Edgar Alan Poe (1809 to 1849-USA) would have been 202 years old on January 19. Yesterday I was looking over the works listed in Clifton Fadiman's The Life Time Reading Plan (1960), a book that has meant a great deal to me for many years. There are only four authors listed for their short stories, Franz Kafka, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Alan Poe. (Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scriviner" is also listed and I completely agree with that.) ( I think James Joyce, Anton Chehkov, Guy du Mauspassant, and Katherine Mansfield and maybe Gogol should be added to the list and I would be OK with the dropping of Hemingway.) Fadiman says Poe pretty much created the "horror story" and the "detective story" genre. Many of the characters in his stories are right at the border between sanity and insanity. He is very much a Gothic writer.
I have previously posted on Poe's "The Mask of the Red Death". "The Tell Tale Heart" is on the surface a simpler tale. The first person narrator and central character of the story knows he (might be a she for all we are told) is perhaps losing his mind. The central character is somehow being driven mad by an old man that he lives with who he thinks is somehow giving him a "vulture eye". He decided to save his sanity he must murder the old man. He then dismembers the body of the old man and hides it under the floor boards of the house. I do not want to give away more of the plot of this story as it is very well told and quite exciting. Poe does a great job of making us see the world through the eyes of the narrator. It is beautifully written.
"The Tale of the Tell Tale Heart" can be read online (all of his stories can be read online). It is a fun story from a canon status writer. In five minutes you can experience a classic short story.