The crying, blindfolded woman kept walking, led by her abductor, for what seemed like forever. Finally, having nearly fallen down the creaking, wooden stairs, her captor stopped.
“What is that?” She jerked her hand back from the cold, metal surface.
“It’s a surgeon’s table. Lie down.”
Doing as she was told, she climbed up, still unable to see. Muffled sounds from all around her only increased the terror she felt as leather straps bound her to the raised platform.
“What are those noises?”
“The others,” he said, removing her blindfold.
The blinding light above her still served to continue her inability to survey her surroundings. The quieted, seemingly desperate noises around her grew louder.
“Please, let me go,” she cried. “I won’t tell anyone. I swear. I haven’t seen you or anything else.”
Suddenly, the light above her turned off.
“Now you have.”
She looked around to see several other people—she counted four—tied to surgical tables. They were all in a basement, the windows painted black. The only illumination came from the surgical lights above their heads. She looked closer at the other captives: another young woman, two young men, and a girl, approximately seven years old. Bound as she was, and gagged, they all stared at her through watered eyes.
Then she saw him. Her abductor stood in a corner, staring at her. He was right—now she had seen everything. The overweight, balding man walked over to her, dressed only in a butcher’s apron.
“What is all this?” she asked.
“My original research,” he said. “What I will do here, with you fine people, is what interested me in the beginning, when I first read the story, long before I left medical school, before I was sidetracked by other research.”
“What do you mean? What other research? And what was your original interest?” Her resolve hardened more like steel with each passing second. She needed to know what exactly she’d been brought into.
“My other activity involved sampling various culinary delicacies. I won’t bore you with it. I got the data I needed and am working on a book for that one. But this, this original idea, is what will make me a star in the scientific community. I’d always felt that the doctor in the story got it wrong. I could never explain why I felt that way, at least not until I got to medical school, and stumbled upon vivisection in the histories. Do you know what that is?”
“It’s live dissection,” she said, squirming on the table, looking around at the others as they sobbed. She knew they could hear everything he was saying.
“Correct. That’s when I figured out what the doctor did wrong. Actually, he made two mistakes. The vivisection here, tonight, will correct one.” He turned, looking at the child. “Her brain will correct the other.”
“What the fuck? Who the hell are you? Who’s the other doctor?”
“Why, Doctor Frankenstein, of course,” he said, turning back toward her. He walked toward her feet, making sure they were secure. “You see, when he used parts of the dead, and an abnormal brain, that’s where he messed up. He got it wrong. With live, freshly plucked pieces, the energy and life will still be contained, not dissipated. Oh, and no drugs. Only anti-rejection medication, so no sedation. Sorry. I don’t want the flesh and blood of my child contaminated.”
“Oh, my God. You’re a fucking lunatic.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that?”
“Because it’s true. And I’ll tell you what else is true—you’ll get yours in the end.”
The man giggled.
“You know,” he began, “you’re proving me wrong regarding the reason I chose you.”
“Yeah, how so, you mindless fuck?”
“I chose each one of you a month ago. Only one of you has any familial ties, and she was taken from another state. You’re all disease-free, and each of you has the same mild-mannered disposition. That’s why I picked you. The disposition will complement the child’s brain. My child that all of you will help me give birth to, will not have the violent tendencies of the monster in the book. Using the girl’s brain, I will be able to raise my child properly. My child will need to be well-behaved when we go public.”
The man turned and walked back toward his equipment. She watched him sit down on a doctor’s stool, studying his notes. Looking over at the girl, she noticed that the restraints did not fully bind the child.
Make some noise. Yell for help, she mouthed to the other adults still staring at her. They shook their heads, the fear so evident on their faces.
Make some noise. She can get free, then free us. She nodded toward the little girl. Trust me.
The girl stared at the young woman, the new captive daring enough to fight back.
You can do it.
Suddenly, the other adults, still gagged, quietly screamed for help.
The man, not turning around, turned on a radio. U2’s Bullet the Blue Sky came on, and he turned up the volume to drown out the cries of his victims. Then, the surgical lights began flashing. He’d wired them to coincide with the beats of the music.
After some wriggling, the little girl pulled her arms out of the leather straps, then released her feet. Quietly, she climbed off the silver table.
The girl crept over to the young woman who’d just arrived and put her hands to the first strap. She began to pull. The sound of the Velcro made them both jump. The woman mouthed to the girl to wait for the flashes—the loud beats. They came quickly.
Flash, flash. The Velcro strap was completely undone. The man still studied his notes.
The little girl walked down to the foot of the table as the woman placed her free on hand on the one still bound.
Flash, flash. All three Velcro straps came loose.
The young woman motioned for the girl to hide in a far corner as she tip-toed to the adult males strapped to the cold, steel tables. Positioning herself between the two tables where both men lay, she placed her hands on one strap of each man and waited, patiently, timing it right, for the beats.
The men then followed suit, as the newest woman freed the other. Finally, all four adults stood, quietly, behind the near naked, fat man, their captor, the lights flashing, the drum beating.
Flash, flash. Bono continued singing.
Patiently they waited, the mild-mannered people seething with anger. The meek had risen to inherit vengeance.
The woman thought she saw others standing in the dark recesses of the basement as the lights flashed. Most notably a young Japanese man. But as quickly as they would appear, with each flash of light, they would disappear.
The adults stood there.
Four pairs of hands suddenly thrust out, grabbing the fat man in various places. Around his neck. Covering his eyes. Surgical instruments quickly plucked up.
A cut across the throat as the man struggled in vain, his blood spurting out, covering his attackers. He writhed and twisted in their arms until he finally fell off the stool, dead.
The woman looked around with the flashing and noticed the phantoms were no longer there. She walked to the far corner, picked up the little girl, and all five captives walked up the stairs and out of the basement.