The Brothers Karamazov

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Smerdyakov’s Rooms

Smerdyakov’s rooms were quickly sealed after his suicide.  The suicide remained a mystery to all.  Why had the lackey decided to kill himself on the eve of the trial?  Might there be something in the suicide that we should understand?

 

You decide to creep into his rooms, even though they’ve been sealed.  You arrive at the lopsided little log house after everyone is asleep, and you walk down the long hallway to the “good room” that housed Smerdyakov.  The door is not hard to jimmy.  Once inside, you light a candle and so can make out the tile stove; the badly dented samovar; the blue wallpaper; and the geraniums and icons near the window.  There’s an eerie shadow in the doorway where Smerdyakov has hung himself.  And the incessant rustlings of the cockroaches make you jumpy.

 

Suddenly, someone is in the room with you.  You turn and see Smerdyakov himself.  But no – Smerdyakov is dead.  It must be Smerdykov’s ghost that you’re encountering.

 

He appears and makes the following unsettling speech.  What he says could very well change the fate of all the Karamazovs.  But what can you do with this information?  Who, after all, will believe the confessions of a ghost?