Flash Friday! Fiction: Frank and Steina

New York Nursery, 1910. No known copyright restrictions. From the NY Nursery & Child Hospital Annual Report.
New York Nursery, 1910. No known copyright restrictions. From the NY Nursery & Child Hospital Annual Report.

Frank and Steina – 173 words

Character: Oblivious optimist
Theme: Secrecy, fate vs free will

If you love something, set it free, the old cliché goes.

I did. Two years, five months, fourteen days, and three hours ago, I sprung you from your cage.

You’d come back, I figured. You had a good life here. Food aplenty, all the books you could read, me for companionship. What more could you want? What more could you need?

You told me you had to find yourself, had to discover who you were without me. Beyond me.

I let you go.

Now you’re here, saying nothing’s changed, that we can go on as before, that you’re where you belong.

I believe you. I want to. I have to. I’ve never loved another like I love you.

And yet, secrets play around your eyes. I catch you watching me when you think I’m not looking. You never let me out of your sight.

“What did you do while away?” I ask.

“Planned,” you answer, your gaze terrifyingly steady, that guileless smile betrayed by blood red lips.

I know who’s the captor now.

Today’s novel is her 1818 classic, argued by many to be the first science fiction story, Frankenstein. Frankenstein relays the anguished tale of Victor Frankenstein, whose grotesque but now sentient and intelligent creature, after being rejected by his creator, sets out on a violent and desperate journey which ultimately dooms them both. Er, I trust that wasn’t a spoiler for anyone?

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please remember the Flash! Friday guidelines with regard to content; and remember please do not use copyrighted characters).

* Conflict: man v self, man v society
Character (choose at least one): a cowardly scientist; a man-made, sentient creature; a hapless fiancee, an oblivious optimist.
Theme (choose one): forbidden science, danger of the pursuit of knowledge, fate v free will, secrecy
Setting (choose one): Romantic-era Europe, a laboratory, a ship voyaging in the Arctic, ANYWHERE STEAMPUNK!

So what do you think? I had 175 (+/- 10) words in which to craft a tale. Normally I write romance, or at least humor. I opted for a different vein this time about.

Stick your arms out and shuffle on over to Flash Friday Fiction to feast on other fine stories.


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