And – unlike his fretting wife – being a man, he didn’t get too concerned over competition or even a few fists being slung around (as evidenced by the fact he hadn’t even brought up the fading black eye of his eldest son). A smirk of wonder twisted its way around his mouth as he considered whether the girl might have had something to do with that shiner.  He tried to remove the amusement from his eyes before his own attractive and perceptive wife caught onto his thoughts. He inwardly grimaced, knowing from his peripheral vision it was too late.


Follow the Trifecta link here to vote for my entry or others this week in the Trifecta Community Challenge.

Hope you enjoyed clicking with the group! -jody


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