My Daughter's Killer

Reads: 357  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's another last meal for Death Row, but for your daughter's killer.

Submitted: July 04, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 04, 2015

A A A

A A A


I didn't want to know, and I wish I could forget knowing, that this meal I'm making is bound for my daughter's killer.

Country fried steak, green beans, a cornbread, a fluffy biscuit, and mashed potatoes with brown gravy. He requested sweet tea, and I'll make it fairly mild, but all of this tells me this is indeed the man--a Southern man--who took my daughter out of her suburban Georgia school, violated her more times than I'll ever want to count, then murdered her, leaving her in the woods for nature and the Sheriff deputies and their dogs to find.

I just thank God every waking morning and every night that they found her before the animals could. So she could be mostly intact for us to bury one summer afternoon.

"James Harvey Dunn," I whisper, and realize I'm shedding a small stream of tears over the man's last plate.

Fine, I think. Fine. That's very fine. Let him taste my sadness, and think it's the salt for flavoring.

And I make him the finest meal, fit for a family's hand-me down wooden table, where it would be commonly served and consumed with love.

He doesn't deserve it. But it's no longer about him. I don't want him to play any more part in this life. Particularly not in my life, or about me. He's no one, now. A dead man awaiting inevitability. His body and mind are the state's now, and they'll finish him. His time is allowed--given by the state, against his will. Fitting. Very fitting. Because my daughter, Ellie, had no control over her own, at Dunn's will, when he put her through what he did.

Caught him in a fucking bar, drinking, not a day later.

The sheriff knew it was him, too. As soon as he'd heard. It's not a large or small Georgia town, but if you've been there a few years, everyone gets to know everyone very well. And Dunn was on the sheriff's radar for decades.

Miscreant. Tortured baby ducks around his backyard pond as a child. Left songbirds he'd winged with a BB gun to die as a teenager. Robbed a liquor store before he could legally drink. In and out of prison for drunken assaults and domestic violence on his many short-term girlfriends, who was likely just as poor as he.

But, I don't blame the Law for not dealing with Dunn sooner. He hadn't done anything before that no other Southern male with a drinking problem hadn't done before. Admittedly, the way he dealt with animals was disturbing, but he was just a kid still, then. We gave him a pass on that one. It's Christian to give a second chance and a new lease on life on what you did as a boy. Even I did a few things as a kid I'm not proud of, and my father tanned my hide over, deservingly.

The meal is done, placed in their proper places on the condemned's last plate. I'm not even going to think his name anymore. It's a condemned individual's last plate now, and that's all that it is.

Ellie would have forgiven her murderer, I'm sure. It's what we taught her. She wouldn't have wanted me to sin for sin, so I'm not. I'm not even going to think about it anymore.

I present the plate to the guard that'll take it to the condemned's cell.

"Here," I say, "per regulations and request, one last meal. Just make sure they don't choke on it before time comes."

The guard nods and takes the plate from me. "You say that every time," he tells me, and exits the kitchen.

I go back into the kitchen and clean up after myself, washing all my dishes and putting away the leftovers that I can, and using what cannot be stored to make a little mini-bar for the guards and the inmate helpers.

Then I go into my little office, close and lock the door, and cry one more time for Ellie.


© Copyright 2020 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Flash Fiction Short Stories