From the Ashes

It had been hard enough to set the pyre alight, much less find the wood to do so. Finally, though, he had a good-sized fire going.

He lay there among the flames, waiting for the end to come and for the sweet embrace of death to claim him.

But all he felt was a mild discomfort. Fire, it seemed, could not harm him.

A howl of anguish escaped him. Not only was he doomed to live his life alone, he wasn't even granted the mercy of ending it…


Wandering aimlessly, the monster glanced at the town's buildings around him.

It was a small town. A peaceful town.

And the town his creator had once called home.

But it'll never be your home, a traitorous part of his mind whispered. And you know it.

Yet he had been drawn here, like a moth to the flame. Why?

Because you have nowhere else to go.

"STOP! THIEF!"

Startled out of his thoughts, the monster turned and watched as a boy raced around the corner, carrying a loaf of bread. A fat baker followed after, falling behind the boy with each step.

It looked as if the boy was about to make a clean getaway. But he made the mistake of looking back over his shoulder, and therefore failed to notice the bump in the road…

The monster winced as the boy tripped, sprawling on the ground. The baker caught up to him, and pulled him up by the scruff of his neck.

"Now you're going to get it, you little –"

"Is there a problem here?"

The baker gulped nervously as the monster approached him. Though the cloak he wore concealed his more repulsive features, it could not hide his massive stature.

The monster stopped in front of him. "Well?"

Nervously, the baker stuttered, "T-this whelp s-stole a loaf of bread from me."

Said 'whelp' had ducked behind the monster, desperately clutching the loaf of bread. He looked like he hadn't had a decent meal in weeks.

The monster failed to understand why the baker couldn't see that the boy needed the bread more than he did. But the monster did know how to solve it.

Reaching into his pocket, he took out a handful of coins. "I pray that this will be enough?"

Greedily, the baker snatched up the coins. "It'll do," he said as he walked away, the boy forgotten.

The monster made a move to walk away as well, but a small voice stopped him.

"Thank you."

Unaccustomed to gratitude, the monster turned back to look at the boy. The boy returned his gaze, not frightened in the least.

They stood there for a while, just staring at each other. Eventually, the boy remembered the loaf of bread he still had, and broke off a piece before shoveling it in his mouth.

The spell thus broken, the monster recovered his wits enough to ask, "What's your name, boy?"

In between bites of bread, the boy answered, "Ernest, sir. Ernest Frankenstein."

The monster barely concealed his shock. Frankenstein… it couldn't be a coincidence that the boy had the same last name as his creator.

Now that he looked carefully, there was definitely more than a passing resemblance between this boy and his creator. He had to be some sort of relation to the man, without a doubt.

Hmph. Seems that not even death would stop Victor from taunting him. Did the man's obsession know no bounds?

As he finished the bread, Ernest looked up at the monster again. "Excuse me, sir, but I don't believe that I caught your name?"

The monster grunted. "I'm afraid that I don't have one."

"Oh." Though he looked sorrowful for a moment, Ernest cheered almost immediately. "Then I'll just have to give you one, now won't I?" The boy thought for a few moments. "How do you feel about… Adam?"

The monster grunted again in response. Ernest grinned. "Adam it is, then."

Adam, as he was now called, turned and walked away. After a few seconds, Ernest began to follow him.

Adam did nothing to stop him.