by Rune Cutter
A retelling of Shelley's Clasic (Excerpts from a work in progress)
The carriage accident gave Victor Frankenstein nightmares for the rest of his life. Time and time again, it played out in front of him. He and Gilliam were flying the toy helicopter. They took turns sending it flying into the air. One would launch the tiny machine and the other would race to catch it.
Gilliam always launched the helicopter straight up so the wind caught it, but Victor loved to send it as far as he could, and aimed it toward the open expanses of the courtyard.
From his nightmare vantage Victor could see the coach. Gilliam never saw it, his eyes were on the helicopter as he ran faster then he had ever ran before.
Gilliam never screamed, but Victor screamed for him, a thousand times on a thousand different nights. A thousand times he stared into Gilliam's fluttering eyes. A thousand times he watched, as his cousins limp body flew one way and his head went another. A thousand times Victor watched the toy helicopter fall on Gilliam's mangled body, to be brushed away by wildly jerking arms. A thousand times Victor stood in the yellow leaves of fall and screamed until he could not breathe.
There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. If there is no specter; then all too often we haunt ourselves, either by reproach or the consequences of our actions given flesh.
Always we balance upon a knife edge, weighing what we want against what we know is right. It’s not our warmest and happiest memories that keep us closest company through our lives. It is not remembrances of warm fire and full belly that cause us to break our bodies against the turning of the world. It’s bitter gall and rude realizations that makes us who we are. It is tragic that because of those horrors we often sow the seeds of our own destruction. It is horrid that the face of our nemesis is often nothing more than our own reflection.
Like a moth in the kill jar, he fixed me with the dead eye nearest me while the other read my journal.
“Why?” he croaked, in a choir of four voices.
I opened my mouth to speak but I had no words.
“Why?” Lament, savagery, petulance and accusation infused the question and demanded an answer.
The other eye turned to consider me.
“The seed came to me as a gift, from my teacher, I. . .”
His roar was a chorus of the damned, his breath a miasma of pustulence crushed me like an avalanche. “That is how! I asked you why?!”
I looked on him, trying to remember how many there were. Forty? At least that many, probably more.
"Because I could," I whispered, and prayed my death would be quick, like Samuel's: my throat and neck crushed by his immense hand.
He/they howled and there was sad beauty in their hellish harmony.
“Frankenstein you are far worse than the devil. You are not content with the ravishing and defilement of corrupt souls, you have blended innocence with the base. Where death offered solace and an end to misery, you have raised us up and refused us just ends. If one man’s pain is infinite, then how much greater is mine. What also is the measure of my rage and hatred for you? We will find a way, so that you may know”
His words brooked no answer and even had they been different I had no answer for him.
“You who are my creator shall now become my creation, for it is not meet that I should be alone.”
The reference chilled me.
“You shall make for me a companion, a female that I shall not be alone. Refuse me and I shall glut the mouth of hell with your family and friends. Where walks Frankenstein there also shall walk death and malevolence. The hand of every man shall be turned against you as they are turned against me...the one who, if this world were just, would be your most faithful and loving servant. You have shrank from your role divine and so I shall lift you back to your plinth. Give me a woman and I shall be your servant again.”
I had come there prepared for death but I could not give him a mate, could not give him procreation.
“Rip me limb from limb, I shall not give you that. I came here to die so get on with your grizzly task!"