“I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me.”
– Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
The young boy was a monster of a child. I don’t mean he was your average, run-of-the-mill kind of monster child, taking pleasure in tormenting his big sister or setting neighborhood cats on fire. He was an honest-to-goodness kind of monster; certified, and independently verified through the strictest of scientific methods.
He was born, and for the first two months of his life, lived, in the basement laboratory of one Reginald Frankenstein. Throughout his troubled and often turbulent life he would be known by many names, but he began life, submersed in a vat of an ochre-colored, foul-smelling liquid, with the proper name of Eugene Frankenstein.
The term ‘lived’ should be used sparingly and with some reservation, for one could hardly describe his state of being as alive. By most scientific definitions and upon proper medical poking, prodding, probing and thorough examination, one could assert that he was indeed living. Upon placing your eyes in his general direction, however, a strong argument could be made otherwise.
The very sight of the darling child in public had been known to cause dizziness, momentary blindness, stomach cramps, fits of laughter, bloating, and on at least one occasion involuntary bowel movements. He could be most sympathetically, though perhaps not best described, as your average sized eight-year-old boy with one lazy eye and a mild aversion to fire.
Other descriptions have included but are not limited to:
“Frightful zombie-like creature.” – Esquire Magazine
“Bluish tinted, squat, and almost entirely inhuman.” – Vanity Fair Magazine
“Almost certainly not of this Earth.” – Wired Magazine
“A thought provoking and somewhat grotesque look at what science may have to offer.” – FOX news
“A work of the Devil and a sure sign of the end times.” – Reverend Patrick Beau Cannon
“The sweetest and quietest boy I have ever met.” – the blind neighbor (Most certainly deaf as well – If not completely then at least partially – for who could mistaken the horrific mutterings that escape his lips for anything but… well… horrific).
In an interview with CNN, Dr. Reginald Frankenstein, whom would become known as his father, once said that – and I quote, “Eugene is a perfectly normal boy as if he had been born to biological parents.”
Biological parents who had both been raised on a nuclear test site within the Nevada desert and subjected to a multitude of experiments dreamed of only by the most renegade of Nazi scientists perhaps.
Just to catch a glimpse of this marvel of modern day science was needless to say, plenty, and we’ll finally leave it at that.
Eugene was dearly loved by his creator parent; Loved as much as one could, a horrific monstrosity that had been pieced together in the basement laboratory of an otherwise unremarkable home.
Much to Dr. Frankenstein’s dismay, his monster’s mannerisms and intelligence weren’t quite what you would call – typical. He had in fact selected only the finest materials – what was available – to assist in the creation of Eugene.
The genius doctor had thought he would receive, per written instructions to the greater New York Body Bank – and waited with great anticipation for – the brain of a child prodigy he had spent a large sum of monies to preserve. Due to a most unfortunate shipping mishap, however, the much coveted intellectual brain was to instead be placed within the head of a two year old orangutan named Felix, who was last seen driving a stolen late model Ford Taurus, with his lovely orangutan girlfriend, Dora, in the passenger seat.
She would later be found abandoned at a corner grocery with a handful of bananas and a newly acquired, pessimistic outlook on life.
As a result, Dr. Frankenstein, without foreknowledge, would receive the former cranial contents of one William Henry Stucker. While being a wonderfully entertaining and well loved boy, Billy Stucker was perhaps best known for his unique ability to consume his own body weight in whatever leftover food items he had found lying about on the ground.
The list of unsavory consumables that had found their way into his mouth included, but by all means is not limited to: Six m&m’s found under the cushion of his mother’s lime green Ikea sofa; one half of a snickers bar left for an undetermined amount of time under the passenger side seat of his father’s 1985 Chevrolet Camaro; one half eaten Burger Boy Double Decker with cheese found in that same location; five jelly beans extracted from the slot of a candy machine; twenty-three after dinner mints discovered in the men’s room of a local eatery; an undisclosed number of lollipop leftovers rescued from various unsavory locations; twelve pieces of gum carefully pulled from underneath seven different tables; and exactly two bites of a hot dog left on a bus stop bench he had passed everyday on his way home from school. One of which became lodged in his throat and ultimately bore the responsibility for his untimely demise.
Several years earlier, Dr. Frankenstein and his wife had been the parents of a bright, loving, well-mannered young boy. He had acquired sparkling blue eyes from his mother and a vast intellect from his father. Both the doctor and Victoria Frankenstein adored their child and spent every spare moment of time with him. The neighborhood children would line up at their door, anxiously waiting for Sylvester to become available for play.
Sylvester was the child every parent dreams of, the perfect blend of childhood innocence and his parent’s wisdom.
Life for Sylvester, however, would end too soon.
Dr. Frankenstein tried in vain to console his grieving wife. They tried repeatedly to have another child; to fill the void created by the death of their first child. It was a comment by Dr. Frankenstein’s wife, Veronica, that had initially prompted the idea for Eugene’s creation – that and the relatively lax government regulations concerning the creation of new life.
After yet another unsuccessful attempt at coupling with his less than enthusiastic spouse, his increasingly awkward advances were finally met with her finally posing the question, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could conceive without actually having to touch one another?”
Most human beings would have recognized that moment as an undeniable turning point in a failed relationship and miserable existence; but not Reginald Frankenstein. The good doctor was known neither for his ability to communicate with or even remotely understand the opposite sex. He was, in fact, quite ignorant of anything regarding womanhood.
He didn’t know what women wanted out of life – or him for that matter – and that included his wife.
Had his marriage not been somewhat arranged by his parents, Mr. And Mrs. Eugene Frankenstein of Newark, NJ, he would have, and perhaps rightfully so, died ignorant and alone. His father, however, an intelligent man and well versed in the ways of woman-kind, had arranged a meeting for young Reggie with the daughter of his very best childhood friend.
Dr. Frankenstein, a promising young neuro-scientist at the time, had very little if anything to do with Veronica’s attraction to him. The only child of a prominent Jewish doctor, Reginald possessed a solid work ethic that kept him at the lab very late; a quality that Veronica very much appreciated as it afforded very little opportunity for him to interrupt her busy social calendar.
It could be surmised that Dr. Frankenstein had predicted a more loving and perhaps even nurturing acceptance of Eugene by both his wife and the community at large.
Genetics and experimental techniques had given Reginald the means with which to create a child whose appearance was very similar to their own. Being no sort of cosmetic surgeon, however, he could not hide the many scars of repeated surgeries. The bluish tint of the boy’s flesh was a side effect of the chemical bath in which the boy was placed prior to animation. Dr. Frankenstein had hoped repeated baths would remove it, though after a few months, he had given up hope.
When the good doctor first introduced the newly created child to his still mourning wife, her reaction was not what he had anticipated. Once he revived her with an ample supply of smelling salts – and then supplying her with a mild sedative – her spirits were much relieved. It took her several months to become accustomed to the squat, bluish tinted boy.
Regular outings at nearby parks, planned in vain to bring mother and child closer together, were doomed. At first, the mothers of neighboring children would simply retreat, their perfectly normal offspring stuffed hastily underarm, like loaves of fresh bread, as they made way to their respective homes.
Then, they organized.
Veronica Frankenstein, once an endearing socialite – loved far and wide for her lavish brunches and delectable tea cakes – had become an outcast; her memberships to the knitting circle and book clubs revoked; her credit cards declined; her garden gnomes vandalized.
There were to be no play dates for Eugene. He would spend the majority of his time alone.