Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Tell-Tale Heart. . . continued
This one time in my American Literature Class my professor let us write a creative piece and I decided to write in Poe's style...while changing the ending of The Tell-Tale Heart, one of my favorite Poe stories. Let's just say I kinda have a slight obsession with Poe. Maybe more than slight. To the point where I own a candle that's suppose to smell like Poe's library, and I want the Poe scented perfume for my birthday. Don't care. I love my major. I hope you enjoy. This is the only paper I've done well on all semester...makin' Poe proud in 2012.
I shrunk back into the shadows, concealing my face from the officers. They stared at me with suspicious eyes-blue like the old man's. But they didn't say anything! Oh no, they just stared with those eyes. Identical eyes of the dead old man himself! They tapped their feet in rhythm with the beating of the old man's heart. Ha! "Why are you standing there?" I shouted, "Make it go away! For God's sake, make it stop!" I collapsed in the dank corner of the room, clawing at my hair. Sweat dripped down my forehead and I could taste the salt in my own tears.
I told them about my deed and they did nothing but stand there. And they laughed! They continued to mock me! How could they stand there when I just confessed? How could they stare at me and not answer my pleas? Why didn't they believe me? "But I killed him. Don't you see? He's dead! I couldn't stand his eye. That damned Evil Eye!" But they continued to stare, to stare. The tallest officer tilted his head back with a cackle, his mouth turning into a cavernous source of sound. But still the beating persisted, louder, louder!
I slowly climbed up the wall to a standing position and grabbed the lantern, but when I thrust it in their direction, their eyes disappeared! There was nobody there! But the mockery echoed behind me and I spun around to find one. His face was turning purple. Oh God! Purple! And those eyes! "Stop! Stop! Believe me, he's dead, take him away from here!" The lantern cast a dark shadow over the officer's face. But it wasn't the officer before me. It was the old man! With his Evil Eye! He was laughing, hackling, making nonhuman sounds. His bloody hand reached for me. Dark, rose-red blood poured from his arm onto the wooden floor. "No!" I shrieked, stumbling backwards.
"Sir, are you okay?" I looked over my shoulder to find both officers staring at me with their blue eyes. Staring again. "What? But---I---didn't you see him? He was just behind me! Couldn't you hear his heart? It's so damn loud! Oh God! The old man, he was right there. Please, tear up the planks! I beg of you!" The officers glanced at each other, and in the silence I could hear the muffled beating grow louder! louder!-as the officers padded toward the spot I pointed toward on the wooden floor. They kneeled down in unison, moving slowly, steadily, stealthily toward the old man's grave. The shorter officer grabbed a crow bar from his belt. He looked up at me with his blue, judging eyes. He thought I was mad! They both thought I was mad! But they knew-they saw him! They saw his ghost, the bloody corpse come back to haunt me.
I could feel myself profusely sweating as my body climaxed with anticipation and impatience. Why couldn't they do it faster? I just need the beating to stop! The beating persisted, in perfect sync with my own heart. The officers were taking their sweet old time. So much time! Couldn't they see I would go mad if they didn't get the old man out of the house? Inch by inch the wooden plank began to rise from the floor. Creak! Creak! Creak! The officer moved in a steady rhythm, steady like the beating of the heart. He continued until the plank was almost removed. Slowly, cautiously. Creaking and bending and prying. His hands turning a deep red as he applied more and more pressure. Dear God, hurry! I ran my fingers through my sweat-soaked strands of hair. I couldn't wait any longer. I was about to grab the crowbar from the man and do it myself when suddenly the plank popped out of its resting place.
He easily removed the parallel plank from the floor to reveal my devilish deed. Empty! EMPTY! How could this be? I killed the old man with my own two hands! I saw his body grow limp! I saw the sparkle dissipate from his one good eye. I felt his last breath, warm on my hand. I was covered in his blood. The room still smelled like acid for God's sake! Where was he? Where could the God damn Evil Eye be hiding? I scratched the inside of the now-empty tomb, trying to find an explanation. My stomach churned. My heart beat uncontrollably. My hands shook with fright. The officers started laughing again. The mocking continued! The beating continued! Oh God! I could still hear the heartbeat!
The room began to spin before me. The laughter and persistent beating of the heart rang in my ears. I felt trapped and misunderstood in the tiny, claustrophobic room. They had played a trick on me! They knew I had killed him and they had moved the body! Mad! They are the ones making me mad! Ha Ha! 'Where is it?! What did you do with him? I can still hear his heart! I know he's still in the house!" I lunged toward the officers, demanding answers. Demanding an explanation. Demanding reassurance that the Evil Eye was gone forever.
"Sir, there is nobody here. It appears you haven't done anything wrong. Why don't you get some rest?" The taller officer ordered, his blue eyes growing soft in the lantern light. But I couldn't believe him. Oh no, I couldn't. I knew the old man was still in the house. I knew he was dead. Nobody can fool me. I turned to my right and reached for the brass knob on the creaky, wooden door. But it was locked. Something wasn't right. Why would the door be locked? I began to panic. I rattled the knob consistently, shouting for help. I could hear the laughter behind me. So loud, so harsh, so mocking.
I turned around once more to discover the officers gone, but found the old man with his Evil Eye. He was standing in his grave. Standing in his own God damned grave, making a mess with his blood. "Nooo!" I screeched. I couldn't take the games anymore. I couldn't handle the mockery. I crawled back into room's dark corner and sobbed as the beating continued.
The clock in the kitchen began to toll. It was dawn. The sun was coming up. I peered through my fingers to find the room empty. It was just me. No officers. No old man. No staring eyes. The beating was slowing. It became duller and duller as the sun became brighter and brighter. The bright orange-yellow rays of the morning sun bounced its light on the opening in the floor. I inched toward the hole. Terrified. But there it was. The old man. Dead. He was just how I left him. Good and dead. But the eye still stared. I reached into the grave and shut the eye. I shut it for good. The silence was deafening. The beating had stopped. I was alone in the small room. I had always been alone. Alone with my haunting imagination.