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The Return of the Tell-Tale Heart...

What happens after the narrator admits to the crime?

By Zoe VinaccoPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2017

I planned so carefully… so how can I be mad? How can you say that I’m mad when I am in perfect health with a steady hold on reality? Would a madman wait for seven nights, carefully planning? I think not. So when I say the old man’s heart was beating, haunting me, it must be so. Yet, here I am, sitting in a home for mad-men with shackles around my wrists. What was I to do though, let the beating of the old man’s dead heart slowly drive me mad? I cared for the old man but his eye… his vulture eye still haunts me to this very day. The psychiatrists try to compel me to admit I am mad, and that the beating was my own heart out of fear, but no! I do not believe such lies! The eye was a villain and the beating was its idea of revenge. But how I strategically cut the body up and hid it beneath the floor boards is something a madman would not do. Yet, I still sit here. I have daily meetings with psychiatrists who continuously just tell me I am mad. As I sit here and recall the events of my most recent appointment, I can hear the beating, like I do most days, faintly in the back of my head. As I walked into the office the chill hit me, and it reminded me of the tiring ways I waited outside the door of the old man’s room. The appointment went on calmly and I talked cheerfully, much like I did with the police the night I killed the man. Then it happened, he was there. I never thought it to be possible, but there was the old man with his vulture eye, and it was staring directly at me. At this point some might think I am off my rocker, but no! Would a madman kill so strategically?

I left the appointment, and the old man followed me. Shackles and all, I headed back to my designated cell with the police escort. The officer must see the ghost though, he must. Was this police officer mocking me much like the police mocked my terror in the old man’s home?! I shall not stand for it, and I did not! Once I got back to my room I raged. I screamed at the ghost and the evil eye as I heard the heartbeat pounding so loud it seemed to be shaking the walls, but the old man just looked at me. Then, as calmly as seemingly possible, the old man lied in the cot provided in my room, much like he lied the nights I stood, with my head barely in the door. What was I to do? Surely I could not kill the ghost like I did to the man who lived, yet I tried. What madman would try the impossible, none, showing my sanity through the situation. So, as swiftly as a fox, I pulled the old man to the floor and put what could be considered a mattress over his face. Unlike the first time, the old man put up no struggle. So when I pulled the mattress off the man, I expected a limp body, yet that is not what happened. The old man pounced with the agility of a cat, rather than a dead, old man. He pinned me to the floor and all he did was stare, with that one pale blue eye, my weakness. My blood ran cold, to the point where it felt as if I was freezing from the inside out. When the old man loosened his grip on my wrists, I had every intent to throw him off of me, but I could not even move, as if I was actually frozen. Slowly, the old man got up, yet I could still not move. He walked over the cot mattress and dragged it slowly towards me, and I knew what was happening. As he dragged it over however, I felt my body regaining the natural heat it holds. Maybe, just maybe, I could regain this heat in time and not have to endure what was inevitably going to happen if I just laid here. One by one, I felt my toes, my shins, my knees, my thighs, and my abdomen regain this heat. As soon as the old man reached me, I jumped. He caught me by the neck though, and slammed me back to the ground. He shoved the mattress onto me, and as I began to struggle and lose consciousness, I thought, maybe I am mad.


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