One Hour (by JoeC)

Summary: In one hour good and bad can happen.  Rating T (675 words)
Story Notes: Part of the “Kill a Cartwright” Challenge

Thanks to Inca for the fast beta and to Stetson 1859 for the right word.

Warning: Don’t read it if you are a sensitive person

Disclaimer: Bonanza and its characters are created by David Dortort and originally aired on NBC. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. Other characters than the originals are the property of the author.


                                               One Hour

I’m a Cartwright and I’m dying.


I don’t know the reason why I have to die, but it’s too soon because I’m too young to die.


I can’t understand how a situation can change so fast. Only one hour ago my pa told me about all the things we will do when I’m big enough to do them.


He told me about the pony he will buy me and the shiny new saddle. He talks about Christmas and how the family will go into the woods and bring back a wonderful tree. How we all will decorate the Christmas tree with sweets and homemade angels. He said that we will put Ma’s angel with the pink wings and golden hair on the top of the tree. His voice got all husky as he described Christmas time with the family.


Also Pa told me about hot summer days and how much fun it will be to go for a swim in the lake. He said he will teach me how to swim. He laughed as he said that the water will be a little cold but that I will get used to it.


He also said that I will need to go to school one day. His voice changed when he said that. Maybe because my pa didn’t like school? I’m not sure about this because I know how much he makes a point of education. Only yesterday he told me how important it is to learn as much as someone can because a ranch like the Ponderosa needs people who can think. It’s more than counting cattle was the way he put it.


I know all this because my pa tells me a lot of things.


Surely, it’s not important to me what he is saying because I can’t really understand a bit. Best part is that my pa is talking to me. His voice is so nice and soothing.


Only one hour ago he told me that he will protect me all his life and he will make me happy. I believed him because I felt that he meant it.


One hour changed everything.


The only voice I hear now is the one of my mother. Her voice is also raspy but not because she feels happy. Her voice is so harsh because she is shouting at a man. I don’t know who he is but I feel that my ma knows him. I can feel she is terrified.


Where is my pa? He said he will protect me — us — but I can’t feel him.


Mama is running. She is hiding in a room but a very strong man is coming in. His voice is bad. I feel hate. He takes my ma back in the main room. Now ma is crying. I can hear her heartbeat. It’s so fast, too fast for us.


I hear a loud bang and someone is falling down. It’s not my mama.


I hear other voices but I don’t know them. Papa wanted to protect us and he isn’t here. Where are you Papa?


Someone is lifting up Mama. I think it’s the strong man. He is crushing us. He is hurting us. No space between him and mama.


Something enters us by force.


He is hurting mama. He is hurting me.


Now all is still. I can’t even feel Mama’s heartbeat. I’m also drifting away.


I got never a Christian name but I know I’m a Cartwright. I’m the child of Joseph and Alice Cartwright and I will never be born.


The End


© October 2013,


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Author: JoeC

I live at the coast of Germany. I'm a fanfiction author since 2004. My first fandom was Stargate then I changed to Bonanza. I'm a big Bonanza fan since 1969.

20 thoughts on “One Hour (by JoeC)

  1. A sad but bittersweet story.. I can just picture Little Joe talking to his unborn child. Joe is very cud te as an adult. Loved this story.. I think Ben would have loved this child so much.

  2. What a beautiful thought, of Joe talking to their baby and telling him (or her) of their life together–which of course he would have–and then the heartbreak of what came after, knowing it will never be. Unique and moving story. Thanks for writing.

  3. Reviewer: ljlover2001 Signed
    Date: 22 Mar 2014 01:17 pm Title: Chapter 1

    This was beautifully written and I was so into it. It was unusual to have things from the perspective of an unborn child.
    Although it was sad, I enjoyed it

    Little Joe forever


    Author’s Response:
    Thank you so much for your Feedback even with this Kind of plot.

  4. Reviewer: sklamb Signed
    Date: 09 Nov 2013 01:33 am Title: Chapter 1
    An unusual and very touching approach to the challenge–well done, and thank you very much!

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you so much for your feedback. It’s much appreciated. Thanx. JoeC

  5. Reviewer: Stetson1859 Signed
    Date: 20 Oct 2013 01:09 pm Title: Chapter 1

    I really like the uniqueness of the story. It’s so sad but also very well written. I can imagine Joe easily, talking to his unborn child. You did a wonderful job and you’ve written such an intense story. Thanks for sharing.   

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you Stetson for your kind feedback. The story wasn’t only intense for my readers it was also difficult for me to write it. Gladly there are friends outside to help 😉

  6. Reviewer: Sibylle Signed
    Date: 20 Oct 2013 10:13 am Title: Chapter 1

    What a surprising end!
    I like the sentences, “He is crushing us. He is hurting us. No space between him and mama” very much because a very violent situation is described with such simple but touching words and without any obscenity.

    Author’s Response:
     Thank you, Sibylle, for correcting your former review and posting again after I deleted the new one. The part you mentioned was the most difficult one to write. It’s always not easy to write as much as a reader needs to know and to give him space for his own fantasy. Thanx for this nice feedback. Helga

  7. Reviewer: gigi Anonymous
    Date: 12 Oct 2013 03:12 am Title: Chapter 1

    Oh my goodness!  How sad!  But wonderfully done, Helga.

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you for your honorable feedback, gigi, it’s much welcome.

  8. Reviewer: Cheaux Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 10:29 pm Title: Chapter 1

    Whoa!  Surprise ending.  Very good, JoeC.  You put a clever spin on this challenge.

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you for your review, Cheaux. Normally it’s not easy to find a way out but I got mine in sleep.

  9. Reviewer: maria vaz Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 12:59 pm Title: Chapter 1

    Oh my God! You made me cry!
    I can not believe how I could think that you were changing the story that we know… I was thinking totally diferent and you came with that surprise! Oh my God, it really hapened, that is why I cried!!
    Loved it

    Author’s Response:
    Thanks you that you wrote a feedback, Maria. I think the episode was already special and I showed another side of it.

  10. Reviewer: ansinico Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 12:14 pm Title: Chapter 1
    l didn’t think l was overly sensitive, l am now…a stunner of a story, extremely original.

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you for your special feedback. Thanx. JoeC

  11. Reviewer: Inca Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 11:39 am Title: Chapter 1

    This is a great angle on the challenge, JoeC.  I love the fact I can really hear Joe talking to his unborn child like that, telling him/her all that stuff.  That was such a tragic episode and you catch the bewildered tone of the child very well.  Well done!

    Author’s Response:

    Thank you, Inca. Love your comment.

  12. Reviewer: Rider Anonymous
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 10:59 am Title: Chapter 1

    I never heed those warnings! *cry*

    Author’s Response:

    Thanx for commenting, Rider.

  13. Reviewer: MsJojo1910 Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 10:27 am Title: Chapter 1

    It is so sad, but i am glad you did not kill Joe 🙂 

    Author’s Response:

    Thanx JoJo for reading and commenting

  14. Reviewer: jfclover Signed
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 07:18 am Title: Chapter 1
    Very clever, Helga.  You kept me guessing until the very last line, which makes a perfect story, a great mystery.  Very well done!

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you, Pat. It wasn’t easy to write about a dying person and not to give away who it is. Your feedback made me happy. Thanx. 

  15. Reviewer: dmc824 Anonymous
    Date: 11 Oct 2013 06:25 am Title: Chapter 1

    Great story! One hour can change everything!

    Author’s Response:
    Thanks for your review, dmc. Yes you are right that in a short time all can change.

  16. Reviewer: BluewindFarm Signed

    Date: 11 Oct 2013 04:55 am Title: Chapter 1
    Wow!  A heartfelt story that makes one want to grieve for what would have been had it not been for that one hour.

    Author’s Response:
    Thank you BWF for your feedback. Nice that you didn’t gave away who died.

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