‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe

It’s not easy task to keep an entire classroom of pre-adolescent pupils to an acceptable degree of noise.

At least it wasn’t for my Literature teacher in middle school.

I can’t be sure whether she did it on purpose, but one day she had just the perfect idea to finally keep us quiet.

She walked into the room – where paper planes were flying and desks were being used as canvas – and left the big anthology fall heavy on the teacher desk.

A couple of heads turned.

Over the chattering, the teacher announced: “Open your anthology at page 256”.

(Alright, I don’t remember the exact page, but you get the point).

Then she picked the best reader of the bunch and told her to start reading.

The girl read the title: “The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe”.

From the bottom of the class, a voice came: “Is it a love story?”

Over the giggles, the teacher only said: “You’ll see”.

The girl started reading and for the following half hour – with the only exception of her voice – the silence was so total that it was possible to hear the coffee machine working from the other end of the hall.

It wasn’t a love story.

It was a murder, the perfect murder as told by a madman who believed that he was sane.

Nervous, that he was, a condition that conferred him with an over-acuteness of the senses.

Otherwise, how could he be able to explain so how it happened in a such a clear and detailed manner?

He had nothing against the old man, who had never done him any wrong.

He didn’t even care about the gold.

It was the eye, that filmy vulture eye that always seemed to be looking at him.

He planned the murder and would bring it to completion, neatly and safely. No one would ever know.

He would close that vulture eye and stop the old man’s heart from beating…


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