Day 10 and I dare not stay up until 1:00 a.m. like last night. I’ll never survive otherwise. Though I was quite pleased with my word count.
So I figure I should have probably gone back to Victor before bringing the DeLaceys in, so this installment is between the last two.
Victor had seen him again. It was close on two years since that horrific experiment and yet the cursed being still haunted him, appearing suddenly before him whenever he was close to returning to his former self.
Directly after the horror of bringing his miserable creature into being, Victor had fallen into a terrible, feverish stupor that kept him bedridden for month after incoherent month. If his friend, Henry, had not appeared at that moment, Victor may not have survived so dire was his condition. Even now he was still not fully recovered from the terrible shock he had endured. It seemed that he would be well for a while, could resume his studies and wander the streets as he once had but then he would see him, his grotesque aberration, hiding in the shadows. The creature had obviously taken to following him secretly, revealing himself only to taunt his unfortunate maker when his life was becoming comfortable again. Victor had tried to catch him on many occasions, but the creature mostly eluded him. His great stature may have made concealment difficult but it provided him with speed superior to even that of the healthiest men and Victor’s poor ravaged body was no match. So once seen, the phantom could disappear into the distant shadows knowing he had accomplished his purpose, for a few nights of this hide and seek through the streets and alleys of Ingelstadt was all that was required to return Victor to his previous fevered state.
Victor’s most recent encounter with this shadow of his had ended somewhat more satisfactorily than many. He had, if for only a moment, gotten ahold of the beast and taken a large stick to him. The beating had not lasted long, with the wretch quickly coming to his senses and running off, but the exertion was enough to cause a particularly violent relapse. Henry found himself at Victor’s bedside yet again, this time not only fearful for his friend’s fragile health, but for his safety. For the second time in as many months the soiled clothing Victor found discarded in a pile on the apartment floor contained blood. Henry made inquiries around the college and the area nearby, but there were no reports of any untoward occurrences.
When Victor came out of this most recent fever Elizabeth’s letter was waiting on the table beside him and Henry was looking at him with his usual concern.
“This should cheer you,” he said and handed the letter to him. “Make sure you write her back this time. I think she is tiring of my correspondence.”
Victor had some memory of this Justine that Elizabeth spoke of, though to describe any young girl in his family’s service as a particular favourite of his mother’s was like describing a particular tree as the one with leaves on it. However Justine as a young girl had a smile that could cheer Victor no matter what dark thoughts were hanging over him. It saddened him that she was herself in some torment. By the next afternoon he had gained sufficient strength to write a reply to his cousin assuring her he was in a far better frame of mind and that his health was improved.