Gregor Diefenbaker lived in a large castle atop a rocky piece of land that was somewhere between a hill and mountain. He lived alone, unless one counted the servants, who certainly did not count him. They rushed through their duties, cooking (though Gregor rarely ate), cleaning, doing yardwork, then retreated with much haste to the servants quarters. They always locked the door behind them.
A village nestled against the base of the hill-mountain. The village was peaceful and serene, with a market that bustled just enough. Nearly every person that lived there was friendly and generous, quick with a smile.
But the servants in the castle and the people in the village were only bustling or cleaning in the daytime, and Gregor was a creature of the night. The sun seemed ill fitted to light the activities that he took part in.
Gregor walked down the flight of stairs toward his lab, his hand holding a dim gas lamp to light his way. His body was thin and sharp, a pale (sickly, you could say, and many did) knife cutting the the darkness of the stairwell. The steel door that led to his laboratory crawled open, shrieking and moaning in protest, as if it was trying to contain what was inside. Gregor felt along the wall until he found the large switch, then pulled. The lights flashed on all at once. The village didn’t even have electricity yet, and Gregor’s laboratory was the only place in his castle that had it. The villagers didn’t trust it, and the servants wouldn’t even go near the room, though that may have had more to do with what went on the rooms than the electricity.
Machines whizzed and crackled as they powered up, filling with electrical energy. Gregor walked from station to station, nothing inspiring him. Finally, he sat on a stool in the middle of the middle of the laboratory, shoulders slumped even more than usual. The truth was, he was lonely. Gregor was surrounded by servants and a whole village of people, but had no friends. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. He tried bringing villagers up to the castle. But the villagers didn’t share the same interests as him. They didn’t enjoy cutting open cadavers and rearranging their insides. They thought his collection of jars filled with body parts and fetuses in embalming fluid was grotesque. His electric iron maiden was “painful,” his dinners of boiled bat organs and fox brains were “too garlicy.” Even his favorite hobby, taking different parts of animal bodies and combining them into hybrid beasts, failed to garner anything but terror and disgust.
He had applied on multiple occasions for membership to the Evil Mad Scientist Coalition and Summer Handball League, hoping to attend some of their social events and meet some like minded people, but they rejected him time and time again. Though he showed great potential, they said, the most evil thing he had accomplished so far was finance the killing of the many trees it took to supply all the paper for his applications.
Without thought, he walked among the fresh cadavers that were delivered that afternoon from down in the village. Some unruly cattle had led to the deaths of three men, now stretched out before him. He looked over at the tables a few feet away, where the carcasses of an ibex lay on one table and a lynx on the other. The gears inside Gregor’s brain turned. Perhaps if he couldn’t find a friend from another source, he would do what he always did: make one himself. He set about his task. He took the man and transferred him to the main table in the middle of the laboratory. He removed the arms and replaced them with the arms of the front legs of the lynx. He replaced the human teeth with lynx teeth. From the ibex he took the long horns atop his head and grafted them to the skull of the man. The cows made a mess of the internal organs and bones of the three men, so Gregor did his best salvaging and combining the best of what hadn’t been damaged. Gregor considered the brain. Not just any brain would do. He wanted this new creature to have a brain akin to his own. Over along the wall was a shelf holding jars that contained the brains of most of his late family members. He grabbed the most recent, his cousin, who had died in an unfortunate accident when experimenting with attempting to attach new limbs to those who had lost them. The accident had occurred when the husband of one of his former patients that had died from infection stabbed Gregor’s cousin repeatedly for “killing his wife.” Gregor’s cousin had accidentally forgotten not to get stabbed.
Gregor removed the brain from the farmer’s head and replaced it with his cousin’s. The stich and staple work holding the body together was some of Gregor’s best, if he did say so himself. He was always meticulous about such things. With the body assembled, Gregor hooked up the wires from his generator at strategic points around it. He gripped the switch that would funnel volts and volts of electricity into the newly assembled body, then stopped. What was he thinking? This was stupid. This never worked. He had tried many times before. Create a friend? Never gonna happen.
He threw the switch anyway. At least he would get to see a body twitch and burn before he settled back into his despair. He flipped the switch and watched the body convulse for a little bit, but even that made him sad, so he turned the electricity off and flopped down onto his stool. But even with the electricity off, the body kept moving. “Uhhhhhhhh…”
Gregor shot up and took a few steps back. The creature broke free of one arm strap, then the other. It used its claws to free its legs. It stood up, taking a moment to find its footing. Its eyes locked on Gregor, and it smiled, revealing its maw of predator’s teeth.
Gregor couldn’t believe it. It worked! It actually worked! He would finally have a friend. They spent the next few days running experiments. The servants were even more frightened than usual and refused to even be on the same floor as the creature. Unfortunately, as the experiments continued, he realized that the creature’s brain was not developed or high-functioning enough to be any kind of real friend. He was disappointed, but at least he could use to creature to get into the Coalition, and gain some friends from there.
When he had enough data, he wrote to the Evil Mad Scientist Coalition and Summer Handball League with his findings. Surely they had to respect him now. They could no longer deny him entry. Soon he would have friends from all over the world!
It wasn’t long before the coalition responded. Gregor ripped open the envelope, unable to contain his excitement, but his face fell as he read the letter.
Dear Dr. (?) Diefenbaker,
While your success no doubt has some great scientific significance, we’re aren’t entirely sure that it is really evil, persay. Maybe if you could get the creature to cause some havoc, or be responsible for a series of brutal murders or something we will reconsider, but for now your application has been denied.
Evil Mad Scientist Coalition and Summer Handball League
Gregor crumpled up the letter and threw it in the trash. He was furious. Denied again. Fine. He would just have to prove himself to them. He wondered if they accepted beginners on the handball teams, or if there was a beginners league of some sort. If was ever going to get there, he knew what he had to do.
For the next few weeks he set a strict training regimen for the creature, which he decided to call Kreatur. Not overly creative, but direct. So each day Gregor walked Kreatur through ways to terrify, maim, and kill, but something happened along the process. Everything went well except for fire, which terrified Kreatur. As his brain continued to awaken, he and Gregor became actual friends. Kreatur laughed at Gregor’s jokes. He especially like when Gregor would do puppet shows with the cadavers. A few times Gregor threw a cloak over Kreatur and they went down to the village to watch the public hangings. They laughed at all the same parts, mostly when the doomed plead for their lives.
Eventually Kreatur was ready to do some terrorizing. Gregor gave him easy tasks to complete at first, like mauling pets and farm animals in the night, but soon Kreatur graduated to grisly murders throughout the village and surrounding areas. For a moment, Gregor hesitated on even telling the Coalition, but despite his reservations, he submitted his application. I can always use more friends, he thought.
This time the response came not in the form of a letter, but in a knock at the door. One of the servants led the guests down to the laboratory. Gregor sat with Kreatur, going over melee fighting techniques and ways to be more terrifying, when the servant opened the door.
“Guests, Lord Gregor,” he said, then ran away.
There were five of them, all different shapes, sizes and ages, all wearing the official lab coat of the Evil Mad Scientist Coalition and Summer Handball League. It was the tallest, skinniest one, with a long hook nose and jet black hair slicked back that spoke. “We are here to see the creature.”
Gregor gulped, and gestured toward Kreatur, as if to say “here he is.” The representatives from the Coalition inspected Kreatur and spoke to him. Sweat gathered on Gregor’s forehead and underarms at first, but as the inspection went on, the representatives became more and more impressed. Gregor stopped sweating. When the inspection was over, the tall representative walked over to Gregor and handed him a piece of paper. Gregor took it, his nervous hands shaking. The nervousness turned to excitement when he read what it said.
This certificate hereby and forthwith, grants Gregor Diefenbaker, M.D. (?) immediate and full membership into the Evil Mad Scientist Coalition and Summer Handball League.
The signatures of the five representatives were at the bottom of the paper.
He did it. He was in.
“Welcome,” said the tall one. “Now, we must discuss the tour…”
And tour they did. They took Kreatur from country to country, city to city, showing him off to every division of the Coalition. He was a hit everywhere they went. Kreatur was the toast of every party, meeting, or mauling they attended. Gregor, on the other hand, felt like luggage. This may have had something to do with that fact that he was often made to sleep with the luggage. Or because the others dragged him around behind them and ignored him like luggage. Or because they kept trying to open him and put clothes in him like luggage. Everyone was interested in the creature, but not the man who had created him. Gregor grew tired of such treatment and was eager to return home, so he asked Kreatur is he was ready to go back.
“Hmmmm,” said Kreatur. “I think me stay with other scientists. Hang out more.”
“Fine,” said Gregor, and left for the long journey home.
For a while Gregor tried to keep up with Kreatur. He sent him letters, and Kreatur would respond with pages full of incoherent markings. Writing was outside of Kreatur’s grasp, it seemed. Eventually the responses tapered off. Gregor only heard about what was going on through the Coalition’s newsletter and from reports of strange maulings around the globe. Occasionally he would run into Kreatur at different Coalition events. They exchanged awkward, stilted greetings and continued on. That is, if Gregor could get through the crowd of admirers that followed him everywhere at those events.
Without Kreatur, Gregor’s accomplishments weren’t very impressive, and no one really wanted to be friends with an unaccomplished evil mad scientist. They put him on a summer handball team, but only as an alternate. He tried to creature a new creature, but he couldn’t replicate his results from when he created Kreatur. He tried to cook up some new evil schemes, but then he would see something in the laboratory that reminded him of Kreatur and the sadness would creep in. He tried going to the public hangings alone, but the same thing happened. Same when he did cadaver puppetry.
His castle seemed even more lonelier now than it ever had. Most of his time was spent sitting in his chair, staring into the fire, thinking Kreatur hated fire.