As a special treat this All Hallows Eve I have been invited back to Hell as a guest interviewer. My next guest is one of the better known denizens of Hell, and perhaps one who deserves much sympathy.
Welcome to the Hell Interview Channel, brought to you infernally hour after hour.
Name (s): Herr Victor Frankenstein, MD.
Age (before death and after you ended up in HSM’s domain): I cannot remember. Perhaps in my 30s.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I am a doctor, a damned fine doctor, if I may say so myself, even though I did not practice medicine in the manner of most doctors.
Who were you in life? I was a brilliant physician and chemist, dedicated to research, and tortured by an obsession to conquer death – to bring life to the dead. That obsession will haunt me forever: it has followed me to Hell and will never release me, never let me know peace or whatever may pass for peace in Hell.
How do you think you ended up in Hell? What sins have you committed? Not to sound flippant or sarcastic, but if you read Shelley’s novel you will know that I perished on the ice with Adam, my creation, the thing that damned me for eternity. I committed many of the 613 or so sins, my friend. But let us just say that my one great sin was of pride: I dared to play God.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. You’re kidding, right? In ten words or less? I cannot.
My appearance? Now? Well, Merlin, that Caliban of mischief and wickedness, built a very special, magical hideout for Adam and me. But as payment, he wanted to see what would happen if he switched brains. So we allowed him to do so; we had no choice. My brain now resides in the skull of the so-called monster I built with my own two hands, built from the bodies of cadavers, and brought to life. Bolts, clamps, scars, nearly-translucent skin, and poor eyesight; I needs must wear spectacles. The doctor who created a monster, the doctor who was more monstrous than his creation is now, ironically, the creature and to which he gave life – defying God and Nature.
Where do you live in Hell? Tell us about your residence and area. I now live in Goblin Manor, on the Golem Heights, in New Hell. I worked for Doctor. Faustus for a while, earned and saved my diablos, and designed and built the Manor in a grand style, my new Castle of Frankenstein, where I now reside with my hunchback assistant, Quasimodo, who once rang the bells at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Is your moral code the same as it was in life? Ha! You ask me that? Me? Who has robbed graves, who blasphemed, who committed sacrilege and was declared anathema by every church and denomination in Europe – a thing most people still living do not know. I gave life to the dead; I was the instrument of mayhem and murder. If I have a moral code it is this: I will sacrifice everything, go to any lengths to help those I love and to do whatever I can to undo the damage, the crimes and the sins I was responsible for in life. Here, in Hell, where there is no escape, where there is no hope, no relief, no peace . . . here in Hell I have dedicated my afterlife in the pursuit to helping the Damned find whatever peace can be found in this grim infernity of madness and despair.
Would you kill for those you love? After all sending someone to the Undertaker is not very nice! I have killed and will kill for those I love. I took that essence-of-soul sucking vampire, Lemuel Gulliver, with me into the lava pool, when he tried to destroy Mary Shelley, the chronicler of my infamous and ill-fated deeds. And there I “died,” and then woke again on the Undertaker’s table, at his merciless hands and the incompetent claws of Gorgonous, his assistant. Those two . . . what butchers, what quacks, what sadists! I could certainly teach them a thing or two! But I digress. Whatever became of Gulliver, I have no idea. Remember: death in Hell is not as you know it in life. In Hell, we are all dead. There is no death in Hell, only reassignment, which is in a way a twisted, sick and perverted form of reincarnation.
Would you die for those you love? Die, being a relative term….As stated above, my lovely lady . . . I have, and would gladly do so again. I may be damned and in Hell, but I am not totally without heart, without feelings. I am not so insane and evil as one might imagine, not in the manner in which so many of the movies made of Mary’s novelized version of my life and work have portrayed me. Oh, yes – I have seen those films. We can view them, in Hell.
Do you have any phobias? Are you plagued by anything particular in Hell? I am plagued by Erra and his Seven Sibitti henchmen, and the plagues he brings down upon us by the wrath and will of the Almighty. I am plagued by flies, the buzzing and nagging of those unhealthy little bastards. And I obsessed with finding a cure for those plagues, and most of all, obsessed with finding the Get Out of Hell Free card.
What do you think Satan’s most creative punishment is here? I am not sure what punishments are to be credited to Satan or to the Almighty. It is God who punishes. Satan, in my humble opinion, toys with us, makes fools of us, and I believe he wants to prove to God that the Damned are unworthy of damnation or salvation. He wants us out of Hell; His Satanic Majesty wants Hell for only him and his. He would love to see Heaven send down its angels to cast each and every one of us damned souls into the nothingness of Oblivion. He is a trickster, that Satan, master of many guises and duplicities. But he is not the personification of evil that history has made of him. No – men are far more evil. He may influence, he may bribe, he may make false promise, but in the end, Mankind has a choice, and more often than not, Mankind chooses evil over good. Ah, but then, there are 613 sins, and breaking just one of them can land you in Hell. Perhaps God and Satan are one and the same. Sort of like celestial and infernal versions of Jekyll and Hyde.
Who are your friends here? Adam Frankenstein, of course, my creation and my son in all but flesh and blood. Then there are Galatea, the love of his afterlife, and Johnny Fortune, one-time Chicago gangster who now works for Frank Nitti; dear Johnny, the only lost and damned soul I ever met in Hell who actually likes it here and would not trade it for Heaven. Of course there is my dear Mary Shelley, who so beautifully told my story, with few embellishments. And now, Quasimodo, who serves as both butler and lab assistant, although he drives me crazy with his constant display of acrobatics and quoting passages from Victor Hugo’s novel.
Who are your enemies? Hopelessness, despair, treachery, dishonesty, and disloyalty.
If I recall relationships are… difficult, is this the side of humanity you miss the most? I am a man of science. Yes, once I was married. But while I loved my dear wife, Elizabeth, I loved my work even more. Sex was never important to me. Thus, in my afterlife, I have been able to concentrate on my work, and I have even forgiven Adam for murdering her. Yes, in Hell I have found the capacity for mercy and forgiveness. Ironic, isn’t it?
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. Most people do not realize that I based my work on that of Johann Konrad Dippel, who was a German physician and vivisectionist, who was actually born in Castle Frankenstein, near Darmstadt, in 1673; he died in 1734, and I have no idea where in Hell he might be. As for me, I was born in Naples and raised in Geneva. My family often referred to their home as Castle or House of Frankenstein. There are many castles with that name in parts of Europe, and many Frankensteins. For all I know, Dippel might have been, might be a distant ancestor.
If you ever get to Hell, and I pray that you do not, look me up. I am working on many things, and one of them is a way to keep the Damned from ending up on Slab A in the Mortuary, at the mercilessness of the Undertaker. I doubt I will ever succeed, but one must never give up, never lose hope, especially in Hell.
Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:
POETS IN HELL, copyright (c) 2014, Janet Morris, in the story We The Furious. (Joe Bonadonna)
Author name: Joe Bonadonna
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.