Tuesday, January 23

The Tell Tale Tart

Every year when my birthday rolls around, I always think fondly of Edgar Allen Poe.

We have many things in common, me and old Edgar;
1-We both have a warped sense of humour.
2- We both hate photos.
3- We share the same birthday together with Dolly Parton and General Robert E Lee.

The only difference being that he is dead and I am, well… not.
So with mucho apologios to the Poe estate, I have taken Ed’s (do you think I can call him Ed?) famous short story the Tell Tale Heart and tweaked it a tiny, eensy, weeny, bit. (I'm winking at you TOWIK)

The Tell Tale Tart

nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am meshuggah? The hunger had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the kitchen and in the fridge. I heard many things in the basement.

How then am I meshuggah? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved that puff pastry apple tart. It had never wronged me. It had never given me indigestion. However for its calories and fat content I had no desire. I think it was the dough! Yes, it was this! The dough was as flaky as dried autumnal leaves. Whenever it’s smell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to put the apple tart away, and thus rid myself of the temptation for ever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me meshuggah. Meshugganas know gurnisht. I say gurnisht!!!
But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded—with what caution—with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work!

I was never more carelful to an apple tart than during the whole week before I hid it. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of the fridge door and opened it oh, so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark flashlight all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the condiments on the side compartment.

It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see the apple tart with its vanilla icing drizzling down the sides.
Ha! would a mehugganah have been so wise as this? And then when my head was well in the fridge, I undid the flashlight cautiously—oh, so cautiously—cautiously, I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the pastry. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight. And now have I not told you that what you mistake for being meshuggah is but over-acuteness of the senses?

now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a chocolate wrapper makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the puff pastry apple tart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the flashlight motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the dough. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the tart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well?

I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the tart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me—the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The pastry’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the flashlight and leaped into the sub zero refrigerator and placed a ziplock baggie over the pastry.

I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the tart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the aluminium wall. At length it ceased. I placed my hand upon the tart and held it there many minutes. The dough would trouble me no more.

If still you think me meshuggah, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the tart. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.

I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye—could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out—no stain of any kind—no crumbs whatever. I had been too wary for that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o’clock—still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? There entered my offspring returning from school.

A pastry had been smelled by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of hidden pastries had been aroused; and they (the children) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I bade the children welcome.
The smell, I said, was my own. I took my inquisitors all over the house. I bade them search—search well. I led them, at length. I showed them all my treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the puff pastry tart.

The children were satisfied.
My MANNER had convinced them.
I was singularly at ease.
They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, my stomach rumbled, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness—until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased—and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND—MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A CHOCOLATE WRAPPER MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON.

I gasped for breath, and yet the youngsters heard it not.
I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles and other desserts, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased.
Why WOULD they not be gone?

I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the children, but the noise steadily increased.
Oy vey! what COULD I do? I foamed—I raved!
I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased.
It grew louder—louder—louder! And still the children chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not?
Uch und vey! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision!
I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now—again—hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --

“Rasho’im!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of this luscious apple tart !”



At 10:47 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

how did you find out you shared a birthday with eddie?

At 11:35 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

I think Ed would have liked 'Resho'im!' :-)

So, you had an apple tart embedded in your loft conversion?!!

Well done on your will power, Bebe..
Mine would have lasted just until after I'd put it in the fridge. Lol!


At 12:17 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

I'm pishing in my pants... that story was scaaary.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Great story and lucky you that you share a b-day with eddie! lol

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...


At 10:54 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

I probably would have gone back to the refrigerater and eatin' it. :)

Reminds me of when we had cherri berekas. boy they would good!

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

You imitate like the best but I bet you're inimitable!
A blogger once wrote that you should get published and now more tha ever I agree.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

(you'll have to suffice with best menorah award)

At 5:21 PM, Blogger westbankmama said...

LOL - I don't think I will ever think of Edgar in the same way again!

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Amishav said...

Beautiful! I love parodies! What are you going to try your hand at next? Shakespeare? Really- this was very creative.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Mrs. Jude said...

you are a sick puppy. lol

At 11:17 PM, Blogger RaggedyMom said...

I think the new decade has brought an extra measure of cleverness and wit!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

Oh what I'd do for a tart! Love it-- funny, funny

At 10:42 AM, Blogger YS said...

Kasamba - This was wonderful. I'm plowing through exams and really should study a bit more but you know how it is.
You think "Let me just see if I have any urgent mail."
Of course there is none but...

Thank you for the story. much fun.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

That is so creative...
I've always felt a kinship with Mr. Poe...

At 1:23 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

I did a bio about him when I was 13!

And other pastries!

I know...

I know!



Aw, you just know what to say!

And I was counting on you!



Mrs Jude:
Better a sick puppy than a dead dog!

So, agre is good for something!


Good luck on your exams!

You too?

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