Tag Archive: murder


The Wedding Night

By Mahealani LaRosa

Narrative:

The sun settled over the mountains in purple streaks. The snow-covered jagged tops were a broken canvas that the sun painted its fiery gaze upon. Elizabeth’s face was glowing orange; her skin was shining and her eyes slowly blinked. Victor believed she was thinking that their wedding could not have gone more splendidly. He could hear his voice in the back of his mind. Troy. Whispering thoughts into his brain, delicate hands and his mouth on his ear. He couldn’t think of that now, so he shook his head and wrapped his arms around Elizabeth. She smiled up at him, her hair grazing his chin. Troy. Victor could not get him out of his head. He had abandoned him. Where was he? Was he angry?

“What are you thinking about?”

Elizabeth’s voice broke through the increasingly overwhelming thoughts.

“I’m lucky to have such a radiant, delightful wife.”

She laughed lightly at his quick excuse and stood up.

“Want to go for a walk?”

Her breath was visible in the cold air and her fingertips were becoming pink. He took her hand and pulled himself up.

“Where do you want to go?”

The wind rustled the nearby trees and it reminded Victor of his camping trip with Troy. He remembered how delicately Troy handled the flowers he picked and the way his voice made everything around them feel still. But feeling the way he felt about Troy was wrong. People looked at them strangely, wondering if they were more than colleagues. The coldness of isolation came back to him for a moment, and Victor felt the fear rising in his throat. He hadn’t realized that they had already begun walking, Elizabeth leading him by the hand towards the dark looming trees. They looked like broken skeletons against the fading sky. The path they followed was covered in soft pine needles that made the ground feel like they were floating. When they finally reached the door of the house, she turned and kissed him lightly, standing one step above him on the stairs.

Elizabeth was so delicate he felt like he could break her. She always avoided the conversations about Victor’s work, and the long months he spent away from her working with Troy. She liked to pretend that Troy didn’t exist, but they both knew he did. Now that Victor was away from Troy, he knew it all too well.

Elizabeth opened the door and walked down the wooden hallway. It was eerily silent in the house, and he could hear the crickets and the grass fade away as he stepped inside and the door creaked closed. Elizabeth called from upstairs.

“Victor, I’ll be ready in a moment. Come up in a few minutes for a surprise.”

He knew without a doubt that when he went upstairs she would be wearing the rose-colored lace slip and laying in the center of the bed, sinking into the comforter. She will have lit candles and her feet will be curled like a ballerinas toes. He wants to kiss her. He wants to love her. He pictures her breasts and only wants to study them. Nothing stirs inside him.

Victor sat down on the mauve couch and leaned back, letting his muscles relax. He closed his eyes and his mind drifted to wandering hands and soft lips.

Elizabeth screamed. He almost wanted to ignore it, but he opened his eyes and slowly stood. She screamed again and he heard mild scratches on the ceiling. He shuddered awake and scrambled towards the stairs, slipping on the polished floor. When he finally made it to the room, he found her laying as he predicted. Something was off. Her pale neck was swollen and purple, and tiny drops of blood trickled from her lips. Victor fell, slamming his knees into the ground and clutching her lifeless body. He sobbed.

The window banged open, and the white curtains fluttered inside from the darkness. He whipped his head towards the glass and saw an indiscernible shadow. Suddenly he understood. Troy. He was angry. He ran towards the window but nobody was there. Victors eyes stung and his heart was heavier than it had been before. The balcony was empty. He looked back inside through the doors. Her inanimate body seemed so far away. Nothing seemed worth the effort. He was alone. The ground seemed closer than his dead wife’s body.  The trees were so welcoming, and the sounds of the insects were loud in his ears. He looked back one more time and fell. There was a thud – the bugs stopped humming- and then there was nothing.

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Review:

Dear Mahealani LaRosa,

I greatly appreciated your modern take on Elizabeth’s death scene from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I have often hypothesized that Victor Frankenstein was a homosexual, so I was delighted to see that you subtly brought this idea into your account. I also really appreciated how you made the creature a man who ended up being Victor’s secret lover. You made it much easier for me to understand that in the novel the creature may have been created to become Victor’s perfect male lover. Naming him Troy was also clever because it is  reminiscent of the Trojan War and the idea that Frankenstein was somewhat hiding until the final attack, hiding his true identity from his loved ones but also from himself. It also reminds me that Troy and the Trojan War are still seen as kind of legends. It is not known if they are fictional occurrences or real events, and it will never be known. So in your story, we only know of Troy through Victor’s thoughts and an action he is suggested to have done. We are never given proof of his existence, so he is very aptly named.

The way that Frankenstein acts towards Elizabeth seems more accurate to me as well. He seems less attracted to her, while she dotes on him more often. Your descriptive language almost makes the whole story seem like it is a dream. The way you connect nature and Victor also reminds me of their connection in the novel, but in your adaption, the relationship seems less violent and more calming, but it still has sinister undertones. I also like the fact that Victor is most likely dead. I sympathized with the creature more than I did with Victor in the novel, and I am happy to see that Troy is probably alive while Victor is not. Overall, I thought your writing was poetic and beautiful, and the timelessness of it was amazing as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us readers!

Looking forward to your next release,

An Avid Fan 

Samantha Shapiro

Jessica Rae Fisher promotes the idea of reclaiming slurs such as “tranny” and “creature” to “embrace…queerness” as an extensional support of Stryker’s desire to “lay claim to the dark power of [her] monstrous identity without using it as a weapon against others or being wounded by it myself,” or accept being a “monster,” and accept the separateness, yet togetherness established in reclaiming the term (Stryker 240). In reclaiming words used against them, they are able to be moved to “disidentification with compulsorily  assigned subject positions” (Stryker 248) and become something else through manipulating the very things that bind them into their monstrous labels.

Fisher purports that they “don’t think there’s any shame in living life in rageful ways,” in doing so helps to transform to conforming to the “priority in living life in compassionate ways” (Fisher). We can see similarities to the stances brought on by Stryker and Fisher through the first meeting of Robert Walton and the creature, and the lack of reclaiming occurring by the final scenes within Frankenstein.

“And do you dream?” said the daemon; “do you think that I was then dead to agony and remorse? — He,” he continued, pointing to the corpse, “he suffered not in the consummation of the deed — oh! not the ten-thousandth portion of the anguish that was mine during the lingering detail of its execution. A frightful selfishness hurried me on, while my heart was poisoned with remorse. Think you that the groans of Clerval were music to my ears? My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy; and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.

“After the murder of Clerval I returned to Switzerland heartbroken and overcome. I pitied Frankenstein; my pity amounted to horror: I abhorred myself But when I discovered that he, the author at once of my existence and of its unspeakable torments, dared to hope for happiness; that while he accumulated wretchedness and despair upon me he sought his own enjoyment in feelings and passions from the indulgence of which I was forever barred, then impotent envy and bitter indignation filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. I recollected my threat and resolved that it should be accomplished. I knew that I was preparing for myself a deadly torture; but I was the slave, not the master, of an impulse which I detested, yet could not disobey. Yet when she died! — nay, then I was not miserable. I had cast off all feeling, subdued all anguish, to riot in the excess of my despair. Evil thenceforth became my good. Urged thus far, I had no choice but to adapt my nature to an element which I had willingly chosen. The completion of my daemoniacal

design became an insatiable passion. And now it is ended; there is my last victim!”

Clearly “fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy.”

The creature was “fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy” from its creation, but in it, was externally terrifying to others, and brought into the world by Frankenstein only to fall into “vice and hatred,” (186) unable to withstand a change in itself and desires once rejected and tormented by the humans he was supposed to find happiness under. With the creature being forced into murder and deceit through a “frightful selfishness,” his very own “heart…fashioned of love and sympathy” towards humans shattered, “poisoned with remorse” (186).

A lonely creature

In being created in such a manner, rejected by others just because he was born a certain way, he was “forever barred” (186) from feelings and passions available to seemingly any other living creature, forever separated and isolated from an almost parallel situations of transsexuals rejected from their own communities, as Fisher questions how “social creatures,” or fellow humans, “could ever be expected to take care of ourselves when we are isolated and/or rejected from our communities” (Fisher). The creature then chooses to “cast off all feeling, subdued all anguish, to riot in the excess of [its] despair,” forced to “adapt my nature to an element which I had willingly chosen” by reclaiming itself as a “daemon” through murder (186).

Other selfish drives 

Rather than willingly choose, though, in control of anything, the creature became a “slave…of an impulse which [it] detested,” (186) or forced into trying to reclaim something it truly doesn’t want to turn to, albeit in a selfish drive. In this instance, while the creature appears to try and reclaim its daemonical nature through its rage and suffering, because it does so as “the slave, not the master, of an impulse which [it] detested,” it is unable to truly “reclaim the term” as the creature resolves to do so “using it as a weapon against others” and ends up “being wounded by it itself” (Stryker 240).

By: Sandra Tzoc

In “Frankenstein”, Mary Shelley writes about the creaturescapegoat‘s gruesome actions one which includes the ploy that eventually leads to Justine’s execution. This is a very questionable scene because Victor is well aware that Justine is not behind the murder of William however, he does not voice the truth and in the end, Justine pays the consequences. This raises questions as to why Victor stayed quiet, perhaps the answer is: he felt guilty. Through Burke’s eyes it is possible for it to be that way. In his writing Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke repels anything abstract, anything that is not in order. He condemned the French Revolution because he thought individuality was foolish and that the revolution would eventually translate into an anarchy. Burke states: “[prejudice] renders a man’s virtue his habit”, moreover that prejudice would act as a guide to every “man”. Burke was a man who preferred to believe in mainstream ideas even if they were prejudice because he thought that a person’s individual thoughts could not compare.

This is important to note as Burke believed in submissive women and found beauty in their obedience to the state and church. Burke valued class and order and the French Revolution dismantled this rank thus, destroying his perception of beauty. He would probably be proud of Victor and his silence because although Victor was foul for staying quiet, Justine would simply be an offering to the state, to Victor, to the men. Furthermore, she was a servant who was below Victor and Burke would probably care less about her execution given that she was lower class. The prejudice that Victor used against Justine could possibly be presented in the form of scapegoating. He projected all his feelings of guilt onto Justine and let her take the blame for what he had created. He could not possibly come forward to say the truth, that the creature was to blame, because then that would mean he himself was a culprit.