The Monster Is the Father to the Child

An essay by Frankenstein, as provided by Richard Zwicker
Art by Katie Nyborg

“Are you Frankenstein?”

The question was laughable. I was seven feet tall, with a head flatter than the Netherlands, and twin electrodes sticking out the sides of my neck. I was either Frankenstein or the latest in Halloween shoe trees. After returning to Geneva from a two-year exile on the North Pole–a hideout I’d recommend to anyone while the heat was on–I’d opened a detective agency. With some fanfare, I’d adopted the name of Frankenstein. Victor, being dead, didn’t need it anymore, it beat the hell out of “monster,” and it was what most people wanted to call me anyway.

“That’s me. What can I do for you?”

I took one look at this twitching middle-aged man and knew he was missing most of what makes life worth living: self-esteem, confidence, love, and security. I could only hope he wasn’t going to hire me to find all those things.

“Your name is associated with … other monsters. No offense.”

This was another case of my reputation doing my work for me. I didn’t actually hang out with the Wolfman, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or the Mummy, but it didn’t hurt to allow people to think I had such contacts. Being a monster myself gave me a certain insight.

“None taken. What’s your problem?”

The bluntness of my question caused him to fall apart, as if he were the Incredible Melting Man. “I think a vampire is attacking my daughter,” he said, blubbering. He landed in my chair, glancing off the raised arm. I waited for him to reconstitute himself, then asked for details. He spoke in a deliberate voice.

The Monster is the Father to the Child

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2013 collection.

Frankenstein is a monster and a consulting detective.

Richard Zwicker is an English teacher living in Vermont with his wife and beagle. His short stories have appeared recently in “Stupefying Stories,” “Tales of Old,” and “LocoThology.”

Katie Nyborg’s art, plus information regarding hiring her, can be found at

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