• After Fear Becomes My Friend

    by  • November 23, 2015 • Fiction • 0 Comments

    An essay by Dracula, as provided by Richard Zwicker
    Art by Luke Spooner


    I was lying in my coffin in that blissful dead-to-the-world state allotted to me during daylight hours, when literal screams from my cell phone shattered my nothingness. After clocking my head on the closed top of my coffin, I pushed it open and groped for my phone. It was Frankenstein.

    “Where have you been?” he asked.

    A word about Frankenstein, who years ago gave up informing people that his proper name was “Monster of …” He may have inherited from his creator a healthy, robust body, but little can be done about his diseased brain.

    “Where do you think I’ve been? Where does Dracula spend every daylight hour of his eternal existence?”

    I meant this as a rhetorical question, but there was no such thing for Frankenstein. He paused, then sputtered, “How come you didn’t throw your annual Halloween party?”

    “How come I didn’t … I’m supposed to throw a Halloween party before Halloween?”

    “It’s November 19th.”

    “What?” I staggered out of my coffin, banging my shin against the lower half. Coffins and movement don’t mix. When my DVD player confirmed Frankenstein’s words, I let out a girlish scream. “Frankenstein, you’re right! I’ve been in my coffin for over a month. It must be the padded interior I installed.” Silence settled over us as we realized the import of what had happened. This was the first Halloween we had not gotten together to discuss what was right with the world and how to make it wrong. That I had slept through it was bad enough, but even more unnerving was the fact no one else had stepped up and made the event happen.

    “Why don’t we have a Thanksgiving party?” Frankenstein asked.

    “Thanksgiving? What kind of monster celebrates Thanksgiving?”

    “I don’t know. What kind of monsters are we?”

    Every so often, Frankenstein puts me in my place with such questions. “Frankenstein,” I said finally, “you have given us a theme for our get-together. We’re going to have the mother of Thanksgiving dinners. Can you bring the mashed potatoes or stuffing?”

    “I’ll dig up something.”

    “No, don’t dig it up. Just cook it.”

    After Fear Becomes My Friend

    The weather was perfect for our Thanksgiving get-together. The sky was overcast, the grass was dead, and the wind chill hovered barely above freezing. Due to Wolfman’s limited availability, we were forced to celebrate three days after the official Thanksgiving Day. That was always a concern on Halloween as well, but with the added vibes of that holiday, we could always get by if he didn’t shave for a month. With a cheerful holiday such as Thanksgiving, we weren’t prepared to wing it, however.


    To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2015 collection.


    Dracula is a “name” vampire that disputes any relation to Klaus Kinski.


    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.


    Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.

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