Day 11 and another short installment. This one is after yesterday’s and before the previous. (Later note, no this should go before yesterday’s installment. It makes it clearer that the creature is not in Ingolstadt.)
It took some months for the desolate creature to recover from the heartbreak that had been his birth. Upon discovering that he was unwanted and despised by a maker he wanted only to love he left Ingolstadt carrying nothing but the ill fitting clothes he still wore and three volumes of notes that he had found in the laboratory and felt to be his. Illiterate as he was he knew nothing of their written contents, but he recognized the drawings to be of his form or others like him. Often when at rest he would gaze upon the pages and slide his fingers along the writing trying to somehow open up its mysteries through touch and wonder if his creator had made more like him.
He did not know where he wandered, had no idea of geography or borders or really of earth and sky. He simply walked from place to place, shoeless and aching, while his mind slowly cleared itself of the dark veil of his sorrow and started to make sense of its surroundings. He discovered water quenched thirst and the various scraps he could find or harvest satiated hunger. He discovered rain was usually cold and the sun was usually warm. Being winter, he had more rain than sun, but he also discovered that trees when thick enough could shelter.
He walked through town, village and wood, mostly at night, fearing being seen. The few encounters he had suffered made it clear that people were best avoided. The pain those first weeks of ramblings was great. He was, of course, a man pieced together and so much of him hurt. At every stitched up seam and in every borrowed organ.
For all his misfortunes though, he began to realize the beauty and wonders of the place he had been brought into. It is one of those strange quirks of fate that those who know mostly sorrow can find joy in the smallest of pleasures while those who know nothing but abundance and comfort can never be satisfied. The poor creature, for all his wretchedness, enjoyed every new discovery, every bird song and naked tree, every sunset and babbling brook.
It was in this state of happy exploration, as spring and new joys approached, that he had come upon the DeLaceys and their plight. It had not been his intention at first to stay, but as it became clear that the leanto on the side of their cottage could provide not only shelter, but a place in which to observe a real family and its doings he could not leave. He had learned about many things in his travels but he had learned nothing of human ways. Plus he sensed in them disappointments as weighty as his own. He stayed and watched and learned. And of course, he loved. This family provided him with so much and he did all he could to return this great favour, becoming secret guardian to them. They had been driven from their original home, stripped of what was theirs for crimes that were not their own and so he felt a deep fellowship with them. When his beloved adopted family turned on him that terrible day he revealed himself his heart was broken anew. He took his books and fled, filled once more with that terrible dark despair.
This time though, when he stopped to rest and was in a mood to look at the writings thoughtfully, he could decipher meaning in them. Thanks to his time with the DeLaceys the letters within no longer hid their secrets from him. His cold and ghoulish history became known to him, but something more important became known, a most important piece of information. An address was written on the first page of each volume, his creator’s address. Not the address of where he had been — he knew those characters to be different — but the address of the Frankenstein family home. His wandering would no longer be without direction or object. He did not know how long it would take, for walking was his only transport, but he would find this place and he would find this man and he would show him that his creation was worthy of all those gruesome efforts so long ago. It did not occur to him that this father of his may still be where he left him, but assumed that they had both escaped the home of their individual horrors.
No, he would find his estranged creator. He would no longer be alone, but be loved.
And if his creator did not love him then he would kill him.