mr henry hatfield. a languid and episodic true history in five parts

before you read about the legacy of mr henry hatfield and roundly condemn the barbarity and the man of which you will read, allow me to bring to the fore several peculiar and noteworthy events surrounding the young henry which will both perplex and astound in equal measure. who can say for sure what starts a man along such a path, some would say it is treatment by his fellow man, others would say it is predetermined in the blood, and others still would point to supernatural tinkerings. i myself lean towards one cause, but my wife steadfastly insists upon another. but i digress. let me lay out a description of young henry, for the boy is very much a vivid little sketch of the man he would become. henry had very poor circulation, a result dr wigton had said of difficulties at birth. this caused henry to have very cold hands and depending on the weather their colour would change from a ghastly purple to a vapid white. it was early on therefore that his grandmother had altered him a very fine tweed jacket with breast pockets halfway up the front. her ingenious thinking being that if his hands were close to the height of his heart then the blood would no longer need to rush or struggle towards his fingertips but find a happy equilibrium around his middle. the clothes maketh the man as they say and this very fine little coat seemed to trademark the emotions of the boy, for a man with high handed pockets such as these were has neither the sluggish gander of a man with trouser pockets nor the flailing busyness of a free pocketed man. henry therefore had a dignified stillness and a straight back about him at all times. an unsettlin quality in one so young. to top off this rabbit like stance henry was supplied with a little cap. a bunnet in fact which he wore at a little angle so as to better frame his face. an angle less than jaunty and slightly more than errant slipping. this little angle served to tilt henrys head for ease of vision and made him appear to have one eyebrow raised in a gentle squint or sneer. this air of innocent mischeviousity was to later harden into a look of evil adult nonchalence. but forgive me if i continue to hint at the picture of the weatherbeaten oak, then you will miss out on the little acorn that was the dapper little henry. i am reluctant it appears to explain the beginnings. i shall cease to blether and simply blurt them out. for that is exactly how the fates intervened in henrys life.

one such event happened while henrys grandfather walked him along the clifftops at gorse bay. he got down on one knee and whispered in henrys ear: 'i am tired of the mediocrity here my boy. im off to see whats next.' and after pinching henrys veined little cheek skipped off the edge of the cliffs into the sea below. they later found his lumpy battered body being eaten by crabs just a quarter of a mile from where he leapt off. the image of crabs lolling around in grandfathers eyesockets became such a gruesome image for the boy that the gentle man he had known while alive was replaced with a demon in his imagination which served to kidnap the happy memories and caused only fear and terror.

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