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'First Paragraphs'


by Lynton Lynn Hanson

A warm wind blew steadily off the ocean and crossed the barrier island to find its way through large stands of spruce trees and scrub palmettos. It was late at night and the sand dunes were deserted.

Through the mist, towards the north, a car’s headlights become faintly visible in a halo of diffused light. The light slowly becomes pinpoints of white light, then a harsh, brilliant light as the car speeds down the long stretch of straight beach highway. The sound of the car could be heard, faintly at first, then growing in volume, as the car comes nearer. It rushes past in a blur, and two red taillights disappear into the dark.

The car was neither to the right nor left, but speeding straight down the center of the road. Each short, painted white stripe on the black asphalt disappeared under the car’s hood in a blur, and it seemed to the driver as if they were one solid line....................

Editors Note:

First paragraphs are crucial to the short story. They must be crafted to grab the readers' attention quickly and make them want more.

Here the scene is set: ocean and palmettos, wind, darkness. The second paragraph puts the reader there as an observer and introduces the speeding car. The third paragraph introduces the driver as the protagonist of the story.

Why is he speeding down the road so late at night?

'Piglets, Everyone'

by Lynton Lynn Hanson

I am sitting in my favorite chair, alone in the living room, letting my mind wander into my life’s past. The hour is late and the children, my three little piglets, are asleep in their beds. The baby is turning from laying on her back, with a soft murmur of protest, to laying on her side, and its small blanket is becoming twisted around her legs.

Their mother has gone upstairs and the sounds of her evening preparation for bed is sounding mellow throughout our home. A door quietly being shut, water running into the wash basin, the creaking of a floor board as she moves to the bedroom. These sounds are reassuring to me. The sounds of tranquility and well being.

How did it come about that the wife and I refer to our children as our three little piglets? ..........

Editor's Note:

This story is written in first person and the protagonist is talking directly to us. By the nature of first person narrative, we know that we are going to hear this story from one point of view.

As the story is told, all the facts disclosed may not be shared by other characters in the story or may not necessarily be true. (Stories in first person are this editor's favorite.)

The mood is set. We know the man is married and has three children. He has told us as much. The question remains, why does this man call his children piglets? We want to know more.

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