When they heard what Frankenstein was up to the town put up quite a ruckus. Anyone without a flashlight (and there were quite a few, as they hadn’t been invented yet) lit a stick on fire and called it a torch. Dozens of howling fire-bearers in jockey shorts hustled up to the gates of Castle Frankenstein and beat on the doors until the Doctor showed his face.
“There is no — ” he started to lie, but was cut off by the town Point Guard.
“Germany hasn’t won the gold medal in basketball in years and we hear you’ve got a seven-foot undead countryman up there. Can he come out and play?”
“You can’t…” The Doctor paused. “Wait, you want to what?”
“We want to see if he can slam dunk. We’ve never had a player who could reach the net without a step-ladder, and that’s illegal in the Olympics.”
Dr. Frankenstein kept most of his body braced behind the door, but poked his face out to stare at the jockey-shorted rioters.
“You don’t want to kill him?”
“Listen,” said the Point Guard, “we aren’t very tall and we don’t bathe often, but we’re very technically sound.”
The Doctor put a hand on his hip.
“I didn’t know there was a local basketball team.”
“Yes, advertising is difficult without moveable type. We’re buying a machine on lay-away, but all we have right now is the letter A, and eventually we get bored of stamping everything with the same vowel.”
“So you don’t want to kill my creation?”
“Heavens no! We want to kill that insipid American team that wins all the time. President James Monroe drives the lane like it’s his doctrine. It’s terribly frustrating. That’s why we need your giant. Let’s see him bowl over a man stitched together from the best German bodies available.”
The Doctor laughed nervously. “Here I thought you were coming to kill the Monster…”
“Monster?” the Point Guard exclaimed and looked back at the crowd. Their faces lit up in unison.
Another in the crowd cried, “That’s brilliant! We needed a team name.”
The Point Guard thrust his arm in the air. “Here’s to Frankenstein’s Monsters!”
Then the jockey-shorted peasants began pumping their torches and chanting, “Mon-sters! Mon-sters!”
Except in German.
John Wiswell writes short stories, novels, haiku, a pro wrestling column, and The Bathroom Monologues, a blog of daily prose that can be found at http://www.johnwiswell.blogspot.com. He can be found wandering his house, yelling at his imagination to shut up.
This story was sponsored by
Camilla d’Errico: A character designer and artist who dances on the tightrope between pop surrealist art and manga inspired graphics. Explore her paintings, characters and comics: Tanpopo, BURN and Helmetgirls.