This is a tale
involving Herr Paul Krempe, tutor and friend to Baron Victor Frankenstein in his
youth and adulthood. The story takes place between the events of the films
‘The Revenge of Frankenstein’ and the ‘The Evil of Frankenstein’.
set the scene - a synopsis of the original Hammer masterpiece, ‘The Curse of
Victor Frankenstein awaits his death sentence by guillotine in a prison cell.
He recounts to the local priest the events leading up to his fate.
On his parents death the young Victor inherits the Frankenstein title and
estate. He employs Paul Krempe as
his tutor and as the years pass they become good friends and indulge in advanced
scientific experiments which culminate in the creation of an artificial man.
Frankenstein murders a Professor to acquire his brain for transplanting
to the creature. When brought to
life the creature has a terrible instinct to kill and commits a number of
murders. Appalled by
Frankenstein’s work Krempe leaves but returns on the eve of Victor’s wedding
to his cousin Elizabeth. On that
same night the monster escapes but meets its own accidental death in a tank of
acid. The Baron is convicted of the
murders and turns to Krempe to give evidence on his behalf but he refuses.
was not long after Baron Victor Frankenstein’s execution that I had married
the beautiful Elizabeth, the Baron’s cousin.
Throughout those terrible days in which Frankenstein had become absorbed
in his appalling work I had fallen in love with Elizabeth. Although betrothed to
Victor, his cousin had become lonely and fearful as the Baron’s gruesome and
secretive research took hold on his life. Shortly
following our marriage Elizabeth and I moved to the mountain village of Wengen
situated in a quiet rural district. I
took up the post of tutor at the nearby Academy where I was engaged in teaching
the elite of the surrounding towns. Elizabeth and I were happy together.
Frankenstein was a forbidden subject, a dark phase in our lives that we
wished to forget and we made a promise never to talk of him.
And as time passed the Baron became obscure in my thoughts.
my contentment was not to last and soon my peace of mind was shaken.
It came about that I began to hear rumours of sinister happenings that
were taking place in the neighbouring village of Stechelberg.
These took the form of a certain mysterious Dr Franck who was in the
process of carrying out grotesque and wonderful life experiments.
In connection with these events cadavers had gone missing from the
morgue, surgical instruments stolen from the Hospital and human remains
plundered from the charnel house. The news spread swiftly among my colleagues.
I thought at first that these tales were mere superstitions but the
stories persisted in greater detail and I became convinced that they were indeed
conclusions on hearing these lurid reports provided me with a most horrifying
and admittedly startling revelation. There
was only one man that I had ever been aware of who had the knowledge and skills
to perform such advanced and sensational experiments and that man had gone to
his death by guillotine – Baron Victor Frankenstein.
Had Frankenstein been given a reprieve from his sentence at the very last
moment? No it was impossible! I had
been there at the end before they led him away. If any such occurrence had taken
place I would have been notified. This
morbid idea that the Baron may still be alive went through my mind clambering
for attention, distracting me from my work. I found that my thoughts often
strayed back to happier days to the young man whom I had tutored with great
enthusiasm. Frankenstein’s formidable intellect and insatiable curiosity for
scientific knowledge had eventually outstripped my own.
But Victor’s mania to create the perfect man and play God finally drove
him to irrational distraction. The
memory of that terrible creature I had helped him form came back to me in all
its hideousness. At that time the
mere sight of Frankenstein himself repulsed me for I could find barely a trace
of the good man that he once was. Neither
wicked nor insane were my words to Elizabeth but by then Victor was surely both.
new revelations of this enigmatic Dr Franck tormented my every waking moment.
The impression that the man might indeed be Frankenstein grew into a
morbid fascination, an ever-increasing fixation.
With grim determination I decided to travel to Stechelberg and seek out
this Doctor. The thought of this
venture disturbed me but for my own sanity I had to investigate.
Of late I had been suffering the most distressing nightmares - images of
the wild eyed Frankenstein in his prison cell pleading with me to help him
escape the guillotine. If I did not
act upon this compulsion the dreams would torture my mind forever.
was on a pleasant morning in May that I set off for Stechelberg.
The bright sunshine did not at all reflect my dark mood. The carriage
made a leisurely pace through the Swiss countryside, but my senses were dulled
to the sights and colours of spring and they did nothing to lighten the solemn
thoughts that plagued my mind. The
previous night I made the excuse to Elizabeth that I had business in the village
and would return in a few days. My
very soul cringed as I had stood before her and lied that the trip concerned my
close to 1.00 pm the carriage drew up in the centre of Stechelberg.
I paid the driver and he handed me down my travelling case.
The surroundings were typical of the towns of this area, pretty and
colourful. In the distance jagged
snow-capped peaks stood out majestically against the blue sky.
I crossed the street and booked myself into a comfortable room at the
in the afternoon after a light meal I ventured forth into the town square.
With my best smile and friendliest manner I approached a group of
villagers by the fountain. After a
few pleasantries were exchanged I tentatively asked questions about a Dr Franck
whom I knew to be a resident of Stechelberg.
I was met with a brusque and cold silence.
It was obvious to me that their reluctance to speak of him was due to
fear. One woman even went so far as
to cross herself as though I had mentioned the Devil himself. When that evening I asked Herr Schmidt, the Innkeeper he
merely shrugged his shoulders and muttered a negative.
The locals who frequented the Inn were just as stubborn to talk and this
caused me some despair not to mention contempt for their cowardice.
Even when I replenished their tankards from my pocket, they remained
tight lipped on the subject. Nothing of the heinous Doctor came to my ears.
the third day of my visit I made significant progress.
I had been out walking in the late afternoon sunshine and had lost track
of the time. The sky had now deepened to a dusky red, patterned with gold and
grey streaks. I made my way back to
the Inn and ordered a glass of wine. I
retreated to a quiet corner and contemplated my next move.
Tomorrow I would seek advice from the town’s authorities on the
whereabouts of Dr Franck. After a
while I noticed a young man enter and approach the Innkeeper. He engaged Herr
Schmidt in conversation but as he did so the stranger glanced repeatedly over in
my direction. Then as though
gathering courage he came towards me rather timidly.
He was a handsome dark-haired man and looked to be in his mid twenties.
me sir’, He addressed me in a soft, pleasant voice. ‘Forgive me for the
intrusion but I hear you have been making enquiries about a certain-’, he
stopped for a brief moment, ‘Dr Franck.’
these words I became suddenly alert, ‘I have- indeed’ I answered cautiously.
‘You know of the man?’ I asked.
I know him sir, -.’ the young stranger paused.
An unmistakable look of fear passed across his features.
‘I am acquainted with the Doctor.’
this revelation my heart thudded violently and a wave of chilling excitement
took hold on me. ‘Please sit
down,’ I offered him the seat across from me.
am Herr Paul Krempe.’ I reached out my hand in a friendly gesture.
studied the man and his kind countenance told me of a good and honest soul.
have business with Dr Franck?’ he asked.
I would-.’ I stopped not sure as how best to answer him, ‘certain reports
have come to my notice regarding him--’ my voice suddenly failed me but I
found strength, ‘from the information that has reached me concerning Dr Franck
I have deduced that he may be an old associate of mine-.’
Schneider gave a sudden start, ‘Then are you aware of the rumours sir?-’ he
cut me off sharply and eyed me with deep concentration, ‘that the man who is
now known as Dr Franck is thought to be the notorious-’ He paused for a
second, ‘Baron Victor Frankenstein.’
violent thrill came upon me at the mention of his name.
I nodded solemnly, ‘Yes I am aware of the similarities by the accounts
I have heard of his work and for this reason I have travelled from Wengen to
meet with him.’
knew this Baron?’ he enquired.
it was some time ago, I have not seen him for a number of years. Please Herr
Schneider I should be grateful if you could describe Dr Franck’s features and
nature to me.’ I prompted him.
frowned and then began thoughtfully, ‘He is a thin man, fine of bone, blue
eyes, hair of a light brown hue, I would say perhaps in middle age.
Quietly spoken, and in personality he is distinctly cold but
felt my blood surge through my veins at this familiar description but I had to
be sure, I needed proof.
please tell me how you came to make this Doctor’s acquaintance?’
work in the local Pharmacy here in town and I supply the Doctor on occasion with
certain drugs and chemicals for his work...’ his voice had lowered to a
whisper and he appeared fearful to go on, I smiled encouragingly at him.
Franck resides on the outskirts of the Village in the old quarter of Stechelberg.
I have been in his residence and secretly witnessed the room in which he carries
out his ghastly experiments’, Wolfgang Schneider’s face darkened
considerably and I could sense his fear as he looked at me directly, ‘believe
me sir when I tell you that the man is insane. He obtains human materials by the
foulest of means and carries out the most horrific and beastly things.’
shuddered visibly at this grim picture. ‘Have these activities been reported
to the local Constabulary, the Chief of Police?’ I asked.
Herr Krempe but they are terrified and do nothing against him. Even the
Burgomaster turns a blind eye to his misdeeds.’
is my strongest wish to meet this Dr Franck’, I said earnestly, ‘I require
access to his residence but I must do this with the utmost secrecy.
It is my intention to investigate his work before I confront him, you
mean to put an end to his crimes?’ Schneider asked a slick of perspiration had
broken out on his brow.
nodded, ‘If possible I shall take matters into my own hands.
You will help me?’ I ventured tentatively.
Herr Krempe, please do not ask this of me!’ The young man reacted in a most
disturbed fashion and I was aware that we had attracted the unwanted scrutiny of
those around us.
reached out and lightly touched his arm, ‘Do not fret Herr Schneider,’ I
spoke calmly to him, ‘I do not wish to cause you any trouble.’
had now regained his composure, ‘Dr Franck puts the fear of death into me
sir,’ he explained ‘I see him for the briefest of moments during our
transactions – that is enough,’ he gazed at me thoughtfully, ‘but I can
offer you some little assistance.’
would be most grateful to you.’ I said.
my dealings with Dr Franck I am familiar with the domestic schedule of his home.
Late tomorrow evening I have a delivery to make to his house. The Doctor will be
out on business and usually does not return until after midnight.
His elderly manservant will deal with me.’
reached into his pocket and brought forth a piece of blank note paper.
He rose to the bar to fetch pen and ink and returned to his chair. I
watched intently as the young man sketched details of the location of the
Doctor’s house. He passed it
across the table and I studied it
leaving the house tomorrow night,’ continued Schneider, ‘I will endeavour to
make sure that the door is left unlocked to allow you access. I know for a fact
that the servant retires to bed at this hour.
The terrible room is across the hall at the bottom of the stairs.’
thank you most sincerely for this information and for your kind attention. You
must let me pay you.’ I said and reached for my purse. Schneider leaned over
and swiftly stopped my action.
Herr Krempe, I am not after your money, I only ask that you seek out this evil
madman and if possible put a stop to his horrifying experiments.’
a quick and satisfied nod of his head Wolfgang Schneider rose. He glanced down
at his watch.
must be going Herr Krempe’, for the first time in our conversation the young
man smiled, ‘I wish you luck,’ he said and shook my hand with warmth.
‘You are a brave man sir.’
turned from me and left quickly. It was with mixed feelings of fear and
excitement that I made my way to the solitude of my bedroom.
I readied myself for bed. When
I snuffed out the lamp, the atmosphere became black and dense. In spite of my
best efforts to concentrate on closing my eyes, my thoughts drifted to my friend
of old. A strange sense of dread came upon me that soon I might meet
him face to face. For the most part of the night sleep eluded me and I
experienced a fitful restlessness.
following day seemed to stretch on to infinity as I waited in quiet
anticipation. When night at last came round I took with me a lantern and armed
myself with my trusty pistol. All was still as I left the Inn, the occupants were fast
asleep. I had memorised
Schneider’s map and now had a clear mental picture of the route I should take. The air was cold and clear as I made my way into a wooded
area at the back of the Inn. I
walked hurriedly along the path, the lantern lighting my way.
A deep silence pervaded the area only broken now and then by the sound of
night creatures. Overhead the stars
shone in a deep inky blackness. When
I exited the track I found myself in open ground. I continued for what must have been a mile and then
again I was back in forested terrain. After
a while I caught sight of a light through the trees.
Another few paces and the trees thinned and then I looked out upon my
destination - a dark and sprawling mansion, silhouetted against the night sky.
There was something about that structure that made my flesh creep.
Fingering the cold steel of my pistol I grew bolder.
held my lantern high and stepped quickly up to the door. Schneider had kept his
promise for I had no trouble entering the house. A quiet hush enveloped me as I
made my way into the hall the only sound that came forth was the ticking of a
grand clock. I crept soundlessly
along the corridor. My attention
was caught by a yellow light at the far end of the hall and I remembered the
young man’s words. I followed the
direction and it took me to narrow steps leading downwards.
The sound of my footsteps rang out on the cold slabs that seemed to wind
last I came to an oak door. It opened without difficulty and I found myself in an
expansive stone room, lighted by lamps. A
central bench took up the middle of the chamber and upon this was a great
assortment of specimen jars. When I
looked closer the sight that met my eyes was a foul abomination.
Each receptacle contained various human body parts floating in a sea of
formalin. Other bloody viscera were
strewn carelessly across the floor and the remains of a recent dissection
festooned an operating table close to the bench. I felt as though I were in some dreadful ransacked charnel
house. An overwhelming sickness rose within me.
Over the years that I had assisted Frankenstein, I believed I had become
hardened to sights such as these but it was not so. I could feel my stomach heave in revulsion.
A trembling took hold of me that I could barely control so utterly
repellent was the scene. How had this Doctor ‘acquired’ these gruesome materials?
And then my eyes were drawn to the familiar sight of the electrical apparatus -
the great disc of the generator, the grand copper coils and multi-coloured
liquids and dials - all dormant but awaiting to be put to their ghastly use. I
felt a sudden burst of outrage. It
appalled me to think that if this was indeed the industry of Frankenstein then
he had cheated death and escaped the guillotine. Surely I was amidst the
laboratory of my erstwhile friend and pupil - the Baron.
one all-consuming passion was to find this man and confront him.
I sprang up the steps towards the door.
Locked! I cursed under my breath. So engrossed had I been in the horrors
within I had heard nothing. I turned around in frustration and walked across the
room to search for an alternative exit. But there was no other means of egress.
To assault my already agitated nerves I noticed a row of chains and
manacles arranged in the gloom of the far wall.
At some time in its past the chamber had been put to use for sinister
purposes. With a shudder I moved
back towards the stairs. A faint rustling sound made me stop in mid step.
I listened carefully. Suddenly from behind me a strong, wiry arm caught
me around the neck holding me in a vice-like grip. Something was thrust against
my mouth - a rag drenched in a distinct and familiar stench – chloroform!
A horrifying sensation came to me. I
thrashed against my assailant’s arm and lashed out, my body twisting and
turning. In desperation I reached for my pistol, it was knocked roughly from my
hand and clattered across the flagstones. The
suffocating fumes from the cloth seeped down my throat making me gag.
With each second that passed my strength drained from me rapidly and I
sank to the floor into a profound blackness.
awoke in a heavy stupor. A crushing
nausea coursed through my body. My throat ached and I could barely breathe. When I attempted
to move I experienced a great difficulty. In
horror I took account of my physical discomfort.
My wrists and ankles had been shackled to a wall. And then I realised
what was the cause of my laboured breathing – a tight metal collar had been
fastened to my neck as though I were some dog.
In desperation I tried to free myself but the iron cuffs cut maddeningly
into my flesh. Vainly I struggled
until I felt sick with the effort. Now I remembered the last terrible minutes of
consciousness – the struggle with my unseen foe and the stench of the
chloroform. My eyes took in the sight of the specimen jars and the rank smell of
blood and gore assaulted my nostrils.
I realised that I was still in the laboratory. With insane fury I raged
against the shackles that bound but the cold metal chafed my skin.
For what seemed an eternity I remained in this painful state. All energy seemed to have escaped from me and my head drooped
against my breast. I must have
fallen asleep for as though in a dream a voice called to me.
up Paul, wake up’ these words came softly to my ears but I was unable to stir
so deep was my slumber. Then again I heard someone calling more insistent now.
I at last opened my eyes the sight of Baron Victor Frankenstein before me made
my very blood freeze. Although I had prepared myself for his presence I felt an
acute panic. He smiled in delight at my look of petrified horror.
dearest Paul, how nice it is to see you again’ the well remembered charming
voice sent a chill through me. A soft chuckle escaped from his thin lips,
‘However you do look rather dishevelled!’
Baron leaned close gazing at me intently. I
could sense burning heat as he brought a candle near to my face. The flickering
flame lighted his incredibly hollow cheeks, the bright and alert blue eyes.
I thought-I thought-.’ I stuttered unable to finish the sentence.
you thought I was dead!’ his tone was triumphant.
‘Let us just say that a good companion helped me remain in the land of
the living – a faithful man Paul, who did not abandon me to my death.’
you were sentenced to the guillotine. I
spoke to you in the prison cell, only minutes before!’
pressed close to me I could feel the warmth from his skin seep forth. ‘You
know, betrayal is a loathsome and wicked sin Paul.’
fiend!’ I cried.
could have prevented my intended execution,’ he said softly, passionately
‘you never corroborated my story or gave evidence to support me.
All along you knew that it was the creature who had performed those
murders and if you had spoken in my favour,’ he made a flippant gesture,
‘who knows I might have ended up in some comfortable asylum.’
a place is where you belong!’ I exclaimed ‘You were insane! You are
insane!’ My voice sounded strange and distorted in that cold, stone room.
‘That was a monster that you gave life to Victor!’ I shuddered inwardly in
remembrance of that hideous ‘man’.
Paul that you were the cause of the damaged brain the creature would have been
intelligent, if not for your interference!’
you killed the Professor to use his brain-.’ I rejoined.
fell! It was an accident.’ The Baron interjected quickly.
He shook his head in evident frustration, ‘I do not wish to discuss
what happened, that is all in the past now.’
have you been these years?’ I asked him.
here and there, I have even spent some time in England but the climate not to
mention the London medical fraternity were rather too chilly for my liking.
Suffice is to say that wherever I set up my work I have been hounded
why return to Switzerland, and why choose this mountain village?’ I enquired
with unveiled suspicion.
a man come back to the country of his birth when he pleases?
As to being neighbours, that was a mere accident!’
me Victor,’ I protested ‘These shackles-.’ A sob rose within my throat, I
choked as I held it back, ‘The pain-.’ I gasped.
is supposed to be painful Paul.’ He replied in a flat tone.
features transformed suddenly and took on a look of false sympathy.
He reached out and traced a thin finger delicately across my cheek. I flinched in disgust.
good old tutor,’ he spoke in his most engaging air, ‘tell me do you find
your humble occupation at a respectable academy stimulating enough?’ he
taunted, ‘are there promising pupils who show an aptitude for life’s
mysteries as I did?’
he was aware of my work perturbed me, ‘How do you know of my profession?’ I
did not answer but continued, ‘and prey how is your dear lady wife these days
- the beautiful Elizabeth?’
pronounced his cousin’s name as though it was a foul word and a fury rose
not speak ill of her, she is a good woman!’
it is indeed a pity that I never got the chance to introduce my cousin to the
world of science!’ he sneered and I turned my head from him quickly unable to
discuss my beloved wife. The gory collection around the room took up my attention.
are these abominations?’ I demanded, spitting out the words at him.
The Baron chuckled in glee, ‘Oh come now Paul, you have become timid! Has your
strong stomach finally deserted you?’
I asked in bewilderment. ‘What is the purpose of all this insane
research? Did you not learn your
lesson with that wretched brute?’
the interests of science, I will never give up Paul!’
answer repelled me. ‘What can you learn from such beastly investigations?’ I
eyed him defiantly all the time aware of his penetrating gaze boring into my
can honestly say that I have made great advances since our last collaboration!
Perhaps things might have been different if you had not been so repulsed by the
creature and had continued to assist me rather than thwart my plans.’
is nothing to be gained from this defiling of nature Victor, it is evil!’
ignored my objections and continued hurriedly, ‘Indeed if you were to work
with me again Paul, think of the progress we would make, the achievements in
brain transplantation, the creation of life, together we will astound the
could not believe my ears! Surely he spoke in jest! ‘You are deranged to even
contemplate that I would ever again assist you! I would rather die!’
caught my look of complete revulsion and a frown altered his gaunt countenance,
‘Oh come now Paul, don’t look at me like that, you disappoint me. Where is
that once great inquisitive brain of yours Krempe? Have you entirely lost your
lust for knowledge?’ he was deliberately mocking me.
I cried in outrage, ‘You are obsessed with this abject nonsense Victor!
Can you not perceive that this insatiable quest has corrupted you,
consumed all the good in you?’
have indeed lost your keen spirit Paul.’ Frankenstein uttered quietly with
unmistakable sadness. ‘You came here to kill me Paul, did you not?
You brought that fine pistol to take the life that cheated the
do not deserve to live!’ I exclaimed.
sudden blaze of anger flashed in his eyes.
With a startling ferocity he clamped a bony hand to my mouth, the force
smashing my head against the wall.
Enough talk for now!’ he exclaimed,
‘I must continue with my work.’ His hand moved from my lips and came
to settle upon my breast.
you have become faint-hearted, that particular organ will serve my purposes
coolly delivered words brought a sensation of horror to me. I understood what
dreadful fate awaited me.
cannot mean this Victor!’ I cried, ‘You would not do this to me!’
yes Paul I do mean it and I shall do it, believe me.’ Frankenstein replied in
all earnest. ‘You said you would rather die than help me – then so be it.’
a man possessed I thrashed against the bonds.
Then the faint sound of footsteps caught my attention.
I looked up and viewed an indistinct figure.
Frankenstein moved aside and there coming towards us was the young man
whom I had met at the Inn – Wolfgang Schneider.
A wicked smile played across his kindly face as he gazed upon me. I stared at him in confusion.
evening Herr Krempe.’ He said softly.
laid a hand on the young man’s shoulder. ‘Paul, let me introduce to you my
diligent and loyal assistant – Hans. Indeed you have already met!’ The Baron
returned the man’s smile with a fiendish grin.
heart sank. The realisation that I
had been drawn into a trap sickened me.
see this was my little plan, to bring you here, I knew you could not resist the
temptation to seek me out,’ he patted the man gently on the back, ‘and young
Hans carried out my orders terribly well, a commendable performance wouldn’t
you agree Paul.’
stepped away leaving his collaborator to gloat.
A few seconds passed and he returned with a cloth, again I could smell
chloroform. Swiftly he moved behind
me and pulled roughly at the collar around my neck.
My windpipe distorted in sudden restriction that caused me a violent
coughing fit. The rag was clamped
to my nostrils, the Baron keeping it there just long enough for me to feel a
languid faint. Dread crept through
my body striking to my very heart.
was only dimly conscious as Frankenstein and his assistant began to release me
from the shackles. I had no vigour to protest as my shirt was torn from me. Then
as though I were a rag doll the two men dragged me to the operating table in the
centre of the room. The chloroform
had debilitated me greatly and I could offer no resistance.
Frankenstein’s wiry hands forced me down upon the padded mat.
Within minutes he had the leather straps across my legs and upper body
and had secured them fast. His skeletal face came near and the clear blue eyes
surveyed me with icy detachment as though I were nothing more than an animal.
He had accused me of owning a faint heart – then his was a cold dark
awful were the emotions that I experienced at the hopelessness of my situation.
of the corner of my eye I watched the Baron prepare for ‘surgery’.
With grim purpose he donned a long coat and slipped on a pair of grey
cotton gloves. His despicable
companion brought to him a wooden box and placed it upon the bench.
Frankenstein moved to the tray and took from within a particularly bright
scalpel. It glinted menacingly and
with a look of triumph he brandished the instrument just above my breast.
I held my breath as he lowered it down with a calculating slowness.
A terrible shudder wracked through me as I felt the cold steel against my
skin. Then he applied
pressure and the blade sank into my flesh.
The pain was excruciating. I
gritted my teeth, determined not to give Frankenstein the satisfaction of
witnessing my anguish. But I could
not suffer in silence and I let out a strangled scream.
I desperately willed myself to pass out but my body would not obey.
The sound of my hammering heart rushed to my ears as the Baron’s
fingers worked quickly tracing across my skin. An appalling agony made me cry
out echoing off the walls.
come now Paul surely it is not as painful as all that.’ Frankenstein gloated,
his smooth voice revolting me.
winced at his total lack of sympathy in inflicting such torture. He peered close
scrutinising the incision and his features portrayed deep satisfaction.
In a manner reminiscent of his younger days the Baron wiped both bloody
hands upon the lapels of his coat. Then
he turned to his minion who was watching eagerly by his side.
what do you think Hans shall we sedate him before I execute the final cut?’
young man regarded him thoughtfully for a moment, then shook his head, ‘No
sir, I wish to see the blood flow while he remains conscious.’
well,’ Frankenstein agreed devoid of all emotion as though he were deciding on
some minor trifle. He steadied the
knife about to continue.
for God’s sake-.’ I choked unable to find my voice through the pain.
‘Have pity Victor,’ I begged.
Paul’, he scoffed, ‘that is a virtue decidedly lacking in your own
temperament. Did you show
compassion when I entreated you to corroborate my story?
Did you speak up for me when they prepared me for the guillotine?’
There was a hard menace in his voice now all trace of the conceited charm
in God’s name, Elizabeth--.’ I stuttered in wretchedness,
cut me off with a hearty laugh that rang hollowly throughout the chamber. ‘You
think I honestly care for her’, he jeered, ‘If you are under the delusion
that I ever loved my cousin, then how terribly wrong you are!’ He wielded the
scalpel ever more determined now.
God Victor!’ I cried, ‘She is with child.’
the sound of my words Frankenstein stopped abruptly.
A fleeting emotion passed across his face and I witnessed a sudden
alteration. What was it? I could
not tell but there was a perceptible change in his manner.
is expecting our first child--.’ I gasped and felt a sting of tears at my
Elizabeth will perform her true function as a woman,’ came his callous retort,
‘and the child shall have no father.’
vile-hearted devil - may you rot in hell!’ I screamed what I thought must be
my last words in a torrent of hate.
turned swiftly and hurried some quiet orders to his assistant.
I could not discern what he said and I felt a horrifying despair.
Here then was to be my fate at the hands of this madman whom I had once
taught all that I knew. The last act I remembered was the Baron’s lean face as
he bent close, his eyes fixed me steadily demanding my attention.
Through a haze of pain I was aware that his gloved fingers had clamped
around my hand.
Paul.’ I heard him whisper softly into my ear.
thick wad of cotton was placed over my face.
And in a dreamlike stupor a vision came to my mind.
A picture from the past so intense and lifelike it was as though I were
reliving the scene - that fateful day in the laboratory when Frankenstein and I
resurrected a little puppy from death. Victor’s
triumphant elation and enthusiasm had infected me like a virus.
Oh how I had dearly loved and admired my friend!
Then the image faded and I was lost in a merciful black void.
stark flood of light pierced my eyes in a blinding surge.
I put an arm up to protect my sight.
reached a hand out and touched grass beneath me.
My memory was now becoming more acute. I recalled all that had happened
to me in Baron Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory.
The dreadful experience upon the operating table came with a rush to my
mind. I was desperately weak and nauseous but I was alive! The Baron had chosen
to let me live. I sat up groggily
and surveyed my surroundings. I was
out in the open in a lush meadow, beautiful flowers stretched as far as the eye
could see. I had been abandoned
here in this unknown place but familiar sounds drifted to me and told me I was
close to civilisation. I would get
help. With trepid anticipation I
unbuttoned my shirt to take account of the wounds inflicted upon me by the hand
of Frankenstein. To my surprise I had been bandaged with great care. No blood
seeped from the dressings. Upon my
clothes I could detect the scent of the painkiller laudanum and I knew this was
the cause of my nausea. I would
need to get assistance. Then I noticed that something was pinned to my jacket.
I reached for it quickly - an envelope addressed to me, the handwriting
was unmistakeably that of Victor Frankenstein.
My fingers trembled as I opened the seal and my eyes took in the words.
you regain consciousness and read this note I shall be gone from Stechelberg
before you can find the nerve to disclose my identity and set the authorities
upon me. I cannot work here in peace for there are those who would seek me out
and destroy my work. Superstition is a vile curse of this age!
Shall these men never understand with their small, closed minds how great
my research is? But I am determined now more than ever to complete my
experiments. I shall master the
creation of a perfect man. I will perform wonderful and successful brain transplants and
my name shall live on forever. My
knowledge will be passed on down through the generations.
not fret over your wounds they shall heal in time for I never made the final
cut. If you dare come after me Paul
I shall destroy you. My heart has
not turned completely to stone for I remember how freely you gave of your
intellect and inspired my life’s passion. That is the reason for my release of
you – nothing more. How miserable you have lost that ardent enthusiasm you
once possessed. To think that if you had joined with me what glorious progress
we might have made! You have been warned Paul for I wish never to set eyes upon
in painful remembrance,
My heart beat a maddening thud with mixed emotions of relief and anger at his treatment of me. Then for a moment he slipped from my mind as in the distance I could hear the sound of a carriage. I managed to struggle to my feet and call for help. I do not remember much about how I got home only that on reaching my house I collapsed from pain and exhaustion. I could not bring myself to tell Elizabeth what had befallen me and I explained away my wounds as an attack by brigands. I refrained from divulging my tale to a living soul.
this day, almost two years later, I have never heard of Frankenstein or what
became of him. My thoughts often
drift to that frightful ordeal in his laboratory.
I struggle to block out the nightmare and find solace in the joy of my
life, my young son, Karl. But in this bright and handsome boy there is always a
reminder of the Frankenstein blood in his veins.
For when I look at my son’s features the vivid blue eyes of Baron
Victor Frankenstein gaze back at me and I cannot help but shudder! -May God have
mercy on his wicked soul!