The doctor covered his ears. The screams were like a chorus of whistling teakettles. And to top it all off, he wasn’t in the least bit cold or thirsty.
“Shut up!” he yelled. “Shut up, all of you! I can’t concentrate!” And then, quieter, to himself, “I can’t concentrate.”
“Please,” begged one. “Let us go.”
“Y-y-yes,” stuttered another. “W-w-we w-w-won’t tell anyone.”
“Won’t tell anyone?” asked the doctor. “Won’t tell anyone?” He laughed. “Preposterous. I want you to tell everyone!” He thought about that for a second, then corrected himself. “Well, I would want you to tell everyone, if you weren’t going to be dead, and all that.”
“B-b-but, w-w-why are you doing this?” stammered another.
“I’m not going to tell you again. I’ve already gone over this several times. Science does not repeat itself, therefore, I will use the same restraint.”
“I’m not sure that’s true,” said the gentleman third from the left, “that science doesn’t repeat itself.”
“I’m not going to tell you again. I’ve already gone over this several times. Science does not repeat itself, therefore, I will use the same restraint. By golly, you’re right!”
“But why us?” asked another.
The doctor looked at his subjects. Thirty-one of them, all chained to the wall of his makeshift dungeon.
“Why you? You should feel grateful! Haha, well, just look at you. You, there, what’s your name?”
“James,” James said.
“James, right. Look at you, James. You have the cutest ears I’ve ever seen. And you, over there,” he pointed to another one. “What’s your name?”
“James,” he said.
“Another James? What are the odds?”
“Actually, James is a common…”
“You shut your filthy mouth with that talk! All right, just to keep you straight, can I call you Jim?”
“Uh, no sir.”
“No sir, just James, please.”
“No. Please, and thank you, I would prefer that you call me…”
“Shut up, I said! I am certainly not using you for your mouth. So obnoxious. No, Jammy, it’s your eyes I want. And the big toe of your left foot. How about you, sir? What are you called?” He gestured to another one.
“No. Come on! This can’t be. Are you all named James?”
“No, sir,” spoke the man at the far end. “My name’s Debbie.”
“Silence!” he shouted. “It makes no difference to me. I have not chosen you for your names. Although I hope your parents have been properly chastised for calling you Debbie. Anyhow, I chose you all because there is a trait I admire in each and every one of you. Each has a different desirable physical characteristic. That’s why you’re here. Blame mother nature for making you all beautiful. Well, at least parts of you.”
“Who are you, you sadistic bastard?” said James.
“I…” he paused for dramatic effect, “am Victor FRANKENSTEIN!”
“Frankenstein?” said James.
“I knew it,” said James. “A German.”
“A Nazi!” shouted a man who, odds were, was called “James”.
“Hitler!” shouted Debbie. “You are the new Hitler!”
The doctor laughed. “Hitler? Oh, please. First of all, I am Jewish, so the comparisons to Hitler make me physically ill. As well as the comparisons to Claudia Schiffer. Everyone nowadays, if they have any sort of eccentric belief that seems in the least bit questionable, they call Hitler. You’re watering down the Holocaust every time you do that. The fact is, Hitler would not be worthy of crapping in my gym shorts. He claimed to be a man of science. In all actuality, he knew nothing about science. He couldn’t tell a quark from a neutrino.”
“To be fair,” said James, “no one could tell a quark from a neutrino in those days.”
“No,” he said, ignoring James’ statement. “No, he knew nothing of science. That was a thin veil he used as a reason to torture people. Whereas I am doing this in the name of science. I am a scientist. I am a doctor, for Pete’s sake. Torturing people is last on my checklist. Nice perk? Sure. But, like I said, doctor. Hippocratic oath and all that.”
“I think that’s just for medical doctors,” said James.
“Let us see your credentials!” shouted James.
Once again he ignored the shout. “No, the end product is all I am concerned about. Why, I’m about to create the world’s first superhuman! And you’ll all get to be part of it! Aren’t you excited? Now shut up and let me get to work.”
Hack, cut, scream, scream, blood, gristle, et cetera.
It was a noisy, messy, horrible affair, and so it was very convenient that the castle he was doing the work in was far away from any neighbors. They surely would have complained, and perhaps even brought the police, in which case he would have to abduct all of them as well, and use them for parts. And that would have thrown his plans off, as he already had all the parts he needed. Each one perfectly fit together, with no room for extras. He didn’t need a sub-par third arm or a below average third lip. This creature was going to be a thing of pure beauty.
And it was. At least, Victor thought so, and really, his opinion was the only one that mattered. Sure, the different skin tones made the creature look like patchwork, but there was no patchwork on God’s earth that was stitched as unprofessionally as this thing was. He had, on several occasions, made the statement that stitching was “nurse’s work”, and thus never learned to sew properly. That, coupled with his caffeine-and-lithium addiction and withdrawal from alcoholism giving him the shakes. Do not confuse this with alcohol withdrawal. This was withdrawal from alcoholism, which meant that he had quite recently learned to drink responsibly, after years of being an alcoholic. He missed those days where he could act like an idiot and blame it on a disease. Now, he had no excuse for acting like an idiot, and it was wreaking havoc on his nerves. Anyway, the terrible stitches gave rise to the crooked stitch trend we see the kids sporting today. (The attitude, however, that we see kids sporting today cannot be blamed on Victor Frankenstein. That is the result of bad parenting.)
Victor’s contributions to science are often overlooked. Much like certain manufacturers of pain relievers’ contributions to killing millions of Jews by making Zyklon B and pumping them into gas showers are often overlooked. (What do you think the “B” stands for?) (That’s the last WWII reference in this book, I swear.) One little-known fact is the hardly-ever-used-for-anything element, einsteinium, was actually originally called frankensteinium. But the scientific community, with much pity for Einstein, as he was going through quite a rough patch, what, with that whole Theory of Relativity thing being utter nonsense and chock-full of miscalculations, took pity on him, rather than chastise him for his stupidity, and renamed the element in his honor. Not that it mattered in the long run, as there is limited practical use for einsteinium. It is a highly radioactive element found solely in toothpaste.
Victor rolled his new creature, not yet breathing, up the ramp and into the hallway that led to the elevator. He pushed the button for the top floor, staring at his creation the whole while. What a magnificent, marvelous masterpiece he had manufactured. Far more beautiful than any human ever created by natural means. The door opened, and he rolled the gurney out to the electrical doodad. The doodad consisted of a metal rod reaching forty feet into the air in an attempt to capture lightning, a series of wires, two electrodes, and a tub of Chubby Hubby ice cream. “Ice cream?” he said. “Hold on a second.” He grabbed his blueprints from his pocket. Just as he thought. Ice cream was not supposed to be part of the doodad. “Igor!” he shouted, cursing his assistant, as he tossed the container in the trash.
He had installed a blinking light on the top of it to warn airplanes. The airplane would not be invented for quite some time, but science is all about anticipation. The electric light did not catch on as a practical invention, as popular opinion of the day was, and I quote: “You can’t really improve fire.” So the credit went to Thomas Edison, years later, when people got their collective heads out of their collective behinds.
But wait, you’re saying. Wasn’t Doctor Frankenstein just talking about Hitler? And now the airplane hasn’t been invented yet? What year is this? This is why I got a “D” in history. I’m really bad with dates. It took me two years to remember my wife’s birthday, for crying out loud. Anyway…
He fashioned the rod to a series of wires that ran to two electrodes, which he was presently hooking up to two large bolts in the creature’s neck. (Thankfully, the bolts-in-the-neck thing didn’t catch on. I mean, can you imagine how impractical that would be? How would one wear a scarf?)
“Any moment now,” he said to his new best friend, as he waited for the storm to come. And when it did, zap, boom, pow! The electricity flowed down the rod, through the wires, out of the electrodes, and into the creature’s neck. It jittered and jammered about, smoking from each orifice. The skin burned and melted a little, the stench permeating the air. Perhaps it was too much juice.
Sizzle! Hiss! Crackle! Beep, beep, beep!
Beep, beep, beep? He had never heard anything beep before in his life. Perhaps that meant the creature was ready.
And, right on cue, the body started moving on its own. Slowly, at first, with much creaking, and then more smoothly. At last, it got itself into a sitting position. Its eyes opened, and it regarded the doctor as a child might regard a small rodent. It opened its mouth over and over until the popping in its jaw ceased. Its lips cracked painfully as they arched into a smile. At long last it spoke.
The doctor’s eyes lit up. “Mi bella!” he shouted, and embraced the creature in a warm hug.
“Woah, ease up, there,” said the monster.
“Ease up?” said the doctor. “But I’m your daddy!”
“Yes. Daddy. Oh, what a glorious day.”
He backed away from the creature to get another good look at him. He paused, reached in his coat for a cigarette, and lit it.
The creature screamed.
“What is it?” asked Victor. “The cigarette? Don’t worry, this is completely harmless. Everybody smokes these days. Everybody also has lung cancer, but correlation is not causation, I always say. Or, wait… Is it the lighter? Is this what you fear?” He flicked it again, and the little flame shot out.
The creature screamed again.
“What? It’s just fire. Nothing to fear. It’s one of the essential elements necessary for sustaining life on this planet. Along with wind, air, earth, and wind. Here, you try.”
He tossed the lighter to the monster, who flinched. It fell to the ground.
“We need to work on your catching skills if you’re going to make all-star in basketball, you eight-foot wonder.” He picked the lighter up off the floor, and flicked it again. The creature flinched once more. “Oh, don’t be such a baby. It won’t hurt you. Let me show you.” He held the flame up to the monster’s arm, singeing the skin.
Victor’s mouth hung open. “Wait. You felt that?”
“Yes! Of course I felt that! What are you, stupid?”
“Then you have working nerve endings? Oh, this is tremendous.”
“Apparently so,” said the monster. “And speaking of nerve endings, what’s a guy gotta do to get laid around here?”
“All right, all right. I’ll tell you what, let me get some rest, and first thing next Monday I’ll go gather up some female victims… uh, volunteers. I’m gonna make you a lady friend.”
And he did. And they lived happily ever after- Dr. Frankenstein, the monster, and his bride. Well, not happily, really. The doctor never achieved the fame he was looking for and trickled gently away into obscurity. This happened despite discovering a vaccine for polio. Much like the light bulb was credited to the wrong inventor, so too was the polio vaccine, namely, that “miserable cocksucker Jonas Salk”. Victor’s words, not mine. I happen to think Salk is a nice guy. He did cheat me in a game of Chutes and Ladders once, but water under the bridge.
Also, the monsters ended up killing a bunch of people, so that wasn’t really cool either.
No, it wasn’t until several years later that Dr. Frankenstein finally got the recognition he deserved. It happened quite suddenly, when a promising pre-med student stumbled upon a textbook that Dr. Frankenstein had written. There were ten people who had ever read the thing. Eleven, if you include the boy I was just talking about. Three people went mad, and seven lined their cat boxes and gerbil cages with the pages. As the paper was un-coated, they had proven to be quite absorbent.
That pre-med student replicated Victor’s experiment. Using common houseflies. He had captured eighteen of them, disassembled their bodies and, difficult as it was to work with such tiny parts, reassembled them to make a new fly. Absolutely tickled with his results, it was only about a month later that he began wiping out entire villages. Quite a leap from flies to people, but patience was not his strong suit. Plus, his grant money was about to expire, and since his brother always beat him at everything, it was time to turn the tables. There was also a girl he wanted to impress. Never a popular kid, but the childlike-monster he had made, (which he had a name for that I can’t remember), was very popular, and was the coolest kid in his school. Everyone loved his scars, and when he was twelve, he could get his driver’s license, because he wasn’t really twelve, since the student had assembled him so he did not qualify as human. He also, Dana! That was his name. Dana. How the hell did I forget that? Anyway, Dana was such a hit that all the kids decided they wanted to be just like him. They cut and stitched themselves back together, repeatedly, until they looked ghastly. And when they grew up, they began making their own monsters, until most of the world was just monsters. Soon it became fashionable, being an assembled human, pieced together from the best parts of other people.
With Frankenstein’s memory resurrected, he was no longer forgotten. In fact, he became quite the hero, albeit posthumously. Franks, a fast food hot dog chain that may or may not have been missing an apostrophe, soon began popping up all across the country, and soon overtook McDonald’s as the place to be (if McDonald’s ever really was the place to be). The franchise franchised other franchises, and soon there were video games, action figures, apparel lines, and movies. There was even a theme park dedicated to Franks’ (or Frank’s, or Frank’s’) magical hot dogs. The park didn’t last, as the rides proved to be “too phallic for the general public”. The Frankenstein empire grew much too quickly, spending an enormous amount of capital, and they were forced to scale down and go back to basics. Just restaurants.
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