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Such was a flash fiction writing prompt on r/WritingPrompts. User fetfet50 responded:

“So, come here often?”

Don stared hard at the man holding the rope. His face was still, and his eyes were even in the Alabama sun.

“I take it you’re trying to have some fun with me,” said Don.

The man’s face remained impassive, but a smile erupted after a moment.

“Aw, hell. If you can’t have a bit of levity here, where can you, is what I say.” The man took the rope in his burly hands, and fastened it around Don’s neck.

“That’s a good point, but I’m not really in the mood for levity at this moment.”

“Pardon my saying so, but you’re not gonna have many other moments,” said the man with the rope, as he tightened the knot.

Don’s breath caught momentarily. “That is true. I can’t say that I had considered that.”

“You ever think much about getting hanged?”

“I don’t think about it so often.”

“See, that’s why I make the jokes. It helps.” The man with the rope fastened one end onto the crossbar, and got off the ladder.

“You got a good joke for me now?” Don’s eyes were wet.

“I got a joke for you.” The man placed his hands on the lever. “Why can’t you hang a deaf man in Georgia?”

“Why?”

“It’s illegal to hang a man without a proper hearing.”

Don chuckled. “You been sitting on that one for a while?”

The man nodded. “No one ever wants to hear the joke.”

“They’re missing out.” Don closed his eyes. “It was quite funny.”

“That means a lot to me, sir.” The man with his hand on the lever smiled, and pulled.

I love it. For flash fiction, this is brilliantly done. I also have a taste for dark humor, so I especially enjoyed that element.

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