by Canis Lupis
The most horrific of mistakes can still be an amazing feat.
| The vanity of a surgeon and alchemist has no bounds it would seem and the search for solutions to riddles that should never have been answered fall to folly. He stared up at me with eyes innocent and childlike and I couldn't help but see past the grotesque features of my creation to the great heart inside. At that moment I felt like a God.
A once dead heart that now beats solely because of my inventions, machinations, and careful ministrations. I did what only Jesus had done up until this point and that was to defeat death. I brought back to life what had once been totally lifeless. What could my sceptics do now but swallow their pride and admit that I wasn't insane but just more genius than they could imagine?
The boundary of death was a law that could not be defeated by small minds. I saw that boundary as a challenge and overcame it. I battered against it with logic, science, medical and surgical expertise that went far beyond the norm and into the area of science fiction. My methodology was questionable, I will admit to that, but my results are incomparable and undeniable. My name will ring out loudly within the scientific community and out across the world. I will be known and remembered as the man who overcame Death itself.
The creature, that at first seemed overwhelmed and insecure, for no reason I can fathom, became aggressive. The restraints were strained to their limits as it began to fight them. Huge muscles bulged and it's enormous strength became apparent. I had chosen it’s parts well when constructing it. Afraid it would escape and perhaps injure itself, I prepared a large dose of Haldol in a syringe. Unfortunately the straps of it’s slab gave out before I could administer the drug and the monstrosity broke free.
It began stumbling about the lab like some drunken buffoon and growling deep in his chest like a beast all the while striking at anything near it. I could not position myself close enough to inject it without suffering harm so I bided my time and spoke soothing words to it. My vocalizations went unheard or so it would seem for all the good they did. The monster raged about striking and throwing anything that fell into it’s hands.
Desperation made me bold if not brave and I rushed in to stab the thing in it’s right shoulder but alas, before I could put pressure to the plunger of the hypodermic, a great right arm struck me hard on the chest and threw me away as if I was some child’s toy and not a large man of two hundred plus pounds. I landed in a heap and my head struck the floor with a sickening wet smacking sound. I was dazed but alert enough to know that some part of my skull had probably fractured.
Eyes dimming, my last sight of the creature was of it tearing the laboratory door from it’s hinges and the brute wandering down the tower stairwell towards the ground floor and freedom into the world. I felt fluid trickle out of the ear that was toward the floor and more from my left nostril. I deduced that a subarachnoid bleed was most probably the diagnosis. I was dying and killed by my own creation. I could not help but wonder if all Gods eventually suffer the same fate. Then I wondered nothing more for a long time.
The light being shone in my eyes was my next memory. I was in a bed, in a room, with an ugly nursing sister staring at me from very near and asking me if I could hear her. I acknowledged her and croaked out a soft “yes” much like the hissing of a snake. She smiled and put a straw to my lips while ordering me to drink. I found that I was indeed quite thirsty and still so very tired that I promptly fell back asleep.
I was informed of the extent of the injuries I'd sustained by a colleague of mine who also ensured I was aware of just how lucky I had been that “he” was in town and available when I had been brought in at death’s door. At once he appeared so arrogant and also so very naïve. I had been well beyond death’s door with my work but I certainly didn’t mention that to him. He would find out with the rest of his cronies that didn’t believe my theories could be manifested. I would prove them all wrong ultimately.
Upon release from the hospital I began my search for my missing abomination. I was concerned it may mortally injure itself before I could uncover it to the world. I never dreamed that it would leave the path of destruction and death that it had for I still thought of it as an empty headed child-like pet. I was wrong. Either memories were flooding back into it’s reignited brain or it was learning at a tremendous rate. In either case it was becoming more cunning and fearless. I tracked it to lower London town where a string of strangulations and mutilations had recently occurred. I hoped beyond hope that this was not my creature but I knew intuitively that it could be no other.
On the night of the fourteenth of July it was foggy and wet as per usual and I caught my first glimpse of my monster since it’s escape. I turned a corner on Salem St. just as it dropped the woman's body to the cobblestones. I cried out in anger and fumbled for my syringe with which I hoped to sedate it to unconsciousness but the beast roared and lumbered off at an astonishing speed until vanishing into the mists. I rushed to the side of the stricken female but she was quite dead with her head sitting at an awkward angle due to her obviously broken neck. My pet had increased his score. One more death to add to a tally I already struggled to bear. I had to capture this monstrosity at all cost and by any means.
That same week I was visited unexpectedly by a pretty young woman who came to introduce herself one fine morning at my home. She stated that she had grown up nearby and although I had no recollection of her, she seemed to recall me quite fondly from our time at school years before. She was now my newest and nearest neighbour. After a scandalously short time we became lovers and she laughingly confided that she’d bought said house just to insert herself into my life. I admit I found her infatuation with me quite flattering. For a little while I was somewhat distracted from my pursuit of the evil I had set free in my city. The young lady, Priscilla by name, and I were wed in November that year.
I did not forsake my duty and ceaseless attempts to trap my wayward creature but I admit that I wasn’t quite as dedicated as I had been before I was courting my new bride. Once married though, I steadfastly set about trying to capture my monster with both diligence and vigilance. I was all about the town of London and its suburbs every night during the entire month of December. The weeks went by without a single sighting of my creature and no new reports of killings. I knew that it favoured haunting the darkness where it's inhuman appearance could remain unseen until up close to it's victims. Eventually I convinced myself that the colder weather had forced it underground to survive. It probably wouldn't reemerge until the warmer weather of spring. I could not have been more wrong.
Christmas Eve there was a light snow falling with the large flakes children adore to catch on their tongues. I remained in town at the shops picking up presents for my spouse that I had ordered months earlier. The cabin of the carriage that awaited my order to go home was nearly full to the brim with the gifts I intended to spoil her with. It was with a light step and lighter heart that I finally made my way home with an eagerness to pile the treasures under the awaiting tree in our decorated cozy lounge.
Upon entering my home I immediately sensed there was something amiss. The fire was not lit in the fireplace so the place was anything but cozy warm. In fact it was frigid. I began shouting for Priscilla but my calls weren’t answered. I picked up an iron poker from beside the fireplace and began a search of my house. The first thing I found was an open back door that led to our garden behind the house. The little window in it was smashed. Frantically I sped around the lower level and then climbed the stairway to the upper bedroom level. It was there I found them.
My Priscilla was held completely off the floor and my creature had both of his huge gnarled hands around her throat. She was trying to scream but could not draw enough breath to do so. At least she’s breathing I remember thinking. Calmly I put the poker on the ground to show I wanted no violence and would not try to do any harm. I hoped that this action would show it that I was peaceable and wanted an agreeable outcome to the situation. The creature watched my movements without any change of expression at first but then it suddenly leered lewdly and to my surprise it spoke in a low guttural voice. “Why did you do this?” it asked me.
I was too stunned to reply and just stood there in amazement. It could talk!
The experiment had surpassed my greatest expectations. I had not only brought the dead back to life, I had even reinstated thought processes in it’s borrowed brain. The multitudes of possibilities ran rampant through my head and I could only admire this feat of bio-engineering that stood before me. I felt a moment of great pride in myself. It was then that I saw a slight twist of it’s hands and heard the snap of Priscilla’s cervical spine. Before I could move or cry out the savage turned and hurled itself out through the window to drop to the gardens below.
Priscilla fell boneless to the floor of our bedroom. I gathered her up and cradled her in my arms for an hour while I continued to chase around the incredible possibilities and significance of my work. I remember, in hindsight, that I didn't even weep.
Finally I picked her up and carried my dead wife down to my lab. The entire way I kept whispering soothing phrases to her corpse. “It will be fine Priscilla my love, I will bring you back, don’t worry. Even mistakes can be wonderful.”