Death Pays a Visit

Quotable Poe week # 3. I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him – The Tell Tale Heart-Edgar Allen Poe
Prompt from the site of Heretics,Lovers and Madmen-

I was settled in for the night, fire blazing in the hearth, relaxing comfortably into the armchair with a glass of port, mince pies and Dickens. I must have dozed off for I awoke with a start as the grandfather clock in the hallway chimed the midnight hour. The fire had burned down and a stillness lay on the house. I felt acute indigestion in my chest regretting those mince pies so late at night. Was that a knock at the door? Surely not at this hour. I waited. There it was again, a hesitant knock. I opened the door to see death staring me in the face.

Death beckoned. ” The ferry man awaits.”

I stared in confusion. ” You must be mistaken. Are you sure you have the right address”

Death nodded the affirmative.

” Your knock seemed a little hesitant, as if you were unsure. Are you absolutely certain it is tonight. Perhaps you are a few years early.”

Death kept staring me in the face. ” Perhaps I am a few minutes early, but I’m patient I can wait.”

“But I don’t want to die”, I gasped ” Can we not reach an accommodation.”

” You wish to negotiate” Death asked ” You may not like the price”

“Anything you ask ” I pleaded.

“One for one” Death intoned ” One year for one life”

“I don’t understand your meaning.” I was getting confused.

” You will take one life in order to live one year” Death explained ” Each year you take a life you will be spared death. That will be the contract between us.”

I shuddered in horror at this dreadful pact. I was not a violent man……but…… I did like my creature comforts.

” Agreed. ” I said and with those words Death disappeared.

I flopped into the armchair considering this pact I had made with Death. How would I go about this? Who would I choose? To assuage my conscience I persuaded myself that I needed some rules, not to kill violently but with compassion and to enact some form of kindness to the victim before death.

The first victim I chose was Mr. Moriarty my feeble next door neighbor and I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. 

Published by lensdailydiary

Born Stepney, London, England. Emigrated to Canada. Married, two children, six grandchildren. Retired. Conservative and cultural catholic. LOVE soccer. Tottenham Hotspur. Read historical and fantasy fiction..

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