Oh No, My Brother is Frankenstein's Monster
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by Lance Zarimba
Category: Children's Fiction/Horror
Description: After a car accident, Matthew's brother has a metal halo screwed into his skull. But he doesn't look like an angel. He looks more like Frankenstein's monster, and he's moving into the room next to Matthew. Someone is watching Matthew's house. He's wearing a white lab coat with IGOR on the nametag. A jar with a Big Brain label is found in their backyard. A storm is brewing, the phone is dead, the power is out, and the brothers are all alone in the dark, as a shadow passes by their window. Who's outside? Is there a monster inside? And Matthew's door is slowly opening?
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC/Featherweight Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: October 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [59 KB]
Reading time: 35-49 min.
The car accident happened the night my older brother, Ryan, dropped Nick and me off at Jake's house. Nick and I were on a mission to prevent Jake from turning into a Vampire. We solved our problem, but as my brother drove off, I told him to buckle his seatbelt. He must have forgotten, because not long after dropping us off, he was in a car accident. A man ran a stoplight and hit him. Ryan flew through the windshield. He broke both legs in a few places, an arm, and a vertebra in his neck.
My mom is a nurse at the hospital, and she has told us many stories about spinal cord injuries; stories about people who became paralyzed after diving into a shallow swimming pool or lake, falling down the stairs, or being in a car accident. Many never walked or moved their arms again.
As I entered Ryan's hospital room, I saw the curtains were pulled around his bed. A low rasping hiss came from the other bed, where a young man lay with a tube in his mouth. A clear plastic cylinder with an accordion rose and fell as it helped him breathe in and out.
I stepped near the closed curtain and pressed my ear against it, trying to figure out what was happening behind it.
"Ryan?" I said softly, not wanting to wake him if he slept.
"Hmm," a low, husky grunt came from the bed behind the curtain.
I pushed the fabric back and saw Ryan waking up. The whites of his eyes were filled with blood, making him look like a monster from a horror movie. His body was covered with bruises; purple, black, blue, green, and yellow. Metal bolts stuck out of his legs, and ropes pulled on them to keep his legs in the right position. A cast covered his left arm from his wrist to his shoulder. Because of his injuries, he couldn't wear his regular clothing, so he wore Velcro shorts and a sleeveless shirt.
Since he broke his jawbone, his mouth had to be wired shut. His words came out from between clenched teeth. "How are you?"
"I'm fine. I came to keep you company if you want."
"Sure," he said as his lips pulled back to show his braced teeth. He closed his eyes and rested. Those few words tired him out.
Mom said Ryan's guardian angel must have been there. He wasn't paralyzed, but his spinal cord was badly bruised, and a bone in his neck was broken. It was hard to look at him and not cringe.
I looked at the metal cage that surrounded his head. His halo was the most painful thing to see, but he didn't look like an angel to me. Stainless steel screws held a black metal ring to his head. They were drilled into his skull and rusty colored goo oozed out of the holes. Was that blood?
A nurse entered Ryan's room with a bag filled with a dark green liquid. She hung it up in the IV pole and quickly attached the tube to the one sticking out of Ryan's nose. "It's time to eat," she said with a smile.
"What's in there?" I asked.
"Supper," was all she said.
My mom was a great cook, and I knew she'd never make us a green meal. Broccoli, peas, and green beans maybe, but Ryan refused to eat Brussels sprouts and spinach. Maybe it was a liquid guacamole? I hoped it at least tasted good for my big brother.
The nurse left, and I stepped closer to the bed. "Do you hurt?" My body ached just looking at him. My arms, legs, and neck tingled as I imagined what he felt.
A tear formed in the corner of his eye and started to roll down his cheek. Ryan never cried. He always watched out for me and protected me, and now he was hurt.
I reached out and touched his uninjured arm. His skin felt cold to the touch, and I rubbed it a few times to warm it up. "Do you want me to read to you? Watch a movie?"
Ryan closed his eyes, and the tear rolled down the side of his face and soaked into his pillow.
I tried to ignore it for my brother's sake. When I was sick, all I wanted to do was lay in bed with my little sheltie, Chief, and sleep.
Before Ryan could say anything, the doctor entered the room. "Hello, you must be Matthew. I'm Dr. Franck, your brother's doctor." He held out his big hairy hand and waited to shake mine.
My hand was dwarfed in his as he squeezed it. His touch was warm and sweaty, unlike the cold, clammy feel of Ryan's skin.
Ryan opened his eyes, and his blood red stare still startled me. Images from a Frankenstein movie flooded my mind. Green skin, bolts in the neck, dead people's body parts... I shuddered.