JOIN THE FAMILY BUSINESS
Disclaimer: Mel Brooks and Tim Burton own all characters from Young Frankenstein and Frankenweenie respectively. I highly recommend seeing both movies prior to reading this fanfiction as it does contain some spoilers. The story takes place after Frankenweenie.
In the quaint town of New Holland, Pennsylvania, a sixth grader by the name of Victor Frankenstein stared out his bedroom window, waiting out the fourth episode of thunderstorms that occurred in the last twelve hours. Thanks to monsoon season, school was cancelled for two whole weeks. Victor missed school where he'd at least not be bored out of his mind; staying cooped up inside is too dead boring...well, almost too dead.
"Arf!" a canine voice called from the hallway. Sparky—Victor's reanimated bull terrier—bolted into the boy's lap, shaking every stitch that held him together.
"Hi boy." Victor scratched Sparky behind the ears, taking care not to unravel the patchwork. It had been nearly a year since his dog officially died of a car crash and it began to show terribly on the body. There were more holes in Sparky than in Tiger Woods' driving range. Sparky picked up on Victor's boredom and peered around for a solution. He sniffed around the baseball bag and pawed at the ball pocket. "Not today, Sparky. It's too wet to go outside."
"Arf!" The dog leapt onto Victor's bed with a book between his teeth: How to Avoid the Life of Mediocrity, by Wilbur Rzykruski. Victor smiled at the name; if it wasn't for his fifth grade science teacher's demonstrations, Sparky would have never returned from the grave. Unfortunately, Mr. Rzykruski got sacked in the middle of science fair season for his passionate outlook on science and distant hope in humanity. He gave Victor this book on their parting day to remember him by.
"Good idea, boy. It's been a while since I picked this up." He dusted off the cover and flipped to the first chapter. "Chapter 1: 'Are You a Human Being or a Human Doing?' Here's a list detailing everything your government does not want you to know..."
Following a weekend of overcasts, the next Monday remained clear of lightning. "Victor! It's time for school," Mrs. Frankenstein hollered up the stairs. Sparky busied himself by scanning the kitchen for any traces of French toast.
"I'm coming!" he replied. He slipped on his backpack and met his mom at the door.
"Have a nice day at school, sweetie." She kissed him on the forehead.
"Thanks, Mom." She handed him a packed lunch and saw her son pedal his bicycle out of sight. Without her knowing, Mr. Frankenstein tiptoed into the foyer and hugged his wife from behind.
"Good morning, love."
"Morning, hun. I thought you were already at the travel agency." She turned around and stroked the black wisps of hair out of his face.
"Nah, Charles took the morning shift today for some extra dough. I'm going in at two." Victor's dad worked as a travel agent and had connections with every real estate company in Pennsylvania. If this afternoon's meeting was successful as planned, a new family will relocate in their neighborhood. One of the boys is Victor's age, and the Lord knows he could use a friend. Maybe this time, he could start his project with someone else for the annual science fair at the school.
"Did Victor mention what he wants to do for the fair this year?"
"Not that I know of, dear. The school's restricting the projects so much now that the entire method must be pre-approved by the board." In fact, Victor really didn't feel like putting his soul into his project this year. After the incident last year, maybe it would be best to just back down and let Toshiaki take the trophy.
Victor groaned when he heard who was teaching sixth grade science. Rumor has it that Mrs. Klymdred came directly from a prison in the Bermuda Triangle on a mission to torture children in school to make up for the decade she spent behind bars. "Good moooorning!" she trilled with a clenched smile. The class grew quiet under her gaze. "I am the new investigative science teacher this year, Mrs. Klymdred. But you can call me Mrs. K for short. K?"
"K," echoed the class in a hollow, monotonous voice. She was beautiful, yet frightening at the same time. She had short blonde hair that stopped at the shoulders, a slim, muscular body that could be described as "toned", and a pair of icy blue eyes that you felt were watching you even when she turned around to claw the board with her chalk.
"I'm sure you've all heard the new rules regarding science fair projects this year. Partners are optional, but you'll need to think of a question to challenge, write a thesis, sketch out your procedures and methods, and deliver them to me by next week for safety evaluation." Victor propped up his head with an elbow. All of that written stuff just to make sure everyone's ideas are safe? Whatever happened to the universal saying, "the sky's the limit"? Pretty soon, Victor thought, schools will resort to stupid websites that search every piece of work for plagiarism and wreck the beautiful virtue of trust between teacher and student.
"Yessss..." Mrs. K referenced her clipboard for a name. "...Toshiaki?" Victor stole a glance behind him and it was evident that Toshiaki didn't approve of these regulations.
"Mrisssus Kill'em'dead," he began in his thick Asian dialect. "Wurr can I fiyend-ah these rules in writing?"
"You can all grab a standard packet from this stack here and look it over. Follow the rubric to the letter and you'll have no complications." Victor noticed that neither of them blinked the entire time. Awkward was in the air. He followed suit and took the thick packet of board-approved documents. Toshiaki skimmed the fine print and grinned.
"I will give this a good going through," he whispered to Bob. "If thurr is one ting vital to success, it is the aret of locating loopholes in docruments."
Victor found Sparky waiting for him in the backyard with a boomerang. "Arf! Arf!" He picked up the boomerang and headed for Victor's outstretched arms.
"Hey boy; want to play fetch?" Victor took the toy and threw it below the gate away from the road. Sparky chased its shadow until it zoomed in the opposite direction. This got a laugh from Victor. "Hahaha, I should've warned you that boomerangs do that." The toy returned to his hand, much to Sparky's amazement. "It's got something to do with the way it curves at an angle. If you throw it just right, it'll come back a few seconds after you toss it. Watch what happens when I make it circle around the house!"
The boomerang soared through the air and wrapped itself around the back porch. It soon flew out of sight on the other side. Victor expected to see it come full circle when he heard an "Ouch!" from right outside the gate. He entered the front yard where Edgar (also known as simply "E") Gore rubbed his head next to the boomerang.
"Edgar, will you stop stalking me already? I'm sure you have better things to do with the school project outline coming up." Last year, he made the fatal mistake of showing E how to reanimate a dead fish under blackmail. Edgar then blabbed his project to everyone else who copied the idea and basically ruined science fair forever. The hunchback shook off the pain and asserted himself directly in front of Victor with his persuasive face.
"Stalking you? What makes you think I would ever stalk you?"
Two weeks ago, Mr. Frankenstein thought it would be a great idea to take his son on a hiking trip. "We'll have a little father and son time! It'll give you some fresh air and lots of thinking space."
"Sure Dad; I guess that could be fun." Later that evening, the two of them went grocery shopping for packed lunch type items. Victor was in charge of the fruit and vegetables, while his dad managed the bagels, Twinkies, and Slim-Jims.
They headed out the next morning to Holland Hill, which in reality was more of a mountain than a hill. Once they pitched the tent built for two, Victor opened his fruit pack. "Dad, there's only one apple in here. I'm positive I had one more," he said, feeling utterly annoyed.
"Check in my bag; I'll start searching for some firewood while the sun's still high." His father left when Victor saw a queer shadow on the tent. His mind reasoned the possibility of a grizzly bear, so he approached the zipper with a pocket knife in hand. It wasn't a bear, but he was right about it being queer.
"Heyyyy," breathed Edgar, waving at him with a pale hand. "You left this on the supermarket counter." He dug the apple out from somewhere inside his striped shirt and tossed him the missing apple. Victor stared at him in astonishment. "Double-check your groceries before you leave, ok? Oh, and you might want to give this to your pop." He produced a couple of coupons and handed them to his classmate, who was still in shock. "Powdered donuts go great with Slim-Jims, and they're on sale!"
Victor crossed his arms to rest his case. Edgar also crossed his arms and stood up on tiptoe. "Hey, I was being nice and happened to notice abandoned produce you paid for." Yeah, mused Victor, that's exactly how it happens every week. Edgar grinned and remembered what he came for. "We can be partners for the science fair, right? I mean, if I'm on your side, there's nothing I'd want to tell the others. Plus, this could be a great opportunity to work on our friendship!" What friendship? Victor wanted to shout. But that sounded too rude, so he discarded the thought.
"That's alright E, but I'm going solo again. I work more efficiently alone on my own schedule. Look at it this way: if my project's bad, then it's my grade and nobody else goes down with me. And if your experiment goes well, you get all the credit since it's your work. Get it?"
"Got it...but if we team up, we could share ideas and get everything done twice as fast! We could make a DEATH RAY!" Edgar was really getting on his nerves now.
"How many times do I have to tell you that the packet specifically mentions 'No Death Rays'?!" Victor opened his backpack, flipped to the prohibition page and stuck it in his face.
"Fine, but what about shark socks? We could design killer socks that eat people from the bottom up. They'll never see it coming!" His classmate lowered the papers and stared at him like a deer caught in headlights. What was it about this kid that made him so homicidal? Maybe he should consult his parents about a restraining order. No one in his family ever had to deal with creepy stalkers. Did they?
"Edgar, why don't you try thinking of an invention to help mankind, like a teleporter?"
"What's a teleporter?" E inquired with intent eyes.
"A device you use when you REALLY want to escape from someone," Victor informed with an edgy tone. "Just press a button and instantly go somewhere else."
"Like in the future somewhere? Because that would be a time machine!" Edgar began to twitch in excitement.
"Perfect, use that! Construct a time machine, and I'm sure you'll win first place."
"Will you help me? I can't do it without you, and you're really smart!"
"Yes, okay I'll do it; I will help you make a time machine!" Victor clapped his hands over his mouth after realizing what he had just said, and that was all Edgar needed.
"Yay! Thank you, Victor! This is going to be awesome; we'll take the gold trophy home for sure!" E squeezed him firmly around the stomach, which was a little below his eye level, and skipped away back to his house. Victor hung his head in his hands. Did his ancestors ever have to deal with these kinds of problems? He'll soon find out.