By Willow Taylor
"The spark of creation
is flickering within me.
My name is Frankie S. Shelly. I'm a doctor. I've spent most of my life working with life - to conquer the last enemy of mankind - death. Melodramatic? Maybe. But that is what doctors fight against. Death is the only thing they can't cure. I do not seek immortality, though some of my colleagues study vampires to try and capture that. What I seek is the return of life to those who weren't ready to die.
My Friends, who are not of my people tell me that it is not for me to judge who should live and who should die - and we all will live again, after all in another life.
My people don't. We go to Heaven - or we go to hell. I'm not sure where I am bound for second guessing God's will. But if God created our people in his own image, surely we aren't meant to be killed so viciously by the misguided hands of our fellows. Surely he wishes us to live long lives under his hands.
I found someone who agrees with me. His name is Victor Shelly. He is the man I have sworn to love and obey before God. Together we will conquer death.
The Guild or Vampire Killers has given us the backing we need for our project. Victor is worried, he says no good will come of that, but he cannot deny we need the money desperately. It bought books and the equipment to my old family home. I wonder what Granddaddy Stein, God rest his soul, would say? Sometimes at night, I wake up and go out to the widow's walk in my nightgown. From where our house sits, sometimes I can hear the ghoul's songs out by the river. In the other direction is the country side, where sometimes there is the howl of a wolf. It is peaceful out there at night. But I'm never there long, because Victor comes up to take me out of the wind. His eyes are pale blue like a stormy sky. He doesn't want me to get sick. Victor says he will always protect me. It is nice to feel protected. His arms around me are like and angel's wings, keeping fear and cold at bay.
The work is progressing well. Every night before we sleep, we pray to God and his son to guide us - so that we do not do things we should not. Then we slide beneath the covers and lie close together. I want to have a child.
The first experiments worked just was we hoped. The Guild seems eager to see the project finished.
Last night I dreamed I died. Victor kissed my dead lips and swore this was not the end. He brought me to our lab and split me open, exploring me with tender fingers, smoothing away any sickness. He held my heart in his hands, and kissed it softly. Then, with careful stitches he closed me up again. And called down the lightning like an ancient sorcerer to bring me back to life. The electricity filled me like love, tingling inside me and then, slowly began to fade, until all that was left was the warm glow of life. But deep within me a spark of that great energy remained.
I gasped and opened my eyes then discovering Victor pressed up against me tenderly. I wrapped my arms around him and pressed back, nuzzling against his soft faintly curly light brown hair. I wanted to feel life fill me again, like the lightning, I wanted to feel his lips on my heart.
I love him so much.
A few people from nearby towns have discovered what we are doing and are being loud about how it is not our place to judge the dead.
We are starting to gather pieces. We cannot get a hold of a whole body. Unfortunately, the pieces are all female.
I have been forced to dye my hair black to go to town. There are dozens of people now, fuming about our experiments. The towns people don't mind - our opposers bring money to spend while they grumble. And the town also knows that The Guild supports us. I worry. Victor tells me not to, and jokes that I look ghostly with my pale purple eyes and dyed black hair. But I still worry. I worry at night, as I lie curled on the bed with Victor at me back. But then, deep within me I feel the spark of life that is our baby, and smile. I can hardly wait now - but I cannot say if I'm more existed about the completion of our work, or our baby - which will surely be our greatest work.
Our materials are gathered, It only lacks a bit of work and we will see if we are right - if we can bring the corpse of many to life, then perhaps we will be able to get the body of a whole man.
They caught us, the grumblers, and they beat us. For as long as I live, I will remember the pain I felt and the hate on their faces. The Guild sent help but not soon enough to save Victor or my arm... or
My baby - Victor's baby. They pummeled me so hard that it was flushed from my womb in a rush of blood. They turned my left arm sharply again and again as I cried out to God, it cracked and bone shards tore through my flesh. Just days ago my life was full of love and promise. Now I am alone. The Guild paid for a healer to make the stump of my arm as whole as possible. They offer many promises, but I want none of them. I wish I could have Victor back - in any way I could - but there was not enough left of him to work with, and as of yet I do not know if what we planned so long together would work.
But I will see it done.
Alone and one handed, I stitch up the project Victor and I worked so long on. I make the stitches as small as I can. There is no telling how long this woman will wear them. She's bald at the moment - I do hope her hair will grow out. I think I shall call her Mary, after my mother, and the mother of my Lord's Son.
IT WORKED! The lightning gave her the spark of life. She opened her eyes and looked around, blinking. Her mouth opened and out came a baby's cry. I rushed over and stroked her cheek, which was the only part of her free of bandages. She blinked and stuck her huge fingers, still wrapped in linen, into her mouth. She is beautiful. Mary is my baby now, as large as she is. I think Victor would be proud.
Mary is progressing, slowly, though she does seem to be healthy and intelligent. It is as if she never lived before her awakening on the table. She is a clever, precious child, for all that she towers above me. I wish that I could let other children play with her. The Guild watches us both with interest. They ask questions I don't know how to answer, and all about Mary.
Mary's hair has grown and I braid it slowly, one handed in the mornings. Her studies are mostly seen to by the Guild now, and she tries, but I fear she will never be truly graceful.
She has made friends with a young woman, twelve I think who is already taking her medical entrance exams. She also sometimes talks with a ghoul from the city. It is good to see her smile, no matter how often she represses what little emotions the possess left her with.
The Guild wants me to do it again. They feel the process would be more effective with a more complete corpse. There is a possibility of that. But I am not sure I wish to do it again.
Mary is crying and she will not tell me why. She only moans and stares into the distance. She was such a sweet girl - I hope she has not been shattered by whatever has happened.
Mary lives, still, and responds to me again, but hides her emotions, drawing away into herself, pretending she has no emotions at all. She stares into the distance, sometimes for hours on end, at nothing that I can see.
The Guild brought me two bodies. I will not have them in my house, so I work in town. Mary and Natalie study together while I do. One body is whole, except that it is lacking vital organs. Something neatly opened a young man, not even cracking any ribs and scooped out his internals. The other body's head and limbs are crushed, but the vitals are fine. I combine the two.
My second child is small, about five and a half feet to Mary's nearly seven. I have not told Mary what I am doing in town. The Guild watches both her and I so closely now, I have begun to wonder why. I will never tell her how I bring dead things to life.
I will call him Victor, if he lives.
Victor's eyes were cloudy when they opened, gray and brown. He blinked, and sat up. I was surprised at that, for Mary had had no more motor skills than an infant when she had awoken.
But my surprise wasn't complete, because then he spoke. He asked, in a soft voice, who he was, and how he had gotten here. I told him. Victor's hair never seemed to recover from the life giving jolt. It remains spiky and frizzy. Perhaps I should have cut it off. But it had been so silky smooth and thick, it seemed like a sacrilege.
I taught him everything I know, he was so eager to lean. Even the process I used to create him and his sister. They have never met, and even though they are not human, they are my children, and so are my people. I gave Mary the cross MY Victor wore, large as she is and wrought in gold filigree. To my son Victor, I gave the cross my mother had given to me, plain, small and silver. We are each good in our way.
But I do not understand Victor. He keeps his emotions quiet, like his sister, but he feels more strongly. He also smokes strange, aromatic cigarettes. Is he more human than Mary, or less? They seem to be the same age when I speak to them, even though Victor awoke years after Mary.
The Guild is up to no good with my work. It is well I keep no notes. Victor came to my door, wild eyed and said they had tried to harm him. That they had run electricity through him. He smelt of scorch, but his word was proof enough for me. I spoke to them and they claimed it was a misunderstanding, and they were only trying to understand Victo better. He is uneasy, but he returned to his room.
Victor came to me again, they are trying to guild another like Mary and Victor. And.... they are using Mary to kill those that oppose them. Victor followed them. He grows bitter now, and distant.
My poor children.
Whatever it is within me that made me able to create my children, the guild cannot seem to reproduce. I fear for my safety now, and that of my children. Victor has gone. He disappeared. He said he would not be the Guild's blood stained hands. I cannot tell if he fears them or hates them; But my love goes with him.
I wonder what will happen to Mary when I am gone - for I feel the Guild will not allow me to be free much longer.
Be well, my children.
May our God and his Son watch over you when I cannot.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
The Spark of Creation © 2001 by Willow Taylor
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