This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall.
At length it ceased. The old man was dead.
I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more. If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.
First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong.
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There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they the officers had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased.
I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? Is she alive again? He comes closer to her softened body, his hands meet the hole and, very gently, put the heart back into her chest. Attuned, with their eyes closed, they take a deep breath. Touch and breath: nothing else exists between them. In them. Her hole starts to narrow, her skin healing. An unknown glow lights her eyes, a smile forms on her stiff lips.
I gave you my life.
Home is where the heart is, Short Story | Write4Fun
He holds her shirt from the floor, puts her arms on the sleeves, and dresses her. Then, he takes a step closer, leans his body to hers, his lips touch hers, his warmness feels hers.
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The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Passion there was none. I loved the old man.
Bite-sized: 50 great short stories, chosen by Hilary Mantel, George Saunders and more
He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Joyce Carol Oates. Many readers might come to this from the short film, made rather confusingly in French. Peyton Farquhar is being hanged by Union soldiers on a small bridge in Alabama. To say more might ruin the experience of reading it.
When I happened on the story a few years ago, I thought I might be one of only a few intrepid readers. Of course, it is considered to be one of the best stories in American literature. Sebastian Barry.
The Most Beautiful Heart :
I can, however, name 20 to 30 stories that I return to often. A woman travels alone to recover from a love that has ended too abruptly, but the wish that solitude could exorcise loneliness is as faulty as the wish that love could exorcise disappointment brought by love. The story to me is like an eye drop for the mind. Yiyun Li. The thing that is most striking about this story, aside from its restrained, grave beauty, is that it should manage to be so moving. On one level it is a dryly detailed and topographically exact portrait of a small town in the American midwest, but on another it is a devastating threnody for lost love.
Gass was one of the great prose stylists, and the writing here is typically smooth and pellucid, conjuring its effects by stealth and unflagging control. Simply, and by simple means, a masterpiece. John Banville. Decades unfold inside the beat of a sentence; a single moment might linger unspoken for many pages. Time seems to concertina, expanding and contracting to open out pockets of aromatic description.
The story deals in oxymorons — bitter desire, weak power — and jolts to a conclusion that is harsh, cool, indelible. Kevin Barry. Key to a great short story is the tension and torsion created within each sentence. The main character, a nurse, has been taken to the overseas villa of her rich lover. The story is lit with sexual chemistry, but travels a horribly misaligned path. Its true test lies in finding an exit from the female dream. Sarah Hall. This is a strange, dark little story. Anderson evokes the Ohio town of Winesburg by focusing on the hands of its inhabitants.
Guy Gunaratne. Sedaris is in the fifth grade when heavy snow closes the schools. The little Sedarises go off sledding and return to find the door locked against them. They peer through the window to see their mother watching TV and glugging wine. She closes the drapes on them. A story — more memoir than fiction — that starts with the recognition that the very sight of you drives your mother to drink is attractive to me.