TITLE: 1790 - On the Edge
GENRE: MG Historical
I stand on tiptoes to peer through the crowd. He doesn't look familiar, but that seems impossible in our small town. A man's first day here, and he starts off dead?
My neighbors shift in front of me, and I'm left staring at bits of hay stuck to someone's coat. The coat smells like cow dung and wood smoke.
No one says a word. Above us two crows call to each other, their hoarse shrieks piercing the air. It's never been like this. No trial. No explanation. Just the ringing of the meetinghouse bell and a man hanging by his neck from a tree.
I nudge my younger brother Nathaniel over. There's Silas. Just seeing his back makes my head all fuzzy. Maybe this time he'll notice me. My fingers reach to straighten my bonnet.
Abruptly, Silas' father, Mr. Crawford, puts on his hat and barks, "Good riddance." Taking their cue from him, people begin murmuring and leaving to start the day's work. I glimpse Silas walking away with another girl. My jaw tightens against the disappointment, but I shouldn't be surprised - she is far prettier than I.
Nathaniel heads straight for Jonah. Jonah is fourteen like me, but he doesn't seem to mind Nathaniel tagging along with him. He's even eaten quite a few suppers in our tiny cabin.
I join them, and Jonah nods to me. "Good morning, Hannah."
Nathaniel whispers, "Who was he?"