Monster Mash #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches on a Friday. Haven’t done this in a while. This week’s prompt is “Hallowe’en” obviously.

2016-10-28

When I first stitched you up, I wasn’t sure it’d work out. But you found your rhythm quickly, after that first jolt, and I envied you. I worked for so long to make you up, I unmade myself along the way. All that writing, reading, digging up the past, didn’t leave much room for a personal life. I had someone, I think –an intended? – but that hardly seemed to matter. I think I treated people very poorly, back then.

It was a beautiful night, your birthday. Coal black sky, clouds like grey lace that dropped stitches of rain. I remember it clearly. I took a moment after I completed preparations. I stood out on a balcony, and utterly failed to light my pipe in the gale. The thunder was like a lion’s purr, and the lightning stalked towards me, that Promethean spark. Had I died then, I would have been forgotten. Someone else might have made you, or something like you, but I flatter myself that it would have been a lesser work.

Those first days were difficult for me. The brief flower of joy gave way to an emptiness. When you were awake, I could distract myself. Play games with you, teach you how to read. We named all the animals together, and I showed you the trees in the garden. When you slept, though, I wandered through the corridors, picked things up, then put them back down. I had finished my great work – now what? The Bible never mentioned what God did on the eighth day.

Our coming out party was my lowest point. You were charming, of course you were. The Count was full of compliments and I’ve never seen Talbot warm to anyone so quickly. But I felt spent, used up, as if I had transferred my life force into you, and had none left for myself. After everyone had gone home I wept into my pillow, and didn’t emerge for days.

When I emerged, I found you sat on the floor in front of the gramophone, looking into its horn as if on the Mayflower, your first glimpse of the new world. We had neglected music in your education – I had never thought much of it. Nevertheless, I realised it was an omission, since you had gravitated towards the trashiest waltz you could find in my collection. I showed you the steps; first I led, then you. As always, you learned quickly, but this time with a passion could only recognize as my own, the first time I saw a frog’s leg twitch when galvanised with electricity. You soon mastered me, and I sent for instruction, so that this talent wasn’t wasted.

I lived vicariously through your achievements. You mastered the tango, the quickstep, the foxtrot, the polka; the samba, the rumba, the pasa doble, the jive; you took ballet, and tap, and contemporary, and jazz; and then you outstripped your instruction, created dances beyond description, and I was happy, I was happy.

It’s been almost a year now since that first night, and I’ve finally regained some perspective. You are not what I set out to make, but I am prouder of what you’ve made yourself than I can express. As I write, I can hear you from downstairs, so eloquently instructing your troupe on this new dance, this ‘mash’ of yours. I have no doubt it will be a success. I only hope your dancers can keep up with you. As for myself, I feel the stirrings of a new project – a sequel, perhaps to the one that culminated with you. After all, Adam does require his Eve…

Inspirations

The Wicked + The Divine: 1831 by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, and Clayton Cowles (2016)

What We Do In the Shadows, dir. Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi (2014)

Integrity Blues by Jimmy Eat World (2016)

If you’ve got your own #fridayflash to share, drop a comment below with a link, or get me on Twitter @jamesdavidward. #fridayflash is an irregular series, but it feels good to do it again.

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