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An Explanation for Everything: Invitation to Write #17

For Writers:

Chris was a forty year old professional who pushed himself to perform to the best of his abilities at all times. He almost never allowed anyone inside, but from what people could see on the surface, everyone respected his passion and drive. They also considered him to be a loving family man with a caring wife and a well-mannered little boy.

Then one day he was traveling for his job and received a phone call from his wife. What she told him in that conversation made him cancel one of the most important work-related events of his life to immediately catch the next flight home. The matter was apparently that serious.

Outside of Chris and his wife, no one knows the why behind what happened once he arrived home. With his small son sleeping in the adjacent bedroom, Chris strangled his wife with an electrical cord, leaving her lifeless corpse to rot. The following morning, he put a bag over his son’s head, removing the last breath from his small body.

A little bit later, Chris worked out in the basement gym of his house; two dead bodies resting where they lay in the rooms above, a Bible placed next to each. Tying a make-shift noose around his neck, he hung himself.

Chris always was a man of few words, preferring to let his actions speak for themselves.

Today, fill in the missing pieces. Do the “reasons” behind Chris’s actions even matter?

“Strong reasons make strong actions.”
William Shakespeare


  1. I would say that with the limited information we have, and since both parents and the only child are dead, it really matters little what the cause was -- to me. However, there are probably parents involved who might possibly feel some sense of closure or understaning or even acceptance if they could get that information.

    Is "hung" the correct grammatical sense in "he hung himself"? (It appears to be acceptable according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary on line. It sounds wrong to me, however.It seems my preference "hanged" is also acceptable. I guess I answered my own question.)

    Did you have in mind that they potential writer might make up some supposed facts about what the wife said to Chris in that fatal phone call, what later discussion they may have had etc, and try to get into their brains to find out what happened, then explain it all?

  2. I teach grammar, and you're questioning my use of "hung"?? :)

    Yeah, I'd like to imagine what Nancy might have said to Chris. Apparently her blood-alcohol was .18, which is pretty high, of course...


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