The Tell Tale Heart

To the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

It’s the most spookiest time of the year.

There are ghosts all a-booing,

and everyone “ooh”ing

from awe and from fear!

It’s the most spookiest time of the year!

I showed that to Mom, she didn’t think it was so great. But her  lack of taste is her problem, not mine.

Anyway!

Since it’s the most spookiest time of the year, we read The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe, in English class. After reading it, we were given an assignment: rewrite the story from two points of view: that of the old man, and that of one of the police officers.

That assignment was super fun. I’m pretty happy with how mine turned out, so I thought I’d share it with you–especially since we’re nearing Halloween.

If you’ve never read The Tell Tale Heart, I would suggest you do before you read this, and it’s not even very long. Not only is it super good, it will make this whole post make more sense. Here’s a link: click me!

Now, here’s my version:

I loved the young man. He was always very lovely; he asked after my health, made sure I was comfortable. He didn’t even seem to be disturbed by my blind eye, which seemed to cause discomfort to so many people.

He had been especially kind all week; yet, for reasons I could not name, I felt oddly on edge. I wasn’t sleeping well—every night, I was sure I could hear someone in the house. Right outside my door, in fact. I tried to rationalize it, of course, but in the end I always found myself lying awake, paralyzed, for hours until I could finally sleep.

I repeated the same process all seven days of the week. The night of the eighth day, after bidding the young man goodnight, I retired to bed, hoping that, perhaps, tonight would hold for me a peaceful slumber.

I managed to doze, but, around what I judged to be midnight, I jerked awake to the familiar roiling panic in the pit of my stomach. I lay there, still, barely breathing. Someone was there. I knew it. I heard a jarring jingle and I sat bolt upright.

“Who’s there?” I cried, fighting to keep the trembling out of my voice. I sat, not moving, trying to write the sound off. Perhaps the wind, whistling outside, or a rodent scurrying through the walls? It wasn’t necessarily someone invading my chambers.

A groan I couldn’t stifle escaped my throat. No, I thought. There is someone there. My heart began to beat faster. I sat, stock still, for what seemed like hours. My heart beat steadily faster as I grew more and more panicked, but I still didn’t move.

Suddenly, there was a loud yell, and someone leaped onto me. I yelped, then fell silent. I felt myself dragged to the floor, and was crushed underneath my bed. The pain dulled after a while. Breathing became more difficult. Blackness closed in.

My partner and I knocked upon the door. The station had gotten a report of a shriek from this house late last night, and we were to make sure everyone was alright. Personally, I doubted it was anything to be worried about—an old and young man lived in the house, it was probably just one of them startled by something.

The door swung open, and the young man greeted us with a smile and bade us enter. We asked after the old man—the young man told us he was away, wouldn’t be back for some time. We asked after the shriek, and he explained that it had been him—he had, apparently, awoken from a nightmare with a shriek the previous night.

The young man showed us through the house, and we found nothing suspect. We finally ended up in a bedroom, where the young man set up some chairs for us all to sit. We began to converse, the young man’s easy demeanor relaxing me and my partner.

The young man, though, suddenly began to grow uneasy. He shifted his chair where he sat. His voice got gradually louder, and he shook his knee. My partner glanced at me, and I shrugged subtly to indicate that I didn’t know what was going on, either. We tried to carry on the conversation.

The young man grew increasingly more agitated: pacing, shouting, waving his arms, scraping the chair across the floor. Finally, he shouted something I never would have dreamed to hear from him: “Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

We tore up the planks he indicated. Underneath was the cold, stiff body of the old man, one eye now as clouded as the other.


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