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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

StoryADay: Re-write Poe's Tell-Tale Heart from the perspective of the murdered old man

I am continuing the StoryADay challenge.  Today's prompt prompted (pun intended) a pice of flash fiction.  Here is the prompt, a link to Edgar Allen Poe's initial far-superior story, and my response:

bpal tell tale heart series MAIN
From Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

The Tell-Told Heart

By:  Jerry Harwood


THE PROMPT
Tell the story of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” from the old man’s point of view–after his murder. 
 (author’s note: The Tell-Tale Heart is a wonderful short story.  If you have not read it I would highly recommend taking a look.  At the time of this writing, it was available for free at the followling link: The Tell-Tale Heart .  If the link is not functional, I am sure it is readily available for free through a quick google search.)

I never really knew my life was in peril.  In fact, my son had begun to step away from his normal moodiness.  In the mornings, he had become quite pleasant.  “Good morning,” he would say and then, “How did you sleep?”  I felt warm inside that my son finally took an interest in my health.  

Why yes, it was somewhat peculiar that he began referring to me as “the old man.”  Assuredly, I had always been before his “pa-pa.”  But I thought little of it as he is grown now and relationships do alter over time.  And I am, indeed. Older than I once was.  My lazy eye has gained a gravitas it did not once have.  My son has the same genetic tell, though his has yet to be pronounced with age as mine has this past year.  I wonder if he will handle the alteration as gracefully.  I hope so, but while every father believes his boy to be superior to all others, I would be blind to my surroundings if I did not admit that my son is a tiny percent peculiar.  

Some days I saw him stare angrily at my personage.  When I would catch him, he would immediately turn to a smile but I knew the dissonance was still there.  As best I could decipher, I believe he was upset about my smile.  And such is peculiar.  I have never considered my smile beguiling in the least.

I worry about him now that I have passed on.  Information here passes slowly and is difficult to come by.  Only when someone else enters the afterlife with news relevant to my life’s station do I have a respite of ignorance.  As of yet I have found no one who knows of my son, his circumstances, or his deeds.  He has always been a private lad, refusing my ample monetary offerings for his enjoyment.  Instead, he has always chosen the quite, solitary life of reflection and thought.  Indeed, he always seems lost in rumination about this or that.  

I know sometimes it keeps him awake at night.  I could have sworn on the night I passed in my sleep I heard him stirring.  I was always fearful that he would in the quite of night pass by our dining area when all is still.  I do not think he hears the same thump, thump, thump that I do of his mother’s heart buried under the floorboards, but one can never be certain.  It was necessary to place her there.  It was the only way that I could rid our home of her menacing nose.

I heard that my neighbor from across the way is in the hospital.  He once called the police upon myself to no avail.  They say he is in a bad place with his health.  Perhaps if he arrives, he will lend news of my son’s health and wellbeing.

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