Read Frankenstein Lives Again (The New Adventures of Frankenstein) Online

Authors: Donald F. Glut,Mark D. Maddox

Tags: #Fiction

Frankenstein Lives Again (The New Adventures of Frankenstein) (8 page)

BOOK: Frankenstein Lives Again (The New Adventures of Frankenstein)
4.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Looking up, he saw that it was not the Monster, somehow revived, that was dragging him to an obviously intended death, but an Eskimo, one who must have been hiding in a dark corner of the car.

Although exhausted and sick of violence, Winslow knew that his life and the outcome of his project depended on breaking free of his captor’s iron grip.

“You will not take away our Ice God!” came the hate-filled voice of the man who held him.

But Winslow was already whirling about, feet flying hard into his assailant’s jaw. He heard a crack, then saw the native slam against the floor, making an impression in the sawdust which was scattered there.

In an instant, the doctor was on his feet, only to see a second Eskimo attacker stand up from behind the Monster’s crate brandishing an ice pick.

Putting his college football training into practice, Winslow leaped and tackled the second native about the knees as the man moved toward him. Both of them dropped to the floor. Winslow slugged his opponent’s face, heard him groan, then blink in bewilderment.

But the first attacker, still mumbling from his injured jaw was already up and on Winslow’s back, pulling the scientist off balance. Winslow struggled to break free, but was still weary. He could see the other Eskimo rising to his feet and stomping toward him with clenched fists and a snarl issuing from behind his white teeth.

Somehow, Winslow managed to use the man holding him as a brace and kick the native approaching him, knocking him off balance and hearing a sickening thud as his heels made contact with the Eskimo’s jaw. The attacker grunted in pain, then sank to his knees.

Startled to see his accomplice drop, the native holding Winslow carelessly relaxed his grip, which gave the scientist the opportunity he needed to spin around and batter him with his fists.

There was a sudden flash of metal reflecting the sun’s rays.

The ice pick!

Winslow saw the Eskimo rushing at him with the needle-like weapon, the point aimed directly at his chest. Immediately the doctor’s hand shot beneath his coat and removed the .38 revolver that he had purchased from Morris Lamont. Winslow squeezed the trigger without another thought, a deadly spike of flame flaring in the darkness of the car.

The man with the ice pick moaned as a crimson blotch spread across his chest, then tumbled out the door to become part of the passing scenery.

While Winslow’s attention was still outside where the dead man had dropped, the other native grasped him from behind, crushing his throat in his powerful arms. The American knew that it wouldn’t be long before he heard his own neck crack unless he acted quickly. In a blur of action, Winslow threw up his arms and also seized his opponent around the neck. With a mighty heave, the doctor tossed the Eskimo forward and outside to join his friend.

It was a full minute or more before Burt Winslow had regained enough breath and composure to feel even slightly comfortable once again. His neck still ached and he was growing rather weary — and bored — of being attacked by natives. Looking around, he saw that there were two other crates, both open in the car, and knew instantly just how the two Eskimos had managed to be smuggled inside to regain their stolen Ice God.

Making certain that there were no other stowaways on board, and that the lid on the Monster’s crate had not been tampered with, Winslow slid the door shut. Then he let himself drop into a resting position beside the box, drumming his fingers a few times on the wooden lid.

His eyes were heavy and began to close and his thoughts drifted away from the violence he had just experienced.

This time Burt Winslow really slept, his dreams being anything but nightmares...

* * * 

In Ingolstadt, Lynn Powell was too busy to sleep, even though it was approaching midnight.

She had been keeping herself occupied in the castle of Frankenstein, while Winslow was off on his Arctic expedition. Using Winslow’s money, she had purchased a Volkswagen. More of the crates had arrived at the castle since she had moved in, but she would not concern herself with these until she and Burt were reunited.

Miraculously, Lynn had managed to clean up a considerable amount of the filth that had settled on the castle’s interior throughout the centuries, crawling over its stone steps and creeping into its shadowed corners like some living fungus.

She cast a rather proud glance about the laboratory, seeing that the cold walls were now free of the dust and cobwebs that had dominated the place during the many decades that had passed since Victor Frankenstein resided here. An appealing smile formed on her lips. Then she reacted to the sound of someone knocking on the castle door.

“Just a moment,” she said, gracefully rushing out of the laboratory with long strides and doubting that her voice would carry outside to her visitor.

Reluctant at first, at last she pulled open the door, which creaked as though it had not budged since the time of Victor Frankenstein himself.

A stocky man with a long, sweeping mustache stood in the doorway. There was no sign of warmth or friendliness anywhere on his cherubic face. He made a polite bow at the waist, then looked up at the young woman.

“I shall come to the point,” he said in an apparently offic; manner. “My name is Krag. And I am the
Burgermeister
that is to say, the Mayor of Ingolstadt.”

Lynn almost expected the man to click his heels.

“And to what do I owe this honor?” she asked courteously

Mayor Krag coughed an artificial cough. “
Harrrummphf
. I am not here socially,” he said. “I wish to speak with
Herr Doktor
Winslow.”

“Dr. Winslow is not here,” she answered. “He is still away but should be returning soon.”

“But I saw the lights in the castle for the past few nights,” he said, puzzled. “I assumed that he was here.”

“I had the lights on,” Lynn informed him. “My name is Lynn Powell.”

Krag suspiciously cocked an eyebrow. “Powell?” he said. “Then you are not…
Frau
Winslow?”

She could feel her face suddenly flush, but then considered that this little town was probably moving into the more liberal modern world slower than her own country. Better to choose her words discreetly, she thought.

“I am Dr. Winslow’s secretary and assistant,” she told him. “Dr. Winslow is still away on his trip and I’ve been asked by him to take care of his property while he’s gone. If you doubt me, or think I’m up to some kind of trouble here, I’ll show you Dr. Winslow’s letter authorizing me to be here. I’m sure you’re familiar with his signature on the deed to this place and —”

“Er,
nein, nein
, that is quite all right…
fraulein
? Powell?” The Mayor made another polite bow, this one obviously prompted by his own embarrassment. “I believe you.”

Krag cleared his throat and did his best to remain dignified. He shrugged his shoulders, then cast a suspicious glance about the place. Lynn wondered if he were expecting some ghost or demon or the Frankenstein monster himself stalking out from the shadows.

“When will Dr. Winslow be returning to Ingolstadt?” he inquired, still looking about the place.

“I’m not really sure,” she said. “Shortly, I hope.”

“Then I will return here when the
doktor
comes back. The station master is a friend of mine and will inform me when that happens.” As he finished speaking, he turned his attention away from his surroundings and back to Lynn, never once moving from the spot where he stood.

Krag turned his head toward the open front door through which he could see some of the boxes that had been sent to Winslow.

“I’ll tell him you were here, Mayor Krag,” Lynn said pointedly, interrupting his concentration.


Were? Harrummphf!
Ah, yes. But I must warn you that the villagers are already murmuring about those crates which have been delivered here. It makes me uneasy when the townspeople mumble like that. Mob violence is something I have never experienced and may be beyond my meager powers to control.”

“And why,” said Lynn, “should some boxes lead to mob violence Mr. Mayor?”

“My people are not
dummkopfs
!” he exclaimed, fighting to maintain his own control. “They — nor I —could not help but notice that the boxes have been sent by scientific supply houses… electrical equipment manufacturers.

“But surely, Mayor Krag, your people are not against progress, against scientific advancement.”


Nein
! But this is beyond progress,
fraulein
! To come to my point, Miss Powell, the villagers fear that your Dr. Winslow may be up to the old tricks of the scientist who lived in this very place some two centuries ago...  a scientist who had a mad dream and carried it out. My people still believe in the old legends, still fear the terrible Monster that once roamed this castle’s dark corridors and our town’s streets. Tell me,
fraulein
, what else can they believe when they see all of those boxes being delivered to Castle Frankenstein…?”

Lynn shuddered, anticipating what Krag was about to say.

“... Except that your Dr. Winslow is but another
Victor Frankenstein
, who will unleash the Monster upon them once again! For all our sakes, especially yours and the doctor’s, I pray that those suspicions are unfounded!”

Had Lynn been able to find the words to respond, she might have, even though Mayor Krag had already turned on his heel and was hurrying out the door.

CHAPTER VIII:

Traveling Terrors

The long journey back to northern Europe was uneventful but proved to be anything but boring for Dr. Burt Winslow. His time was occupied for much of the trip in thought. He hardly ever left the great wooden box that contained the object of his long and costly quest. Oftentimes he had the feeling that he and the dormant Monster had been companions for so long, in the musty cargo holds of ships and in damp railroad cars, that he would become lonesome if the two of them parted company. A few times he even considered leaving the box alone and enjoying the comforts of a private cabin or compartment, but then always dispelled such notions in favor of constantly knowing the fate of his prize.

With a bit of luck and a lot of money, Winslow managed to charter an old transport plane that condensed much of the time in journeying toward Germany. Before taking off, he had sent a wire to Lynn Powell, telling her his approximate time of arrival in Ingolstadt.

Winslow was thinking more and more of Lynn the closer his trip came to its end. He even found his thoughts drifting to her warm and beautiful image even as he constantly re-read sections of the novel
Frankenstein
and passages he had copied in his own notebook from
The Journal of Victor Frankenstein
. Oftentimes Winslow would even set aside his reading or notes, stop jotting down the calculations which would figure into his upcoming experiment, just to fantasize that she was with him.

The world was no longer just an expanse of whiteness.

There were green hills and lush forests now to see.

Winslow smiled, knowing that warmer lands and the most wonderful person he had ever known awaited him.

* * *

A creature had suddenly appeared in the hills near Ingolstadt, looking more like a corpse than a living being. His countenance was that of a dried-up mummy, with parched lips and sinister green eyes that stared from their dark sockets with almost demonic fire. There was something resembling a grin on his face, the few brownish teeth in his mouth showing in the sunlight like misshapen wooden pegs.

His withered, vulturelike face was peering through the bushes, staring intently at the raven-tressed beauty standing in the clearing of the forest, before the glistening pond.

She was slipping out of her peasant’s dress with an appealing rustic grace, and her tanned, youthful nakedness was magnificent in the morning’s sunlight.

The human vulture’s eyes widened, the heart beneath his bony chest increasing in its pace. How long had it been since his clawlike fingers had touched such a flawless female form as this? he wondered. How many years had it been since he had forsaken the pleasures enjoyed by most men to develop his own modicum of psychic skills? He couldn’t remember, but he knew that now, even in these twilight years of his life, those old desires were returning to him, blazing away and unable to be extinguished even by his own indomitable will.

She was still lacing him, stepping away from the pile of clothing that had dropped to her bare feet. To the old man, she was like some Grecian goddess, sculpted by a master artist and gjven miraculous life. He watched with delight the way her long black hair tossed gently in the breeze, fluttering against firm modest breasts. In another moment, she would undoubtedly turn away from his gaze to enjoy a refreshing swim in the pond, unless...

No, he silently swore, hers would be the young flesh that would rekindle his youth, and he knew just how to make her beauty his for the taking.

With a speed belying his age, he rushed out of the bushes, taking the young woman by surprise.

“Who...who are you?” she asked, simultaneously reacting with revulsion at the man’s appearance and grabbing up the discarded clothing. She pressed the crumpled peasant’s dress against her in a feeble attempt to cover her nakedness. “Wh-what do you want ?”

But the old man did not reply, at least with his words. Rather, it was his eyes—those twin beacons of unearthly fire—that answered the girl, capturing her attention with all of the psychic force that he could muster.

What… do you...?” But she never finished speaking. Already she was becoming lost in his eyes and unable to move. Her hands relaxed, her arms went limp and the bundle of clothing again dropped to the ground.

The old man smiled triumphantly.

She was simply standing there now, his
Galatea
, waiting for him to bestow upon her his lustful attention.

But even as he approached and raised both shaking hands to grasp her, the shout of a masculine voice, issuing from some-here amid the forest trees, not only distracted him, but also brought a flutter to the peasant’s staring eyes.

“Anna!” came the voice. “Are you there, Anna?” 

“Damn!” the old man cursed.

Her eyes blinked again, more rapidly, and she began to lower her head. “Johann...?”

The old man could hear the sound of movement in the nearby underbrush and realized that he would be no match, in a physical confrontation, with any young man. He silently cursed age bemoaning the fact that he had ventured into this clearing without the company of Gort. Now, his only chance at escaping without violence was by first recapturing the girl’s attention with his mesmeric gaze.

Again his eyes burned into hers.

“Johann...?” she said, her blinking eyes suddenly snapping wide open again to lose themselves in the old man’s stare. “Yes? Wh-what… do you want?”

He spoke rapidly, his words only slightly distorted by his lack of a full mouth of teeth. “You will not remember that I was here,” he rasped. “You will not remember me at all, even if you see me later elsewhere. Do you understand?”

“I... will not remember...” she said, softly.

“And when your lover Johann comes to you, you will act normal. You will smile and take him in your arms. And you will make him believe that nothing unusual has happened.”

“Nothing....”

“Anna? Are you there?”

The old man turned his head in the direction of the voice, then skulked back into the bushes, hearing the sound of footsteps behind him. He stopped, turning back for a quick glimpse of a hardy-looking peasant in his mid-twenties as he rushed up to the woman, reacted with surprise at her obviously unexpected nudity, then let himself be wrapped in her arms.

“Oh, dearest Johann,” she said, pressing her body against his.

That was all that the old man’s heart could stand. He left the tableau behind him, uttering a few curses under his breath, and pressed on through the thick vegetation of the forest. His bony legs were already tired when he at last came upon the clearing where his two old circus wagons waited.

Both wagons were painted in what once might have been bright colors—possibly reds and blues with gold trim—but now hardly more than faded browns. The paint had been chipped and worn away by the elements over the years, but the red logo on the side of each wagon was still prominent in the sunlight:

PROFESSOR DARTANI’S ASYLUM OF HORRORS

The old man saw that Gort was already seated in the driver’s seat on the lead wagon and was reacting with a nod to his approach. Gort was an enormous, brutish man with short cropped hair. His muscles, rippling like mountains, bulged from his dirty T-shirt. He extended a powerful hand for the old man to grasp and helped him aboard the wagon. Any luck with her, Professor?” inquired Gort in gruff voice that sounded as if it were mixed with the rocks in the road beneath the wagons. 

Professor Dartani scowled. “There will be other women,” he replied. Then, he said, “Gort, drive on!”

Gort snapped his whip over the heads of the two great black stallions that drew the two-wagon train. The driver was huffing and snorting, almost in competition with the horses, and frequently spat into the passing, winding trail. 

It was a while before either of the two men spoke again.

“You really think we’ll make some money in Ingolstadt?” inquired Gort.

The wagons shifted and swayed a few times on the precarious mountain trail before the corpselike Professor Dartani responded.

“You have no need to worry about that, Gort,” said the professor, his dry hair bristling like white straw in the breeze. His almost toothless mouth wrinkled into a smile pulled back against his sunken cheeks. “I have never failed you before.”

“Guess not, professor. I just hope no one in Ingolstadt recognizes me.”

“I doubt news travels that fast... or that far,” replied Dartani.

“But,” said Gort, looking at the Professor and then bringing his attention back to the road ahead, “this Ingolstadt town is supposed to be such a small, hick place, that... I mean, I don’t see how we can make any real money up in this neck of the woods.”

“Fool!” snarled Professor Dartani, the only man living who had dared to reprimand Gort. “This is a superstitious town we’re going to. Superstitious peasants and villagers, they are. These are the kinds of people that go off and drive a stake through the first corpse they discover showing no signs of decay. These are people who believe that everyman with eyebrows growing together is a werewolf.”

Instinctively, Gort brought one hand off the reins to feel his own eyebrows.

“Idiots!” exclaimed the Professor. “Fools one and all! They will be more than glad to come to our little show. For then they’ll have the chance to confront the demons that go bump in their nightly dreams and they’ll be able to laugh at them, thrill to them, to symbolically purge them.”

Gort smiled. “Yeah, and we’ll be able to purge them of their money. And maybe do a little robbing on the side. Yes, Professor, that sounds all right to me.” He turned his head slightly as he spoke, and the long-healed knife scar that ran diagonally across his forehead gleamed with anticipation and blood.

When the traveling horror show finally rumbled and creaked into town, Professor Dartani said, “Stop here, Gort. This seems to be one of the main streets. I doubt we’ll have to wait for too long.”

The old man’s words were hardly an exaggeration. His eyes were staring at a high church tower when he heard the first small group of people begin to walk, murmuring amongst themselves, toward his wagons. Soon the street was crowded with citizens some of whom wore modern clothing, others preferring to dress in more traditional Germanic garb. They buzzed about the streets more of them coming out of their homes and shops to huddle about the pair of joined circus wagons.

One man, quaintly clad in short leather pants, a vest, a pair of high woolen socks and whatever else was required to complete his European image, first read the logo on the wagons, then cast a derisive look directly at the show’s proprietor.

But Dartani, accustomed as he was to public scorn, ignored him, noting instead the nearby town hall, an official appearing building from which a man stared through one of the windows. It was difficult to see from this distance, even with the sunlight bathing the window. But the man seemed to be fairly husky and sporting a long mustache.

Meanwhile, the townspeople continued to gawk at the lurid Professor Dartani’s Asylum of Horrors logo emblazoned on the two wagons, the red letters suggesting that they had been painted in blood. Beneath the lettering was a crudely rendered painting of a cloaked skeleton menacing a large breasted, scantily dressed red-haired woman with a meat cleaver dripping with crimson gore.

By the time Professor Dartani stood up by the lead wagon’s driver’s seat, he was peering out over an impressively large crowd, some of whom were pushing each other to get up close to the show.

Deep inside, Dartani was laughing at them — these fools who mumbled amongst each other in an insectlike drone. He felt contempt surge within him as several women, noticing the unsubtle painting of the distressed damsel, gasped, nearly fainting, and turned away from his crude attempt at advertising.

Then the mummylike showman raised his hands and brought his audience to a silent hush. A cruel smile creased his lined face. Dartani knew that the audience was his to manipulate as he saw fit.

The Professor grabbed a megaphone from behind the driver s seat, holding it in his shaky hands, then brought it to his lips.

“There is no need to crowd, my friends,” he told them, speaking their native language fluently and with little trace of an accent. “There is room for all of you to see and hear my many wonders.”

There was another murmur rising from the group of spectators, then a collective silence.

“I am Professor Dartani,” he said through the megaphone, condescendingly bowing his head, “and this is my Asylum of Horrors. Yes, my friends, horrors... brought to your fine town for your own entertainment and amusement...  the horrors that long haunted your nightmares.” He made certain that his every word was milked for every iota of its melodramatic worth.

And as the Professor spoke, Gort, virtually ignored as his master continued his speech, watched the crowd, imagined the money that might have been stuffed into their pockets, and chuckled.

“They are all here, my friends,” said Dartani. “Imagine! Werewolves, seeking out their human prey by the light of the full moon! Blood-sucking vampires, creatures subject to the laws of their own hellish bible, the
Ruthvenian
, riding the night winds with the bats and searching for throats… your own throats with their dripping fangs!”

He saw that at least half of the crowd reached for their own neck, as if for protection.

Gort’s forehead shown livid in the bright rays of the sun.

The ancient man grinned as he saw the scar. It reminded him of his first meeting with Gort and the impression that souvenir of an earlier violence had made upon him. The brute had fled the United States, where the authorities had been pursuing him for a number of crimes including murder, kidnaping, armed robbery and arson. The Professor had found Gort one day hiding from local gendarmes in the Swiss Alps. Naturally, Dartani, who had been in need of a servant with Gort’s brute strength and total lack of any sense of morality, hid the fugitive in his wagon, eventually making him his driver. They made a perfect team, Dartani and Gort, and it didn’t even require the Professor’s overpowering mental abilities to bring him under his control. Gort was grateful to the professor for saving him from the police and sheltering him and had no qualms about utilizing his apelike prowess on several occasions to save the old man from some lone gendarme.

BOOK: Frankenstein Lives Again (The New Adventures of Frankenstein)
4.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

1972 - You're Dead Without Money by James Hadley Chase
Initiation by Rose, Imogen
Orgasm in 5 Minutes by Tina Robbins
Claiming the Highlander by Mageela Troche
Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn
The Making of Matt by Nicola Haken