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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Writing Prompt and Share #4

Yesterday’s prompt encouraged some really fun stories. Tara and Chris were fantastic. Today’s prompt is going to be quite different. We’ve all heard of how important the first sentence is to our piece. With that in mind, today’s prompt borrows the first line from bestselling novel “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. In 200 words or less, tell a story with the opening line “The small boys came early to the hanging.”

My Submission:

The small boys came early to the hanging. Luc watched them from the cover of the oak tree while chewing on a piece of yellow grass. The children didn’t bother with anything in their surroundings save for the gallows which held their fascinated stares. He felt safe and hidden from view.

The square filled with people in intervals. The peasants were the first to join the small boys, followed by the wives of the merchants and finally the nobility. A hanging passed for entertainment in these parts, and through lack of other means, nobody wanted to miss out.

Leaning against the tree, Luc checked his matching blue kerchief and scarf, guaranteeing nothing was awry. He waited until the prisoner was brought out before standing upright. He watched as the boys scurried under the steps of the church to hide from their parents and still catch the show. Alert, he stayed hidden in the shadows as his kin was brought to the noose. He wondered with a smirk how his brother would get himself out of this mess.

Please remember to submit your story below, or the link to your story below in the comments section. And don't forget to add feedback folks! For rules, tips and tricks on the Prompt-and-Share click here.


  1. That's a great first sentence. And fabulous story! Your ending killed me.

  2. Nicely told, Nina. I like how seamlessly you flow from the first line, and make it your own.

  3. Thank you Peggy, I wish I could take credit for the first sentence...lol.

    Thank You Chris - I must admit, it's nice to get some positive feedback. All of these amazing stories that are popping up are making me feel pretty incompetent.

  4. Your prompts are making me playful, Nina!

    Here's one more.


    The small boys came early to the hanging. Jimmy brought some cracked corn, but Franz didn't care.

    Franz kept scratching his seat. Seymour suspected he'd been playing at the park again, and that Franz had ants in his pants. Again.

    Seymour couldn't see around the taller people in the crowd, but he soon found a tree to climb.

    When the event began, a hush filled the air. The solitary, sombre figure approached the middle of the raised dais. With a series of quick, brutal strokes, he drove the gleaming spike home.

    The next stage, as everyone could see, was a matter of critical balance. A little too much weight either way would ruin the entire effect.

    A moment later, it was done. The crowd sighed its approval. Van Gogh's Sunflowers were beautifully centred on the otherwise blank ecru wall.

    As they walked home, Jimmy started to wonder what all the fuss had been about.

  5. OMG Chris I love it! Leave it to you to create something fun and comical with a prompt about "hanging". Today's prompt will call upon some serious courage to participate. Then again, if anyone can make it crazy-fun, I know *you* can.