The Final Piece of the Puzzle
“Dr. Frankenstein’ll be ‘appy,” Louis Grogan said. He was a recent transplant to the states, his cockney accent giving him away. Louis was a young kid who ran away from home and jumped on a freighter. He didn’t realize that he was headed for the America’s until the boat landed in Plymouth. He was the perfect naïve specimen for Buddy Charles to exploit.
“Boy, you know it,” Buddy responded, “you grab the head and I’ll grab the feet.”
The night was dark and storm clouds rolled over the graveyard. Buddy liked it when the weather was poor. A little thunder and a little rain and the digging were much easier. Not to mention you could be damn near as loud as you wanted and prying ears wouldn’t hear you. That was the problem with grave robbing. People always called the law.
They lifted the crudely made casket from the earth; cold blue moonlight refracting off the grave dirt. They had a carriage waiting for them with doors akimbo, so once they freed the casket they hoisted it into the carriage and slammed the doors shut. The crack of the carriage doors was echoed a moment afterward with a ripple of thunder.
“Louis shut yer pie hole. No need to be groaning like that! What, you hurt yourself?” Buddy hissed.
“It wa’nt me, boss,” Louis said.
No, it couldn’t have been Louis. He was much too close. That moan came from a distance.
“Get saddled up, hoss. We’re getting outta here,” Buddy said.
He scanned the graveyard, waiting for the lightning to illuminate the plot; straining to find the origin of that moan.
“We got company, hoss. Out yonder, beyond the Mausoleum. He’s a big ‘un too. Let’s get moving,” Buddy said.
He climbed on the front of the carriage next to Louis and cracked the reigns. The horses neighed and reared, but Buddy couldn’t tell if their reaction was from the reigns or the thunder.
“Shit, that was close!” Louis cried.
Buddy cracked the reigns once again, urging the horses to speed.
A large figure stepped out in front of the carriage and grabbed one of the horses by the neck. The force of the figure and the momentum of the horse created an audible crack as the horse’s neck snapped and it collapsed to the ground. The carriage tilted from the mismatched inertia and it tilted to the side. Buddy and Louis were thrown clear from the carriage as it rolled and smashed up against a rock.
Buddy rose to his knees. He shook his head in an effort to clear the haze of shock from the wreck. A large figure stepped over him. Lightning shone dirty boots and overalls covered in grave dirt.
The creature above him moaned. It had bulging muscles beneath the overalls and another crack of lightning illuminated its face. It was a patchwork of brown and pink skin crudely stitched together.
“Do not be afraid of him, Buddy,” A familiar voice echoed over the graveyard.
“Dr. Frankenstein? What’s going on here?” Buddy asked. He was vaguely aware of his bladder releasing. He glanced around and saw Louis was unconscious lying on the ground.
“He’s glorious, isn’t he?” Dr. Frankenstein said. The doctor looked up at the creature and smiled. He approached and even caressed its arm. “Such an amazing specimen.”
“What…what is he?” Buddy asked.
“He is my creation!” Frankenstein said.
“What, like a robot?” Buddy asked.
“No! He’s alive!” Dr. Frankenstein cried. “I’ll show you what he can do!”
The doctor whistled and the creature walked over to Louis.
“UUUUUHHHH,” It moaned.
It grabbed Louis by the head and lifted him off the ground, then turned Louis around like a rag doll and swung his body, crushing his head against a rock. The creature groaned and repeatedly swung Louis’ body down. With each subsequent blow, Louis’ head flattened, until eventually gore and bone splayed like a child’s drawing over the granite. Buddy felt the hot splash of blood and brain splatter across his face.
“Oh, god!” He cried.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Dr. Frankenstein said.
Buddy jumped up and tried to run, but the creature was somehow faster. It grabbed his arm and twisted him into an embrace. Its breath was a decaying putrescence that made his eyes water.
“I am truly sorry Buddy,” Dr. Frankenstein said. “I just had to make sure you couldn’t escape.”
The creature pinned his arms to his sides and picked him up off the ground. He kicked the creature with all the power he had and it didn’t even seem to notice.
“You see, I’ve always admired you, Buddy. You never got caught by the police,” Frankenstein opined. He took a few steps toward them. Lightning flashed again, illuminating the grimacing construct of semi-rotten skin.
“That takes a special kind of intelligence. To stay out of jail all of these years,” The doctor crooned.
The creature tilted Buddy over and pinned him to the ground. He tried to move his arms, but the creature’s hands were like iron shackles.
“You see Buddy, this creature is incredibly complex. It has taken years of experimentation. You’ve been able to provide me with some exemplary body parts, making sure the tissues aren’t too decayed. This is important Buddy because they need to hold up as I patch them together. But those are just limbs. When I tried to give my creature intelligence, the corpse brains never worked. I’ve found that once the body dies, the synapses that make the brain work aren’t far behind. I needed a fresh brain. Some new intelligence. That’s what my creature is lacking. The final piece of the puzzle,” Frankenstein said.
“UUUUHHHHH,” the creature moaned as if to confirm Frankenstein’s statement.
“A brain of its own.”
Frankenstein held the carving knife up to Buddy’s forehead and began to cut.