Short Story Sunday: Tell Tail Heart (or A Literary Tale)

A Literary Tale

He woke with a start.



Immediately he thought of The Tell Tale Heart, that story of horror written by Poe.

Bolting up in bed and now awake he realized it was just the thumping tails of his brother’s wolfhounds. Why had he agreed to take care of the beasts for the week?

These huge beasts were no Baskerville Hounds. They were sweet and goofy. Sure they could kill, he supposed they could kill, but they were just happy dogs. Large dogs with large hearts. Large dogs who needed to go out and leave large piles in his yard. And they needed to do that RIGHT NOW.

All week long he’d been obsessed with trying to find the story that matched his life. No Jane Austin. No Thomas Wolf. Maybe a touch of Charlotte Bronte or Donna Tartt. A little Dave Stone or Nathan Tackett. Maybe Mandy White? J. Harrison Kemp? Gabriel García Márquez? The poetry of Daniel Tanzo? Jade M. Phillips? David X. Hunter or Michael Haberfelner? Lucy Lastic? Stephen King? More like it the beautiful haunting romantic historic stories of Diana Garcia or Marie Frankson. What about John Sanford or John Steinbeck. He liked the idea of Steinbeck. He liked the idea of all of them… except maybe White or King. That pair of horror writers were brilliant but far too scary to base a life on their works. Rob Betz , Angie Parisi or Gina McKnight came to mind. He thought about it for a while longer while the dogs played and ran in the yard as the sun vanished and night took over the sky.

He returned inside and fed the large gray beasts. If dogs could write what would they write about? His mind was on finding a story. The dogs curled up on the floor next to a wall of bookshelves. He looked at the hundreds of titles. All had inspired him but none were his life.

Then he pulled a small volume out and fingered the pages. In pencil were sketches and stories a friend had written years ago. Since then he’d followed her tales. Stories of fantasy, then stories of real life.

He picked up his phone and called. She picked up. “Marla, this is Andrew. I just wanted to tell you… What have you been up to?”

They talked for hours about life and the past 18 years, since her wedding. She’d lived life not like one of her stories but almost as exciting.

“You were never afraid of me. I mean, because I’m a Vampire,” Andrew told her.

“You were never afraid of me because I’m a writer,” she told him.

He laughed. They made plans. She’d keep writing her stories. And as for Andrew, he’d keep living his own story.




For more fiction from Juliette Kings, Marla Todd, Mandy White and others click here for a list of find fun and fantastic short fiction.

For more short stories from the authors listed above click here.



For more about Andrew just put in his name (Andrew or Andy) in the search window of this blog. You’ll come up with a bunch of stuff. Or go to the Stand Alone story link (left sidebar) and see “Morning at the Vineyard” or “Dancing on the Beach.”

Happy Reading,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

poe harry clarke


  1. Really love this one. I can see the book shelves. And any story beginning with reference to The Tell Tale Heart has my immediate attention! Great way to start my Sunday morning. Thank you.

    1. Awwww. Thank you Jenifer! The Tell Tale Heart has always been a favorite. As kids we used to read it and scare ourselves silly – no matter how many times we read it. 🙂

  2. Hey we chatted on 201 but there seemed to be no way to reply to your lovely insight on your polls on the 201 board, I did entery your real men poll for fun but i think your comment section is closed so chatting here. A great idea and thanks for giving me an insight in to how polls can be done, I shall do one in the future. I would love an opinion on my blog if you take a look at it if time. I put on a blogroll and am still in two minds whether it is a) messy and b) distracting when trying to read the posts, would love feeedback x

    1. I posted some comments on your blog. I’m not too crazy about blog rolls. I don’t look at them on other blogs plus it just doesn’t work for me.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      1. Thanks I actually removed it now and won’t be putting it back lol I didn’t really like then in the first place I’ve always found them messy and distracting . I really do appreciate your feedback x

  3. This was quite interesting, Juliette… who would best write MY life story? – I’m not sure… a little James Clavell, a little Stephen King, a little Mad Magazine? LOL
    I love this story!! Happy Sunday!

    1. I’ll write you a longer story in a few days. Just give me a few days to think of something. I wrote this one over coffee. A half a cup of coffee. Plus it is a shameless plug for my short story anthologies (I admit it.)

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