I, DOCTOR!

The Monster was nervous.

The leftovers he had acquired from the French Zombie Diner in town did not look as fresh as he would have liked. He respected the living too much to hunt one himself, of course, so he had to rely on scraps which was not ideal when performing such a sensitive experiment.

The Monster was no medical expert: only a dreamer. His goal, to create a living, breathing human doctor who would cure his beloved wife Igora of a debilitating hump condition, was science-fiction but it was worth a shot. Humans were mindless creatures, food for most of us, but what if a human could think? What if they could learn to save lives? What if we could co-exist as equals?

As utopian as this dream sounded, The Monster knew that if there was one chance that he could be right and that he could succeed then History would not remember his naivety, only his genius. With a grunt, he covered the stitched-up body of his subject with a blood-soaked sheet and stumped loudly towards the back wall, both his arms extended straight in front of him. Groaning confidently, he cranks the rusty lever on the wall down and a panel far above him opens revealing the black, cloudy sky.

Stiffly but surely, he staggers back towards the operating table and starts pulling the chains hanging near it. Slowly, the table starts to levitate. With every pull, the chains lift the table higher and higher towards the ceiling and with every pull, The Monster’s heart fills with hope and his groans get louder. Finally, the table pushes through the opened roof and rests over the castle, awaiting further instructions.

It’s raining now: the Mummy Weather Report was accurate.

Thunder rumbles.

Perfect!

The Monster had to act and act fast and this was no easy feat for him. Stomping back towards the wall, as the thunder continues to boom closer and closer, he holds onto the second lever and looks up. This was a long shot, he knew it, and yet he was closer than ever to make his dreams come true. Igora would be well again, this was his silent prayer, but the glee in his eyes suggested more ambition. This could be his ticket to worldwide recognition! Those arrogant, condescending Vampires running the world would finally see what a Monster could do.

This was his moment.

Thunder rumbled again.

It wouldn’t be long now.

The lightning was so close he could taste it. He couldn’t help but think back to the first date he and Igora went on: she was so lovely in that tattered grey sweater and those cross-eyes… it was love at first bite. They had been to the drive-in to see Invasion Of The Tax Attorneys and they were holding hands the entire movie. Not each other’s hands, but they were sitting close in the hearse regardless so it was still quite romantic. Igora hated the sight of blood, even if she enjoyed the taste, so when the Tax Attorneys ripped the blob to shreds on the big screen she buried her head in The Monster’s thigh and gnawed on it with fear.

Good times…

Thunder once more.

This was it!

3…

The Monster pulled the second lever, thereby activating the antenna to pop-up above the operating table and unfold as high as possible.

2…

The Monster pulled the third lever, releasing live wires leading down to the corpse.

1…

The Monster moaned.

Lightning strikes!

What a sight. With a bright flash, the lightning promptly zaps the antenna and the electricity starts running along the operating table as sparks fly down towards the howling Monster below. The equipment in the room buzzes and clicks, bubbles and rattles uncontrollably: this was a good sign. The sky and the Earth had finally met and it was beautiful. While not the religious type (monsters were usually atheists), The Monster felt something of a spiritual awakening just then. It was as if the Gods, indeed, had heard his call and were extending a helping hand.

In all this excitement, The Monster had forgotten to monitor the time! The body would be fried and the brain he’d bought for all the bats he could afford would be rendered unusable. How long had it been? Was it too early to stop? Was it too late? He had to make a decision…

The light bulbs in the room burst all at once as the equipment sparked and short-circuited with a loud electronic sound. It was dark now, and eerily quiet. The lightning had gone and The Monster was still. He had not anticipated this sudden end to the proceedings and was unsure what this all meant. Groaning pathetically to himself, he pulled up the second and third levers one after the other then lumbered back to the chains located in the middle of the room before pulling them with all his might, slowly dragging the now smoking operating table back down.

Lit only by moonlight, the room was finally fast asleep and you could almost hear The Monster’s second-hand heart beat in the darkness.

The body was not moving. The Monster feared the worst. A small mistake could have cost him his wife’s life and, if so, he would never forgive himself. His greed had led him to fantasise rather than think. Who cares about reputation? This was about love and only about love! He had forgotten that and now it was all over. There would be no time to set-up another experiment. There would be no time to try again.

Igora, forgive me…

Lowering his ear to his patient’s chest, he listened but heard nothing. A lone tear rolled from his eye down along his cheek to disappear into the burnt sheet and he howled in pain so loud that the neighbouring Werewolves responded in kind. As if possessed by a Demon, something that actually happened very rarely to monsters, The Monster started to smash and destroy every piece of equipment in the room in a fit of rage and despair. Screens, control panels, jars with baby Ghouls in them, all were crushed by The Monster’s mighty fists.

And then… the unthinkable happened.

As The Monster shuffled and clanked his heels along the stony ground, heading for the body he was planning to dismember and throw around the room, he noticed something peculiar. Had the human’s hand always been positioned like that? He could have sworn it had been resting with its palm down on the table but now it was poking out of the sheet frozen in a grasping-like position. Panting and grunting, The Monster stopped in his tracks and was now watching the body from afar.

It moved.

The hand moved!

It was a slight twitch but he saw it. Rushing towards the operating table, almost collapsing under the weight of his own eager steps, The Monster once again put his ear to the makeshift corpse’s chest. Except, this time, he heard a beat. Faint, granted. Irregular, perhaps… but a beat nonetheless. His eyes were filled with hope again, tears and hope. Was this really happening? Had he gone mad? Did it matter? The Doctor was…

“Alive…”, he muttered.

He looked up at the sky as the tears now filled his scarred green face.

“It’s alive!”, he screamed, “It’s alive!”

“Who’s… alive?”, a voice responded calmly.

The Monster turned his attention back to his experiment and pulled the sheet away revealing his patient whose eyes were now wide open. The creator smiled at his creation and the creation, in turn, grinned awkwardly. This “human” looked about as monstrous as the monster that made it. Scabs, stitches, green patches of rot everywhere: this was not a pretty sight. And yet, it was surprisingly polite.

“How do you do?”, the human enquired.

“You are… Doctor?”, was The Monster’s reply.

“I am, yes.”

The Monster had never been happier.

“You help… me?”, he asked.

“Certainly, do you have an appointment?”

The Monster was not prepared for that question.

“Urm… Yes?”

“Excellent. Step into my office.”

They had to act fast. Igora’s hump had grown almost as tall as her and, although she was rather short, this was still a significant size for a hump. Soon, she would technically be the growth on the hump’s neck and her organs would liquefy from within turning her into a lifeless blob of flesh and bile.

Igora deserved better. A little better, at least.

The Monster had prepared a white coat for The Doctor and the latter was now wearing it, albeit with nothing underneath. The Doctor’s skin peeled down the drain as he washed his hands while the suffering Igora lay on the bed sweating with The Monster standing by her side, caressing her beard. Finally, The Doctor was ready and approached his patient smiling a toothy grin as a brown caterpillar crawled over his forehead casually.

“You must be… Igora?”, he asked.

“Yes Master!”, she replied, drooling ever so slightly.

Concerned, The Monster intervened.

“Can you help her?”

The Doctor looked at Igora, thinking deeply about her condition for about a minute. The suspense was almost too much to take for The Monster whose neck bolts were now crackling in anticipation.

“Yes, I think so.”, The Doctor said, simply.

Relieved, The Monster dropped to his knees, which made the bedroom shake, and kissed his wife passionately. Politely, The Doctor signalled to The Monster that it was time to leave the room and he obliged, giving Igora a final smile and groan. A few clanks and The Monster was out the door.

The minutes ticked away fast, the hours flew by even faster.

The Monster had been sitting outside the door for some time and he was getting impatient. On the one hand, he had to let the professional do his work but on the other hand, what the Hell was taking him so long? He started to think about the cemetery where he and Igora first met. It was raining and storming and there they were, wandering aimlessly, enjoying the weather. She had a limp and looked like a walking tumour but it was the trail of mucus she left behind as she walked he really found sexy. They were married that same week.

The bedroom door opens.

“You can come in now.”, The Doctor confirms.

The Monster stands up and, like a child on Christmas morning, lurches into the room. The Doctor reaches the sink and starts to wash his hands when he hears a distressing scream coming from behind him.

“What have you done?!”, The Monster bellowed.

The Doctor turns casually.

“Pardon?”

In only a couple of steps, The Monster had reached over and grabbed The Doctor by his neck then dragged him back towards the bed.

“What… is this?”, The Monster enquired intimidatingly, holding back his anger long enough to speak.

Igora was still lying in bed with the hump attached to her, as big as ever, but her eyes were now perfectly aligned.

“What’s wrong, Master?”, she asks.

Ignoring her, The Monster yells at The Doctor once more.

“Answer me!”

Chocking, The Doctor responds weakly and coyly.

“Strabismus…?”

The Monster loosens his grip slightly.

“What?”

“It’s a fairly common condition… She’s fine now, though.”

There was an awkward beat.

“What kind of doctor was this?”, The Monster thought. His attention quickly turned to Igora who, he noticed, had not blinked since she last spoke.

“Igora?”, he asked.

She had stopped breathing.

“Igora…?”

Igora was gone.

The Monster turned to find that, without realising it, he had snapped The Doctor’s neck with his powerful grip. He let go of that wasted body and gently cradled his beloved in his arms.

The Monster closed his eyes, dreaming of better days.

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