Ficlet: ‘Carry it On’

For a different subject from the last posts we had to write 300 word pieces based on different prompts. Another we wrote was a ‘Carry it On’ story based on one of two scenes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The section I chose is below:

“I trembled, and my heart failed within me; when, on looking up, I saw, by the light of the moon, the daemon at the casement. A ghastly grin wrinkled his lips as he gazed on me, where I sat fulfilling the task which he had allotted to me. Yes, he had followed me in my travels; he had loitered in forests, hid himself in caves, or taken refuge in wide and desert heaths; and he now came to mark my progress, and claim the fulfilment of my promise.

As I looked on him, his countenance expressed the utmost extent of malice and treachery. I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged. The wretch saw me destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and, with a howl of devilish despair and revenge, withdrew”.
      Frankenstein, Mary Shelly pg. 166.

I watched him as he worked, such concentration, such precision. In that moment, I wasn’t just watching Her creation, I was watching mine too. Then why, why do I not feel that way? There was no humanity in his vision. I had to learn that. He gave me life but only a half-life: enough to survive, but not enough to live.

Frankenstein paused mid-stitch, as if thinking, brows knitted. That was when he looked up.

His gaze was laced with disgust. Cold eyes staring not just at me, but through me. Pursed lips turned downwards in an ugly frown. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from such loathing.

Why do you look this way at me? Lips of judgement. Eyes of hatred. You created Me. You are creating Her.

The answer was clear within moments. I watched in horror as He started tearing her apart. All that intricacy. All those details. All that time. So quickly erased. Gone.

Then all of a sudden. Pain. Pain in the form of pure, unbridled anger. It flared within me uncontrollably as Frankenstein tore Her apart. He destroyed Her with a viciousness only a monster could hold. Within seconds all hope of acceptance and love was gone, and it was all because of him.

I crashed through the door, its small glass pane shattered on impact with the ground. His head snapped up, staring at me with a look of terror.

So this, I thought to myself, this is what it is to be human? The strongest, most overpowering emotion: hatred.

So in letting instinct take control I had discovered the essence of my humanity, and just as quickly as I’d found it, I knew I’d lost my desire to be human. So, without regret, I destroyed it.

Frankenstien fell as easily as if he were a rag doll, blood pooling around his wound.

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