It was an unseasonably warm day for March and Max took the afternoon off from work so he could take his 2-year-old daughter to the park. He sat on a bench as he watched hier walk towards the water's edge. "That's far enough," he called.
Hanna picked up a rock and threw it into the water. She laughed as the water splashed then turned to pick up a bigger rock. Hanna lost her balance and slid down the muddy embankment into the frigid water. She flailed and cried as her body temperature dropped.
Max jumped up then ran into the water. He fished her body out as a passerby called 9-1-1. By the time the ambulance got there, it was too late. Hanna was dead.
After he recovered from hypothermia, Max was arrested and tried for negligent care of a child. The jury came back with a guilty verdict. It didn't matter to him, he was already imprisoned in his mind by the unending replay of Hanna's death.
© March 30, 2011