REWRITE OF THE LAST SCENE OF THE TELL-TALE HEART:

~As told by Edgar Allen Tarantino

I arrived at the door of the house with my two aides near 4 o'clock in the morning. Our story was straight: we had heard a report of a shriek, and had been sent to investigate. Under no circumstances were we to reveal our true mission - we were special agents of an unnamed major contact lens company. A prototype had been stolen and sold through the black market without proper R & D, and the possible consequences could be terrible. When the lenses were tested on laboratory rats, their eyes had glazed over and become pale, and had aquired a filmy blue layer after repeated usage. Then we injected them with strychnine and measured how long it took for half of them to die. But I digress...

My name was to be Constable Jameson, while the communications specialist was to be called Sargeant Hookes and the weapons expert was going by the name Officer O'Reilly. None of us knew our real names, and we referred to each other by our assigned colour codenames: Green, Red, and Pink. O'Reilly griped initially about being stuck with Pink, but he piped down after we threatened to cut his ear off. After disposing of the bodies of the spies sent by Lensmaster to trail us, Red checked the door to make sure there were no hidden cameras or bugs to monitor our secret progress. Convinced that we were making our way unseen, I was given the OK to knock on the door and alert the illegal buyer, an old man, if our records proved correct, of his impending doom.

<KNOCK>
<KNOCK>

"Hello, Constable, may I help you?" A young man opened the door, and we quickly did double-takes at the sight of his unfilmed and clear eyes... Perhaps this wasn't our prospective target after all? Could there be more than one resident of this house?

Silently I cursed our intelligence department as I introduced us suavely and our false pretenses for being there. The man smiled and invited us in to the house, explaining how the primary resident was away in the country. I made a mental note to have several members of the intelligence department "terminated". Yet the mission was not complete... perhaps the doddering fool had left the lenses stashed away during his trip to the country... we needed to make a quick and thorough search of the house, but this over-friendly young man was impeding us. As the man offered us a tour of the house and bade us search, I gave the hand signal to Pink not to continue his current action, which involved sticking a hypo full of depressants into the young man. Pink looked pained, and silently put the needle back into his vest and backed away from the man, who was glibly chatting, unaware of his brush with death. Perhaps we wouldn't have to cut short his thread...

He led us into the old man's bedroom, and, while he fetched us some chairs, a quick sweep of the room revealed an empty contact lenses case... confident that the man might yet be able to provide us with some useful information, we decided to tolerate his banter for a short while more. It was obvious that there was something underneath the floorboards of the man's chair, as they had recently been sloppily replaced, but our trained eyes quickly took note of it and returned to the man, as not to give away our observation. What could be hidden there? Money, perhaps. No matter... we were here to kill the man, not to rob him of his material goods... we were paid well enough.

As he chatted about everything and nothing, he began to look nervous... he looked from side to side, as if looking for something, or the source of something. He began gasping and talking quickly and loudly, though our subject, the architecture of this old house, was hardly a fitting subject to get so excited about. He made wild gestures, and leapt to his feet, pacing like a madman. As Pink sent me the hand signal requesting permission to tranquilize this poor soul, he began grating his chair over the floorboards, back and forth, like some obscene machine caught in a series of motions. Unfortunately, he was facing the three of us, and we wanted to make as little of a scene as possible. Fortunately, that problem was soon remedied as he put his hands to his head and deilvered a rousing speech.

"Villains!" (at which we exchanged cautious glances... did he know of our mission? But how?) "Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! here, here! - it is the beating of his hideous heart!" With that, he curled up in a ball and began sobbing, which was the cue for Pink to smoothly creep up behind him and deftly slip the needle into his unprotected neck. The man quickly stopped his jerking motions, and as we moved his body to the side, we became aware of a peculiar ticking sound. Green stealthily traced the sound to its source, a small video transmitter on the wall with the AMERICAN EYEGLASSES logo on it. Curses! We had been monitored for the whole time! The madman's antics had distracted us from the obvious bug on the wall! Even as we discussed possible courses of action, counter-agents were on their way to apprehend us!

We needed to escape quickly, but Green suggested that we find out what exactly WAS hidden beneath the floorboards, as to facilitate a completely comprehensive report. We still had a few minutes of free action left, so we quickly took out our crow bars and tore out the floor. There, looking at us, was the head of the old man, along with his arms, legs, and torso. And there! in his eye, the contact lens! Pink took out his S.P.O.O.N. and, in one fluid motion, extracted the lens and the eyeball along with it. This would be appreciated by our labs, as they hadn't tested the lens on HUMAN eyeballs yet. We dragged the bodies to the bathroom, and hastily flung a few containers of acid over them, to dissolve the evidence while we made our escape. Pink then hung a balloon full of plastique over the front door, which would fall when the counter-agents inevitably kicked the door in, and quickly strung a few monofilament wires across the windows, and we all fled out the back, after wiring up the doorknob to the wall socket.

The entire incident was mentioned on the 6 'o clock news the following day as a case of racially motivated arson.

AUTHOR: Cthulu