Death Watches

He had worked for me for just over half of a fortnight, this child. If not for the sickness, he would have been unneeded. The sickness, who knew no name, had not only taken my strength, but also taken claim to my right eye, leaving a yellow film and a pale blue ring, taking resemblance to that of a vulture’s eye. Yet I only seek one who will hearken to my pleas, not for help, not for revenge, but for an ear to whom I can lend my story.

He had seemed as kind and friendly as a raven is dark and uncanny. He assisted me whenever needed with no hesitation. Not to mention his sense of humor, this was just prodigious. By day he was magnificently gay, but by night he was nowhere to be found. In fact, the only things that kept me company were the death watches whose cries resembled the sound of a killer’s foot step, or the dreary beating of a sick heart. Maybe the heartbeat only soothed me because it suited mine since my darling Lenore had been taken by the sickness which now I possessed. But one can not be overtaken with sadness for that which had been a curse could possibly now be a blessing. It could give me back what it had taken months before. Thus making the death watches my friends, my enemies, and my own self.

Every night the assassin’s creep reproached my solitude. Every night I had been bestirred by that which had sent me to the only peace I now knew. Perhaps I should have been more cautious of this. But having my shades drawn in fear of robbers seemed like it would protect me just fine. These steps seemed lively though, unlike those of the death watches. I chose to view them as good health approaching me like I weren’t meant to be stricken by this sickness. This could be viewed as mad, but no one dareth say because it is one of the few wishes of a dying old man. Upon this thought I fell asleep once more.

Morning stalked me as a puma does its prey. Upon the call of the sun, the child heartily walked into my room and greeted me as one does a dearest friend. This was our eighth day together. All seemed brighter and duller at the same time. This whole day was spent laughing and playing and conversing over everything and nothing all at once. Everything and nothing was the same.

Then upon night fall I fell asleep to not what felt like a killer’s step, or a weary heart, but the dreadful sound of Death himself watching my every move. That night I dreamed of my Lenore joining me finally. In the midst of my dream, I was woken by the sound of a man’s bedlamite cackle. I shot up in my bed and barked “Who’s there” into the pitch I called a room. No response. I sat for hours just waiting for movement or another noise. Nothing. It had finally hit me that the assassin’s creep may have actually been true. That maybe the death watches were really just Death’s watch counting until I cease. I tried very hard to convince my self that it was just an imaginary chuckle. But as I still wondered who was there, a thin ray of light fell upon my right eye. A shriek bellowed from the child’s bosom as he sprung upon me and threw my very own bed over the weak shell of my body. It was my eye. It had to be, for that was the only fault he found in me. It must have driven him mad for he hid my body under the very floor boards I walked on earlier.

As soon as he was done cleaning, the police approached my home. He invited them in for they had heard the war cry of his as he flung the bed. He had the audacity to invite them to tea in my room right above me. As they had their tea in my room, I came to see my sweet, sweet Lenore in the ambrosia of all settings. When I saw her I could feel my heart beating strongly once more. My heart beat was so strong the child (and only the child) had heard it. This drove him even madder, forcing him to confess to what he had just done to the police and to show them where my old shell lay under the floor.


I suppose this ends my tragic yet heart warming tale. But before you leave me and live on to love and be loved, let me tell you of a sweet thing called karma. You see, when the child went to prison; he caught the sickness, which I now refer to as Death’s Clock. Now he must live with it for the rest of his life. Thus bringing a true meaning to the phrase, “An eye for an eye.”





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