Chapter 4 Victor's Past
“What! Me?” Victor was actually stunned that someone, anyone, would want to hear anything he had to say. Even someone who used to be dead. “Um. Well my story isn't all that interesting, but I guess if you don't mind being bored to death, I could tell you.” Dracula chuckled, and Victor hesitated.
“Sorry Doc. I wasn't laughing at you; I was laughing at what you just said.” The big monster grinned impishly. “You know, about boring me to death.” Dracula punctuated the word 'Death', as he spoke. Even with that, it took the little scientist a moment to realize the humor.
“Oh!” he exclaimed and chuckled. “I made a funny and didn't even know it.” The two shared a hardy round of merriment before Victor, now more at ease, went on with his recitation.
“Well,” he began, “I was born into a fairly well-to-do family, as I said earlier. My mother was quite beautiful and my father, dashing. Even my brother and sister were physically perfect in every way. I, however, was not. As you can see I was, and still am, a rather scrawny specimen of a man. Because of this my father took an immediate disliking to me, going so far as to accuse mother of being unfaithful.” Victor frowned at this distant childhood memory from long ago and gazed into his cup of tea. “The two never really recovered their love after that.” He went on, “If there was ever any there in the first place.”
Dracula lowered his eyes, unable to meet the little mans gaze; the pain so evident in Victor's eyes. “What about your sister?” he asked, to change the subject. “You did say you had a sister, right?”
Victor looked up. “Huh? Oh, yes. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to trail off like that, but it has been a long time since I've actually thought of my family. It is a bit painful.”
“You do not need to go on Vic,” Dracula told him sympathetically. “It is really unnecessary.”
The little doctor smiled but waved off the gesture. “No, it's alright; maybe it's for the best. I've been suppressing my feelings for far to long anyways.” He grinned to reassure his new friend before continuing.
“My sister was really my only friend back then. She was very kind to me and always stood up for me against both my father and brother. She had a way of putting them in their place, you see, especially my brother Artemis...”
“That's his name?” Dracula asked.
Victor looked over at his creation and nodded. “Didn't I mention that?” he replied, frowning.
Dracula shook his head in the negative.
“Well it is. My sister's name is Anastasia, but I always called her Anna. Its been a long time sense I've seen her,” Victor admitted. “Probably married... or at least I hope she is.” He smiled at this happier thought.
“So you didn't keep in touch with your family then? Aye!”
“Well, no; I guess not. At least not after I left for medical school. My father died not to long after I had left and Artemis took over the estate as head of the house. The jerk even had the gall to write me and tell me I was no longer welcome there … as if I wanted to go back to that miserable place.” Victor chuckled bitterly and Dracula suspected a hidden hurt was actually being suppressed.
“Is Anastasia still in the area?” Dracula asked, wanting to change the subject once more.
“I don't really know,” Frankenstein said. “I haven't seen her in a long while. I did hear, or was told in a letter, that she left the estate about a year after I had. I never really got the whole story on that of course, but I could make a good guess.” He looked back at Dracula but did not put his thoughts to words. It wasn't really necessary, for the former vampire had already figured out Victor's brother was a real prick.
“So you finished medical school and became a doctor, Aye!”
“Well sort of,” was his response. “I never really fit in with my medical colleagues either, so I started doing research on my own. That's when I found the book.”
Dracula frowned. “Book? What book is that?”
Victor's eyes widened, suddenly realizing he had let slip something he hadn't meant to. “Um, well...” he hesitated, perplexed with what he should do now. Finally he decided his secret would be safe enough with his newest friend. Actually relieved at his decision, he stood up and walked excitedly over to the bookcase across the room. There he bent down and lifted one of the stones in the floor up revealing a dark hole.
Dracula watched the little doctor with more than a little curiosity. What was this mysterious book, he wondered? Unable to take his eyes off his companion, he watched as Victor reached inside the chamber and pulled out a metal box. Pausing for only a moment he strolled back and handed the box over. “Here,” he said. “Have a look.”
Dracula took the offered box in both hands and examined it closely. On the top of the lid were strange symbols of some kind etched into the steel. At least he thought it was steel, yet it was unusually light for this to be the case. He, however, put that question to the side for the moment and concentrated on the rest of the box. On the front face were three small wheels, tumblers really, recessed into fitting slots. On each tumblers edges, were symbols similar to those on top. It was, he concluded a very sophisticated lock.
“It is already set to be opened,” Victor told him, eyes watching intently.
Lifting the lid, Dracula peered inside.