Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Tell-Tale Heart Intervention

I am working diligently on the third draft of my ECP ( go and read the Second Draft too) and I am now over 8,000 words. Which means it's technically completed.


But they may not be 8,000 amazing words thus the work continues. One my supervisor's criticisms was that some parts weren't developed enough. So I thought I'd post a section that I've been working on and see if you think it's developed enough. It is also a reworking of The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe, of course! I've always had an affinity with this story, I did my A-Level Art course work on it. I illustrated the whole story on one canvas, and believe me that took a while. Here are parts of it:

The Eye

The Old Man

Part of the Final Piece 
Anyway, here's the story of Greg and his granddad. Tell me what you think!

Greg and the Eye

Greg Sullivan had never liked his granddad. Although he would never admit it. Every time his mum told him that his granddad would be visiting he felt the dread settle in his stomach. His granddad wasn't like ordinary granddads. He never told funny stories, or gave him money, or even commented on how big he was getting. He would bang on the front door, demand Greg get his bags from the taxi, collapse into the red armchair, and order Greg's mum around. Even when she tried to talk to him all he would do was moan.
   ‘Put on the heating, woman. This place is freezing.’
   ‘You call that tea, more like piss.’
   ‘I suppose you’ve never heard of a duster then.’
But the complaining wasn't the worst part. The worst part was his eye. He had been blind in one eye ever since Greg could remember. No one had ever explained why he was blind and Greg never dared to ask. It was a taboo subject in their house.
So when Greg's mum said that his granddad would be staying for an entire week Greg seriously considered running away. Same as usual his granddad collapsed into the red armchair and ordered Greg's mum to get him a tea: no milk, no sugar. Greg sat on the sofa on the other side of the room watching his granddad and thinking of the blank eye; how did he get it? And why did nobody want to talk about it? His granddad sharply looked at him, as if he knew exactly what he was thinking. Greg immediately stared back at the TV.
   ‘Got something you want to say, boy?’
   ‘No, Sir,’ Greg mumbled.
His granddad grunted in reply. Greg didn’t stick around long after that, he ran upstairs to his room and shut the door with a snap. A week was definitely too long.


The eye plagued his mind more than usual. That night while he lay on the sofa - his granddad always got his room, another reason to hate his visits - his thoughts kept returning to the eye. White and milky, like a full moon in a cloudless sky, but as sharp as a greedy vulture stalking it’s pray. Such a gross thing. So repulsive. He should wear a patch or glasses, Greg thought. Hide it. Get rid of it. Gouge it out. Destroy it. Kill it. Greg flinched. His heart was pounding and his body was moist with sweat. Where had that come from? He shook his head and tried to think of something else, like the new computer game he had bought. But when he closed his eyes and finally drifted off it a fitful sleep he could still see the eyeball. It watched him in his dreams.
Even at school he could see it. It was the circle equation during maths, the petri dish during science, and the football during lunchtime. His mind would wander during class and when he finally snapped back to reality he found eyeballs staring at him from his notebooks. He had covered every page in drawings of eyeballs. His chemistry teacher Mr Waldman had written a note in his dangerous red pen.

See me after class. We need to talk about this

Greg had torn the page from the book and hurled it in the bin, his breathing ragged. As soon as the bell rang he legged it from class. He even ignored Mr Waldman calling after him. He knew he’d be in big trouble the next day.
That Thursday he was relieved to think that in twenty-four hours his granddad would be gone. No more staring vulture eye. But when he walked into the living room and saw his granddad sat in the same red armchair his usual sneer upon his face and the staring milky white eye, the relief vanished and anger seared through his veins. Vile eye. Grotesque eye. Have to get rid of it, Greg thought. Have to destroy it. Have to kill it. Have to kill him! Greg faltered. Kill him? Surprised at his rage, he ran upstairs to his room. He collapsed against the door and forced himself to calm down.  His breathing slowed and his pounding heart returned to normal but that voice in his head continued. Greg clamped his hands to his ears and forced it to go away. He put on his music and turned it up to the highest volume and didn’t turn it down even when his mum yelled at him.
At dinner he avoided looking at his granddad but he could still feel the eye upon him and the throbbing rage in his head grew. The voice screamed at him. Kill it. Kill it now! His hand clenched around his knife.
   ‘I’m not feeling well. May I be excused,’ he burst out. His mum most have noticed his pale, sweaty face and let him go without questioning him.
It wasn’t until he closed his bedroom door that he realised he was still holding the knife.


Greg hid in his room until it was time for bed, then he slunk down the stairs without a glimpse at his granddad. He tossed and turned on the sofa for hours but the feeling that he was being watched never left him. The eye, it was there. Through ceilings and walls it could see him. Disgusting eye. Revolting eye. Had to stop it staring. Had to stop it living. Had to…to kill it. He leapt from the sofa as if under a spell, mind and body focused on only one thing. He crept to the kitchen and picked the largest knife from his mum’s knife rack. It would be quick. It would be gone. It would be dead. He had to do it. Had to kill it.
Careful of the creaky ones, Greg took the stairs two at a time. The door was ajar and he was sure that the eye knew he was just outside. Hateful eye. With the knife thrust out in front of him, Greg pushed the door aside slowly and entered the room. His granddad was asleep and yet the eye was still open, Greg could see it gleaming in the darkness. He was pulled towards it. Kill it…Kill him. The voice urged him. He lifted the knife up high above his head, the sharp tip pointing directly at the offensive eyeball. Loathsome eye. Nasty eye. Kill it. Kill it now! Greg plunged the knife downwards into the socket just as his granddad's other eye popped open. 

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