A whiplash of dark blue lightning from the conductor burst into the veins of the human body, as if it had been stolen from the Gods themselves. The flesh rippled like subtle waves shimmering across a steady ocean. Dr Frankenstein pressed the button that would start the process of genetic manipulation. He injected the serum into the human body then waited as the flesh and bone of the creature convulsed, contorted and slowly formed into a new being. Bone formed from tissue, blood formed around the bones and through the veins that grew, like unnatural vine leaves creeping up the outside walls of a dead man’s house.
Dr Frankenstein went back to his notes and continued to scribble away at his thesis. Soon he would have finished his project and created the first ‘supreme being’. A man of physical and intellectual perfection, with a brain created using the DNA from some of the greatest minds history had ever known. In the background the computers fell silent and Dr Frankenstein moved towards the incubator to look at his creature. The molecular transformation was now complete and the body lay lifeless inside the casket. He turned on the electric current to a low amp and then started the computer programme. The software would download every bit of knowledge from the greatest works of science, art and language into the brain.
Dr Frankenstein watched in awe as the programme ran and the electrical currents pulsed through the creature’s brain and into its heart. He noticed the fingers slightly twitching, as if playing a piano recital. It would be another two days before the body would be fully energized and he could wake this man. Frankenstein walked across the yard to his cottage to see what his wife Mary was doing. Mary had been by his side since the beginning but had turned away from him as soon as his project had started to near completion. Her beliefs held her back from encouraging her husband in his pursuits.
As she reminded him often ‘God had already sent his one and only perfect son, who are you to do God’s work?’ But Michael was convinced that he ‘was’ doing God’s work, and believed his man would be able to help the world. Mary was busy laying out the plates for lunch. Michael sat down, sensing the atmosphere. He got up to help Mary finish laying the table.
‘He’s nearly finished Mary and so far all the tests have come back positive.’ Mary laid down the last plate and sat down herself.
‘He? I love you Michael, but what you are creating cannot be called a ‘he’ in any normal sense. This creature, you so stubbornly created, despite the warning from your own colleagues. Is an aberration of nature. Some kind of genetically modified animal, dare I say, beast.’
Michael looked crushed. He loved his wife very much and wished she could see the beauty of what he was doing.
‘I understand that this man was not born in the natural way but I still feel he is God’s work, in as much a way that I, and we, are born of God, so surely what I produce is also from God. Dare I say inspired.’ There was just a dash of smugness smudged across Michael’s face.
They both started to eat in silence while the rain outside the cottage fell in fist loads from an angry sky. Michael’s thoughts were on his creation and the computer programme downloading every sonnet, every syllable and every calculation into its brain. His creation would not exactly lift whole buildings, but its beauty, grace and intellect, may well lift the world and all its people.
‘It’s always a tough call knowing whether you are doing God’s work, or the devils. Only time will tell.’ Said Mary.
Mary finished eating her dinner and got up to leave the table. Michael sat there chewing on her words. He remembered some of his earlier experiments at trying to modify the structure of his own brain to increase his own intelligence, but it only resulted in him spending six months in a psychiatric ward.
He had taken a sample of blood from his own arm and then injected his own semen into one of Mary’s eggs that he had unscrupulously taken from their failed attempts to induce a child of their own. This would literally mean that the man being born soon, would be their son.
Two days had passed and Michael had dared not take a look into the laboratory. The machine and programme had stopped running. The storm outside had gone away, and the sun offered a partial glance across the blankets of grass, that were the endless fields outside his window. He reluctantly opened the door to the laboratory and walked over to the incubator. He slowly pulled back the glass casing and a light smoke escaped revealing the face of a young man.
His forehead was smooth. His skin was white, almost too white, like a gypsum alabaster God statue, and his eyes shockingly blue and wide open. They just stared ahead at the ceiling not blinking. His hair was blonde. Michael felt sick. He moved closer to the man’s body and then touched its arm. It felt cold and wet like a snake. Still the creature did not blink but just kept staring ahead. Michael could see its chest rising and falling slowly. Its heart beat was faint but discernible above the server’s harmonic hum.
‘Hello.’ Said Michael, and Michael stood back as if the creature was about to jump out at him. Slowly the man’s mouth started to move as if it wished to say something. Michael quickly grabbed the glass and straw and did his best to feed the man some water. It drank in greedily as if it needed something more real to kick start the final awakening. Suddenly it sat up and gasped, and Michael took two steps back. The man tried to move his lips but no sound came out, just a faint rasp.
‘Can you hear me?’ Said Michael.
The man turned to Michael.
‘I need more water. I need meat.’
Michael fetched another glass of water, and from the fridge, some freshly prepared chicken, with fresh fruits and vegetables. He handed the plate to the man and the man sat and took the plate. He started to eat hungrily from the plate with his hands and fingers. Michael was frozen to the spot.
A mixture of raw sickness and excitement was running through his guts and veins. He couldn’t believe he was watching his creation sitting up and eating.
‘I knew you would be hungry so I prepared the food.’ The man looked at Michael.
‘Who am I, and where am I?’
This caught Michael by surprise. He had been so consumed with creating his creature that he had forgotten to give it a name. He plucked one instantly from the back of his mind.
‘Your name is Khristian. And you are in Oxford.’ The man seemed to think about it for a while then looked outside the window as if to confirm his location.
‘Oxford is in England. Home to a famous college called Christchurch. Christ was a great man but just a man nonetheless.’ At this point a butterfly flew in from the window and landed on the table beside Khristtian. Dr Frankenstein noted the butterfly with marvel, considering it a beautiful sign until Khristtian slammed his hand down on top of the insect causing Michael to jump back.
‘You can’t kill one of God’s beautiful creatures, surely you know that?’
Khristian wiped the remnants of the butterfly from off his hands onto a handkerchief and got up to wash his hands at the sink. Forgetting the man’s nakedness, Michael grabbed the clothes he had bought for him, and placed them beside the sink.
‘Please put some clothes on and I’ll show you your room. But you don’t go around killing things Kristian, surely you understand that?’
Kristian started to put the clothes on that Michael had bought for him. He took another glass of water while still thinking about Michael’s last question.
‘You kill other human beings. Don’t you?’
‘Well, no, not intentionally. Some die in accidents. Some people die in wars, but we don’t go out of our way to kill people deliberately, and that is the difference.’
‘What about the Jews?’ Michael looked at this creature he had created and sweat was starting form on the back of his neck.
‘The Jews were massacred by a mad man. Killed by one man’s false belief in a perfect race. He was very wrong in what he did.’
‘But if they were not perfect beings then why allow them to exist? Surely it is ok to wipe out the things that are broken. The things that we deem not beautiful.’
Michael was now terrified by what he was hearing but knew he would be able to train his creature to understand empathy and compassion. He could see why Kristian was acting like this and knew he would have to work hard over the next few months to shape his creation into the perfect being, not just a cold human being. He tapped Kristian on the shoulder and ushered him towards his room.
‘It is not for us to make those decisions. We leave that up to God.’ Michael sat the man down on the bed, and Kristian lay down on the bed and started to yawn. ‘Am I not a God?’ asked Kristian.
Dr Frankenstein laughed.
‘No you are not a god but in a way created by God.’ Michael tucked Kristian into bed as if he were his own son. He felt a strong affection and sense of duty to this man as if he were a small child. He turned the light off and closed the door. Kristian stared ahead of him looking into the side table mirror. Michael closed the door. Kristian whispered to himself. ‘Then why do I feel like one.’