rofessor Doctor Barnabas Feinstein (absent-minded inventor by trade) was out of his mind with excitement after he managed to create the Frankenstein monster, true to the Mary Shelly textbook. For the monster moved in his restraints, blinked his eyes, wiggled his ears and blew a kiss. And that was why the professor threw the laboratory key in a high arc through the air and fell to the ground to kiss it - as once the pope had kissed the earth of Venus.
When he came to himself again (for he had not in the least expected such rapid success with his far-reaching experiments), the monster said to him in a deep voice, still somewhat muffled by the soft bandages: "Barnabas, please be so good as to free me from these wrappings in which you have bound me. Over there is a pair of scissors. They should make it easy to relieve my position somewhat."
That's true, thought the professor, still kneeling before his work open-mouthed, and he felt like God, the Creator, after he brought the first prototypical human beings into the world.
"Hurry," said the monster, already imperious. "The straps pinch."
"Yes, yes," replied the professor, starting to look for his glasses.
"But they're sitting on your nose," said the monster.
"Ah, how right you are," grumbled Feinstein.
e scratched his head, picked up the scissors and went to a tub in which saline solutions, tinctures and black corrosive materials seethed, to dip them in and make them cut better. But as the edge of the tub was so high that the relatively short professor could not reach into it, he climbed up onto it, and it was then that the accident occurred.
The rim was slippery from all the sulphurous lighting which had flashed across it. The professor lost his balance, let out a sharp cry, and plunged into the flood which steamed and hissed and belched bubbles over the professor's almost bald head - though they also had that advantage that their nutritive content saved the professor from drowning.
he monster watched the proceedings with horror, shaking at his straps and first attempting to blow away the strips of gauze from his face. But when that did no good, he grew angry and burst the first fetters, then the next, with several mighty jerks. He freed first one arm, then the other, and scratched his mighty chest, which was quite scorched by the electrical current with which the professor had brought the monster to life. But a few moments later he was standing in front of the cauldron in whose cloudy liquid he saw the professor sucking alternately at both his thumbs. The shock seemed to have made Feinstein lose his reason temporarily.
As the monster was about to plunge his mighty arms into the maelstrom of the cauldron, he stopped, horrified; they began to turn red and would have started to burn a moment later if he had not snatched them back quickly. Now it was impossible to tell what to do.
So the monster scratched his skull, as he had just seen the professor do, scratched again, sneezed, shook a few drops from his ears, and then - wandering helplessly around the laboratory - quenched his thirst a few swallows from the big rain barrel which stood conveniently in the corner. Then he played with a few switches which he remembered unconsciously - for it was they which had breathed power, sap and life into him. Indeed, the monster even electrified himself a little more when he accidentally touched the main switch.
Then he rummaged through the laboratory, felt the bones of an elephant which the professor had raised from a yeast solution in a failed experiment, and threw from their stands several bulbous wine bottles whose frothing red contents had awoken his desire - especially as the monster's lips and body still burned from the electrical torments they had gone through.
fter gazing wonderingly at the liquid, which still foamed on the ground, he dipped one finger in the stream to taste it - and felt a prickling on the tongue, then on the palate, a splendid flowing in the throat, then an unheard-of warmth in his stomach.
He hopped a little in his heavy metal shoes. Then he cautiously approached an intact shelf on which a dozen wine bottles distended their bellies importantly. He gently lifted up one of the precious bottles, which was wrapped in a covering of raffia, pulled out the cork with yellow teeth, sniffed the bottle and - having approved of the contents - set it to his lips and drank it (it must have been 5 liters) in one mighty gulp, so that the red wine from Venus ran down his neck and over his chest.
The monster belched. He belched again and took another of the bottles from the stand. For the third bottle he sat down on his broad behind, for his legs - no doubt due to the difficult birth - had become somewhat heavy. And the cellar, which must have been built upon unsteady ground, rose and sank - and against all expectations the monster saw the stars revolving on the ceiling, which was otherwise illuminated by neon tubes.
Cheers! said the monster to the stars, which turned bluer and bluer.
And Cheers! responded the stars, the biggest of which looked like the face of the professor.
n incredible noise from the upper stories of the house made the monster start. He babbled something, as if soliloquizing to himself as to who that could be. Once again there was a crashing above his head, as if a closet were falling over or as if someone were removing heavy carpets there and tearing down the curtains.
He rose to his legs, swaying, and - after a regretful look at the tub with the professor - he held on to the big electric lever to keep from falling over, for gravity dragged terribly at his limbs. Thus it was no wonder that the lever lowered under his uncertain hand, and flashes of lightning - blue and foaming - shot through the basement. And behind a curtain of Plexiglas floated mists from which a figure very like that of the monster emerged.
The figure - with long hair, golden eyes and big heavy breasts - twitched a little and then began to live. The monster stared over with swimming eyes, and - even more than he was delighted - he was plunged into consternation by the sheer beauty which presented itself there. But then he felt something stirring in his breast, which, however, he ascribed to the wine he had enjoyed. But this feeling grew stronger as the being behind the pane of Plexiglas - which seemed smaller than the monster himself, and more delicate, and equipped with curves over which his eyes chased reeling - shot him a fiery look.
Yes, the being had looked at him, the monster. Ah! Frankenstein pulled a comb from the left-hand pocket of his jacket and a little pocket mirror from the other and began to comb his mussed, wild hair. Ah! He danced a little, pinched his left cheek, pinched his right cheek, clapped his heels together and hummed a little song which went like this: When the dog with the sausage jumps over the cornerstone and the cornerstone...
ut of the desirous corner of his eye he saw that the being, stretching all its bodily proportions behind the pane, was singing along to the song. Ah! There was this threatening crashing over his head again. But that shouldn't bother him, any more than the professor, whom he had already almost forgotten in his drunken infatuation. He went over and pressed his face to the Plexiglas pane and stuffed his tongue back into the mouth it had involuntarily lolled from. Ah!
He scratched at the pane, and the female in her cave danced a bit and hopped, swung her hips, ground her pelvis. Once again the tongue hung out of his mouth, and the Plexiglas already bore rough scratches from his fingernails. There was a burning in his body as if the current were back again. Ah, what a joy to be alive!
At last he managed to lift the Plexiglas pane, straining all his strength to the utmost, holding it spasmodically until the veins almost burst on his brow. Then he propped the pane up with the small of his back and reached with enormous hands for the girl's bandages, tearing them off until she was freed from her fetters, but also completely naked.
In this unaccustomed freedom she shook herself a little, looked at him with honey-sweet eyes and slobbered a bit with her tongue. Then she slipped out next to him, while he retreated cautiously and finally let go of the lid, which fell back with a terrible crash and caught the last bandages the girl trailed after her, making them look a maiden's bridal veil caught by clumsy feet.
bove there was another crash. A closet had fallen over, and even the ceiling, which was really massive, of firm stone, sank somewhat. The monster reached for the girl and grasped her around the warm stomach. His hand slid past her navel, in which a great sparkling diamond shone, embedded there by the professor no doubt for higher edification.
She giggled and put her hand on his paw and giggled again, while dust and mortar sifted from the ceiling.
"Damn," said the monster, and pulled the girl closer and smelled her hair, redolent of chestnuts.
"Damn," he said again as something fell over upstairs and something else banged against the floor with its head - or so it seemed.
Then, listening breathlessly, they heard a voice from above, a throaty raw voice seeming to come from a crocodile and evidently damning God and all creation without pause. Then suddenly it was calm again, and again closets and chairs were moved about, and china smashed in the distance as if a berserker were raging up there.
"I'll go have a look," said the monster to the girl. "You stay here until I come back. I'll knock three times when the coast is clear. Be careful with the professor over there; it's easy to burn your fingers on that tank."
"Fine," the girl replied obediently, taking from her head one of the metal pins which had been holding together her skull and sticking it into her hair to put it up.
he monster smiled as he saw that, slapped the girl on the behind and sashayed to the basement stairs, each step of which was flanked by a gas lamp like a flight of steps leading up to a noble palace. At a bend of the steps the monster looked back once more: the girl had tied up her bosom with a cloth she had found in the corner and held a pot containing oils and grease against the gaslight, dipped one finger in the fat, dabbed something red on her nose, and laughed as she saw herself in the mirror which the monster had dropped.
The monster grunted in satisfaction.
As it stepped into the salon in which the professor received illustrious guests, the first thing it saw was a broad, hairy back, then - after reeling a bit to the side, for its legs refused to do quite what it wanted - the back of a bushy head from the sides of which pointy ears jutted up, covered with thick tufts of hair. Then it heard the beast before him slobber and puff. And indeed, in the very moment the beast - guided by some instinct - turned around in slow motion and red eyes with a (as it seemed to him) malicious gaze stared at Frankenstein, the monster saw that slime and slobber were running from the flews of the Manwolf.
The Manwolf, scrambling to his feet, held a silver candelabra in his hands, swinging it high above his head as if he wanted to throw it or strike something with it. But Frankenstein, aware of his own immense power, wavered only a little, still standing outside the door, and reached out a heavy metallic hand and smiled all over his yellow features.
So the two spawns of Hell stood facing each other for a moment, appraised each other, scrutinized each other, until the Werewolf lowered the candelabra and took a cigarette from a little box on one of the heavy mahogany tables, stuck it in the corner of his mouth, lit it with a marble cigarette lighter, fell back into a broad pigskin armchair whose springs creaked and groaned, took a puff, another, blew blue smoke into the air and then - casually balancing the cigarette in his left hand - began to laugh until he shook in his chair and slime and slobber ran from his flews again.
"You here?" asked Frankenstein's monster and took two or three metallic steps forwards.
"As you see, cousin," replied the Werewolf in his deep, throaty voice.
"But man," said the monster, "why are you destroying the furniture?" - and with a roving gaze he took in the salon, which was no longer entirely intact.
losets, glass cases, drawers had been torn open. Lace coverlets hung out of them, gold pieces glittered in the cubbyholes of a safe whose door had been prized out of the wall behind a picture which had covered it. It was total chaos, and even the heavy velvet curtains had been partly torn down, as if the Wolfman had somersaulted over the curtain rods in search of - what? - yes, what indeed?
The Wolfman hung one leg over the edge of the armchair and looked Frankenstein challengingly in the eyes. Frankenstein flashed his own eyes as if to hypnotize the wolf monster.
"Yes, look at that," he said again, and there was a growl in his throat. "I didn't know that the good professor had created you in his madness as well. He just doesn't know where to stop," the Wolfman went on.
"You can say that again," nodded the monster. Then he dropped onto the broad, heavy couch, sinking in deeply, and several springs popped under his broad behind, and something screeched down there. That, as it turned out, was a cat which had hidden under there and now shot out in one mighty leap, arching its back, stretching out its claw as if in self-defense. Then it reached the window in a few quick bounds, escaping, for the vents in the upper part of the window were open.
"I know she's here," said the Wolfman.
"Who?" Frankenstein wanted to know.
"You know, her," said the Wolfman, unable to conceal his annoyance at such denseness.
Frankenstein fiddled with the clamp holding his head together, and immediately his thoughts were clearer.
"Oh, you mean..." he said.
"Yes," growled the Wolfman, who must have been able to read minds. "I'm positive that he created a pendant to me. A girl. A Wolfgirl. A sweet little kitten with brilliant features. A brunette who will howl at the moon with me when I find her."
And Frankenstein told him that he was not alone either. That a sweet little woman was waiting for him in the basement.
Then he asked: "But what makes you think she's here, in the salon?"
"I can smell her somehow," replied the Wolfman. "I sense it. One is generally not mistaken in such matters."
e let his muscles play; they were visible under the jacket, which had split all its seams. Frankenstein clumsily took a brandy from the golden carafe which stood on the occasional table. It warmed him from within; he took another one. He too seemed to be acquiring the taste. He took quickly seemed to cultivate manners.
"Well," he said between two more swallows. "I think we should look for her together, if that reassures you."
"Yes," nodded the Wolfman, "for it's not so easy, considering all the tricks the professor has set up here."
In that instant the massive grandfather clock in the corner struck, for it was twelve, and outside they heard a terrible cry from the cat, as if it were been torn apart alive.
It screamed again, and then they heard shrill laughter and a voice, somewhat distant, but its words still quite clear in the silence which had fallen: "I am in command! The sea and the winds obey me! I know where blood is to be found!"
"Hell," said the Wolfman in disgust, "that's the Count messing around out there."
And "Hell," seconded Frankenstein between two more hefty swallows.
After chasing the Count to the devil (he said with bleeding lips that the cats were no good these days either, he had never seen such mangy ones) with the help of a laser beam which they focussed into the shape of a cross and shot at him, they searched the house from top to bottom.
As they climbed to the upper floors the Wolfman grew increasingly restless, constantly sniffing, licking his lips and cursing himself for destroying his palate with the damned cigarette - a remark at which the monster could only laugh metallically.
t the very top, in the garrets where au-pair girls had once lived - before vanishing in mysterious fashion - the Wolfman seemed to go crazy, absolutely raving. He dug his claws into the wallpaper, bit into the curtains which hung there at regular intervals and finally crawled along the floor whimpering and pressing one clawed hand to his stomach.
The monster thought of his own playmate down there in the cellar who sent up mighty vibrations of the kind felt only by monsters and other abnormal creatures - those who have emerged from sulfur, steel and shocks. Thus he felt sorry for the Wolfman and forced open a door, which burst before him as if it was made of paper.
The Wolfman, who had been crawling across the floor on all fours and giving the full moon one last desperate look through the opened roof (through which the rain came into the house), howled as he entered the garret behind the staggering Frankenstein monster.
For there the Wolfgirl was indeed. But she was not alone; instead, she lay wrapped in heavy, yellowed cloths which at second glance spread out more at her side and moved over her and her bared thighs.
Again, as before when he had bitten his knuckles, he screamed: "Ah aga ah!" or something of the sort, for the precise protocol in which this incident was recorded is no longer to be found.
And again: "Ah aga ah!"
hen the mummy - for it was he who was pleasuring the Wolfgirl - opened his heavy yellow eyes, which gazed into the contemptible present as if from a distance of two thousand years. And he must have had to shake off the sand and the dust and the tinctures with which he had been rubbed to preserve him for all eternity.
"Ah aga ah!"
The Wolfman bit his fists, tore at his hair and lay on the floor, annihilated.
"Ah aga ah!"
He writhed in spasms, and the mummy - still pale, still covered with bandages - rolled slowly to the side.
"Ah aga ah!"
The Wolfgirl was faster. With one leap she abandoned the bed in which the brunette had previously sported, and glanced quickly, slyly at the Wolfman, who still lay on the ground, baring his teeth.
"Ah aga ah!"
Oh, what agonies! His entire soul was about to expire! How could she do that to him! How could she act so faithlessly!
"Ah aga ah!"
The mummy had fallen out of the bed and got tangled up in his bandages next to it; meanwhile the Wolfgirl - while Frankenstein belched - reached for a harp which happened to be standing in the corner and tickled the strings and coaxed from them sounds more beautiful than had ever been heard in the universe and the times.
he Wolfman had been about to cry out "Ah aga ah!" again, but he pricked his ears instead. Now he began to sniff again. Slime and slobber ran from his flews again.
He howled as only a wolf can who is also a man. And again, while the Wolfgirl's delicate hands touched the strings unflustered - and she shot sly, blue looks at her playmate to gauge his mood.
The mummy was still struggling on the ground, saying: "Damned bandages. These damned Egyptians. They can't even tie you up right. I'd like to know how I got here in the first place. They were supposed to be keeping me in the basement of the British Museum."
"Oh," said Frankenstein, taking a hip flask out of his pocket, "are you one of the rejects they keep in the basement so they won't have to show them to people?"
"I wouldn't say that," declared the mummy in a growling voice, wiping the resin which flowed out of his heart from the bandages with a disgusted "Eew!"
"Say," asked Frankenstein, the Fernet Branca running down his chin after his hasty swallow, fumbling at the pin again so that he could think better, "why are you so hot for the cat? Don't you think it's a bit perverted to amuse yourself with her?"
"Oh," the mummy replied harmlessly, flailing with his legs, "that was nothing. She just wanted to help me out of the bandages. She's so friendly."
"Yes, that's true," said the monster, and had to let out such a terrible belch that two or three pictures showing couples in various positions fell from the walls.
t last the mummy was able to free himself from his bandages. But the two surprised visitor goggled, and even the Wolfgirl stopped playing: Where just now a moving snarl had been visible on the floor, a shadow had risen from the masses of yellowed bandages, a silhouette which - visible for one moment due to the dangling cloths - now vanished entirely.
"Upon my soul," said the monster, "how is that possible?"
And the Wolfman slunk up to the harp and began to stroke the girl's shoulders.
She said into empty air in a surprised voice: "Where are you?"
The door opened, and the curtains billowed at the windows.
"I have to go to Hollywood," explained the invisible one. "Incidentally," he continued, "there must have been some mistake."
"But just now you talked like the mummy," said Frankenstein, fiddling desperately with the pin.
"That was just camouflage," retorted the invisible man, "because I didn't know whether you'd let me go otherwise."
Then the door slammed, and down in the hall there was a chime, indicating that it was one o'clock. Then a figure came through the wall, glowing with a faint blue shimmer.
"Is this the way to France?" it wanted to know.
"No," replied the Wolfman, pointing backward with his thumb: "That way. Why do you ask?"
"Well," said the man who could walk through walls, "because my strength is failing me and I need tincture of iodine so that I don't suffocate in a wall."
ut he must have misunderstood the Wolfman's thumb motion, for he began to climb the stairs which led to the attic. As the Wolfgirl played a few more chords, they heard him rummaging about there. Then a terrible cry rang out. Finally the man clattered down the stairs and ran down the hall with a contorted face, vanishing into the wall.
When the Wolfman, the Wolfgirl and Frankenstein (who was already quite unsteady) had climbed the wooden attic stairs, they found a storeroom full of old clothes - as if someone had wanted to fit out a whole costume ball with them. Antique furniture stood everywhere, even Louis seize, as the monster rumbled in a metallic voice, and in the hindmost corner there were two heavy trunks with iron hinges.
Over the first trunk hung the blue radiance which the man who could walk through walls had left behind when - no doubt by chance - he had looked inside. Frankenstein approached and broke the lock with one hand, and once again they stared at bandages, but this time they were real. The Wolfman, bending over the mummy, pressed down on the heart, and the mummy moved and opened its eyes - big oval eyes with resinous tears shimmering in the corners.
"Is it you, Enoch?" asked the she-mummy in a voice which seemed to echo from distant times. "I have waited so long. These damned modern boxes. Can you help me out, my dear, for the gods' wrath at our blasphemous deed is surely long since spent? How late is it, anyway?" she wanted to know, and yawned immensely.
"One o'clock," replied the monster.
"And what century?"
"It's the year two thousand and seven," explained the monster.
"Oh, God," said the she-mummy, "quick, a vial of iodine and some balsam so that I can freshen myself up."
nd they did indeed find these accessories next to the trunk, so they all turned tactfully aside while the she-mummy, whom they lifted up slightly, sprayed a dose or two into her mouth from the flagon.
When they opened the other trunk, they found the he-mummy, snoring atrociously under the bandages which lay tightly over his face.
"Wake up, you lazy-bones," said the she-mummy, "the goddess Isis is well-disposed toward us."
"Oh yes," growled the he-mummy, "then help me out of this box."
In the meantime the Wolfman and the Wolfgirl had retreated into a corner, where they were hidden by junk, and they could be heard groaning and sighing. And when one looked at their shadow on the wall - cast by a fuming oil lamp - it seemed that they were permanently attached to each other. In a pause, when all five were quiet for a minute, a cry rang out from the basement, exciting the monster so greatly that he almost tore down the roof-beam on which he had been leaning. The house swayed. On the roof, which - as usual in these climes - was flat, owls perched, staring with big clever eyes through the rain spouts.
"Kiwitt," said one in a disguised voice, "what a madhouse! The professor must be out of his mind! He ought to be cured!"
"What do you mean by that, Sister Beate?" said another, also in a disguised voice.
"Quite simple," replied the first, "kiwitt, kiwitt, kiwitt!"
s soon as they came near the basement again, almost falling over each other in their haste, they heard, in the midst of these humming and whirring noises and the pounding of machines, the crackling of electric discharges and water foaming up in high tubs.
This was mingled with the voice of the professor, who had managed to escape the tank after all, with the help of the Frankenstein girl, and her screams - for she seemed to be a bit afraid of what was going on there.
Though it was not even necessary, Frankenstein tore the slightly-ajar doors from their hinges and hurled them away like toys. And up on the first landing of the stairs he cast down a terrible yellow gaze and saw his playmate, who was somewhat pale and had put her hands in front of her face - but otherwise she was quite all right.
"Kiwitt, kiwitt, kiwitt," said one of the owls who had flown in through a hole in the roof.
Now - as the five cautiously climbed down the stairs, and the Frankenstein girl retreated slightly - the laboratory was illuminated by flashes of lightning which flickered about the professor, who was confined in a steel cage. He could be seen rearing up. He arched his back, he clenched his fists, clinging to the bars - his mouth foamed, his eyelids twitched, and the little hair he still had stood on end.
"What's he doing there?" the Frankenstein monster wanted to know as they met in a protected corner of the laboratory, also lit sulfurous yellow by the lightning.
"I don't know," she replied, "but he seemed so strange as he looked at me and stared at my bosom. I could see it glittering in his eyes, and his hands were so damp when he touched me for a moment."
"Should we stop him?" asked the Wolfman, toying with the Wolfgirl's hair.
"I don't think so," said the monster, "after all, we owe him our lives. He'll know what is to be done."
t last, as the atmosphere in the basement became charged again and they were barely able to breathe in its humidity, reminiscent of the air before a summer thunderstorm, a hinge glided to the side in one wall. And behind it a mirror was revealed, misted at first; then the image of a naked woman emerged from its undulating mists, at first seemingly lifeless, now beginning to twitch and open her eyes, practically beginning to glow as she saw the professor, who reared up for her.
Still almost lifeless, she moved her lips as if to say, "My dear, how good that you have summoned me into the world!"
And indeed, the professor tugged and twitched a little longer, biting his lips, to be perfectly truthful. Now and then his tongue fluttered from his mouth like a flag, and the wax melted from his ears, for he had not washed in a long time. But the lady in the mirror came more and more to life, gaining rounded forms and splendid contours and blonde hair, finally wearing, as her only piece of clothing, a velvet band adorning her neck.
The crackling of the lightning had grown so intense that the laboratory was bright as day; the accumulators in the corner belched out black clouds, and the pillars of waters rose up with mighty white crests of foam, almost escaping their containers. The jagged curves and lines on the oscillographs turned somersaults - but the professor, for his part, collapsed. And suddenly the mirror burst, and from the shards, which did not seem to have injured her, the lady emerged, splendid and immaculate, and she clucked her tongue, but rushed up to the professor immediately, concerned; he hung over the handles, moaning and groaning.
he rest of this true story is quickly told. That night, which lasted until three in the morning, they all danced a polka together on the roof, where the owls fluttered around them. All the cats in the neighborhood had started to meow. The attentive reader can easily imagine what else happened that night, after all the couples had retired.
It is said that several months later little mummies and little Wolfmen and Wolfgirls were running around. Some of the children, who started school several years later, wore metal pins across their skulls, a fashion which was soon imitated by the neighbors' children.
The invisible man was never seen again. But it seems that he had great success in Hollywood due to this permanent characteristic, and thus there is no need to send him a second dose of invisibility. The man in the wall seems to have disappeared. But sometimes one of the walls bulges out in the professor's house, where the others live as well - but so far it could not be determined whether he is in the wall or not.
inally, it is interesting to note that the professor has finally been cured of his fateful passion. Now he often sits all night at the round table in the living room, playing cards with the Wolfman - when he comes from his Wolfgirl with lolling tongue - with Frankenstein and the mummy, who always raises an indignant cloud of dust when she loses.
But as this impaired his creative powers, no further monsters can be reported.