Novella: FrankenSister – Chapter 17 (Fiction)

  1. This Little Thing

Letter One:

“Dear Gerd,

She’s here!  This little red, squirmy monster of mine!  I know I am supposed to feel paternal and gushy. I made her and Enid made her beautiful.  She does not squawk or bawl so much – just looks at me with her wide, grey eyes expecting me to do something.  I am just chuffed with pride to have a hand in making this little thing.

I can only tell you, Gerd, there is a something I can’t make sense of.  Maybe it’s that sense of mortality any man feels when he sees his offspring.  Life does move forward without us.  Maybe it’s the feeling that Enid won’t be the best mam.  She’s all about formula and letting the Little wail on her own at night. Progressive parenting, she says.   I don’t agree.  I won’t fight her on it because I can’t bring myself to pick up the Little either.

It’s wrong to make a creature and abandon it – that old chestnut!

Enid wants to name her Garnet or Ruby (like Opal, I guess).

But I watch this little thing.  She is quiet and opens up like a flower – pink-white arms and legs and those eyes of dark grey taking in the world.  Like a Dahlia flower.  There is all light and angels in her hands and feet and yet something dark in her very middle.

You know those old pictures we had of crazy Uncle Victor?  The ones we used to scare each other with?  Oh, how you would chase me telling me that he would jump out of the picture and drag me away! I used to actually feel it, you know.  That fear of the darkness all contained in the white edges of his photograph.

That’s the Little.

I hope to God she inherits her brain from Enid as well as her looks. Enid is a survivor, if nothing else.

Hope this finds you, Dear Gerd.

Love from your crazy Grimwalt sibling,

Arthur”

Letter Two:

“Gerd!

The Dahlia (Dolly Daisy) is walking about on her own!  I am told this is early because she is not yet 10 months old.  She is mighty and determined.  She does not cry for things, but rather goes and gets them for herself.  Maybe she does have Enid’s brain after all!

She is a pretty thing – intelligent and inquisitive.  I am told she is supposed to babble, but she does not.  She watches our mouths when we speak and I just know she is grasping every word.

Enid insists that I do “Father Time” now and the Little often comes to the workshop with me.  I prattle on as I work, and she seems interested.  I am less nervous around her when I focus on the other creatures I made.  Haha!

I was working on Heinrich’s face and she reached out and slapped it!  Seems he is not a favorite of anyone but me.

I smile and she smiles back, but sometimes I wish Enid would play with her. I don’t think Enid feels things the way we do though.  She’s oblivious to darkness of any kind.  Just charges ahead.  She may leave me and Dolly in the dust yet.

I’m going to start sending you some money to put away for the Little.  You’re a gem, Gerd. I wish you could meet her – I wish you were well enough to travel.  If just to tell me I was crazy for all the things I think about my wife and this tiny girl creature.

I have to keep my hands busy with work!  Idleness brings darkness.

Love,

Arthur”

 

Letter Three:

“Oh Gerd,

I am in the dark cave now.  Please write back or call and pull me out.

I’ve not slept a lot.  I stay in the workshop most nights.  I putter until I drop.  I have my friends – the friends I made from wood and metal hinges.  Sometimes, Enid brings out the Little.  Dolly is talking now and asks me forever questions.

But I cannot bear to be around anyone else.  Enid least of all.  She is cloying and perfumed and less real than her puppet counterpart to me.  I keep the Opal doll covered up with a sheet.  My wife.  The co-creator of the Little.  I cannot endure her touch. I do not want to breathe her air. I have done my husbandly chores and given her a home and spending money and a ring and a child.  And a third last name. She is so lovely and she repulses me.

The other day, Dolly grabbed my arm and I jerked away.  I let her fall and she cut her knee.  Somehow, I felt victimized by her touch.  This little thing!  I picked her up and cleaned the cut and bandaged it.  She did not cry, but watched.

“What’s under that?”  she said.  “Pop, what’s under skin?”

“Why…it’s muscle, then bone and fascia holds it all together.”

“Fah-sha.”  She tilted her little head!  I nodded.

My world is very small, Gerd.

Enid and the producers have put me in a situation.  They want children puppets.  One of them spied Dahlia and thinks it would be genius.  It’s folly.  I already have the double darkness with Enid and Opal. I am in awe of the Dolly Daisy, but I can’t bring myself to make another of her.   Her eyes already stare too much.

And they want a girl AND a boy!  Can you imagine?  It’s the only way to more episodes and then syndication.  Enid keeps pressing me.  She tries to seduce me and says maybe we should make a real boy.  Then laughs her coy, grating laugh.

I cannot be seduced.  I am already molested and trapped and afraid and very tired.

I have made the skeletons of the children.  I pretend to work on them for show, but I just sit and weep when I try to do more.  There is something wrong about all this.

I love you, my dear Gerd.  My real family.

Arthur”

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