Tag Archive: women


Below are five very short stories, or drabbles, gathered together in a collection. We chose to explore different ideas in each of them through the characters of Frankenstein. In the spirit of fanfiction authors: we don’t own Frankenstein or the characters. Comments are always welcome and encouraged. They feed our muses! Without further ado please enjoy the first 2k18 Frankenstein Drabble Compilation!

By Diana Lara and Maria Nguyen-Cruz

Diana 1: The Dream Wedding

Elizabeth had always dreamed of the perfect wedding. Her dress would be a beautiful tulle and lace affair in the most crisp of whites accompanied by a beautiful bouquet of white carnations, red roses, and ivy.

The entire wedding would be gorgeous. It was the sort of event she envisioned would be the talk of the town when the initial save-the-dates were hand delivered. It was to be the best day of her life and she had planned for it far in advance. She wanted it to be perfection.

That being said her actual wedding was nothing like her dream wedding. Victor Frankenstein was a very selfish man and his family wealth and intellect could only mask that so much. Elizabeth had discovered that early on in their relationship and had come to terms with it over time.

Her new reality being that Victor Frankenstein was her endgame partner and the one who would surely be the father of her children one day. So instead she had to make do with him and make the best of the situation. Victor refusing to let poor Adam sit anywhere but right next to the toilets was a clear indication of his regard for the other man.

Victor announcing to everyone that Elizabeth would be taking his name publicly, when they had previously discussed that she planned to hyphenate, was in poor taste.

Victor spending more and more time with Henry the further Elizabeth delved into wedding plans with Justine and Caroline was frustrating but understandable in the end. So many of her plans had changed. Even her wedding bouquet now consisted of cyclamens, with striped carnations, and white petunias.

Victor’s faults could not surely be ignored but Elizabeth would be in the wrong to deny that he wasn’t also someone with virtues. After all growing up together had taught him how to be a proper educator and had taught her that there was nothing wrong with being a perpetual student.

Elizabeth loved Victor so even if the wedding wasn’t perfect and someone was clearly sabotaging them to keep them from marrying she would be satisfied. She would convince herself of it, she knew she could.

It was however incredibly hard to deny someone was clearly intent on ruining her special day.

“What do you mean your dress is ruined?” They couldn’t afford this right now! Adam, bless him, had been around to try to help and get Justine and her destroyed dress to a nearby seamstress to try to salvage it.

“I’ll just go with Adam and we’ll figure this out Elizabeth! Your wedding isn’t ruined yet. I promise!” Justine swore as she rushed out the doors with Adam and a garment bag.

Elizabeth sighed loudly and practically threw herself down on the bed of the hotel suite they’d reserved for her wedding preparations.

She loved Victor Frankenstein. She loved Victor Frankenstein. She loved Victor Frankenstein…

This was by far not the wedding she had expected. She sincerely hoped her post-wedding plans weren’t about to be ruined or she’d just die of frustration.

Diana 2: A Response to an Engineer Off the Rails

Margaret Saville née Walton had been an English major back in her university days. The saving grace of her brother Robert because the man was a lot of things but a good writer wasn’t one of them. He’d known it too.

During their university days it wasn’t uncommon to receive the odd writing assignment in her email. That was back then however when he’d been forced to take classes in subjects that did not interest him. They were past that now. They were adults with jobs in their respective fields.

So why was Robert emailing her a manuscript at 2:30 am? Which from the looks of it and the quick skim read she had done of it was nothing more than another retelling of the same clichéd horror and sci-fi thriller tropes.

Robert,

There are a few things I have to say but I just want to start off by saying what the fuck? I thought you were starting to work on that whole magnetism idea of yours? I know funding isn’t always as easy to come by for engineering products that aren’t for profit. Did you not get the funding for it? What happened? You’re now rewriting Frankenstein? I won’t lie to you this is bordering on plagiarism. You haven’t been very original have you?

Please tell me if something is wrong I’ll be more than willing to help you out.

Anyway the actual text itself: I found it to be very trite. Viktor’s android creation is out of his control and running rampant slaughtering symbolic characters. Judith Law isn’t a very subtle name brother. Despite bringing the old tropes into a modern setting and relating them to technological advances in science I fail to see anything truly new being offered by this modern rendition. It’s good but it’s been done before.

How many Terminator movies do we have? It’s that kind of logic that you’re playing with and I’m not very enthralled by it. If this manuscript was submitted to me at the company I would probably not publish it unless extensive revisions were done on the part of the author. It just lacks a selling point.

I’m sorry to tell you this but you have to do more than just tell me what I already know. You need to actually try.

See you at Christmas.

With Love,

Margaret Saville

Diana 3: Felix Before the Fall

As the only son there were things expected from Felix. Expectations that ranged from his profession to his eventual future wife. Inevitably one day he would be expected to continue his family’s legacy. They were a household name, albeit one of the lesser well-known ones, but a household name none the less.

Agatha had it far easier. For her part she simply had to have excellent manners and essentially hold court with her friends and admirers. Oh how lucky his younger sister was for having fewer expectations to meet. Sometimes he certainly wished he could trade places with Agatha.

Attending to all his related duties and engagements had eventually led to his path crossing with hers. She was gorgeous. The sort of woman he couldn’t help but have his eyes drawn to and he was struck with a desire to know her. To understand her.

It was an entirely foolish desire on his part because he could surely lose the family fortune. Ruin the family name if he wasn’t careful and that was something his father would surely have an opinion on.

“You’re in love with her?” Agatha asked as they strolled through the garden arm in arm.

“Well…maybe not quite yet but I feel like I could fall in love with her.” He responded all while looking away from his sister’s perceptive gaze.

“Right…Have you ever actually spoken to her though? You’ve only seen her because her father conducts business with some of our business associates. Maybe actually talk to her before you do something rash. Just a suggestion.” Agatha advised and Felix wanted to scoff at the suggestion.

Did she really think him so rash and irrational? Granted he had barged into her room to tell her he might be in love so perhaps she wasn’t quite wrong…

“I’ll try to speak to her the next time I see her. I just…I don’t know every time I’ve seen her I’ve become enveloped by this desire to almost protect her? She doesn’t seem like she always enjoys being in the presence of her father? Maybe I can do something about that. Give her an escape?”

Agatha sighed and looked away from her brother at that. It was a sigh teeming with a sort of quiet resignation that came from hearing something over and over again.

“Before you assume you’re some sort of savior for this woman, you should talk to her and ask her how she feels about her life. No matter how you see her situation it doesn’t necessarily mean it is as you see it. She might see it differently. It’s her life not yours. Speak to her first Felix.”

“I will.”

“If and only if she confirms your suspicions, then you can serve as some form of aid to escape. Don’t pretend to understand what we women go through and label it some sort of oppression without asking us first. So again speak to her first Felix before declaring you’re in love and her hero. That’s my advice.”

Review Pt. 1: Maria’s Review:

Fanfiction is very dependent on community engagement. The ways in which the work evolves and quality is ensured, is through the audiences comments and interactions with it. So, Diana and I have decided to write reflections on each other’s pieces in the spirit of fan fiction.

To begin, both of Diana’s stories take place in different versions of the Frankenstein canon; where in which Elizabeth, Felix, and Margaret are characters with more development. I don’t mean that in a manner that is disrespectful to Shelley and her writing, I just believe that Diana was exploring different ways that these characters work. How does one alter the work that has already been done, without losing the essence of a character that has already been established? You have to be creative and use the resources that are available to you. Whether it is an encyclopedic knowledge of birds or bread, you can integrate your personal touch to something that you are already fond of. For instance, Diana decided to use the flower language to display the dramatic change in attitude that Elizabeth goes through about marriage. There is a thoughtfulness that goes into displaying character dynamics, and unfortunately fanfiction doesn’t always have the benefit of a large word count to do so. Using the visual metaphors of flowers you are essentially relying on your readers to find the associations with them and close read for the deeper meaning. The original text develops the creature extensively and Diana Lara develops Elizabeth, Felix, and Margaret in a variety of forms. For instance for Margaret’s rework, Diana uses an email format in which to imagine Margaret’s reaction to her brothers retelling of the story. It provides an immediate response, there’s no need for a bunch of fancy prose.

This exercise was liberating for those of us who have gotten used to just writing essays. I know that for Diana and I, it was nice to revisit a method of collaboration and publication that we frequented in the past.

Maria 1: “‍The seductive nature of the sea”

Second Mate Angel Himshire’s Log

Twentieth day at sea.

Mood: Sober

I was told that this journey would assist in the betterment of society, but after a long conversation with the captain of the vessel, I realized why the rest of the crew doesn’t speak with him.

I was making my way back to my quarters when I ran into him, we exchanged greetings and (because I smiled at him, I think) he invited me to his cabin for a drink. He was handsome and I was already two drinks in so I agreed. He led me to his room, and after situating myself onto his bed, he planted himself onto his office chair. Then, he swiveled to face his desk and began to rummage through one of the cabinets before finally producing a bottle of wine.

We drank in silence for about half an hour. It was so awkward, I had no idea what to talk about with him. After he started to pour me another glass, I had garnered enough courage to speak to him.

“So,” I began, taking the glass he shoved in my direction, “Captain-“No please,” he interrupted, holding a hand up in the air, “Call me Robert.”

He had poured his wine into a canteen and as my heart skipped a beat my eyebrow raised. This is not cute behavior.

“So,” I eyed him warily unsure if I was going to be interrupted again, “I’ve noticed that there aren’t any women aboard the ship, are you traveling this vast ocean for a woman?”

Listen, the answer I was hoping for was something along the lines of, “I prefer the company of men and angels. You are one such heavenly creature.” But the answer I received was so odd, so jarring that the only reason I listened to him was because I had not the clarity to navigate myself back to my chamber.

“The ocean is a slut.” Robert hissed, his stare was so sharp that I was pierced with shock. I was paralyzed with confusion, so I didn’t respond, and he continued.

“We can’t trust women the same way we cannot trust the ocean. You know what? Because I said that, for just one moment think of the ocean as a woman. For one, there is no disputing that she’s beautiful, because everyone who encounters her usually speaks of her favorably. These people are fools. Her beauty is conditional; she changes briskly and frequently, one minute she’s as tranquil as the moon in the sky, and the next she’s at your throat for simply approaching her and her appearance is as haggard as the tone in her voice.” He took a long sip from the canteen he has been fiddling with since the conversation began.

“Raspy and unbearably loud!” Robert cried, “ She’s fickle and it seems as if she doesn’t know what she wants! But she does. She wants you. Every night she lifts her fists in anger against the cliff sides upon which you are housed. While her friend the wind sides with her and together they express their combined discontent. The earth may side with you, and is determined to protect you, but we as men have disrespected his protection- we have not sided with him! The ocean, the dirty whore, the salacious villain, is covered with our sea men. We throw ourselves at her, because she is wet and eager to take us in. She wants to engulf our length, our legacy, and we foolishly think it is safe to enter her depths. The deeper we get, the more foreign and dangerous she becomes. There is more of her than there is of us, boy!” Robert slammed his canteen onto his desk before he continued.

“As we pollute her with our filth, she wants more, so much more that she thrashes and fits as a mean to trap us within her bosom. And her friend, the vile wind, assists her once again! Oh the wind! Screeching, making it nearly impossible for some to travel, ripping off our clothes and taking our caps with her!”

He slammed the hat he was wearing onto the floor.

“This, boy, is why we make the journey towards a land with warmth, where we will be embraced by a virgin land- our last hope for survival. Women are liars and sluts, like their sister the sea, and we men are the stable and reasonable earth.”

Somehow, he tired himself out from hearing his own voice too much. He dismissed me and I ran towards my room at breakneck speed. Suffice it to say, I will never speak to him again. Perhaps he will find someone stranger than he is to connect with, and I’ll find a sane man to provide me a bit of entertainment on this vessel.

Maria 2: In which Justine is in detention.

Justine wasn’t supposed to be in detention.

She’s the most boring girl in the world; she can’t go to bed without flossing and brushing her teeth, she organizes her books by the year they were published, she has a color coded underwear drawer. Justine has straight A’s, thinks khaki can be scandalous, and loves Jesus. She would never dare think of stepping a 600 B.C sandal clad toe out of line.

So why was she in detention? Because they found a picture of the bullied boy in her jean skirt? How is that enough for the school administration to sentence her to detention and consider expulsion?

Justine has been grinding her teeth for the past thirty minutes and has been praying to god for help. Her parents are dead, so it’s not like they could bail her out. She doesn’t really have friends, and Elizabeth has been in questioning for hours now.

She’s alone.

She wasn’t before, when she could just talk to Elizabeth and hold her hand to feel better. Justine could look at soft and beautiful Elizabeth and feel at peace, in fact her behavior is so dramatically different that her posture relaxes as soon as Justine thinks of the blonde’s smile.

Even the thought of her is comforting.

So, Justine thinks about how she spends every waking moment next to Elizabeth. She starts thinking of a future where Elizabeth becomes the doctor she’s always wanted to be and Justine is her housewife who teaches bible study on the weekends- wait.

Housewife?

They would have to be married for that, and hers? Why would Justine consider herself Elizabeth’s?

Then it was as if god had sent an angel to speak truth to her, a voice clear as day said to Justine, “Because you’re gay, dumbass.”

But how could this be?

Then the voice spoke again, “Because you’re madly in love with your best friend, dumb ass. Go tell her.”

Oh. Well, love is love, and now she knows what she has to do. Everyone thinks that she’s the good girl gone bad, so why doesn’t she just say heck it and get what she wants for once?

This jail-bird is breaking free.

Justine raises her hand, “Mr. Law? Can I go to the restroom, it’s a feminine emergency.” She tried to look mysterious and pained at the same time, instead she just looked like she needed to fart.

The teacher, Mr. Law, could not care less. So she goes, she leaves, she runs to the parking lot and finds Elizabeth begging her friend Victor to help Justine get out of school.

Justine, filled with newfound strength, approaches Elizabeth, grabs her by the shoulders and says:

“I broke out of detention!” Elizabeth was shocked and gasped as Victor started to back away from the pair , “I did it because the lord told me to tell you that I am in love with you. I always have been. Can we start seeing each other, romantically, even if I get expelled?”

Elizabeth, stunned and overwhelmed with joy, pulls back her slightly curled hair over her shoulder and says, “Yes!”

Review Pt.2: Diana’s Review

As Maria said in her half of the review: fanfiction relies heavily on community. It is medium through which fans can argue and defend their views on beloved characters in a creative way. It is a way to provide prospective writers with inspiration and support as they endeavor to write the sort of material that fellow fans want to see of their favorite characters. Once a creator has set aside their pen for the final time, it is assumed that the characters stories also cease to exist beyond the room in which they were created. Fanfiction serves as way to free the characters from this initial room and into the rest of the house to explore.So my review is on Maria’s two pieces. Maria does this with her two pieces because not only does she pull Justine and Elizabeth into a modern setting but she also builds upon their original characters and adds a touch of her own interpretations of the characters. She grapples with the topic of the inner struggles many young adults can relate to and in a few short sentences is able to essentially provide a positive message that reassures that they can consolidate these different sides of themselves without having to compromise either. As for Walton’s rant on the ocean, here we see a different topic being explored with different characters and through the ideas of an original character. Once more by taking the beloved original characters and transporting them from their initial room to a different one in the house we are able to tell a fresh story. This fresh story that compares the ocean to a fickle woman through the eyes of the ship’s second mate. One aspect that I particularly enjoy is the choice to compare to the ocean to a woman but the earth to a man because both are forces of nature. Nature almost always is attributed female qualities and so is the earth but with this piece these general conclusions are not quite applicable. Now the ocean is the female figure and the earth is the male one. The struggle between the two speaks on more than just the physical but also on the dynamic that exists between men and women in practically any situation.

I enjoyed working on this assignment because it allowed me a certain kind of creative license that essays do not give me the opportunity to indulge in. I also enjoyed the collaborative aspect of the project because as we worked on these short pieces Maria and I discussed the characters and our visions of them. It is interesting to see how we both agreed on the characters and yet still present them differently because of our different narrative voices and writing styles.

By: Katherine Hernandez

Political writer, Mary Wollstonecraft depicts the nature of humanity on the basis of genders.  In the novel Frankenstein, the reader is exposed to the death of many characters, both men and women, however none of these question social justice quite as much as the death of Justine. Despite not being the main character Justine’s death impacts Victor’s moral compass in a detrimental way. The fact that Justine is portrayed in such an innocent manner leads her to confess to a crime that she doesn’t commit. Wollstonecraft makes the direct distinction of explaining how women are seen as “little smooth, delicate [and] fair creatures” (47) by nature, thus showing how Justine’s word means nothing to the eyes of humanity because women are regarded as beautiful beings instead of humans who have their own way of thinking. This displacement of equality shows the death of social justice in the novel. Women are not given a platform from which to speak, they are in a sense, soulless creatures whose purpose is to beautify and balance the world we live in. Women are confined to certain molds during the era of the French Revolution and because of these roles, they are not able to express their human desire, unlike men. Women are expected to sit there and look pretty. And that is exactly the role Justine is forced to take; because of the prejudices of this era Justine’s thoughts, emotions and once is worth nothing because of the stigma that women are not capable of having such coherent stream of consciousness.  As regarded by Wollstonecraft, the only way to make a “glorious change [is to] produce [a sense of] liberty..” (48) This liberty is never given to Justin; Victor had the chance to provide this sense of liberty for her but he’d rather coward in his own fear than provide a platform for an innocent women to tell her truth.

Mary Wollstonecraft’s text highlights her intolerance for the church as well as the classifications of class and rank in society. In regards to women and their treatment, she is dissatisfied because they are valued more through the idea of beauty than through their intelligence or morals.  Her views are intertwined and seen in her daughter’s novel Frankenstein, specifically through the character Justine and her unjust death. In order to understand Justine’s situation we must remember that Victor’s creature is the one who framed her for his crime. This supports Wollstonecraft’s view that men can’t be trusted and only care about themselves since they are “men who have no titles to sacrifice,” (49) The creature loathed Justine because she was beautiful and normal, which overshadowed the fact that she was of low status. Where was chivalry when Justine could have been saved by Victor’s confession or when the creature was planning to escape the consequences if his own crime? It was nowhere because the men valued themselves more than an innocent woman. frankenstein08.jpg (560×777)

Justine reveals that she is threatened with “excommunication and hell fire in her last moments.” (83) by her confessor. Here we can see how Justine is being deeply influenced by the church, so much that she fears what will come after death more than being charged for a crime or the act of death itself. She has been made to believe her life is meaningless if she does not conform to the ways of the church, when in reality the church is nothing but a group of over religious men who do as they please. Being aware of her innocence is not enough to keep her safe. However, it’s easy to see that if she were a man, Victor for example, her guilt would have been immediately questioned if charged with murder. In contract to Justine, Victor was an intelligent, educated man…to most. As a woman with no outstanding education or valued status, it was easy to place the crime on Justine. In relation to Wollstonecraft’s views, now that Justine’s beauty was tainted she was of no use to the church or society, even though her good reputation from Elizabeth and little education should have been enough to save her from injustice in a fair society.

By Galilea Sanchez