the smuggler’s bible

Frankenstein’s Monster

Frankenstein’s Monster settles onto the park bench and leans back, crossing his legs. The wood groans, but it holds.

People filter out slowly as the sun goes down. Not dark yet, but chilly in the shade. A man in a dark suit and overcoat passes, hesitates and turns back. He stands beside the bench and lights a cigarette, looking straight ahead. There’s a green sprig of holly threaded through his lapel.

“Our policy is not to negotiate with terrorists,” the man says at last.

“Well, don’t worry.” Frankenstein’s Monster waves a hand casually. “We’re not ready to make a deal.”

Vlad Dracula

“I mean, what do you wear to a graveyard wedding?”

“A cape. Friggin’ easy.”

“Absolutely not. Some things are too tacky, even if they’re expected of you.”

“Be grateful you have options,” Frankenstein’s Monster says. “If somebody ever made a suit in my size, I couldn’t afford it.”

“I don’t have time for your problems right now. This thing is in a week.”

“Remarkably short notice for a couple corpses.”

In the end, Vlad Dracula wears white on white and everyone says he looks amazing. Corpse brides really don’t give a shit, man. They’re happy just to get some attention.

Vlad Dracula

Vlad Dracula whips his cape around in the air a few times and soars cheeping out of the ruined belfry in his bat form.  He feels good. He feels free.

“It’s nice not having to worry about it,” he says later to Frankenstein’s Monster. “It’s just another day, ya know?”

“Don’t you ever miss it?”

“Spend too much time missing what’s gone forever and you’ll give yourself a complex.”

They hit the mall for lunch. In the food court, they watch workers on ladders hang candy canes—and Vlad Dracula, just for a second, wishes he could make somebody bleed.

Vlad Dracula

Vlad Dracula receives the first guest at his pre-pre-pre-All Hallowe’en party a little after eight. It’s the Wolf-Man. He didn’t even bother to wear a costume.

Still, Dracula bids him enter and shuts the door quick behind him. They stand together awkwardly by the punch bowl.

“Am I crazy to play it safe?” Dracula asks, staring down into the Kool-Aid in his shallow plastic cup.

“It was the only sane choice,” the Wolf-Man howls softly.

Later, Dracula finds Frankenstein’s Monster making out with a witch on the porch. In the distance—quiet now, but moving closer—he hears jingle bells.