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Short Story: Betrayal

I thought he was my friend. 

As a scientist I should know better than make assumptions. Especially about someone who was willing to grave rob for meager wages. 

The wages were a gratuity, his real earnings was the knowledge of human anatomy and galvanism. Now I didn’t always treat him the best, but science is careful work, he needed to learn how to use those meaty fingers of his and shuffling gait in away that wouldn’t run our experiment. 

Our experiment. I had considered him my apprentice. The only person privy to my work. The only person who would share my success. The only person other who would be part of being of an amazing discovery. 

Now, forcing myself to look at my patchwork of a face, I realize he’s made me a part of the amazing discovery. 

The incompetent troll couldn’t find a brain that wasn’t rotten and deranged. Night after night I sent him out looking for the final piece of our puzzle, the epicenter of our work—an intelligent brain. My macabre hunter fearing the security around the graves of successful people brought me back brains from pauper graves and hanged criminals. He didn’t know how I knew he brought me back unacceptable brains, but it was simple really, the news would have reported on a prominent grave being robbed. It never did. 

Yesterday morning, tasted hot coffee with my own tongue, and read my last paper with my own eyes. And when he brought me another brain without any matching news, I used my own hands to beat him about his face and hump, and then... and then? 

What happened next?

I grabbed my stomach with one hand and a table with the other to steady myself. My coffee. He had put a tranquilizer in my coffee. 

Then he harvested a brain he knew I’d be proud of. 

I could feel the skin stretch, pulling at unhealed stitches—a smile with new lips. 

Maybe he wasn’t a stupid as I gave him credit for. Perhaps I should apologize. 

Turning away from the church, back towards the village, where our lab was, surely that’s where he’d still be. Let him look with his own eyes upon his creation. 


Lost in thoughts about our success, the towns people had returned from their initial retreat in fear. This time with torches and pitch forks. 

“No, I am no villain! I am your friend Doctor Frankenstein,” I said to them. 

At least that was what I had intended to say. Instead a guttural gurgling as if the springs of hell themselves had been tapped came through the rotted vocal cords. 

“Kill it! Kill the monster!” The mob shouted in unison. 

“I can explain,” I attempted, but it just came out as putrid growl that was drowned out by swinging blows  that rained down upon me. 

Over the sounds of my own distraction, I could hear Igor’s lilting laugh of victory.

Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.


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