Patti LaValley

I heard the wind howling, lightning flashed, and a deafening clap of thunder rattled the entire house, sending vibrations through the bedroom window where my face was tightly pressed. Ominous shadows leaped from the darkness, and my spine shivered with excitement. I heard the clock downstairs chime, it was midnight, and the time was right at last!

I crept downstairs quietly, as to not awaken the other occupants of the house. I could not risk the chance of having my work interrupted this time. Even so, the old stairs creaked and groaned as I made my way down to the first level of the house. Down into the bowels of the basement I went, my senses heightened by the musty odors of mildew ancient reminders from a time long past.

I went to the chest where I had carefully hidden the body parts under some old linen. They looked undisturbed, to my delight. Working under bare light bulb suspended from the ceiling, my work took a feverish urgency, lest I be discovered.

Tenderly I laid out the parts on the old oak table. Near at hand were my tools. I surveyed the torso, it was in excellent shape. The head was a bit misshapen, but it would have to do. The arms and legs were of different origins, but it didn't matter, they would serve the creature well in the end.

I tried to overlook the club feet and gnarled hands as I stitched them to the swollen ankles and wrists. The silence of the night was interrupted only briefly by another deafening clap of thunder. Next to be attached was the head, and I took the utmost care here, using my skills to stitch and sew it to the neck. The eyes were lying in a bowl on the table and I secured them to the thing's face next.

It seemed as though an eternity had passed before I was satisfied that the creature was finished. Alas!

I stood back and admired my work. Black unseeing eyes stared back at me, and the yawning hole of a mouth appeared to be whispering a silent secret. It was truly a Frankenstein Monster, but it did not matter, for it was only a rag doll and I was only 8 years old.

The End . . . or was it the beginning?