Flashfiction Scene

Every Picture Tells a Story

All quotes in the following are from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

“We are fashioned creatures, but half made up.”

Free-range, Fran thought. Outside. That’s where they put me after days spent with sharp things. What they poked me full of, Egg only knows what was in them.

“None but those who have experienced them can conceive of the enticements of science.”

Bloated afterward, within three days, I had grown breast and bottom heavy. What happened to my thighs! Now they rub together, and I’m losing feathers down there as I run.

“I am on a long and difficult voyage, the emergencies of which will demand all my fortitude.”

Yes. Outside you can run. Free… free… free… it’s such a lie. You hit one of those… fences. I turned and kept running. Another fence. Then another and another. In all directions… fences.

“It is with considerable difficulty I remember the original era of my being…”

Breathless, I think back to my first peep—that crack that showed me the World—and the warmth… Egg blessed and secure. That seems long ago, but it’s not.

“What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination?”

And I hear that sound. It comes first. Then I see them, the Humans who prove the lie to free-range.

“Like one who, on a lonely road, Doth walk in fear and dread, And, having turn’d round, walks on, And turns no more their head; Because they know a frightful fiend Doth close behind them tread.”

We—my kind, what and who we were before they changed us—are not free.