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Universal Monsters
Things were cozy at the Frankenstein McMansion. Though the February weather was frightful, in the lab it was so delightful. Igor had just entered, dragging a leaking bag of asbestos behind him: he'd been doing an environmental clean up at a grade school in the nearby village. Cackling, the hunchback dropped the Hefty sack and pretended to swing a pick ax.

"Master-- first I ripped, then I skipped! There was a bigger snow storm inside than out!"

Kontractor Alekzander Frankenstein barely looked up from his asbestos abatement testing equipment. Which consisted of a coffee cup and a local newspaper, the Transylvania Tombs Union. "Toss that sack in the stream out back" said Frankenstein. He was busy reading coverage of his ongoing trial in the far away city of Zyrakuze. Where ignorant mittel-European law enforcement officials were accusing him and his elderly colleague, Dr. Praetorious, of a decade of environmental crimes against God and Man. Ones also involving sophisticated fraud, state wide conspiracy and money laundering. As he read, Frankenstein relaxed. The TTU story tactfully downplayed 3 months of unflattering court testimony. Nor did it mention current public safety experiments Frankenstein and Praetorious were conducting under the new name of Krankenstein Inc. Frankenstein tossed the paper aside. Thinking, as he often did, that the right connections were worth their weight in kronigs.

"Master" Igor had returned from the reeking creek "will Wolfman be attending your party tonight?"

"Not likely" Frankenstein began picking dead flies from air quality testing filters "He's in deep dawg-doo for dropping date rape drugs into tankards of ale at the village tavern. Some peasant girl got her dirndls in a twist."

"If I may make a suggestion Master" said Igor "don't discard those flies. Dracula is sure to bring Renfield".

"Catty catty Igor" chided Frankenstein.

The Party

The Mummy was in a foul mood. He'd been to the bathroom to do a few Tanna leaves. When he came out Princess Ananka had smirked and said he had toilet paper trailing from his heel. Like the bitch didn't know it was bandage. Now a bunch of burgermeisters and kronies had glommed on to him, wanting to trade revitalization secrets. Yeah. Right. After centuries of living death he was up for a rehash.

"Get this Kharis," a lout in lederhosen breathed mead in his face "Zombies overran my village. I had a piece of the non-profit action. The peasants fled. Now I'm gonna raze their huts. The government will pay for new ones! Me and my buds will be rolling."

"So what" said a big shot gnome from a down stream town "I've seen decades of funding. Most of which I've pocketed. Or steered to my favorite crawling hands. But I keep singing the same tune-- revitalization is just around the corner. All that's needed is another infusion."

"I'll drink to that" said Dracula, passing by on his way to the bar. The Mummy signalled get-me-out-of-here with his eyes. Drac caught the cue and pretended a need to monster speak with the Mummy. Burgermeisters & kronies took the hypnotic hint and faded.

"Thanks Drac" said the Mummy "I wish Frankenstein would do his political networking at mob bars like everyone else. I just can't take any more of these two bit bloodsuckers."

Afterwards. Elsewhere.

Dracula shook his cape from his shoulders and sighed. It was good to be home. His box of dirt looked inviting. But workmen were coming to the castle tomorrow. Some sort of historic rehab deal arranged by Renfield. Who was president-for-life of the local neighborhood association. You had to hand it to the little madman-- he really knew how to mine community development funds. Though it meant not hitting the sack, Drac thought it best to put skeletons in closets and hide heaps of treasure. Because once he was boxed he was dead to the world. Renfield played loyal servant but he might turn rat for the right rodent. Thinking of Renfield, Dracula smiled. He'd certainly gone ballistic when Igor had passed him a tray of crackers and flies. Hopping up and down and screaming that Igor was stereotyping him. Funny how those two were always at each other's throats..

Back at the lab

Dr. Praetorious had arrived after the other guests had departed. He was there for work not play. He and Frankenstein were getting busy with their latest experiment. The one that would put Krankenstein Inc. on top of the publick kontractor world. Electricity hummed in wild waves, coursing through giant whirling gizmos and miles of twisted glass tubing. Sparking and spritzing at tangled conjunctions. On an operating table lay an immense figure swathed in sheets. A feminine form. The only other discernable feature were great sausage like fingers peeking out from beneath the sheets. Fingers colored a dirty green.

"Master-- should I throw the switch?" Igor was eager.

Alekzander Frankenstein looked to his mentor, Dr. Praetorious. The old man nodded. "Do it" said Frankenstein.

Crackle! Zing! Bada bing! For several long moments shock after shock hit the shrouded figure with no result. But then, with a mighty lurch the giantess heaved herself up. The sheets fell back, revealing a body made from what looked like paper mache. Though the basic skin tone was the same dirty green as the fingers, the epidermis overall was a wash of fragmented images. Like blurry tattoos. Yet the images were still identifiable as portraits and numbers. The portraits were of a handful of mittle-European dead presidents. The numbers, denominations. Large ones.

"Behold" Praetorious exulted "The Bribe of Frankenstein!"

"It's alive! It's alive!" shrieked Kontractor Frankenstein

As if in response, the creature struggled to speak. Her eyes rolled. She made inarticulate sounds. Her hands outstretched imploringly. Finally words came forth: "Please. Me remove asbestos. Lead. Bad things. Build roads. Sewers. Bridges. Haul waste. Get job done. Do best job. No bid rig. No lie."

For a moment all was still. Then Praetorious covered his face with his hands. His shoulders sagged. Frankenstein turned to Igor who cringed backwards. The man of science was fighting to control himself. He lost the battle.

"You idiot" he screamed "You dropped the brain."

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

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Copyright (c) 2004 by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff. This material may be freely distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License. This license relieves the author of any liability or implication of warranty, grants others permission to use the Content in whole or in part, and insures that the original author will be properly credited when Content is used. It also grants others permission to modify and redistribute the Content if they clearly mark what changes have been made, when they were made, and who made them. Finally, the license insures that if someone else bases a work on this Content, that the resultant work will be made available under the Open Publication License as well.

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