Greetings, fellow readers! The following tale was initially going to be published in my debut short story collection in 2020. However, I realized there were two characters in this story still owned by Universal Studios (Gill-Man & Larry Talbot), and therefore I risked the possibility of a lawsuit for publishing it. AMERICAN MONSTERS 2020 is a fun story, one which made me laugh quite a lot while writing it. It’s also a contemporary political piece, and of course, free for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
AMERICAN MONSTERS, 2020
by Tylor James
Frankenstein’s Monster walked into Chaney’s Grocery Store at the corner of Whale Street. Fifteen minutes later, he walked out with a paper bag under his arm. His large boots thudded on the pavement.
He leaned against a parking meter and drew out a fresh pack of Camels from the bag. He lit a cigarette, drawing smoke deep into his lungs. The cigarette was good.
People came and went beneath the street lamps. The sky was black, no stars. He began his walk home. People on the street gawked up at him. Some of them screamed. Others ran away.
People were always this way; full of fear and idiocy. So it was since the day Dr. Victor Frankenstein galvanized him into the world. It was tough at the beginning. Real tough. In those days, he didn’t even have a name. “The Monster!” the village idiots called him. But now his name was Frank. He’d immigrated to the USA, obtained a social security card, and had gotten used to the world. Mostly.
He had his cigarettes, beer, and a house where he paid rent. He had a woman, short and stout, who was unafraid of him and provided pleasure once a week (usually Sunday afternoons). He had a day job too, working at a factory downtown, assembling electric motors at break-neck speed. He liked all of it, except for the job. The manager was a grouchy old hag.
“Better speed it up, Frank!” she’d screech. “You’re down a dozen from yesterday.”
“Meehhhhhhrrrggggg!!” he’d say.
“Don’t give me that or you can forget about a pay increase!”
“Mrrrg . . .” he’d say.
What he wouldn’t give to strangle her! His thoughts turned to more pleasant things — to Veronica, his weekly visitor. Frank felt it stiffen in his pants; what Veronica referred to as his frankenfurter.
He stubbed out the cigarette on his front stoop and went inside to make a ham sandwich. Then he plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV, groaning at the sight of President Donald Trump giving a speech.
He hated Trump for his stupidity, arrogance and bad policy decisions. He hadn’t voted for him in the 2016 election, nor would he in 2020. Impeachment was a possibility, though unlikely. Frank turned the station, stuffing the sandwich into his mouth.
Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein played on the oldies channel. One of his favorites. He leaned back, chasing the sandwich with a bottle of Budweiser. He belched. Scratched his balls. Picked at his ear canals. Then his nose.
After three beers, he passed out on the couch, dead to the world. As he should be.
Frank awoke to a great crash of thunder and lightning. Rain and hail pattered upon the roof of his house. The sensitive bolts on either side of his neck ached like an old man’s bones. He looked out the window at the rain, the street lamps and the empty streets and thought about the old days. It made him wistful.
He grabbed another beer from the fridge and sat, elbows on the window sill. He stayed that way until morning. The rain and thunder faded. The sun arose, lighting up the horizon with pinks and golds and reds.
Frank looked at his face in the bathroom mirror cabinet. He turned his head left to right, noting his pale green complexion, the dark bags under his eyes, the silver staples in his forehead rusted with time, and, of course, the bolts on his neck.
I’m one sharp lookin’ dude, he thought. He ambled into the kitchen wearing his Universal Monsters bathrobe and had a cup of coffee. Then he got dressed in his usual black attire and thudded out of the house.
Klinker’s Korner was a dirty little pub on Main Street. He met Lawrence Talbot there, old friend and district attorney for Wisconsin. Talbot smiled as Frank walked in the door, stooping his head so he wouldn’t smack it on the frame (a practice which took many years to master).
They shook hands. Lawrence had a kind face with deep, sad eyes.
“How’s it hangin’, Frank?” Lawrence smiled.
“Not bad, Wolfie. How’s things?”
“Better than ever,” he replied, sipping a Bloody Mary.
“You don’t say?”
“I met a woman,” he nodded. “A really fine, beautiful person.”
“You dog!” Frank grinned. “Good for you, Lawrence. Really.”
“What’s her name?”
“Nice. So, have you told her yet?” asked Frank.
Lawrence gave him a blank stare.
“Told?” he asked. “About what?”
“Oh, come on. You know! That every night of the full moon you transform into a hairy beast?”
“Oh! That!” Lawrence laughed. “Yeah, I told her. She’s okay with it. More than okay, in fact.”
“Really?” Frank asked.
“She says it turns her on. She’s got the full moon circled on her calendar, even. She can’t wait for me to turn.”
“What a girl!” Frank exclaimed, shaking his head.
The hunchback bartender came around. His name was Igor.
“What’ll it be Frank?” asked Igor.
“Pint of the Spotted Cow, please.”
“You got it, Master.”
Igor brought him the tall glass of beer. Frank sipped at the foam, grateful.
“How’s your Dad these days, Frank?” asked Igor, wiping down the bar with a towel.
“Been dead a few years now,” he said. “I killed him.”
The hunchback stopped wiping down the bar. He stood there, staring at his reflection upon the shiny countertop. Then he shrugged.
“Can’t say I blame you,” Igor replied. “Your father was a real asshole to work for, you know.”
“I know,” nodded Frank. “He was an asshole to work for and to have a father for.”
“I can believe that,” Igor said. “Holler if you need anything.”
“Will do.” Frank took another sip of beer. Igor went to the opposite end of the bar, flirting with the ladies down there. The ladies weren’t interested. Their pretty faces shriveled with disgust.
Lawrence and Frank stared up at the big flat screen mounted upon the wall above the bar. Trump was making another speech, this one about immigration. Trump wanted Mexico to pay for a wall.
Lawrence and Frank shook their heads.
“What an idiot,” said Lawrence.
“I know,” groaned Frank. “Don’t you just wish someone would just off that guy?”
“Oh, sometimes I do,” he replied. “Though I dunno if it’d make much difference. ‘New boss same as the old boss’. You know. That old hat.”
“Sure,” said Frank. “The majority of our reps are screwy, the VP not excluded. Get rid of one self-serving screwball and he’s replaced by another. But still . . . this guy . . . Trump. He’s the screwiest commander-in-chief this country has ever seen! And man, we’ve had some screwballs in our time, haven’t we?”
“Sure have,” Lawrence chuckled. “Remember Nixon?”
“How about Reagan?” he continued. “Clinton? Bush?”
Frank shook his head sadly. “As bad as all those guys are,” said Frank, “their idiocy pales in comparison to this guy. I mean, look at him.”
Lawrence looked. They both did. The President’s yellow hair bounced in the wind. His mouth was wide, opening and closing like a stupid fish.
Frank spit his beer out on the bar.
“The hell did you do that for?” asked Lawrence.
“I’ve just got an idea!” Frank replied, wiping his lips.
Igor came over with a towel, frowning, wiping up the mess.
“Hear me out, Wolfie. What if we got the gang back together?”
Lawrence raised an eyebrow. “You mean, get Drac?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “You, me, Drac, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, everyone.”
“What about the Invisible Man?”
“No.” Frank shook his head. “We’d never find him.”
“Good point,” said Lawrence. “All right. So we get the gang back together. To do what? Reminisce? Play cards? Get smashing drunk? All the above?”
“That sounds good, but no. We get the gang back together and we take a trip to Washington D.C. We get ourselves into the White House. Then we find that bigoted, liver-spotted, yellow-haired, science-denying, corporate-shill-fat-boy-plutocrat TRUMP and then . . . ”
Lawrence was at the edge of his seat now, his eyes wide.
“And then? What, Frank? What do we do?”
“We kill him!”
“Yes! You’re a genius!” said Lawrence. “Why have I never thought of this?”
“Because I’ve got the brain,” said Frank, tapping the side of his head. His head sounded as if he were knocking on a tortoise shell.
“OK,” said Lawrence. “I’ll go home tonight and make some calls. See if I can get everybody in.”
“Great. Give me a call. Let me know what you come up with.” Frank guzzled the rest of his beer and slammed a three bucks down on the counter. Igor nodded his head thanks. Lawrence stared down at the bar, frowning.
“What’s the matter, Wolfie?” Frank asked.
“Well,” he said. “If we’re going to assassinate Trump, we’ll have to do it on the night of the full moon. When I’ve changed. I can’t do much as I am now . . . I have small hands. I’m weak. But the wolf inside . . . that part of me is strong.”
“Of course,” Frank replied. “We’ll do it on the full moon. When is that? A week? No big deal.”
“But that means Karen and I won’t . . . uhm, you know. She’s really looking forward to that night, as I’ve told you.”
“Just tell her what we plan to do,” Frank replied. “If she’s reasonable, she’ll understand your absence. Trump has got go, man. America has made a terrible mistake. And this country just might just be stupid enough to elect this buffoon for a second term! We can’t let that happen. America voted for him, sure, but that doesn’t mean it deserves him.”
Lawrence’s eyes welled with tears. “You’re right, Frank. He’s got to go. Next week. On the full moon. I’ll call up the others.”
Frank nodded. “Talk to you later, Wolfie. Take care.”
“Yeah, you too, old pal.”
One Week Later – On the Night of the Full Moon
The gang took a bus to D.C. They rode in at dark. There was hardly any other choice. Dracula had a curfew. He had to be back home inside his coffin of earth in Transylvania before daybreak. People on the bus stared at the four of them sitting quietly in their seats.
In one seat sat Frank (he chose the window seat) and Dracula (his long black cape strayed into the bus isle, tripping people up). In the seat behind them, sat Lawrence (with only a few hours before the full moon) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (he’d been out of the lagoon for too long already. His gills were tired and sore.)
The Mummy stayed back home in Egypt; he was apolitical. Nobody bothered trying to locate the Invisible Man.
The four of them had been partying it up and were pretty drunk. Frank kept a silver flask of whiskey under his jacket. He handed it to Creature for a swig and when he’d gotten it back it was nearly empty. The Creature, as it turned out, drank like a fish.
“Damn, Creech,” said Frank. “Save some for me next time, will ya?”
He hung his head in shame, opened his mouth, gurgled.
“Apology accepted,” Frank replied.
Lawrence began to sweat. Thick, coarse hair on his palms and cheeks began to sprout.
“We better get to the White House soon,” said Lawrence, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. “I don’t have much time.”
“We’ll be there,” said Frank. “I’ve got it all planned.”
“My dear Monster,” said Dracula, his accent thick. “Are you positive this despot is resting where you say is? Or has he gone to another country perhaps, out of some vain posture of diplomacy? Have you considered, perhaps, he may be staying at his friend Kim Jong Ill’s house tonight?”
“Relax, Drac,” Frank replied. “I checked his Twitter feed. He’s staying in tonight. Trust me.”
“I trust you, Frank,” he smiled, canines peeking from under his upper lip. “I’ll be flying away long before the sun comes up, of course.”
It was an agreement. They had one night. One night to assassinate the President of the United States. Then Wolf-Man would transform into Lawrence Talbot again, Dracula would fly home, Creature would swim home, and Frank? Well. As long as he wasn’t caught and locked away for trying to assassinate the P.O.T.U.S . . . . He’d be returning to his modest house in Wisconsin, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches.
The Creature sat nearest the isle. He enjoyed pinching the bottoms of damsels walking by. Oddly enough, all of the women he pinched featured striking similarities to Julie Adams.
They reached their destination. Frank, Dracula, Lawrence, and Creech got off the bus. The night air felt cool on their skin. The streets were busy. Dogs howled in the distance. Lawrence’s ears twitched.
Dracula was jubilant. “Ahh, Children of the Night!” he exclaimed. “What music they make!”
“This a ‘way!” said Frank, holding out his cell. The GPS guided them through the busy streets. People turned their heads, laughing at them. They thought the four of them were just people, dressed up in Halloween costumes.
The pale moon rose steadily into the sky. Bones cracked and shifted beneath Lawrence’s sport jacket. He moaned.
“There, there, Lawrence,” said Dracula. “It’ll all be over soon.”
Lawrence nodded, frowning.
Then, there it was: The Commander-in-Chief’s historic, white mansion. It sported tall windows and white pillars, a lush, green lawn, well-trimmed hedges, a water fountain and a long black fence out front. The US flag flapped in the wind upon a pole.
“What a splendid, accommodating abode,” Dracula said. His dark eyes wandered along the street, then settled on Frank.
“So,” he said. “What is the plan, Frank?”
“Well,” Frank replied, scuffing his black boots on the sidewalk. He’d been the one to insist everyone gather together. Now, here they were. What next?
A bat fluttered against the president’s window, its wings tapping against the glass. Donald stirred in his bed. Tap, tap-tap, tap-tap-tap-tap. Donald groaned, tossed back the covers, rubbed his eyes and squinted at the window shrouded in moonlight. An eerie howl sounded from a great distance. He shivered. There was nothing at the window. He pulled the covers over his bulk and went back to sleep.
The bat’s wings resumed tapping against the glass. An aggravated Donald threw his feet upon the floor and thudded over to the window. He looked out onto the lawn and the trees and the garden lights below and saw nothing, heard nothing. He gritted his teeth, now eyeing the walls around him. “God damn rats in this place! That’s what’s making this racket! How dare there be god damn rats in here! I’m the President of the United States, for Chrissakes!”
Another howl outside; a long, dreadful sound. Donald looked left, then right through the window, then opened it wide and leaned out.
WHACK! The bat’s fangs launched into Donald’s cheek. He screamed and cried and hammered at the bat, inadvertently battering his own face. He reeled backward, collapsing upon the hardwood floor. The bat bit mercilessly at his forehead, cheeks, chin, nose, even his tongue.
The doors of the presidential suite burst open. Two secret service men rushed in. The bat flew out the room, down the hall. Donald whimpered and stuttered in the arms of the secret service, his face a bloody prune.
“My God, Mr. President! What’s happened?”
“B-b-b-bat!” Donald replied, his shoulders hitching with sobs. “A drone bat! It was CHINA! I know it! CHINA sent in a drone to ASSASSINATE ME!”
One of the agents used his walkie-talkie to alert the night guards and other members of staff, putting the White House on lock down. “This is Code Red,” he said. “I repeat: Code Red!”
The great, black bat attacked the men guarding the White House entrance door, swooping and diving and biting them into hysterics. With this distraction at hand, Frank and the Creature climbed over the black fence, ran across the lawn, up the red carpeted steps and into the White House.
The guards tumbled down the porch steps onto the lawn, their faces bitten into unrecognizable, blood pieces. The bat suddenly burst into a cloud of fog. Dracula appeared and entered the mansion, locking the front door behind him. He joined Frank and the Creature at the staircase.
Staff and secret service men reeled in terror as the three of them walked up the stairs. Some collapsed in shock. Dracula, Frank, and Creature walked up to the second floor. The agonized howls outside grew louder.
Dracula stopped in front of the president’s wife’s room.
“No, Drac,” said Frank. “The presidential suite is this a ‘way.”
“I’m aware of that, my dear Monster,” Dracula replied. “But it is many miles from D.C. to my homeland Transylvania. I’d like to take a bride for the long flight home.”
“I like your thinking, Drac. Creature and I will be in the president’s suite . . . ahem . . . impeaching the president.”
Creature nodded, the gills on either side of his face opening and closing enthusiastically. Dracula knocked on the door of Melania Trump’s bedroom.
“Come in!” said the voice on the other side. Dracula entered, holding his black cape over the lower half of his face. His dark eyes beamed with mystery, romance and evil.
Frank and the Creature entered the presidential suite, just down the hall. Donald sat at the end of his bed, the breeze from the open window chilling the room. His head rested on the shoulder of one of the secret service agents. He was sobbing. Snot dangled out of his nostrils in long strands.
“There, there,” said one of the agents. “We’ll help you get China for this, Mr. President. And we’ll even get Mexico to pay for it. We promise.”
Donald nodded pathetically, sniffling. He held a tiny mirror up to his face and asked, “How’s my hair look, boys? The news will want to cover this within the hour.”
“Your hair looks great, Mr. President,” said one.
“Yet, it looks very full,” replied the other.
“Ahem,” Frank interjected, switching on the light.
The secret service agents stood up, drawing their guns. “Move one step and we’ll shoot!”
Frank laughed. The Creature gurgled. The President screamed like a girl. The Wolf-Man leaped through the open window, launching at the agents.
Wolfy tore and bit at the men’s necks. They screamed until their tracheas were ripped out. Donald cried, bumbling toward the door. Frank grabbed hold of the President’s pudgy neck, lifting him up off the ground. Creature’s webbed feet jumped up and down with joy.
Wolfy occupied himself by running out into the hall, shredding remaining staff members to a bloody pulp. People outside the room screamed. Pistol shots rang out. None did Wolfie any damage. The bullets weren’t silver.
Trump’s eyes rolled back into his head. His face turned beat red, then corpse blue, then moon white. His tongue lolled out one side of his mouth. His throat made low, croaking noises. His legs ceased their kicking and his arms hung limp. Frank released Trump from his iron grasp. The body thudded violently onto the floor.
“We’ve done well, Creech!” said Frank. “Now, let’s go find Drac and see how he’s progressing with his new bride.”
They exited the presidential suite, its floors drenched in blood and tracheas. They opened the door to Melania’s room. Drac’s butt bobbed up and down between a pair of long, quivering legs. Melania groaned. The Creature cocked his head, gills expanding.
“Hey, put that thing away, Creech!” said Frank. “We’ve got business to tend to. We’ll let Drac and Melania to tend to theirs.”
The Creature bowed his head. He wanted to stay and watch. They closed Melania’s door and ambled down the stairs. Upon each step; a severed arm here, a severed leg there, some intestines, a decapitated head, a spleen, and a plethora of other dispatched anatomies.
The Wolf-Man stood by the front door, licking his bloodied paws. “You did a fine job, Wolfy!” said Frank. Creature clapped his webbed hands, gurgling praises.
Wolfy raised his head and howled. It was a howl of triumph and glory. The Revolution had begun.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Frank sat with his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office. On the phone was Lawrence Talbot, his new VP.
“So you think free health care is really the way to go Lawrence? Uh-huh. Great. We’ll hold the meeting in my office tomorrow morning. We’ll draw up a plan, then send it to Congress. Okay. Thanks, Lawrence. See you tomorrow.”
He hung up. Good old Wolfy. His ideas and advice were inestimable to Frank as the new president of the United States.
Sure, he hadn’t been officially elected. He’d just sort of taken over. Nonetheless, Frank had become popular in a short amount of time. The media loved him. So did the majority of the country, according to opinion polls. Even a few conservative congressmen approved; a fact which surprised Frank the most.
It had all worked out okay, really. The Creature had been gifted a villa on his Black Lagoon, accompanied by a babe who looked identical to Julie Andrews. She catered to his every whim (and was paid for it of course, on Frank’s dime). Dracula had returned to Transylvania with his vampire bride, Melania. Everyone was happy. What else could he ask for?
A knock at the door.
A secret service agent entered. His cheeks were hairy. Canines protruded from beneath his lips. “Mr. President,” he said. “I’d like to take the night off to be with the wife. It’s a full moon tonight, Sir.”
Frank nodded. “Say no more, Paul. I’ll be fine. Go make your woman happy.”
“Thank you, Mr. President! Thank you!”
He left in a hurry, howling down the hallway. Frank smiled, knowing he would always treat his staff with the utmost courtesy and respect.
He leaned back in the luxurious, leather chair and dreamed of the future. It was destined to be a future where political monsters were extinguished and, at last, the poor and working class had a real voice. It was a chance to create the America they deserved; an America of great education, universal health care, a conversion from coal, gas, and oil to sustainable energy sources, taxation of the rich, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system.
President Frankenstein was going to work his hardest to make America truly great again.
© All Rights Reserved. Tylor James. 2020