Inspired by: The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol
Daniel Fall sat in the dining room of his palatial estate on the family’s tobacco farm. The servant he simply knew as Hattie entered the dining room from the kitchen and placed his breakfast on the table. Neither said a word to the other as she returned to the kitchen.
His mother, Mary Catherine, joined him as he was halfway through his meal. She was brimming with excitement, and Daniel knew he wouldn’t like what she had to say.
“I just got off the phone with your brother. He was just told he’s going to be the first man to pilot a rocket into outer space! Can you believe it? That boy never ceases to amaze me. If only his father were still here to see what he’s accomplished.”
Daniel chewed his food meticulously. He placed his utensils on his plate and sat back in his chair. He didn’t touch his food for several minutes. His mother continued to go on, and on about his brother’s accomplishments. About the beautiful catholic girl, he dated. How Jon broke another world record. All the conditioning he has to endure to become an astronaut.
Assuming Daniel had finished his meal, Hattie returned to clear the table, starting with Mary’s plate.
“Thank you, darling,” Mary said, and Hattie nodded demurely.
When Hattie picked up his plate, Daniel struck her in the back of the neck.
“Who said I was finished?!”
Hattie fell limp and crashed onto the table.
Mary looked startled but didn’t act in Hattie’s defense.
“Now, Daniel. That’s no way to treat the help.”
Hattie moaned weakly and rolled off the table onto the ground. Daniel quickly moved out of the way so she wouldn’t fall on to him. She landed on the floor with a thud. The kitchen staff poked their heads out to see what caused the commotion.
At the sight of Hattie’s lifeless body, two men and a woman ran out of the kitchen to administer aid. Daniel stood there, stunned at what his outburst had accomplished. Mary sipped her tea.
The kitchen staff tried in vain to revive Hattie but weren’t successful. She died within minutes of being struck, her neck snapped. Robert, the chef, grabbed Daniel by the collar and screamed in his face.
“YOU KILLED HER! YOU KILLED HER!”
Daniel tried to deny it. He didn’t intend to. He tried to explain himself, but no words would come out.
The police arrived shortly and collected everyone’s statements. They said it should be an open and closed case. They arrested Daniel for manslaughter, but his mother bailed him out within hours.
A few weeks later, he was tried in private and given a six-month sentence.
“It could have been worse, all things considered.” Mary leafed through her planner, “You’ll be out in plenty of time to see your brother’s launch!”
Daniel cried out in frustration.
“You really must do something about this temper of yours. It’s already taken six months from you, not to mention the best servent I’ve had in years. Do you know how much this whole situation is going to cost me? You may not get so lucky next time.”
“I’ll be sure to work on that mother, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of time to think.”
“You better come out a changed man! I swear. Once your brother returns, he’ll get the company back on track, and we can all move past this.”
Thankfully for Daniel, the guards took him away to prison. Fortunately, he didn’t survive to the end of his sentence and inflict any more senseless pain on the world.