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I should sue Ambien. Dr. Fromer, too, while I’m at it. Paying out the nose for sleeping pills that don’t work and now I can’t feel my toes. Probably made my blood pressure medicine not work. I’ll be lucky if I wake up in the morning. Not that that’s different from any other day.

Better do it the old-fashioned way. I’m too damn old to see the sunrise from this side.

One sheep, two sheep, three sheep….

Oh, hello there, Thirty-Four Sheep—I mean, Miss Hepburn. Call you Katherine? Well, if you insist. Please do come in, make yourself at home. May I offer you a drink? Scotch and soda is my favorite, too. We have so much in common, my dear. Allow me to help you with your coat….


Stupid restless legs couldn’t just let me have that one, could they? Add it to the charges against Frommer. That quack keeps piling up the meds but nothing gets better. Sonofabitch better give me back my Vicodin. “Unwanted interactions,” my wrinkled behind.

Let’s try this again.

Sixty-two sheep, sixty-three sheep, sixty-four sheep, sixty-five sh—

What was that? Something downstairs? Did I lock the front door?

Don’t breathe. Don’t blink.

Nothing now. Must be the house settling. Damn contractors probably loosened some floorboards on their way out so I have to call them back. Just like them to screw me coming and going. Taking advantage of the elderly—disgusting. I’m calling the BBB first thing tomorrow.

Back to sheep.

Sixty-six, sixty-seven, sixty-eig—

There it is again.

Where’s it coming from? Did it get closer? Probably left the bathroom faucet on. I can’t tell if it’s creaking or dripping or what. The one time I actually need my hearing aid….

Wait, it’s gone.

I guess the Ambien’s working after all. Doc said it might make me a little loopy. Figured he meant the fun kind. If I’d wanted paranoia, I’d’ve gotten into Melanie’s special cookie jar again. Best brownies I’ve ever had.

Hundred and one, hundred and two, hundred and three, hund—

Who turned on that light?

Oh my God, someone’s in the house. Where’s my cane? If I can just get across the bed, I think I can grab it before….

Tell-Tale Heart by andrewmar via DeviantArtToo late—the door.

Margaret’s laughing at me right now. “Shouldn’t have gotten rid of that knife I kept in the end table, Harold. See what happens when you forget to check the front door, Harold. You’re going to die without me, Harold.” This is not the time, woman!

Somebody’s out there. Dontlookdontlookdontlook. God, the light’s so bright. Where are my glasses? All I see is a blur. A short blur. My murderer is a midget.

He’s coming in. Ohgodohgodohgod.

Hold my breath. Close my eyes. Keep still. Maybe if I pretend I had a heart attack and died they’ll leave me alone. Messing myself wouldn’t hurt. Of all the times to not be incontinent.

Argh, my legs! Stop moving, you idiots, you’re gonna get us killed!

“Gran’pa? Mama said to come say goodnight. Gran’pa, you okay?”



Story content: Ellie Di Julio 2017
Art: “Tell-Tale Heart” by andrewmar
Music: “Horror Music” by Audionautix