The Tell Tal Tale Heart
Were it not so! --but I had been and am vexed by an evil one, an editor. I was Tal, his copy girl. Listen! For it is all true.
I drafted all manner of correspondence for the evil editor, rejection letters mostly. When the slush pile had gotten waist high, out the bottom third would go. Though he had not read one of them, he'd tell me to 'broadcast apologies to the fallow authors like pollen'. So I'd draft his rejection letters--this one is not right for us, that one smells of derivation. Then, he'd consider my letters--at least he reviewed something!--and his nose would twitch and an eyebrow would arch. Doesn't this letter need one more comma and that one, one less? After many drafts he'd decry my incompetence, and copy each one in his own hand, making his secret corrections.
He had to die! His tea would be his fall. Oh the irony! for I could never fetch his tea at the right time or temperature. Never! So into his tea hemlock went.
He took his tea and raised his bushy eyebrow knowingly. I shuddered for I had been found out. Yet, he succumbed within minutes. Though a girl, I was able to raise some floorboards and push his considerable heft into the void beneath. There! I'd done it! I replaced the floorboards and closed the office for the day. The next morning, I returned to work, playing the innocent part. After some hours, I made a tearful inquiry of the local constabulary, making known my fears about my missing 'blessed employer'. I returned to the office awaiting. Then the sounds began! Like heartbeats from below the floorboards. Awful, hellish sounds, those demonic heartbeats were! Fearing the constable would come soon, I raised a few boards to see if the fellow needed a rock to the head to quiet him down. Though he wasn't there, his breath was at the nape of my neck!
I turned, and his fangs shown to me for the first time and I knew I was doomed.
"Here are a few lessons for you girl:" he said. "You can not kill the undead, and there is no heartbeat where there is no heart."
Into my neck his fangs went, and now--to my great sorrow--I wander the countryside, telling my tale.