The first time I visited the Frankenstein’s monster, I could barely understand him and our exchanges were awkward. I didn’t at first get why he’d called me to his secret lair, bringing me blindfolded into an unknown land.
Modern science had long surpassed the controversy of a creation such as him. What reasonable man wouldn’t accept him?
He answered the door in a smoking jacket, offered me a cigar, and invited me into his den, a place of austere furniture and many shelves of books.
I asked what I should call him, but he refused to give me a name and made an issue of not limiting me by using my name ‘Jakob.’
“Who do you have for companionship? How have you gotten along all these years without the doctor?”
“The chemists’ admixtures bring peace in my mind, the trust of strangers.”
During silences he drummed his giant fingers on the arm of his chair.
I asked him about his longevity, centuries with no deterioration.
“The elixirs passed down by my father rejuvenate and animate the replacements.”
The implications shocked me. “You continue to replace your parts with new dead?”
“There is no other way.” He held out his arms. “These limbs cannot live forever. The alternative is death.”
This was big news. No wonder he stayed in hiding—few communities would take kindly to continued grave robbing.
At the second visit, he met me with familiarity and we started in like good acquaintances, if not old companions. He wore some kind of smock that could have passed as clerical or medical, and with the mystique of the monster it didn’t seem out of place. It covered up the bulk of his body.
“It’s light material that doesn’t burden me.” He smirked, conspiracy in his borrowed eyes. “I’ve gone through considerable replacement since last time.”
He lit up a cigarette and poured me a Scotch, making a rum and coke for himself. He played with the ice while we talked, and I couldn’t help noticing how much more delicate his fingers were compared to before. I felt comfortable enough this time to ask him about it.
“Quite often I have to take what is available.” He set down his drink. “I confess, though, I’m hoping for something a little less brutish and scary after these next few replacements.”
We had an amiable discussion, exploring his life, his anonymous contributions to the community—he was obsessed with education. Maybe it was the momentousness of it for myself, but I got the feeling he wanted to chronicle his life, as if he might want it recorded before disappearing forever, and yet—he was holding something back. I wanted to know what it was.
I was resigned to failure and heading out the door when he asked me back for a third session.
A few weeks later, a woman met me at his door. Big-boned, but unmistakably feminine in her features, her head was slightly misshapen. She’d clearly had some work done, that stretched out face-lift look and excessive lip augmentation.
“Oh. Hello,” I said. “I’m here to see Frankenstein’s creation.”
“It’s me, Jakob. I am his creation.”
I stammered, unable to utter a word.
The creature smiled. “The replacements are complete now. I have a brand new look.”
I followed Frankenstein’s monster into the living room, a pot of tea waiting for us, which I gladly took to calm down.
“Everything, even my insides, is new, except for my brain, which I cannot replace or I’d lose myself.” The being that had evolved from Frankenstein’s creation sighed. “I’m afraid it’s rejecting most of it, but we’ll force it with pharmaceuticals.”
“What’s rejecting it?”
“My brain was made to regulate a male body, not a female one. Like a fish driving a car.” A short chuckle. “It’s not as if reanimated necrotic flesh retains much drive of the sort anyway.”
“Why did you do it?” I asked.
“I’m a monster. I do whatever I want.”