Fume #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

It seems that after all of my efforts, these experiments with biology, anatomy, chemistry and electricity came to naught.  The lifeless clay of my life’s work lay on the table, mocking my years of toil.

Adding insult to injury, Mrs. Kemph, the woman who straightens my living quarters, had dared to enter the lab and threw away a work in progress.  To say I was livid would be an understanding.

Walking through the village, my mind working out what went wrong with this latest experiment, I fumed as I couldn’t get past the dolt Mrs. Kemph.

Most of the villagers already gave me a wide berth, fearing my reputation of stalking the charnel houses, but this evening was even worse.  Part of my mind understood: I knew that I was a ghastly figure, unnaturally pale after my long illness, no hart covering my unruly hair and no top coat covering my disheveled clothing.

I cared not.

I had walked in circles for over an hour as the dark of night deepened, trying to piece my life together, when I noticed a foul stench.

There was the smell of burning even stronger than usual for a cool evening, but more. Yellow fumes of an exotic chemical filled the air.

I sniffed and stopped.

I recognized it.

I had spent hundreds of marks to have it imported and I sure was the only man in 100 miles to own the exotic elixir that was fabled to have great restorative powers.

There was a glow from the heart of the village.

My lab!

I rushed back, holding a cloth to my nose against the smoke and fumes.

People stood, as if transfixed by the orange and yellow glow.  I pushed my way forward but stopped.

A very large man stumbled through the haze. Only, it wasn’t a man.

It was my creation.

For a moment I caught a hint of the oily yellow eye glowing in the chemical fire, and then he turned and was gone.

The next day nobody knew if the strange beast were but a dream of the fumes from the chemical fire, but one thing we all knew: everything I owned was destroyed, including all of my research.  There was nothing left for it but to return to my family.

Back in my ancestral lands the episode was soon half forgotten.


This story, based roughly on a famous piece of fiction ;), was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge.  Her photo is at the top of the page and the key word was “Fume“.

37 thoughts on “Fume #writephoto

  1. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Fume #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  2. Prior...

    Yesterday I read a review about the new BBC Dracula and the writer brought in Frankenstein and Dracula to contrast their differences – so good (but not sure whose blog it was)
    Anyhow – your fiction here was timely because that is fresh in my mind.
    Good details with the appearance:

    “It was my creation.

    For a moment I caught a hint of the oily yellow eye glowing in the chemical fire, and then he turned and was gone.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Y. It has been many ages since I read the book, but I do remember bit of it. When Frankenstein first realized his creation was alive, he saw the open eye – I don’t remember the exact words Mary Shelly used, but they were along the lines of “oily yellow eyes”, so I tried to get back to her words there :)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yes, I took a few liberties ;) And of course I didn’t mention the new genetic matrix that replaces the old genetic material to keep the body as one single unit. which would just draw blank stares from Mary Shelly and her group ;)

          Liked by 1 person

            1. trentpmcd Post author

              I read the book when I was in college. Of course the science when it was written was pretty slim, at least biology – pre-Darwin every animal was created by God and unchanging. What caught me was that Frankenstein did not reanimate a corpse, he created a new unknown lifeform, so to the creature he should have been God, but he did not take responsibility for his creation. Anyway, I had several arguments with the professor about the difference between creating life and simply reanimating a corpse (in the book he specifically said reanimating a corpse was beyond his skills…)

              Liked by 2 people

                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  My degree is in Mathematics, though I started in Engineering. I did take some classes a few years ago and found taking classes as an adult is very different than taking them as a 20 year old. Much more enjoyable and far, far easier, mostly because they were enjoyable ;) When you get the time you should take a literature class – I’m sure it would be fun.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Fume ~ Trent P. McDonald #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      No, it isn’t. On the other hand, things will be fine unless the creature, after reading Paradise Lost and seeing himself as the new Adam, decides to start a vendetta against your family… ;) Thanks.



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