Short story Friday: A Royal Feast (aka Eat Your Vegetables), by Iain Kelly

By Iain Kelly

Gefjun brought the feast to the table. Her husband, Skjöldr, son of Odin, sat silently in his anger.

‘Thank you for this offering, mother,’ said Fridleif as the plate was laid before him.

‘Eat well, Fridleif.’ Gefjun took her place beside her son and looked at Skjöldr.

‘Can I eat now?’ spoke the Norse king.

‘Not yet, father. First we must all drink from the Cup of Óðrerir to receive the blessings of our God forefathers.’ Fridleif took the grotesque looking vessel featuring a menacing skull and decorative silver plating.

Skjöldr rolled his eyes. ‘Seriously, do we have to?’

‘Daaaad,’ whined Fridleif (James).

‘Martin, please just do what he wants. I mean, Skjöldr.’ Gefjun (Helen) smiled at her son and gave Skjöldr a pleading look.

‘Okay,’ conceded the king. ‘Give it here.’

Order restored, the Cup of Óðrerir was passed round the feast table and all sipped of the diluted juice of the orange. Fridleif placed the vessel in the centre the table.

‘Now, we may eat,’ Fridleif pronounced.

‘Thank you,’ grumbled Skjöldr.

Gefjun smiled at her son. If this what it took to get him to eat his vegetables, then so be it.


Anything to get the children to eat their vegetables, right? Iain Kelly wrote this story as part of Sunday Photo Fiction, a site that challenges visitors to write a story of around 200 words based on a photo prompt. The photo prompt for Iain’s story was a cup with a skull. See for more short stories based on the same prompt and others.

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