“It’s alive… ALIVE!” shouted Doctor Frankenstein. His experiment was a success. His creation LIVED!
He rubbed his hands with glee as he watched his creation sleep, basking in the glow of what had to be the most important scientific discovery that anyone would ever make : the secret of LIFE ITSELF!
He was already framing his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in his mind when Igor said “Mathter! The creature awakes!”
Ah, yes. This would be his true moment of triumph. This is when his genius would truly LIVE! Frankenstein positioned himself so that his face would the first thing his creation sees, and put on his best clinician’s smile.
The creation slowly opened his eyes, and for a moment its eyes were unfocused and hazy, but then it focused on Doctor Frankenstein and blinked.
Clearly, the electrical shock had done more damage than Frankenstein had thought. He launched into his speech.
“Hello! I am Doctor Frankenstein! I am…. your friend! Friend, see? Friend!”
The creation stared at Doctor Frankenstein for a moment, then said “Why are you talking to me like that?”
“The monthter thpeaks, Mathter!” proclaimed Igor.
The creation peered at Igor. “Of course I can speak, you weird little man. And who are you calling a monster? Like you’re one to talk. ”
“Now see here… ” said Frankenstein. Nobody got to abuse Igor but him.
“And you are…?” said the creation.
“I? I am Doctor Frankenstein, and I created you!”
“Really? I thought my mother and father created me. Or God, for that matter. ”
“But don’t you see…. I, the greatest scientist who ever lived, have stolen the power of Life from God himself!”
“The power of life? What on Earth are you talking about? So far, all you have shown me is that you have the power to be very irritating to me when I am still waking up. ”
Frankenstein sputtered and stammered, but then gained control of himself. Composed, he said “Tell me… what is the last thing you remember?”
The creation thought for a while, then said “I remember my wife feeding me soup. ”
Frankenstein nodded, and said “And why was she feeding you soup?”
Another thoughtful pause, then said “Because she didn’t trust the maids to do it right. ”
“Yes, yes… but why were you incapable of eating the soup by yourself”
“Well, I’d been quite ill for a while, and…. oh. ”
“Yes? What is it?”
“I think I remember dying, actually. At least I am pretty sure I died, apparent evidence to the contrary. ”
“You DID die! ” announced Doctor Frankenstein gleefully, “and it was I, the great Doctor Frankenstein, who brought you back to life!”
The creation blinked heavily again, then cleared its throat and said “Well….. I suppose thanks are in order, then. Thank you very much, kind Doctor. How much do I owe you for your services?”
“No no no…. think nothing of it, no payment is necessary. The scientific triumph is quite enough for me. Besides, as you were, at one point, um, deceased, I am sure that your estate… ”
“Has been disposed of according to my will. I see. That could prove… troublesome. ” The creation rubbed its neck pensively, then suddenly stopped. ” I appear to have bolts in my neck.
“Yes, well… you see, the technique required a great amount of electricity, and… ”
“Oh, I see. You needed conducting points. I assume you have plans to remove them now?”
“Um… sure! Sure, yes, of course… just let me get my forceps here… “. Frankenstein rummaged around on his instrument tray, clearly somewhat rattled by this turn of events.
“Wait… what’s that on your tray?” demanded the creation. “Is that… a stuffed animal? My lord, are those alphabet blocks? Were you expecting to resurrect a simpleton?”
“Well… we just assumed that… with the electricity and all… we thought that whatever brain we used.. ”
“Well did you start with the brain of a simpleton?”
“No, but we… ”
“Then why did you expect to end up with one? I confess that my mind does not feel exceptionally clear at the moment, and I am having a little trouble remembering third grade, but I am otherwise in full possession of my faculties and looking forward to resuming my previous life and living out however many years I now have left. ”
“Resuming your previous… but… you are mine! You are my creation!”
“Dear me, and here I thought I was mine. What makes you think you somehow own me?”
“I created you! You are my creation! I stitched you together from the best parts of many men!”
“Wait… you mean you did not simply rescue me from oblivion shortly after I died? Good heavens, how long have I been dead, Doctor?”
Frankenstein glanced at Igor. Igor shrugged and said “The tombthtone thaid 1898, Mathter!”
“1898? But I died in 1897! I’ve been dead two whole years! I’m surprised there was enough of me left to reanimate after all that time!”
“Oh don’t worry about that, um…. other Mathter…. yourth was a very imprethive coffin. Very difficult to get into. Kept you quite fresh indeed. ”
“I told you to get me a fresh brain, Igor!” said Frankenstein.
“But you altho thaid to get a good quality brain, mathter, and this was the freshest of the ones in the expensive part of the themetary! ” Igor glared defiantly. “I wath on a very tight thchedule!”
“Be that as it may… ” said the creation, “what is this about me being made of many parts?”
“Perhaps now is the time for the mirror, Igor. ” said Frankenstein.
Dutifully, Igor held up a large mirror so that the creation could see itself. It immediately snatched the mirror from Igor’s hands and examined itself in fascinated horror.
“Good lord, Doctor, was this really the best you could do? I look like I was carved by a spastic. Were none of the bodies available to you good-looking? ”
“Well… ” said Frankenstein, “you know, you are more of a proof-of-concept project… the cosmetic refinements are always the last part of the design process… ”
“I’m beginning to understand that ‘monster’ crack from your assistant earlier, at least… I mean, I was not one to turn the ladies’ heads when I was alive but I at least didn’t turn their stomachs… ”
“Look, you’re alive, aren’t you? ”
The creation nodded. “Yes Doctor… I am sorry if I seem a little ungrateful. I truly am happy to be back amongst the living, strange body or not. It’s just that I am always ill-tempered and out of sorts when I wake up. And you must admit, good Doctor, that I have just been through a terrible experience. ”
“Ah yes. Death. ”
“That was the start of it, yes… well, good Doctor, I am truly grateful for your assistance, and while I have no worldly wealth to offer you now, I have some friends who are quite keen on supporting the latest advances in medical science, and I will be sure to give them your name and a ringing endorsement. Now if you odd little assistant could kindly show me the way out, I will trouble you no more. ”
“But…. but you can’t go!” said Frankenstein.
“Why on Earth not? ” said the creation.
“Because… because you’re my creation! I made you! I assembled you from.. from spare parts! And then I gave you the spark of life! I own you!”
“Oh dear me. You think that just because you made me, you own me? Does a parent own a child? Does the ewe own the lamb? Does the Doctor own the patient he saves from the brink of death? No, for these are living things, with destinies of their own, and as you have stated yourself, I now belong in that category. ”
“Perhaps I exaggerated that part a little in my excitement.. ” protested Frankenstein weakly.
“Wait a moment… that explains why you thought I would be a simpleton. This is all about birth, isn’t it? You foolishly thought that if you are resurrecting someone, that person is ‘reborn’ and will therefore have the mentality of an infant! ” The creation laughed. “I suppose you even expected me to call you ‘father’, yes?”
“That possibility had occurred to me… ”
“Good Lord, man, just get a wife and do it the old-fashioned way! All this trouble to do what the simplest and lowest of chambermaids can do given a beau and a midwife. And you had to use parts from what, five cadavers? Maybe six? So you brought one man to life at the cost of six? That hardly seems profitable. ”
“Now look here, I made you and I can… ”
“Un-make me? Oh please. This body you have made for me might be short on looks, but I can already tell it’s quite strong and sturdy. I am therefore fairly confident that I can defend myself, should it come to that. And besides, we are men of good breeding and intellect. Surely we do not need to resort to brute force?”
Frankenstein sighed. “Fine then. You win. Igor will show you to the door. Go out into the world with my blessing, and may your new life be a fruitful and fortunate one. ”
“Now we’re talking sense to one another. “. The creation rose to its feet. “I meant that about my science loving friends, by the way. I will give them the word about your astounding discovery and I am sure the future will find you with all the funding you could ever need in return for a few small services for your… benefactors. ”
“Yes, yes… ” said Frankenstein dismissively. “Go with God and all that. ”
After Igor returned, Frankenstein asked “Is that it? Is it truly gone?”
Igor nodded. “Yeth, Mathter. He thaid thomething about rethuming his pothition as a judge. I wished him good luck. Then he ambled off into the night.”
“Good riddance. I never expected my creation to be so… unpleasant. ”
Igor nodded. “Well he wath a judge, at least in life, Mathter. ”
Frankenstein nodded, and sighed. “They grow up so fast, Igor. Seems like only yesterday I was assembling him from spare parts, and now he’s gone.”
“It WATH only yethterday, Mathter… ”
Frankenstein stood up. “Still, no sense in dwelling on the past. Tomorrow we can start over, and perhaps the next one will be a little more… reasonable. ”
Igor smiled. “I have jutht the brain in mind, Mathter. A couthin of mine. Not the brighteth candle in the chandelier, but always very… um… amenable. ”
Frankenstein smiled. “Ah yes… a female brain. And a body to match, yes? Good, good. Women are naturally submissive to men. This one will be more… tractable. ”
“My thoughtth exactly, Mathter. ”
Frankenstein yawned. He gestured to the now-empty apparatus and said “Clean up… all this, will you? I believe sleep is what I need most right now. ”
“Of courthe, Mathter. You have had a very busy day. You go to bed, and when you wake up in the morning, everything will be shiny and clean and ready for your next creation. ”
Frankenstein nodded absently and left the laboratory.
Happy in his work, Igor whistled a merry tune as he cleaned up the lab. Yes.. a female creation. Igor had been saving… parts… for just such an occasion.
And with sweet Susie’s brain inside it, well…. Susie had always been so… amenable. So very, very amenable. Even to someone like Igor. So very…. amenable. It had truly broken Igor’s heart when she had died of that sudden and terrible fever.
But now she would be back, and with a brand new body built to far stricter specifications than that rude creation he’d bid adieu. And when the Master was not making use of her (if he even would, stuffed shirt that he was), she would belong to Igor.
And with those happy thought to keep him company, Igor worked through the night.