“A Believers’ View”
Gregory V. Boulware
“My Vengeance Needs Blood”
~Marquis de Sade~
I did not convey all that should have been…needed to be told regarding the old gentleman’s organs beneath the floor. The brief allusion as to what transpired according to one author who reported me as being so stupid a “tattle-tale,” that I’d spilled my guts to the gendarmes.
Ha…what a laugh! The misguided scribe had very little to report, as did Mr. Poe, who mentioned something about a heart thumping underfoot in the old man’s house. The first writer, as mentioned quoted:
“A knock came upon the door… Two men, plainly dressed in tie and coat, accompanied by two in uniform appeared. My eye peered at them through the semi-opened door. I opened it just a crack, as I did not wish for them to hear the pounding beneath the floor.
The pounding noise would not stop. I had to find a way to make it stop. Don’t you understand? It had to stop. It began to pound loudly. It was too loud…very Loud! Do you not hear it? It’s driving me mad, mad I tell you! Through the crack in the floor, the orb peered out at me.
It was fixated upon me! It glared at me all the time. I could not look on it any longer… I had to make it go away. Even if I had to pluck it out of the head of the old man while he sat in the rocking chair. That is why I had to put him and that vultures’ eye under the floor. There wasn’t time enough to dispose of him and it properly. It wasn’t his fault that the evil eye stared at me. It would not be able to gaze on me if it was under the floor out of sight.”
Hah…that’s what the author put in his collection of stories and reports. He didn’t know the half of it. Allow me to complete his rendition before I trust you with further details.
“Readers can visualize the gruesomeness of the pale blue orb, described as a ‘vulture’s eye;’ the evil eye covered by a thin film like that of a fish. It was terribly nasty to look at. In a frenzied dismemberment of the old man’s body, I was preparing to dispose of it and the f…… heart that I kept hearing beat beneath the damnable boards of the floor. I was a vile individual who had every reason to believe that I could make and escape of paying the price for taking the life of an innocent soul.”
The truth is he was not as completely innocent as some would have you think…
I laugh to think I was brought here by my father along with the family from the cold dark and dank alleyways of ‘Edinburgh.’ To think my life so bad that we had to move away to another town filled to the gullet with more cold dark and dank alleyways. Some call the eerie traverse-ways as bastions of hell’s corridors. These causeways are the birth canals of the butchering ‘Ripper.’
My course throughout has lead me astray due to the raptures and starving readiness of servitude. A short stay in ‘Her Majesty’s Royal Navy did me no good either. After cutting a man’s throat from ear to ear, they tossed me in the bloody brig intent on making a date with the gallows’ hangman who was in competition with the axman.
My tale of woe and contempt began there, at home, and continued to escalate while I was sitting and stuffing my belly full of mutton, gruel, and a tawny red port. When that was done, a nice bottle of claret did suffice. The cognac was a bit tasty indeed. Down on my luck, I hadn’t two copper coins to rub together. I needed work. I needed a place to lay my head. I had to eat. When was it last that I’d eaten? Two days ago, maybe three… I can’t quite remember.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned. The mustached and bearded man smiled at me while pouring a glass of claret. He shoved the goblet under my nose. Its bountiful aroma was unbearable. I had to taste, to drink of it, to swallow it. I downed half of the goblet’s content. Through the stupor of my drunken gaze, I turned once again. I wanted to thank the smiling stranger. He accordingly nodded and poured once more.
“I do understand good sir, that you are in need of gainful employment and boarding am I correct?”
I dizzily nodded in agreement and emptied the chalice again. The alcohol laden beverage really had a firm grip on my vision… It played with it gaily and freely. The room did appear to be moving in a dizzying circle of brilliant lights, and dulling dark grey from the floor to the ceiling and back again. The smiling man was mouthing something. I couldn’t make it out. His eyes seemed to flash a reddish hue to one of brilliance and an awe of menace. He appeared cheerfully adept at gaining and commandeering one’s confidence. His smile began to cause me worry and threatened concern. Yes, even through the thick veil of a drunken stupor that has engulfed me. His smile seemed to change from one of comfort to that of a sinister and frightful sneer and gloat. Now, correct me if my recollections are incorrect…did I mention his smile? Oh yes, I did. He made a few gestures at two men sitting in the back of the pub…I think.
They gulped down their grog and responded to his beckoning. The candle and lantern lit room continued to dance and play verily with applauded merriment. I could almost swear I heard the inn keeper’s deep-throated spittle-juiced voice raising a fuss. I wasn’t really sure; I thought I heard him say to his barroom lackeys, “Get the bastard out – take him if you will – we have no need of a drunken penniless vagrant – get him the hell out!”
I don’t believe the smiling man was in cahoots with the innkeeper of whom he held an acquaintance. But he did not hesitate to succumb to the owner’s request.
Someone said that I went mad. They said that I went stark raving mad when they tried to lift and remove me. They said I screamed and screamed, “Don’t let the devil take me – don’t let him get me! Please save me…! Did I truly gaze upon the face of Lucifer?
They all gave assistance to the smiling man and his two friends. It was said that they carried me to the coach of black, pulled by four black stallions along the way. It bore, on the coach door, the markings of the rich old man’s family crest who resided up above on yonder hill.
No one remained in his employ for long…not longer than three or four months; a fortnight at the least. No female, single or no, would ever venture up there. They preferred to remain in the safety of here, down here under the auspices of the castle-like mansion up yonder, overlooking ‘Putney Hill,’ just outside of London Town.
I awoke on a cot in the back of a warm fire lit kitchen. My head did ache and was complimented with waves of nausea. I felt as though I were going mad.
There was a tall thin yet ghastly man named Cyrus. He was the old man’s man-servant. I couldn’t tell who was more the ancient between the two.
The rotund woman with a face of stone appeared. She attended to kitchen chores and food preparations. She never looked me square in the eye. When she saw that I had stirred and stumbled to the table, she placed in front of me, a bowl of hot gruel. It was hot and steamy but smelled to high heaven. The stench caused me to heave and turn from sight. The cook woman continued her chores of meal preparation. She busied herself by skinning and chopping into pieces, a rather large and slick slimy black skinned eel. She did this while the wiggling writhing thing remained alive.
I was then directed to a wash area just outside. It entertained a rather larger than normal bathtub. It wasn’t for me to use. It was used by frequent and privileged members of the household. That was when the house was filled with life and children. The estate employees rarely took baths if at all. The belief in body protection was the law of the land. It kept the vermin off and the germs out of the pores. The household help was mainly hired from the villages close and near the mansion some called a castle. It had a mote and bulwarks for defense and battle. This house was reported to have been full of activity and visitors constantly coming and going to and fro. Today, it is like that of a tomb.
The old man was all that was left of a great and bountiful family. Myth has it they were all killed off by poisonings and other feats of jealousy over the family fortune as opposed to its posterity.
Once finished with the forced washing from the wooden bucket in the barn near the horse stables, I was directed by the tall man servant as to what my duties would be. Most of the chores that where assigned was to be on the grounds area around barn, garden, and outside of the building. Several other duties were in and around the kitchen, basement, and occasionally hauling furnishings and supplies upstairs. In certain areas in the interior of the estate were not without the strictest supervision and or under direct orders. I was not to go anywhere in the house without the watchful eye of the tall man servant or the stone faced cook. I would soon violate that directive. Someone told me the old man kept his moneybox in his room; under his bed. It was said to be full of nothing but golden coins of immense value and worth. If that was so, it would not be long before I too, would be a rich man.
In my mind’s eye, I could see the smiling man smiling at me – that wry slick sinister grin of a smile.
I pondered over whether I needed a partner or not. Did I truly need assistance in removing the servants from the house? The brew I was drinking ran low and warm. I summoned for another. My current wages of more than two months now, have allowed the purchase of a few luxuries. I haven’t had the privilege of having the ability to afford such things. I wasn’t able to do this since my last sailing vessel. My God, it seemed like ages ago.
The fat cook and the damned tall butler had to go. That’s final. The problem was how to get rid of them.
Today, I was to clean the stables. It’s usually done on Saturday morning, but since there was to be a wake on Sunday afternoon into the late evening, some chores were postponed while others simply cast off. The master would not be alone until Sunday afternoon into Monday early morning.
My plan was now laid before me. Sunday afternoon into early morning was my free and personal time. The only other free time was after dinner through the week for two or three hours. Even then, I could be located by the staff should I be needed for anything the master might require of me. On occasion, I’ve had to hitch the team of horses to the wagon or buggy and fetch the doctor who resides about 20 kilometers to the north.
On a bright crisp and chipper Sunday morning, birds and squirrels made adequate noises that aroused and soothed the senses. The trees were riffled thoroughly by the strong brisk wind. The boughs reached for the bright yellow sun that teased the tulips and bade them to open lovingly to the warmth. And I, oh yes, I listened intently to the preacher’s sermon. I had to stick very close to the master this morning. No one noticed that the butler or the maid were not in attendance, save one.
The wake of the old man’s cousin, a last remaining blood relative that was to be buried after this morning’s church service, went off without a hitch.
I aided the tall manservant in bringing food and refreshments to the guests. The cook-maid-housekeeper also utilized my services for the betterment and saving of expenses. Having me double-up on my duties and foregoing my free time after dinner in order to serve them. How dare they assume such a position as to make me their servant. Dog am I? I’ll fix them… They shall soon see who the servant is and who the master is. Oh yes, they shall soon see…
The last dinner guest stumbled out of the door a little past one on Sunday morning. I had nodded off in the driver’s seat of the cold and wet carriage. The coal black stallions waited impatiently for nearly an hour. They stamped and pranced, snorted, and grunted in the watery darkness. They desired to complete their mission, their assignment to deliver and or retrieve the passenger and return to the warm hey matted stalls of the barn. They, like I, desired sleep. But, they and I still had work to do.
It was just past three when I arrived back at the mansion. The team of stallions were happily bedded down for the remainder of the night. It was about four a.m. when I started for the inside of the house. I’d decided to call off the plan for now. I was too tired and sleepy. Besides, I still hadn’t decided if I needed help or not. After all, the tall manservant was indeed a formidable foe. The rotund cook woman was not to be trifled with either. With her brooms, sticks, pots, and cutlery…she could easily stretch a man upon yon table in preparation for dissection. On there, she would be able to skin him and chop him like that of the massive live eel that perished not so long ago.
Upon placing my boot soles upon the mud scrapper, the door of the back kitchen violently flew open inwardly. The tall man was standing there snarling at me.
“Where in the f… have ye been, Monkey-boy? Aye, ye must’ve been sloshing at the pub, getting drunk and shirking your duties, I’d say!” The spit form his verbiage splattered about my face and chest. The ponderage of contempt that I was entertaining toward him suddenly leaped into a full blown rage. I struck him with my right fist and then with my left. I hit him once more with my left for good measure. Before he could bring himself from the floor, I’d already stuck him in the ‘Adams’ Apple’ with my ‘Jim Bowie Knife.’ He bled like a butchered stuck pig. He made not a sound. He made not a sound because he could not. He made an attempt to scream to no avail. The shocked and bewildered look on his dead face lost all semblances of color and life. His eyes were frozen and stuck wide open. I left him that way.
The fat lady screamed and cried in fright. I really did expect her to put up a fight. I mean, her constant boasting and order barking was enough to make a grown man sit up and take notice. However, she did not fight or retaliate. She simply turned to run. She screamed and cried in fright, turned and ran. Her round plump figure did not waddle as she usually did when traversing room to room. She quickly and smoothly floated over the floor as if on wheels or that of a cloud. It did her no good though.
My aim was good and true as my throw. My blood laden blade stuck firmly in her back. The plopping noise made by her plop to the floor was loud and thunderous. She was trapped between the stove and cutting counter. She kicked and screamed in an attempt to get up. Her efforts availed her not. Her struggle was fruitless.
She bled practically all over the place. The bleeding was even more intense when I removed my ‘Bowie Knife’ from her severed spine. The kicking and moving ceased. Stepping around to face her, I squatted down on the floor to get a real good look. Her eyes were moving. She was looking for me, at me. The inquiring look of why was communicated through tear filled eyes.
I decided to explain things to her. After all, I feel that I owe her that much, especially after all that barking, shouting, and ordering me about.
“Well ya see, Ms. Lizzie, you all thought you was better than me. Ya thought you all had it made… But you didn’t! Now who’s the one doing the bowing and scraping? Who’s the one pleading and begging for help? It’s you bitch!
Now that the f…… slimy and smelly old man is going to pay me big time and neither of you can stop me. All them times ya’ll sent me up there to that stinking room to fetch his piss and shit…hell, it was bad enough that I had to eat, sleep, and take a shit with the animals in the barn. And you made me wash his stinking ass when I couldn’t wash mine! He got to use that great big tub full of hot water while giving me a bucket of cold. Now just how do you think that made me feel? A do give ya’ll credit for looking after me when I first got here. I really did appreciate it. You should have kept up with being nice to me. I would have cut you both in on the take, but all ya’ll wanted to do was serve and protect that bastard old man. Well now I’ll get it all while you and the tall man eat shit. I’ve been meaning to tell you about that wretched dog’s eyes! I hated to look at the damned things – they are the ugliest and most horrible eyeballs I had ever seen, the one on the left in particular. But now, I don’t have to look at them slimy orbs any longer. I’m going to pluck the f…… things out! First, that large pale blue film covered vultures’ eye with the snot-like slime all around it. Then there is that other grey looking droopy laden thing on the other side of his hideously bumped and pickled face. I’m going to remove those things so that they see no more. Then I’ll recover my fortune and depart this accursed wicked place.
Now, to put you out of your misery… Your spinal cord is severed. Therefore, you are probably not feeling any pain, yes?”
What a shame…that pleading look in the cook’s eyes changed from one of tearful inquisition to that of full blown dread…of terror and horror. I felt exhilaratingly exuberant excitement with the thought of them finding her butchered corpse on the cutting table and severed head in the kitchen sink.
The smiling man was leaning against a large maple tree when they arrived at the church this morning. He smiled at the old man and winked and pointed a gnarled and rotted finger at me. We continued on into the building.
The butler’s body was taken out and dumped in the hay-baling machine… It was easily chewed and spit out into a reddened bale of hey at the end of the thumping and crunching cycle. They came out in a group of four bales before the reddening ceased coloring the golden colored hay. I stacked them in a nice neat stack beneath the correctly colored ones. They could not be seen without moving the stack. In time, the worms and night crawling vermin will devour the blood stained bails. If not, the horses will.
I made up my mind to clean up when I returned from the old man’s room. I’ve decided what I needed to do with the old man before I’d pack to leave. First, I must find the money box.
Oh, how awful the smell is. The air within the old man’s bed chamber is putrid. How in hell does he breathe in here? I choke and gag every time I’ve had to come in here. Thankfully, the scarce times have been few. The room, the very air itself has the aroma of death and disease. The horrible menace of ‘Prince Prospero and the Red and Black Death which weighed in across the land, destroyed more lives than protect. Bodies amassed throughout one nearby kingdom. It, ‘The Red Death,’ appeared at one of the Princes’ guest parties where the participants dressed as animals and crawled about the floor. They apparently had run amok and truly believed they were the things they portrayed. The orgies were of and with one another as well as the real animals that were brought into play. The feast was all the rage. The Prince had his bowman kill the husband of one of the women he had bedded at an earlier party held within the castle. The bowman shot an arrow into the man from up high on the castle bulwark. The report of killings and mass mutilations spread quickly throughout the kingdom.
I paid particular attention to the vicar’s sermon this morning. He spoke of God’s vengeance upon murderers.
“Behold, there shall be retribution!” He shouted from the pulpit. Then his voice took on a gentle and soothing tone after the thunder. I do believe he was speaking directly to me. The thunder rose again…
“Thou Shalt Not Kill!” Once again, I got that ice-cold chill. I tried in vain not to look up at the preaching holy man. He was looking directly at me. I, in the midst of a battalion of Sunday worshippers, could not help but believe the message within the sermon was directly pointing at me!
“Satan robbed the human race blind when he tempted Adam and Eve in Eden.” Jesus described Satan as a thief whose purpose is “to steal and kill and destroy.”
The preacher continued. “Satan is doing this thing, robbing God’s people of the gifts he wants us to have, including our joy, peace, and purpose. Are you ever stumped about what to do or where to go next?” The speaker on the pulpit scanned the room after that question. His eyes bounced to and fro, and then came to rest upon me. I cast my gaze downward.
The vicar continued on with his sermon.
“That confusion is the result of Satan’s work. Before their fall, the only wrong choice, scripture tells us, that Adam and Eve could make was to eat the forbidden fruit. Every other option they had was a good one. But after they sinned, they had all kinds of good and bad choices to make.
The devil is also stealing our financial blessings by tying us up in debt that’s often the result of a greedy desire for more. We get those letters congratulating us on our outstanding credit and offering us another shiny coin that will give us the buying power and financial independence we so richly deserve. But the back end or that deal is financial bondage that could take us years to get out of.
Even more tragically than all of this, the devil is stealing our marriages and our families. We’re told that divorce among Christians has caught up with adultery and lasciviousness. That will never do in a Christian Kingdom of God.
The devil never tells you the deal up front. If a thief with a knife and mask knocked on your front door and asked to come in, what would you do? You’d slam the door and lock it! But thieves don’t do that. They’re deceptive, sneaking into the house when no one is looking. Since Satan is a master deceiver, we need to be on the alert for his approach!”
I felt the messenger’s eyes, once again upon me.
Monday morning came rapidly. It took all night to dispose of the bodies. The barn would have to be set ablaze due to the gore which spilled over the side of the large wash tub. The grass and hay bales failed to mask the spillage.
Hot boiling water and raw soap successfully removed the mess of the cook from the kitchen and pantry. Some stains remained on the upstairs floorboards of the master bedroom. There was also other various spotting underfoot. A nice fresh coat of paint and varnish should take care of that. What to do with the smell? It’s so rank and putrid, maybe lime powder and sulfur would explain the foul odor.
The old man’s body was not as difficult to dispose of as compared to the others… He was small, frail, and puny. They were not. Their parts had to be made smaller. The dispersal was a multi-tasked effort. The tall man was pretty damned heavy for a long and lanky fellow. After removing his limbs and burying those in scattered places for the worms and nocturnal creatures’ dinner treat. I thought of dropping the torso down the abandoned well located about 500 yards from the back of the castle’s kitchen. The new water pump pumped fresh well water right into the kitchen cook area. The hay-baling machine made a nice and neat package for the delivery. The buried parts would take too long to dissolve. I dug those up and added them to the menu of the manual hay-baler as well. This gadget worked wonders on many a farm that could afford to pay to have one built. The skilled farm servants constructed a way to make bales of hay and stalked wheat and barley by way of a compression grinder. It chopped, ground, and packed the coarse produce into square clumps that could be bond with ties, keeping them intact and easy to mobilize and feed to the animals. Only the rich lords of the realm cold afford to have them on their fields and farmlands. The contraption was a mass of turning and churning razor sharp long curved blades on a series of pulleys and wheels. These wheels were turned from the outside handle by the farmhand operating it. It proved to cut and chop a number of things that were recycled and or disposed of right back into the soil.
The cook was prepared in the manner of a fine dining affair. Her parts were carved up like one would carve a slaughtered cow. It was done in such a manner to drive one into believing he had before him a dissection chart like those displayed in butcher shops across the land.
The master of the house was fast asleep. The dark empty night provided ample cover and time to do the dastardly deed. He would prove to be the easiest of the three.
He pulled and yanked upon the bell chord, over and over again. I watched to see what he was doing through the crack of the butlers’ room door and its’ molding. It was to no avail, for he would from now on receive no response from any or either persons, save one…mine!
Flinging open the door between the tall man’s room and that of the master of the house, I stepped in to answer his call.
“You rang sir?” I responded with evil intent and a wicked smile of enthusiasm.
“Where is Cyrus?” he demanded. “As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen him all day –not since last night.” His voice was of an annoying high pitched variety. It squealed in raspy high tones splashing in gurgle. The spray of spittle saturated as he spat forth words of difficult understanding.
He never said a word while we sat through the Sunday sermon. I didn’t have to look upon the wretched fool’s eye through the day. He wore spectacles with darkened lenses. They were of the type that kept out the majority of the light with designed smaller lenses that shaded from the side of the eye. They appeared to be wrapped around the face of the wearer. I’d seen only one pair Manufactured of this type, designed to keep out the light on one other person. I had the misfortune to attend another funeral. It was the ‘Lady Ligeia.’ My crew and I were working the grounds after the fox hunt and the funeral as well. Verdon wore spectacles such as those previously described. They would be a perfect pair of glasses for a blind person who wishes to hide their eyes from curious and prying people.
It was I who brought him his morning gruel, toast, milk, and tea. I also made ready his morning bath. I dressed him and made him ready for church services. It was I who carried him down and out to the ready and waiting carriage.
Upon our return, nary a word was spoken between us, save, “Yes M’ Lord and this way or that M’ Lord, and watch your step M’ Lord.”
All this I did without once having to gaze upon that evil, slimy, and horrible vultures’ eye. As successful as the day’s endeavors, it should, I expect, will end in a finality of fruitfulness. Just as easily as I’ve managed this day, I will end it with the night.
The freshly sharpened knives were at the ready upon my arrival from the pub. Two pints of grog along with an ample amount of rye was all that I needed to re-induce my lust for blood and booty.
Many a time was I warned about mu loose lips and rum indulgences while aboard ship. Many a time did I find myself in the brig or the alley after consumption of spirits and wine. This time was not unlike before when I was shown the street by way of the door. I do not recall speaking of murder and bloodlust, or bounty while sitting with those whom I thought to be friends…kinsmen. Two suited gentlemen sat in a darkened corner of the room. They rarely took away their gazing upon me throughout my rather gay and boisterous visit. I do not believe that I was drunk when my forced departure became relevant.
The muddy sloshy walk home was, it seemed, a bit difficult. But my direction was clear and I had a job to do, just one more job to do.
The room was dark except for the candle light emerging from behind me. The light from the butler’s room caused me to appear like that of a spectre in the night, a death dealer, a necromancer of evil intent.
At first, I decided to look for the moneybox. Crawling and scrambling about the floor, I could not find it. I searched under the bed and through the drawers and closets…nowhere was there a clue to be found.
Forgetting the noise made in my frantic panicky hunt, the master was awakened. I was positive that he would sleep through the ordeal. I was wrong. He was wide awake and clearly lucid.
“What the devil are you doing in here, boy?” he shouted in that nasty sounding tone. “Get your ass the hell out of here demon – you are a thief in the night – get out you thieving peasant!” His voice made me angry and anxious as he screamed for the tall man and the cook.
“Listen to me you bloody old bastard,” said I. “You’ll tell me where you keep your gold, silver, and money – the moneybox before I cut out your foul heart!” I meant every single word. And he knew it too.
The old man continued screeching as he jumped up and out of the bed. He scratched some match sticks on the box and lit the lantern before I could stop him. Instantly the room was flooded with light. He had time enough to lite two more candles. And then it happened just before I sliced off his head.
The interviewers started to argue amongst themselves. One waved a wrinkled and drying hand, gesturing me to stop talking. He was the assigned legal defender who encouraged me to stop talking. I did not…
It is true that I am nervous, dreadfully very nervous. Is it possible that I had been mad? Maybe I had been and am; but why would you, will you say that I am mad? The disease of alcoholism had sharpened my senses. It did not dull them. My sense of hearing was acute. At that moment, I heard all things in heaven, the Earth, and hell. So why would you say then, that I am or was mad? Am I not conveying to you my portion of the events in a calm and healthy manner?
My attorney sat down and the arguments of the colleagues did cease. They all sat quietly in ponderance and observance.
It is nearly impossible to say how I first decided to accept the idea of robbery. My friend at the pub merely mentioned that he would have liked to have the old man’s riches. I was of a different contemplation… The idea of becoming rich haunted me day and night. There was no real existence of pain or passion, simply irresistible and exhausting desire.
I had had enough of his screeching and bellowing. I asked – demanded once more for him to tell me where the fortune was hidden. He continued to defiantly disrespect and disregard my orders, my demands when that monstrous film laden eye fell upon me. The lantern and candle lit room intensified its’ hideous stare. It was the eye…the pale blue eye with a nasty snot-like slimy film over it – a vulture’s eye.
Now if you think this was the point of my madness, you could very well be correct. It was this evil eye that made my blood run cold. It completely sobered me. You should have seen me. It was then and there that I wisely proceeded with caution, foresight, and dissimulation that I went to work.
The vulture eye never once removed its starring gaze from my eyes. It held me frightfully fast. I could not move. I hesitated. In that moment of hesitation, there was a chilling calm just prior to my raising the butcher’s blade. The eye left me for an instant that may well have been a minute. It looked down. It looked down at my foot. I was standing on a very expensive Persian rug. The floor boards beneath it creaked.
“Ah, you have spilled the beans Old Man.”
Just as soon as that statement escaped my lips, the damned evil eye was upon me again. It fell upon me in such a manner, that I have not seen before. It caused me to hesitate, I nearly refrained my actions of intent all together.
The old man’s mouth parted in an attempt to speak. Off went his head before he could accomplish the act. The vulture’s eye never closed as his head bounced upon the floor and carpet.
The bleeding seemed to never end. It bled from the neck as well as from the head. The gory mess spurted more forcefully from the body. His hour had come.
I then smiled gaily. The deed is finally done. The problem would be in cleaning up this mess. The gore seemed endless as it was splashed, leaked, and dripped from everywhere in the room. It remained deathly quiet for what seemed a very long time. Although I could hear something…I wasn’t sure what it was or where it was coming from.
I knew that no one was here and the nearest house was half quarter mile away. Should you continue to think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the carefully wise and patient manner in my plan to conceal the body. But before I do anything else, I must recover the moneybox before it is soaked in blood. I still have several more hours of darkness before the morning Sun.
The heavy floor rug was moved away without effort. I threw it over the old man’s headless body. The head sat upright, looking at me through the film covered vulture’s eye while the other bloodshot one looked away. There seemed, I thought, to be a kind of thumping sound not unlike the one heard earlier, although faint.
The night began to wane. I removed the three creaking planks in the floor. Truly, the fortune was underfoot all the while pleading and demanding the old man’s untold secret.
Inside the brass box was two small burlap pouches of gold coins, bank bonds, and some other legal documents of no concern to me. I could not return the bloodied rug over the replaced flooring planks because it was soaked in the old man’s blood. The boards were replaced with accurate precision. No human eye, not even mine could have detected any difference than the rest, except for spilled and spotted blood upon them.
I had to replace the blood-spoiled rug with that of another from another room. It fit perfectly. Wise was I to think ahead to place absorbent free canvases and water repellent linings under the old man’s bed without his notice or knowledge. This operation took place while he was asleep sitting upon the privy on Saturday night.
Upon completion of cleaning the walls and floors of the bed chamber, I preceded to remove the body to the large tub in back of the house. The thumping by this time had increased ten-fold. Someone would hear this upon arrival. It must be stopped. Where is it coming from?
I searched all over the mansion to no avail. The thumping was by this time, nerve shattering. Returning to the tub, I was preparing to carve up the frail body and place them, the body parts, in the hay bailer. But there was a problem. The body was gone. The old man’s head and body, were not in the tub where I left them. The blood was still there – no body or head!
The horrible thumping continued. Along with the thumping came the chilling sound of the old man’s voice in a mocking spirit-like laughter.
The old man was sitting in his bed when I arrived back to his room. He was laughing at me. The slimy blue evil vulture’s eye was upon me…more intense than before. The room was brilliantly lit. I do not know til this day, from where it came. The thumping and the laughter and the gawking evil eye where just too much to take at one time…
I threw myself upon the old man. Ripping, pulling, and punching on him, I sliced off his head again. I did it with my ‘Bowie Knife’ this time. The other blades were washed, cleaned, and stored. They would be found in their original place in the kitchen after the fire burns down the property.
The head came right off. It was easy. It kept laughing while the eye kept gawking at me. I threw the head with that nasty eye, into the fireplace of the old man’s room. That’s when I discovered the source of the thumping. It was his bloody heart!
After all had been done, the packing of my things, the removal of any evidence indicating I’d been there, were removed. It was twilight. On one side of the house the Sun was rising. On the other side it was still as twelve o’clock midnight. The damned thumping heart was in my hands when a knock came upon the main door of the mansion. It was a loud demanding and pounding knock. I froze with fright. Who was there? What was I to do with these remaining body parts? I turned to see the headless body. It was gone…again! It disappeared. I must have been dreaming. I think I was not! The thumping heart remained in my hands, dripping and oozing fresh crimson blood. The bell on the outside of the main door rang with insistence. It rang in the same demanding manner as the knock upon the door. I jumped from the freshly made old man’s bed and threw back the replacement rug, exposing the three planks in the floor. In it, the hiding place, I dropped the old man’s loudly and violently thumping heart.
The beating did not stop. The pounding upon the door grew louder and more demanding. I did believe that I heard voices shouting and ordering the opening of the door, forthwith!
It seemed like hours had passed while I stood still, very still. I remembered the slight planning of this horrible deed. I should have taken more time at that stage.
In my mind’s ear, I heard a groan, a slight groan. Along with the groan came ice cold dread and mortal terror. How would I pay for this crime…this sin? I heard another groan, a slight groan. It was not the groan of pain, suffering, or grief; no it was not. It was the low pitched, though rising, sound that comes from the bottom of the soul and supercharged with awe. I was momentarily distracted with these memories of the event. That sound has taken me away at many a midnight dream. When the whole world was sleeping, I did not.
Welled up in my bosom, the weight of deepened dreadful echoes of terror kept me awake. The drink…the drink of the spirits, brewery, or the fluid yield of the vine was all that was needed to quell the storm that keeps me from sleep.
I knew how the old man felt. I did observe him closely at the church this morning. I had the strangest feeling that he knew what I was thinking, what I was planning. I think he knew it well. I didn’t know whether to pity him or not.
That murdering night, he looked at me. Sitting in his bed, he looked at me with that accursed eye. And the thump, thump, thump, and bumpity heart pounded in my head til it hurt. He laughed. He is laughing at me still; that hideous satanic laugh. He had indeed attempted to comfort himself with several suppositions.
“It was just a mouse scampering across the floor, it was just the wind blowing the chimes, or that of a timid cricket, chirping his nightly music.”
In vain they all had been, because death approached him quickly. He had seen the black shadow before me, somehow. Was time standing still? I could not take from my sight the hideously distinctive dull blue veil over that evil vulture’s eye. It sent ripples and currents of chills through the very marrow of my bones.
I could remove from my hearing the awful thumping, thumping, and bumpity thump of that dreadful heart; the heart of which I was standing over. It bumped and thumped underfoot, beneath the planks. I didn’t have time to wrap it. I didn’t have time to wash my hands. Upon opening mu eyes, I did expect to see the headless body of the old man upon the bed. I did not see him. I did not see the blood on my hands as they reached for the lock on the front door. Was I blind? Was I imagining all this? Yes, it had to be a drunken dream. Am I, have I gone completely mad?
The pounding suddenly and abruptly stopped. It was completely silent. It seemed, in a distance, I could hear voices. The voices sounded as if one were standing in a tunnel or a vast train station with the echoing of hundreds of thousands of voices speaking all at once. Then it came. It came up from the voices. It began to separate, to single out from amongst them. The laughter grew closer and louder. It was familiar to me, to my dreams. I was afraid, very afraid.
I felt as if I were standing on a cloud. I suddenly felt light-weighted, very light-weighted. The laughter grew to a thundering pitch. It was very close to me. It was all around me. The distant voices weren’t distant any longer. They too, were all around me, but where? The face that I had seen more than several times was stating me in the face. It began to smile, and it began to laugh. Yes, that was it…the repulsively vile and evil laugh of the smiling man!
He stood fully in front of me, taller than I. He waved one arm and produced the thumping heart. It was larger than recollection. In the other hand, he held the head of the old man. It also laughed. It laughed with its eyes closed. I closed mine and found that I could not. I saw it. I saw the old man open his ugly eyes! Of the two horrible orbs was that dull blue and hideously veiled evil eye of a vulture that chilled the very marrow of my bones, again and again. The smiling man looked down, right underfoot, the floor did open. It opened into a massive fiery pit of yellowish red and black glowing beings that appeared to be human forms – human beings. They were clambering and clawing at one another in fits of agony and painful gyrations of obtaining freedom. It was all vividly seen, right underfoot. The laughter, the crying, the pounding thumps, and the brilliant light did take away, drive me insanely out of my senses…completely out of my mind.
Three men entered when the street door opened. They introduced themselves authoritatively as policemen. One of them spoke and said, “Someone, a neighbor heard a shriek in the night. They were aroused by suspicions of foul play. They did telephone the station while another arrived in person. Several patrons at the pub also reported the possibility of misdeeds at these premises prompting us to investigate.”
This statement was reported after I’d asked the reason for their visit.
“The shriek was mine officers.” I replied. “I was having a series of bad dreams during the night.”
Allowing their inquisitions by welcoming them, I mentioned the old man was not at home.
“Alone in the house are ye?” The officer asked.
“Yes, the master of the house is residing at the summer residence in the countryside.” I smiled and conducted a tour of the house and grounds while leading them all about, I did my very best to lead them away from the master’s bed chamber. Once there, they scrutinized everything. They examined his valuables and moneybox. Everything was complete. I had not the time to complete my packing of the gold, silver and bonds in my packed belongings. They inquired about my packed bags. I told them that I was to join the master and the other household servants at the summer residence tomorrow.
Their interrogation appeared to be nearing its end while seated in the old man’s room. My chair, in my arrogance, was posted directly above the damned hellish heart. I smiled fervently and often. My manner, it seemed, was convincing. I answered cheerily while they rifled question after question. Familiar pieces of conversation were chatted between them. My head began to grow heavy. The pounding, though faintly low, began to thump. Laughter in the distance was eerily threatening. I looked eagerly into their eyes and faces and wondered if they could hear what I was hearing. I wished they would leave, leave now.
They continued to sit and chat. I joined in freely in an attempt to get rid of the ache of dread. I wished they would leave.
The distinctive noise of laughter and the pounding beat of that hideous heart underfoot, would simply give me away. My dulled and frightened senses could no longer distinguish the real or unreal. Where there was once a bloody headless corpse, a vulture eye laden head, and blood splattered room with the gaping hole, was the gate of hell…right there underfoot.
I was still sitting and chatting with the three interrogating policemen. How is this possible? How could this be?
I spoke more fluently and with a brightened voice. I boasted as if in a drunken state. The noise continued to grow. They heard it not. The chatted as if I was not there. I spoke louder in an attempt to overspeak the laughter of the smiling man and the pounding heart. The floor boards began to move beneath my feet. I stomped on the boards to keep them still. I smiled, almost to a fiendish grin. They talked, the laughing as loud, and the heart pounded like a drum.
They looked at me while continuing the conversation. They looked at me with an accusing stare. No, they weren’t there. Oh, but I was there. No, I wasn’t there…it wasn’t me!
They saw him…they saw the smiling man holding the head of the old man in one hand and the beating heart in the other. At his feet, right underfoot laid the headless body of the old man, and the other two corpses in their various forms of murdered remains, right underfoot. Could they not see this? It was plain enough to see… The horrible hole of hell lay right underfoot!
I remember someone saying, “If thy eye offends thee, pluck it out.”
The oily film covered vultures eye offended me and I plucked it out from the head of the old man. I did this thing right in front of the policemen…I think. I think that I was glad. I showed them the horrible film covered eye…I showed them how awful it is.
My blood ran cold. I was no longer in the old man’s room. The police were nowhere to be found. Where were they? I could not see them. I could not hear them talking.
I remember, I think, my bloody wrists in shackles. My hands and clothing were covered in red gore. My boots were covered in mud from my trek across the rain soaked back grounds of the mansion to the waiting prison wagon. I do recall many forms of investigators marching through the kitchen, barn, and stable of the old man’s property. Many different things…cutlery, and gadgets were being removed as well. They were committing a thorough search and seizure.
A tiny slither of moonlight slices the darkness through a crack in the cold slimy wall. My bed of rags and dried muddy straw lay just underfoot. Adjacent to the crack is a port sized glassless concrete window, sealed in by three iron bars that prevented escape through this particular conduit. The view from the window atop the bulwark of the prison citadel was to the left and to the right.
On the left was the silhouette of the guillotine, on the right was the view of the gallows, and above them only sky.
Justine Tisdale pondered a thought:
~”Man, Behold Thy Story – The Conqueror Worm”~
(E. A. P.)
The Devil is a real person…a real person indeed.
Til Next Time…
“The Tell Tale Heart,” Inspired by Author, Edgar Allan Poe, and “Tattletale” by Gregory V. Boulware
Tony Evans, “Free at Last”
The Marquis De Sade, “My Vengeance Needs Blood”
“The conqueror Worm,” Edgar Allan Poe
“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”
“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
“Oh, I was so much older then but, I’m younger then that now!”
“Tattletale or The Tell Tale Heart”
“Selling Your Soul to The Devil” – Demonrising
“Article Posting Sites”
The Ghost Writer Interviews – Pt. 1:
The Ghost Writer Interviews Pt.2: “So You’ve Become An Author, Why?”:
Pt.3 – Closing Statement – “So You’re Going Where?”