Winning Writer’s Quill Story!


Samuel Milliken

Graphic by Katherine Milliken using Canva

Welcome back to the Writer’s Quill! We have a winning story for our latest writing contest. Please join me in congratulating our winner Magdalene Dziowgo, and enjoy her story below!

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next prompt!

A Happy Thanksgiving
by Magdalene Dziowgo (Grade 9)

Lucia, a fourteen-year-old girl, looked out her window as soon as she heard the doorbell ring. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and her favorite cousins were going to come from halfway across the country. She lived in Minnesota and her cousins lived in Maine. All week, she had been helping her mother prepare a variety of foods for Thanksgiving, and now, it was only a day away. Lucia ran down the stairs to answer the door, her long brown hair streaming behind her. When Lucia reached the bottom stair, the doorbell rang again. She opened the door and greeted her cousins, aunt, and uncle with many hugs and laughs. For the rest of the afternoon, she caught up with her cousins, played board games, and finished making Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone went to bed excited that night, waiting for Thanksgiving morning to dawn.

Lucia’s youngest cousin, who was five years old, ran into her room at six in the morning yelling, “Luci, Luci, wake up! It’s Thanksgiving, and Mommy made special bread for breakfast!”

Lucia groaned and rolled out of bed. “Good morning,” she said to her cousin, Jack, who everyone called Jackie. “Jackie, do you know what time it is?”

“Nope!” Jackie said cheerfully. “Is it nine o’clock?”

“Jackie, it’s only six o’clock. Are you sure Aunt Liz is awake yet?”

“That’s what Ben told me,” he said. Ben, Lucia’s fourteen-year-old cousin, was generally a reliable source of information, so instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, Lucia let Jackie lead her down the steps. As soon as they got to the bottom, the smell of warm pumpkin bread hit their noses, making Lucia’s stomach growl loudly.

“Luci,” Aunt Liz and Ben said, “you’re awake! Come eat some breakfast before we start our yearly game.” Every year the two families played a long game of Capture the Flag, but it had never started this early before.

“Aunt Liz, what’s really going on?” Lucia asked.

“Mom decided that our team, you, me, Jackie, and Mom, should scope out the playing field before the game starts. I tried to stop her, but you know how competitive she is,” Ben explained. Since Aunt Liz persisted, they went and scoped out the playing field, which was just Lucia’s backyard, even though Lucia kept telling her aunt that the backyard had not changed much in the last year.

When everyone was awake and had eaten, the Capture the Flag game started. The teams were unbalanced this year, just like all the prior years. Lucia’s team had her little brother, Peter, as well as Aunt Liz, Jack, and Ben. The other team was made up of Lucia’s mom, Lucia’s dad, and her Uncle Will. The two teams went and hid their flags, and then their plans went into motion. Lucia’s team knew nothing about the other team’s plans, which was a surprise, because her mom normally managed to reveal at least part of their plan. Lucia’s team had a great plan. Jackie was going to get the flag, which no one would expect, because of how young he was.

Hours later, the game was finally over, and the hungry players could go eat their dinner. Lucia’s team had won for the first time, and Jackie was proudly clutching the other team’s flag to his chest. Before dinner started, as was custom in their house, everyone said what they were thankful for. When it was Jackie’s turn, he said, “I’m thankful that we won Capture the Flag this year!”

Lucia’s dad laughed. “You might not believe it, but I’m thankful for that too. If you hadn’t won, we’d all have to listen to Liz whining about how your team lost, just like we do every year.” This set everyone laughing, and when they were done, they could eat. After a hearty meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, vegetables, and many other things, the family ate their dessert, slices of pumpkin and pecan pie. Once everyone had their fill, they went to bed thoroughly satisfied with their day.