...running, pleading for mercy. The man is relentless, his unyielding stare boring a hole in your back as you sprint for the door.LOCKED. You hammer on the exit, screaming for help. No response.
And as your tormentor approaches, hand reaching for your back...You awake. Another dream. Another cursed dream, always about the same horror. The cold fiend with the vultures eye, staring at you as if you were mere cattle, trash.
You hear the old man calling for you. Your benefactor, your mentor. Over your time in his home, you had come to love the old man as family. But in recent weeks, you had come to fear his stare. His expression had not changed, his warm demeanor was as friendly as when you had met him, but these facts did not erase your trauma. For every time you locked eyes with the old man, you felt yourself paralyzed by his stare. By his dull blue eye, filmed over with age and blindness, the narrow slit making you feel as if you were prey to be devoured. You greeted the man cordially, no hint of the anxiety beating within your chest. But each day, it grew and grew. Until you were certain something had to be done. Until you heard the [[Voice]] speaking in your head.It began quietly. It was a voice smooth as silk, running itself through your mind gently, offering you a mere suggestion. A solution to your problem. "Kill him."
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/voice.jpg" width="500" height="500"
Each day, each hour, every minute you thought of the eye the voice repeated itself. "Kill him. Erase your torment. Take back your dreams." You resisted, at first. It was madness, to consider killing the old man. He was like a father to you, a soul that had done you no harm. But the voice was relentless. And over time, you felt yourself swayed. You began to resent the old man and his damnable eye, his unyielding stare that left you so weak, so paralyzed. Your dreams were plagued with terror, your waking moments plagued by your conscience. Your mind, fragile and strained with fear, began to contemplate ending his life. But you could still back out. Your love for the old man begged you to reconsider. You could go back to the [[Dreams]]... or you could [[Plot]] to end the old man's life.You resolved to do it in his sleep. You loved the old man, you did not wish him to suffer. And so that very night, you crept into the hallway before his room. You stared through the keyhole, seeing nothing through the small bronze opening.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Plot.jpg" width="500" height="500"
And ever so slowly, you pushed his door open. You did not wish to wake the old man with a creak, and so (for what felt like hours) you inched the door open, exercising extreme caution as you slowly came into view of the old man's bedroom. It was black as pitch, the old man's boarded windows and darkened shades making sure that no ray of light would illuminate his sleeping quarters, But you had to make sure he was sleeping. And so you carefully grabbed your lantern, and unveiled a mere sliver of light, a light so thin that its brightness wouldn't wake the lightest sleeper. It fell upon the old man's eye, the vultures eye, and found it closed. You stared at the old man's face, closed and peaceful, and found none of the resentment that had plagued you so previously. What a fool's errand this was. Ever so quietly, as to not disturb the old man, you closed his door and retired to your bed. But the dreams returned. The voice whispered once more. And every night for a week, you found yourself in the same position. Crouching outside the old man's bedoom, shining a light across his face, and finding the evil eye shut. On the eve of the eighth night, exhausted by your plotting and espionage, you began to doubt your sanity. You considered abandoning your evil plan, retiring to your restless [[Dreams]]. Or you could watch the old man one more night. Consider [[The Deed]] once more.That night, somehow you knew something was different. You felt the door open with nary a sound, creeped into the room effortlessly. Somehow, you had gotten rather adept at the practice of stalking the old man. It wasn't funny, but somehow, you found yourself emitting a low chuckle that you could not restrain. Suddenly, movement as the old man stirred in his bed. You resisted the urge to run, knowing that you could not be seen in the darkness, and sat perfectly still. You motioned for the lantern, and made the slightest creak as you began to unfasten the metal holding the light at bay. The old man sprung up at this noise, fully alert and scanning the impenetrable darkness for my presence. You two stayed like that for some time, him breathing quietly in the darkness, you crouching motionless like a predator. And eventually, you heard the old man groan. It was a low moan of terror, of fear, of unrelenting paranoia.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Fear.jpg" width="500" height="500"
You knew that groan well for it echoed what your heart had felt for so many nights, the fear that had tormented your very being. For a moment, you considered fleeing from your fellow, sympathy welling up from our shared torment. Because you knew that if you did not retreat to my [[Dreams]] in that very moment, you would [[Murder]] the old man in earnest.You smothered the pity in your heart. This was a fleeting feeling, but there was only one way to quell the unrelenting terror plaguing your soul. Quietly, ever so quietly, you unhinged the lantern once more. Again you let loose the dim light, shining it so gently upon the old man's face. And when the vulture eye was illuminated in all its terrible glory, the evil gaze staring directly into your very being, you began to notice the dull thumping. Slowly it rose, escalating in volume, a steady beating that you began to recognize as a heart beat. You heard, no, you FELT the old man's fear beating in his chest. And as the beating rose, the voice in your mind began to rise in volume as well. It chanted in time with the old man's heart, "KILL, KILL, KILL, KILL, KILL,". And it grew so loud, the old man's desperate heart, that you could bear it no longer. I leapt forward then, ignoring the old man's shriek of terror
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Murder.jpg" width="500" height="500",
and dragged him to the floor, pulling his heavy mattress onto his body. You forced all my weight on the mattress above his face, resisting his feeble attempts at struggle, spurred on by the desperate beating of his heart and the voice clawing at my skull. Although it must have been minutes before he expired, somehow it felt like mere seconds before the pounding stopped. The noise had disappeared, the voice had exited. For the first night in many, you are at [[Peace]].
The old man looked peaceful in death, and to your relief his eyes were closed when you dragged the mattress off his still body. For a moment, your mind was at peace, an empty room no longer plagued by the eyes that had haunted you so.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Peace.jpg" width="500" height="500"
And yet you knew that if you were to avoid incarceration you needed to dispose of his corpse...but a pervailing sense of guilt began to assail you. The old man looked so frail and broken before you now, you started to wonder why you had even taken his life to begin with. Perhaps you deserved to be punished. The local [[Constabulary]] could take you away. You would merely need to confess to the slaying. If however you were adamant about avoiding persecution for your crime, you would need to grab the [[Hacksaw]].
The guilt overcomes your senses, and you confess all your crimes. The next day you find yourself in a cold, damp cell.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Prison.jpg" width="500" height="500"
They tell you that your life is yours to keep (on account of you willingly confessing), but that you will spend the rest of it in this cell. You find peace, a local minister visting you weekly to help your soul escape damnation. But even as the guilt fades, and the weeks and months turn to years, you still fall asleep every night hearing the old man's heart beating in chest. The terror staying with you till your last breath.You stifle your guilt, and get to work. You lug the old man's corpse into the bathroom washbasin. Methodically you begin to dismember the corpse with the bathtub, ensuring that all blood ends up in the tub and the tub alone. You separate the torso, the head, and all the limbs into separate piles, figuring it easier to hide then the entirety of a corpse.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Hacksaw.jpg" width="500" height="500"
Having then scrubbed the basin and having removed all the blood, you are left alone with the pale remains of the old man's corpse. He no longer looks like a person, it's just so much meat. You had already devised where to hide his body, under the [[Floorboards]]. But...the guilt is back. You've not only taken the old man's life, you've now utterly desecrated his corpse. You remember his generosity in letting you share his abode, his fatherly demeanor towards you. You feel faint staring the evidence of your own dastardly deeds. There's still time, you could still turn yourself into the [[Constabulary]]. Or...you could continue with your plan.You hide the body underneath a hollow spot you've crafted underneath the floorboards, secured inside an airtight chest that will allow no smell to escape. You immaculately restore the floorboards back to their original position, a masterful recreation that leaves absolutely no trace of your machinations.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Floorboards.jpg" width="500" height="500"
Your work is so perfect that for just a moment the stress of your endeavors leaves you. You are certain that no one will ever uncover this body. The knocking on the door does not surprise you. The old man's scream would certaintly have alerted his neighbors, someone no doubt alerted law enforcement. You've already crafted your backstory, your excuse for the old man's absence. And yet a wiggling worm of doubt exists in the back of your mind, imploring you to confess before your deceptions are revealed. Surely your punishment will be less severe if you willingly divulge...should you confess to the local [[Constabulary]]? Or will you [[Quell your Fears]], and face your accusers?
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Quell.jpg" width="500" height="500"
You steady your breathing, and open the door. Three men in uniform greet you cordially, informing you that they are performing a welfare check on the old man. They ask you about a scream heard last night, a shriek of terror. You inform them that you suffer from night terrors, and woke from a dream in a frightful state, and that your neighbor must've heard you thrashing about in your sleep. "If the owner of this estate is well, may we meet with him?", the lead police officer asks with a smile. You lie smoothly, explaining that the old man is visiting relatives in the countryside, but you would be happy to show them around the household. You follow the men as they scour up and down the old man's abode, finding neither hint nor hair of foul play or violence. You act amicably, smiling and joking with the men, your friendly demeanor disarming any suspicions or concerns they have. They identify the old man's jewels and wealth ("not a robbery then", they say to eachother), and seem to implicitly believe in your innocence. You've extricated yourself almost entirely from the situation when they state they merely need to ask you a few questions, gesturing towards your parlour. They state it is merely a formality ("Just need a statement to finish up the paperwork really"), and gesture for you to sit down. Your blood freezes when you realize the chair they motion towards is directly above the manipulated floorboards...and the corpse.
Suspicion races through your mind, wondering if they know something you don't. You once again consider surrendering to the [[Constabulary]], but are they truly suspicious? If you were absolutely confident in the plan...you should take a [[Seat]].You sit casually,
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Seat.jpg" width="500" height="500"
crossing your legs in a nonchalant manner and explaining the details of the old man's "retreat". You manufacture an ailing sister, a familial relationship finally on the mend after so long apart. "Truly", you say with a dramatic flourish, "I know not if he will ever return from her side." The police jot down their notes and nod in agreement. "Family is damned important in these times" the lead officer says as his cohorts rumble in agreement. To your dismay, they begin to speak of their own families and issues in their personal life. You're starting to develop a festering headache, a throbbing in your brain that is exasperated by these fools speaking.
The throbbing intensifies, so violent that you can almost hear it. Focus on the [[Throbbing]], or [[Ignore it]] and show the policeman out? The policeman are amicable, but your senses are so deafened by the noise that you fail to understand their words. You smile and nod amid the pajn, and they smile back, seemingly placated by your hasty gesture of camaraderie. They continue to laugh and joke amongst eachother, but you can't hear ANYTHING OVER THAT DAMNED THROBBING.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Throbbing.jpg" width="500" height="500"
Slowly but surely you realize the sound is not within your brain, but somewhere within the room. With a growing sense of horror and apprehension, you realize the noise is originating from the floorboards, from the resting place of the old man's corpse. You recognize it as impossible, you cut the old man to pieces, but you begin to recognize the old man's beating heart. You recognize the torturous noise for what it is, a monument to the sound you heard the day you murdered your victim. You feel the same desperate fervor that overtook you that night begin to overwhelm your senses, the throbbing driving you into a bloody rage. Do you fall to your senses, [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] before your captors, or do you attempt to [[Resist]]...?You concentrate on pleasant conversation, exercising the totality of your will on blocking out the desperate sound that pounds in your ears. Slowly, it fades to a dull thud, not disappearing but fading to the point where you can ignore it. Eventually, the Policemen grow tired of their pleasantries and bid you good day, exiting with a smile. You remove the old man's body later that night, carefully extracting his heart from his chest, the sound of your terror finally dissipating as you smash it with an iron hammer.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/hammer.jpg" width="500" height="500"
You live peacefully the rest of your life on the old man's money, dying at a ripe age without having found a bride. You enjoy all of it, revelling in the peace.YOU MADE YOUR CHOICES. THIS STORY PLAYS TO THE END.
[[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]] [[LOSE YOUR MIND]]The beating cannot be resisted. The mocking sound tears your mind in twain, and you throw your chair to the side, falling to your knees as you dismantle the floorboards, revealing the macabre chest. The policeman stand in stunned silence as you rip the corpse from the box, the fruits of your dastardly labors plain to see. You reach deep into the old mans torso, cutting your fingers on sharp rips and bones, before gripping his heart tight between your palms with all your might, squeezing hard as you feel it pop in your grasp.
<img src="https://blog.dkenjihoward.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heart.jpg" width="500" height="500"
Blood and viscera cover your hands, but like magic, a fog that blanketed over your consciousness is peeled away. You don't protest as the policeman tackle you and drag you outside. Nor do you plead for mercy when they tie the noose round your neck. To the end, you smile. Enjoying blissful silence.