THE BRIDE AFIRE
THE BRIDE AFIRE
by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Dr. Victor Frankenstein felt nearly as dumbfounded as the Adam of his labors, his male creature, Prometheus.
‘No!’ Victor scolded himself. ‘Don’t name it! Never name it. It is a thing, nothing more!’
Yet ‘Prometheus’ stuck in his mind like an infectious tune. The thing – the abomination – felt. And what it felt for was Victor’s second creation.
The female was… eloquent. She spoke, understood, and retained knowledge. But even an idiot can serve as a simple memory device.
More than gaining knowledge from every utterance and interaction, she inhumanly possessed the experience of knowledge, formulated its myriad possibilities, reasoned, and used it so advantageously that Frankenstein himself could not outwit her.
Prometheus, in his simple mind, was torn. On an emotional level he adored and needed her. Yet somehow in his rudimentary thinking, he realized that his father’s latest creature far surpassed him in every way, and that frightened him. What scared Prometheus, angered Prometheus, and his inner turmoil between love and hate, played uncontrolled across his face and body.
‘And Doctor Septimus Pretorius,’ Victor thought. ‘Foolish Pretorius. He was less a victim of her than his own naive ego. Too vain to accept that her newfound, blossoming genius surpassed his. Confounded by her at every turn; unable to verbally trick, trap, or control her, he let his temper get the better of him, and Prometheus ended the conflict with inhuman finality.’
The Bride, as Septimus named her, used Prometheus then. But what use did she have for anyone or anything now? The coarse dead tissue of her body seemed little more than a chrysalis. An unpredictable change was happening. The Bride was transforming at an accelerated rate, into what, Victor couldn’t imagine.
She no longer required the storms, as she bid electricity to appear from out of the ether and feed her. Her hair acted as living conduits, gossamer fine wires that pulled the energies from the air around her. The earth’s gravity itself, bowed before her will.
‘By what form of nature could hair possibly do that?’ Victor marveled. ‘It was nothing more than dead matter.’
But then, so was she.
For the moment, The Bride was afire as she drew her sustenance from pure energy. When she consumed, she was in turn consumed in the act, her tiger-focused attentions dissolved as if in fugue. She glowed and her hair expanded like a living copper mesh sphere.
‘By the gods, how many Coulombs were coursing through her now?’
‘By the gods indeed,’ Victor thought. ‘Is this what the Bride was becoming? And what godlike powers would the monster visit upon humanity? Would she take Prom- … the first creature with her? Would they breed to fulfill Pretorius’ vision of a new world of Gods and Monsters?’
Victor looked toward the male. His attention too, was consumed by his Bride. His brow beetled between awe and anger, awe and anger, in clockwork time to the gripping of his fists.
Surreptitiously, Frankenstein’s thick, rubber gloved hands, reached beneath the slab for the Grounding Staff.
Victor intimately knew as few did, that electricity like life, cannot be destroyed. But like life, it can be dissipated.
Victor paused, remembering the sight of Septimus in the hands of the creature, and believed he would not get a second chance. He had to be quick.
Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Inspired by Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN and the artwork,
Read the Science behind this Science Fiction.
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