By ‘Johanna McGrory


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’. 

To set the scene - a synopsis of the original Hammer masterpiece, ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’:


Baron 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.



It 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. 


But 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 true.


My 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.


These 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.


It 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 work.


At 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 local Inn.


Later 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.


On 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.


‘Excuse 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.’ 


At these words I became suddenly alert, ‘I have- indeed’ I answered cautiously.  ‘You know of the man?’ I asked.


‘Yes I know him sir, -.’ the young stranger paused.  An unmistakable look of fear passed across his features.  ‘I am acquainted with the Doctor.’


At 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.


‘I am Herr Paul Krempe.’ I reached out my hand in a friendly gesture.


‘Wolfgang Schneider.’


I studied the man and his kind countenance told me of a good and honest soul.


‘You have business with Dr Franck?’ he asked.


‘Yes 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-.’


Wolfgang 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.’


A 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.’


‘You knew this Baron?’ he enquired.


‘Yes, 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.


Schneider 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 courteous.’


I felt my blood surge through my veins at this familiar description but I had to be sure, I needed proof.


‘And please tell me how you came to make this Doctor’s acquaintance?’


‘I 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. 


‘Dr 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.’


I shuddered visibly at this grim picture. ‘Have these activities been reported to the local Constabulary, the Chief of Police?’ I asked.


‘Yes Herr Krempe but they are terrified and do nothing against him. Even the Burgomaster turns a blind eye to his misdeeds.’


‘It 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 understand?’


‘You mean to put an end to his crimes?’ Schneider asked a slick of perspiration had broken out on his brow. 


I nodded, ‘If possible I shall take matters into my own hands.  You will help me?’ I ventured tentatively.


‘No 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.


I 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.’


Schneider 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.’


‘I would be most grateful to you.’ I said.


‘Through 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.’ 


Schneider 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


‘On 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.’ 


‘I 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.


‘No 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.’


With a quick and satisfied nod of his head Wolfgang Schneider rose. He glanced down at his watch.


‘I 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.’


He 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.


The 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.


I 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 down forever. 


At 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.


My 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.


I 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.


‘Wake 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.


‘Wake up!’


When 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.


‘My 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!’ 


The 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. 


‘But I thought-I thought-.’ I stuttered unable to finish the sentence.


‘Ah 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.’


‘But you were sentenced to the guillotine.  I spoke to you in the prison cell, only minutes before!’


Frankenstein pressed close to me I could feel the warmth from his skin seep forth. ‘You know, betrayal is a loathsome and wicked sin Paul.’


You fiend!’  I cried.


‘You 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.’


‘Such 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’.


‘Recollect Paul that you were the cause of the damaged brain the creature would have been intelligent, if not for your interference!’


‘But you killed the Professor to use his brain-.’ I rejoined.


‘He 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.’


‘Where have you been these years?’ I asked him.


‘Oh 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 miserably.’


‘Then why return to Switzerland, and why choose this mountain village?’ I enquired with unveiled suspicion.


‘Can’t a man come back to the country of his birth when he pleases?  As to being neighbours, that was a mere accident!’


‘Release me Victor,’ I protested ‘These shackles-.’ A sob rose within my throat, I choked as I held it back, ‘The pain-.’ I gasped.


‘It is supposed to be painful Paul.’ He replied in a flat tone.


His 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.


‘My 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?’


That he was aware of my work perturbed me, ‘How do you know of my profession?’ I questioned.


He did not answer but continued, ‘and prey how is your dear lady wife these days - the beautiful Elizabeth?’


Frankenstein pronounced his cousin’s name as though it was a foul word and a fury rose within me. 


‘Do not speak ill of her, she is a good woman!’


‘Oh 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.


‘What are these abominations?’ I demanded, spitting out the words at him. 


‘Abominations!’ The Baron chuckled in glee, ‘Oh come now Paul, you have become timid! Has your strong stomach finally deserted you?’ 


Why?’  I asked in bewilderment. ‘What is the purpose of all this insane research?  Did you not learn your lesson with that wretched brute?’


‘In the interests of science, I will never give up Paul!’


His 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 skull.


‘I 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.’


‘There is nothing to be gained from this defiling of nature Victor, it is evil!’


He 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 world!’


I 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!’


He 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.


‘Knowledge!’ 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?’


‘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 guillotine? 


‘You do not deserve to live!’ I exclaimed.


A 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.


‘Hush! 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.


‘Although you have become faint-hearted, that particular organ will serve my purposes splendidly.’


His coolly delivered words brought a sensation of horror to me. I understood what dreadful fate awaited me. 


‘You cannot mean this Victor!’ I cried, ‘You would not do this to me!’


‘Oh 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.’


Like 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.


‘Good evening Herr Krempe.’ He said softly.


Frankenstein 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.


My heart sank.  The realisation that I had been drawn into a trap sickened me.


‘You 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.’


Frankenstein 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. 


I 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 heart.


So awful were the emotions that I experienced at the hopelessness of my situation.

Out 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.


‘Oh come now Paul surely it is not as painful as all that.’ Frankenstein gloated, his smooth voice revolting me.


I 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.


‘Mm what do you think Hans shall we sedate him before I execute the final cut?’


The 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.’


‘Very well,’ Frankenstein agreed devoid of all emotion as though he were deciding on some minor trifle.  He steadied the knife about to continue.


‘No for God’s sake-.’ I choked unable to find my voice through the pain.  ‘Have pity Victor,’ I begged.


‘Pity 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 had gone.


‘Then in God’s name, Elizabeth--.’ I stuttered in wretchedness, ‘Elizabeth-is-.’


Frankenstein 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.


‘Dear God Victor!’ I cried, ‘She is with child.’


At 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.


‘She is expecting our first child--.’ I gasped and felt a sting of tears at my eyes.


‘Then Elizabeth will perform her true function as a woman,’ came his callous retort, ‘and the child shall have no father.’


‘You vile-hearted devil - may you rot in hell!’ I screamed what I thought must be my last words in a torrent of hate.


Frankenstein 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. 


‘Goodbye Paul.’ I heard him whisper softly into my ear.


A 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.


A stark flood of light pierced my eyes in a blinding surge.  I put an arm up to protect my sight. 


Where was I?  What had happened?


I 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.



My Dear Paul


When 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.


Do 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 you again!


Yours 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.

To 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!