Flash Fiction: “Frankenstein’s Monster” by Malcolm Chandler
I want Mandy out of my head.
They say the Dream Doctor is the man for the job.
He is a small, hunched man of vaguely Central European origins. He wears small rectangular glasses perched on the end of his nose. He is the timeless kind of withered man who could be 70 years old or 7,000.
“Her name, again?” he asks, adjusting his glasses on the end of his nose.
“Mandy,” he repeats, pecking at a tablet with his crooked index fingers. “Symptoms?”
“I can’t sleep without dreaming about her.”
It used to be one or two nights a year. Then once a week. Now it’s every night. Every night the same dream. Mandy on the beach with the wind teasing her straight, black hair. Mandy smiling her thousand watt smile. Mocking me. Or maybe inviting me. Impossible to tell which.
Each time I wake in a cold sweat, trembling. And each time Rachel is there beside me, asking about my nightmares.
“I have a wife,” I explain. “I love her to death…”
The Dream Doctor holds up a palsied, skeletal hand. Again he adjusts his glasses. “Cash or credit?” he asks politely.
Malcolm Chandler‘s fiction has appeared on Every Day Fiction, hackwriters.com, Bewildering Stories, and elsewhere. His indie short, “Vampire Brides from Planet Hell!” is available on Amazon.com. He lives and writes in Western Pennsylvania.
You can find him online at malcolmchandler.com.
Main Story: “And Such Small Deer” by Chris Roberson
Letter to Frédéric Lerne, student, c/o University of Paris, Sorbonne, July 15, 1860
Monsieur Lerne, I am writing in regards to your recent correspondence on the inheritance of characteristics from one generation to another. I would like to thank you for your kind and insightful words, and I only wish that my recently published paper had been as well received here at home in England. Sadly, it was not, and I am forced temporarily to look beyond the arena of pure research for employment. Luckily, I have received an offer to practice medicine in the Dutch East Indies, and has only this past week accepted. Bidui luminosua praeursionis, in my bad, schoolboy Latin. Brighter days ahead!
Abraham Van Helsing’s Journal (translated from the Dutch)
1 Mar., 1861. Belawan – After a journey of several days from the northern coast of Borneo, past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca, I arrived this morning at the newly built port of Belawan, in the North Sumatran province of Deli. The region has only recently come under the colonial jurisdiction of my countrymen, so I had hoped to find some relative comfort in my brief stay here. The ship which makes the regular circuit between the Dutch East Indies and India, though, is not due to arrive for another week, and I am finding conditions less hospitable than I might have expected. I wonder now whether I might have been better off waiting in Sarawak for the next ship to England, but to do so would have meant another week in the company of the mad Raja Brooke, and any deprivation is better than that.
Chris Roberson is a New York Times bestselling writer best known for the Eisner-nominated series iZombie, co-created with artist Mike Allred; for multiple Cinderella mini-series set in the world of Bill Willingham’s Fables; his creator-owned series Edison Rex with artist Dennis Culver, and his work on Superman, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, and Elric: The Balance Lost, among others. He has written more than a dozen novels, three dozen short stories, and numerous comic projects. Chris and his wife, Allison Baker, are the co-publishers of Monkeybrain Comics, and the couple lives with their daughter in Portland, Oregon.
Learn more about him at cmxl.gy/cRoberson.
About the Narrators:
Rish Outfield is a writer, actor, and podcaster that can be heard as host of The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, which presents genre stories with a full cast. He also performs audiobooks for Audible, and occasionally becomes a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms, and the moon is full and bright.
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head. he looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. he currently resides in Houston, Texas, but hastens to add that it was not his idea. He can be found on Google Plus.