And it’s a wrap. The story collaboration is over. Hallelujah.
On a more serious note, the story collaboration was originally going to end sometime next month but this project was slowly fading out and chapter 13 had yet to be claimed… That was until Matt Snyder offered to throw his hat in the ring to write out the wonderful ending.
Thank you, Matt, for concluding this story. We have him to thank for taming the beast of the long awaited chapter 13. You can read it here below, but before you do, I’ve got one more thing up my sleeve other than lint!
If you could please take part in this poll for the next project to tackle in the Little Writing Workshop of Horrors, we would appreciate it very much.
As well, here are the previous chapters of the story if you are a new reader or are just catching up. You know who you are. 👀
Chapter One by Lucy
Chapter Seven by Lucy
Chapter Twelve by Lucy
Recap: In chapter twelve, Z is held hostage by both Charles and Dr. Frankensti. The interrogation begins and startling truths and motives are revealed. Z’s life hangs in the erratic hands of Dr. Frankie as he slowly takes over his host to find more information about the Pandora file and just who Captain Yvonne is.
Z recalls the night terrors he had ever since the brutal death of Venus, especially as Charles is dressed as an officer. He wonders the true intent behind their company of Air Proxy with their unstable connections to the Delano 618 and other related governments.
Abruptly, there is a knock on the door, a neighbor informing Frankensti of a noise complaint. Dr. Frankie tries to subdue the problem, but usually that means this:
Dr. Frankie uses his baton to knock the stranger out, and through violent extrication, the memory chip is recovered, then destroyed to prevent the truth of coming out in case of a forensics investigation.
Back to the conversation between Dr. Frankie and Z that was so rudely interrupted: Dr. Frankensti wants answers, but ultimately has to kill Z to move up in the ranks. Before Frankie could pull the trigger, Z falls on the floor and goes into cardiac arrest.
Dr. Frankie at first believed he was faking but with no pulse on Z, he struggles with this aftermath of his former boss not dying at his own hand. Frankie goes on to break Z’s back and ribs, and from a moment pulled out of “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Frankie launched an apple core into Z’s back.
He then recovers Z’s phone and looks through his messages. Codenamed White Bear, Z and an operative are discussing his pet project, Charles. Due to the violent nature of Venus’s death, Z’s life is threatened if he cannot control his agent.
Frankie stares at Z, but ultimately decides to leave the complex in a haze. As he reflects, he couldn’t bring himself to feel anything about Z.
Chapter 13 by Matt Snyder.
A/N: Thank you, Bob Marley.
How did I actually feel? I was tired of it all, tired of being manipulated by outside forces beyond my control, tired of this other evil dominant personality ruining my life. I didn’t sign up for this when I took this job at Air Proxy five years ago. I’m a numbers man, by this account, the odds were stacked way against me. Fuck this!
With every ounce of energy I had, I managed to raise my right arm to the back of my head; I found the port where the memory chip (MC) had been placed and I started to dig into my head with my fingernails.
Memories were on that chip; this body is just a vessel for this disgusting evil being that calls himself “Dr. Frankensti.”
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
What the? What the hell am I doing? Oh. It must be you, you little airy-fairy, Mr. Billy No Mates himself Charlie Evans. Well, go ahead and unplug yourself, I don’t need you to function. I remove the chip and drop it in front of us, crushing it. “Good riddance!”
The Headquarters of the Delano 618.
The hacker in control of Charlie is speaking with the leader of the gang. Perdimos contacto completamente senor “We lost contact, sir.”
Necesitamos terminar esto, ahora ! “We need to end this now!”
Enviar en el aniquilador “Send in the annihilator.”
Si, Senor “Yes, sir.”
I’m cold. It’s dark and hazy where I am. The haze begins to lift and I find myself naked in a circular room full of hundreds of mirrors. I stand and look around. Every mirror is me but it is a reflection of me at different points in my life. I walk towards the mirror in front of me, and it’s as if I am watching a movie of myself. Although unlike the others, I don’t see myself anywhere. I see a young mixed-race couple. The white woman is pregnant and the black man is overjoyed. They are walking around, laughing at the animals. They find themselves in the butterfly sanctuary.
It is, at this moment, that I realize I am seeing my parents and this is most likely the day of my birth. My mum starts to go into labor, my dad is frantic. A man is admiring the butterflies very close to my parents.
He seems to offer to help, telling my dad to find some additional help. He tells my mum to relax as she’s in good hands, that at one point in America he was a doctor. My dad is nowhere to be found.
As mum starts the delivery, this man starts to act peculiar. He looks around the room as if to see if he is being watched. As my mum pushes me out, the man grabs me and lays me to the side; I am still attached by the umbilical cord. I see myself as a baby and I watch the man start to take advantage of my mum… in a way that no man should be doing to any woman in such a vulnerable state.
He hears my dad arrive with the authorities and makes a run for it, pushing over one of the cages, and soon, butterflies all congregate on me. I’m wailing and my mum is in shock. The man, who on the one hand helped bring me into the world, was also complete scum. He looked vaguely familiar to me.
There is suddenly a hand on my shoulder. It’s my mum in the flesh standing behind me… She says he called himself…
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
I am bleeding profusely from the head. “Damn you, Charles!”
I rip the sleeve off of our shirt and wrap it around my head tightly to try to control the bleeding. I look again at the message on Z’s phone and decide to call the number that left this message. The phone rings and a woman answers in Spanish. I can only muster a response of heavy breathing as she repeats in English: “White Bear. Can you hear me?”
I do my best impersonation of Z. “Barely.”
“Thank God you are alive, White Bear. That maniac you created…”
I interject with, “He’s dead.”
“You need to vacate the premises, they have dispatched the annihilator to destroy the–” I hung up on her. The annihilator. I welcome the fool that plans to take down the spawn of the devil himself.
“Dr. Edward Greco.” (better known as Stephen Richards to the rest of the world). Who would think twenty-eight years later I would find myself in the throes of a world created by this piece of shit? Kind of makes me wonder if all this time he was keeping track of me and pulling the strings to convince my uncle to get this “job” at Air Proxy.
“I was never the same after I gave birth to you, Charlie,” I heard my mother say. “And neither were you. Your young eyes were a witness to the assault. It triggered a rage inside of you. Even after we bought you the Frankenstein Monster doll you were transfixed on, that doll became an extension of you, the rage within. Your imaginary friend, Dr. Frankensti… He was you, Charlie. It scared your father, that’s why he was rarely ever home…” My mum fades away.
I ask her not to leave me. She is comforting to me. I see myself at the age of five causing the accidental death of a nanny and my disgusting need to taste her blood. I sit back down. I rest my head on my knees and I begin to cry.
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
Standing before me I assume is the annihilator.
A mangled walking rotting corpse that is part machine and equipped with what appears to be a rocket launcher of some sort where his left arm used to be. Surprise, surprise, it’s Richards. Long thought dead, just another puppet… like me. Richards looks at me and starts counting backward in Spanish from five.
“Son.” I hear a man’s voice. I look to the left and see myself in another reflection. This time, I am eight years old. My aunty and uncle have come to take me to their home to raise me. My parents are nowhere to be found. I ask my aunty and uncle for answers and they just tell me my parents are gone and that I will be starting a better life with them. A better life, I think. My life has always been shite. All they provided for me was a simpler life.
“Son.” I hear the voice again. It must be my dad.
“Dad,” I call out, “why did you and mum leave me?”
“I couldn’t handle your moods, son. And your mother was numb. It was like living with a zombie and a little devil. I was racked with guilt for panicking and leaving your mother with that “Doctor” at the zoo. I don’t know what happened the day you were born, but it turned my world upside down. We bought you a Frankenstein Monster doll and that seemed to bring you comfort, but your “moods” emerged through that doll, and your mother grew more and more numb to the outside world. Your evil persona killed your mother.”
“I killed her?”
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V.
“The Great and Mighty Richards, the Walking Corpse with built-in A.I. is going to destroy me.” I approach this disgusting mess and easily knock it to the ground with one fell swoop. I just stand there and laugh. It speaks to me.
“I am the Annihilator and you are a mistake that must be rectified, Steel Viper.”
“Son, I tried to make things work. I tried to get help for both you and your mum, but nothing ever seemed to work. I fell into a deep depression. I called my brother and told him I couldn’t handle it anymore and that I wanted him and his wife to take you, to offer you a change of scenery. Perhaps a different environment would do you a bit of good. I am truly sorry that perhaps that wasn’t the best solution. I am sorry you find yourself here–in what is called neither here or there.
“I am burning, my son, for my crime of the heart. When I say your “persona” killed your mother what I mean is, you pushed me over the edge. Your rage was out of control one day and I locked you in the front room. That rage you had manifested inside me, and I felt it in every pore of my being. I took my pistol and used it on your mother and myself.
“When my brother arrived with a spare key, he unlocked the front room and you hugged him telling him you were frightened by the two loud bangs. Your aunty called the police and told them of the situation and that’s why you left without any answers. I’m so sorry, son. I burn for all eternity for my sins.”
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
“Your annihilator is a joke! Do you hear me, you fucking idiots?”
I start to pummel the annihilator with fists; flesh and blood splatter about.
“Jesus. I’m sorry, dad. That wasn’t me. It really wasn’t my fault. I wish you would’ve tried harder to get us some help. I’m not evil, dad. If I was, I wouldn’t be here… In what you call the neither here or there. I am so sorry.”
I begin to weep again as the mirrors start to fade away. I lie down on the floor in a fetal position.
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
I am holding the dismembered organs, body parts and the head of Richards. I plant a big kiss on the lips of his decapitated head. “You actually thought this would annihilate me? Did you forget that you also made me? That I am the indestructible assassin named Steel Viper? What you don’t seem to understand is that I am not and never was Charles Evans.”
I hear mum singing my favorite song. “Don’t worry bout a thing, cos every little thing is gonna be alright…”
But how, mum? I am lost in the neither here or there!
Dr. Frankensti’s P.O.V
I am the spawn of the devil himself. Who do you really think has the upper hand in this situation?
Ingrates. Slaves. I am the true annihilator. “NADIE PUEDE VENCERAL DIABLO!!!”
“…Singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true this is my message to you…”
“You have the chance to restart, Charlie.”
“Just ask the almighty. If you truly believe that you are a separate entity, that in your heart you know that you are good, you will be given another chance. A rebirth of sorts.”
“So we will all be a family again?”
“No, you alone will get another chance.”
Date: June 18th, 2015 Time: 9:00 am Place: The Sunev Cafe, Delano Ave London.
“Chocolate, Charlie. I have a large Chocolate for a Charlie.”
I am lost in thought sitting by myself at a table near a window, admiring the potted flowers in front of me. The strikingly beautiful barista makes her way over. She almost looks like Bottechili’s Venus come to life.
“Looking sharp,” she says.
I sigh. “Yeah. I have an interview today.”
She sets his chocolate down. “What’s the matter, you look like you just got fired instead of someone looking to get hired?”
“All my life I’ve been interested in numbers. Even excelled at the top of my class studying accounting, but my uncle seems to think that because of my intellect, I can work my way around computers. He thinks I would make more money interviewing for this job than doing what I really want to do in life.”
“How old are you, luv?”
“Don’t settle for something others think is right for you, or you’ll end up old and miserable because you let someone else control you. You’re young, got your whole life ahead of you, do what makes you feel right in your heart and you’ll do ok. I’m Angelica, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Charles.”
Charles takes a sip of his chocolate, loosens his tie, and unbuttons the collar of his shirt. He glances out the window at three little birds and for the first time in what seems to be forever, he has a smile on his face.