WARNING: Contains adult language, horror themes


I’ve confessed to my soul that the evil lies within my bones. Even when my world is in perfect harmony I can hear his whispers, wishing I’d become vile. I’ve accepted this much but I have not given up on redemption. My work is my savior and as such, I drown myself in it. Can evil acts be canceled out by good deeds? I hope so. I don’t like these itches – these immoral cravings. Yesterday was a good day however! I removed a tumor from a 3 year old girl’s neck. Her parents were thankful for the success of course and called me their hero. Those are the moments that redeem my soul and I absolutely live for them.

To say the least, my tedious schedule has taken a toll. With the promise of tomorrow glooming, today I rose with a more selfish purpose. I will absorb the San Francisco air on my terrace and enjoy the morning newspaper with breakfast and coffee, steamed to perfection. Margo, my trusted housekeeper, was quite the find. I had strict rules regarding her coming and going. She was to begin work at 7 a.m. and be gone before the shades of night began to touch the skies. I liked to be alone at dark. She minded hers and tended to the manor with little need for interaction, which I prized. 

The crisp, unopened newspaper read Saturday, April 13th, 1895

“Tomorrow is Easter Sunday!” I realized aloud. 

I couldn’t hear the clashes or clanks of dishes in the kitchen where Margo typically worked. She didn’t reply either but that was not unusual.

Still, I was surprised the holiday had slipped my mind, no doubt due to fatigue. Easter was my mother’s favorite. I continued reading. The headline story held my attention. It involved 2 missing women – Minnie Williams and Blanche Lamont. Both are 21 year old Baptist parishioners who disappeared a week apart. Both, unfortunately, were traveling in a corrupt district and I feared the worst. I felt a sincere sadness for their respective families. I have had the miserable task of delivering the most heartbreaking news and it is not something I wish on any soul! 

There were a few other missing people postings, a couple of murders, one rape and one new conspiracy. Finally, I had enough news for one morning. I returned my empty cup to the kitchen and discovered a note from Margo:

Dr. Jekyll, 

Per our earlier discussion this week, I will be taking the rest of today off to enjoy the holiday weekend with my family. I have arranged for dinner to be delivered at 6:00 pm. I will return the day after next as you insisted. Your correspondence and daily read is on the foyer table. 


I didn’t mind Margo taking the time off but the silence was less loud when she was moving through the house. It was a benefit of a wife without the hassle of fuss; however, it was a lonely existence. I desired human contact! 

My serum had allowed me a taste of that contact but nothing of meaning. A brief and scandalous rendezvous, occasional cigars and poker with colleagues but too often, I was alone. For now, it is all I have and I have become so accustomed to the routine that I barely feel the pinch of the needle as it breaches my skin. 

I entered the foyer and administered my serum, a task I would typically partake in my laboratory. There is a small benefit to loneliness. A large, oval mirror caught my weary reflection as I tossed the empty serum bottle in the small desk along with the correspondence. I shall not be bothered with letters or requests today. 

I studied my face in the mirror carefully. My left eye laid lazily and began dropping downwards at a frightening rate until the red of my inner eyelid was visible. I felt the dryness of the air hitting my exposed eye and covered my face with both hands. I stood there for a few seconds then returned to the mirror and to my relief, my eye was normal. Fatigue was a vicious ailment!

I opened the door and allowed the sun to bathe my anxiety away as I grabbed my coat and hat and stepped out. The day was welcoming and I traveled towards the trolley stop, which was less than a block away from the manor. 

The newly built Japanese Tea House had been the main attraction the past year and today was my turn to take in its beauty. I had recently made tenure at the hospital and received accolades for performing the most surgical procedures amongst my peers. There had been no time for flowers. As the trolley came to a halt and I ventured towards the entrance of the magic garden, I came to appreciate my delay. The cherry blossoms had begun to bloom. 

I followed the stepping stone path lined with exotic plants and felt thankful that the crowds had subsided on this day. And yet, a feeling of uneasiness crept through my mind. I trusted the impending change was close at hand but this was my normal routine. The day before I always allowed myself the freedom that would soon be denied for a brief period. The stone path led to a koi pond filled with bright orange and white spotted fish. Lily pads floated at the surface while dragonflies danced from one to the next. 

My reflection in the pond confirmed my eye was still normal but now my mouth was smiling in an unfamiliar way. A salacious grin stretched unnaturally across my face, dribble drooping at the corners. This unseemly sight was brief, within a second my image had reverted back to its handsome form. This wasn’t due to fatigue, I recognized. 

It was time to leave. As I ventured back down the stone path towards the exit, my departure was suddenly postponed. A delicate young woman- nineteen or twenty- was reading on a wooden bench. Her beauty rivaled the environment but it was her choice of book which fascinated me. Frankenstein. My absolute favorite. She was dressed in all white with pale, yellow flowers embroidered on the bodice. Her large brimmed white hat partially concealed the dark raven tendrils that bounced in the soft breeze. 

Her eyes did not wander from the book. I began to molest her with my eyes, I confess. I wanted to know her name. What did her voice sound like? I desired to know why she chose a book so horrific. My manhood swelled as I forced my eyes away and proceeded to the exit. I was certain that befriending her was irresponsible on my part, no matter the urge. Tomorrow was his day. 

I was at the exit and an overwhelming sense of urgency possessed me. Was I to spend my entire life alone? How many years must I devote to a career that requires me to save families while denying me one? All of the rapes and kidnapping folks read about in the paper had nothing to do with me! I knew when he was about to take over and I knew how to banish him once he sleeps. The marks of my effort were scarred in my wrists and ankles by the chains that confine them. The locks had not failed for 2 winters and a timer allowed me to keep my change a secret. But, could I have found someone, perhaps, with an open mind to appreciate my secret? 

I regretted the blood that had been spilled in years past, before I had the means to pacify the fiend. But I refused to allow the ghosts of my pasts to determine my future! I turned and started towards her. My stomach began to twist. I was successful and charming no doubt, but she had me flustered. My palms moistened and my lips felt cracked, like suddenly I had been without drink for days. I grew closer. Closer. Finally I was standing no more than 3 feet from her. Her eyes still remained on Frankenstein. I cleared my throat. Her eyes did not move.

“Hello, Miss?” I declared confidently, sporting my strongest poker face. 

Her eyes, now distinguishably green with a hint of Robin’s egg blue, shot up and met mine. I could smell a sweet scent of lavender from her hair. I would be lying if I didn’t confess that her breasts held my eye for longer than a gentleman would care to admit. Her complexion was caramel and her lips were full and blushing. She was simply, unlike any woman I had seen before. 

“I am terribly sorry to disturb you during your studies,” I began. 

“I wouldn’t consider this my study. Unless you fancy me a maniac who constructs a creature out of various human parts and uses lightning to fuel its life force”. 

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t condemn your lust for science but I would question where you obtained the human parts”, I retorted. 

A smile creeped across her face and finally, she broke her gaze. Bashfully, she welcomed me to the empty spot on the bench beside her. 

“You are reading one of my favorite books. It’s not often I find someone with a similar fascination with the macabre.” I explained. 

“If you say Frankenstein is your favorite, what other macabre works of literature have you explored?” She challenged me

It was obvious that she was testing me and in that moment, I had seemed to forget every title of every book I had ever read. My heart rate increased and I felt the hot flush of blood gather in my cheeks.

“Poe!” I exclaimed as though I just unlocked a missing piece of a puzzle. She laughed at my excitement. 

My brain began spinning. Come up with a specific title you monger! The thought stung my brain as well as my ego. 

“What is your name?” I succumbed. 

“Anna,” she accepted. 

“Hello, Ms. Anna. My name is Dr. Henry Jekyll.” 

We conversed a while longer. I learned she and her family had recently moved to San Francisco from New York and her parents tragically died a month back. She had hopes of becoming a nurse in order to support herself as well as her younger sister. I assured her she was in good company and I meant it in all earnestly. I had a sincere interest in her. Against my inner apprehension, I invited her to dinner at the manor later that evening, and she obliged. The acceptance filled me with both accomplishment and treachery. 

The afternoon came quickly to my pleasure and I anxiously paced by the front door for my new acquaintance to arrive. Our earlier conversation left me ravenous for more. I rearranged my library just so, being sure to pull out the Brothers Grimm and the Poe I had staggered on earlier about. Dinner was kept warm and carefully delivered as arranged. 

I could hear the ticking clock throughout the silent house. It was nearly an hour past 6:30 and Anna had not made her appearance. I began to feel the tugs of annoyance.

“How inconsiderably rude to be this late for dinner!” I paced the foyer feverishly. “If this is how she handles her personal engagements she isn’t so refined after all!” 

The mirror caught my tantrum as my reflection once again made its presence known. I was flushed a shade of maroon, sweating, with one large vein pulsing in the center of my forehead. My brown, slicked hair I had prepared so tediously was now falling near my eyes. I even felt as though my clothes were becoming too tight. I wanted to rip off my entire wardrobe! 

I thought of the newspaper I had read earlier, specifically the ladies that were abducted. A sense of dread began to fester within. This led me to remember that Easter is tomorrow, and the loneliness that accompanies holidays. I also considered my apprehension earlier. Was I cutting it too close? 

My tonic helped make my condition more predictable. For years, I had managed to control the demon as long as I took it every 6 nights. On the 7th, my body rejects the serum, in all forms! He must have his time! My basement becomes his imprisonment. It was hidden from view so that not even Margo had stepped foot inside. It was a routine I had mastered. 

I had experimented with different remedies and mixes to prolong the stability but alas, even my mother and her father were not able to find a more permanent solution. The monster was in our blood. I had no companion, no friend whom I could confide. As a medical professional, I knew what they did to people like me! I was not to be gawked at or studied. I study! I find solutions! I am a good person! I would have dinner with Anna, present my collection of Gothic novels, and bid her goodnight. Surely she had important tasks that required her attention. If she ever arrived!

A soft knock came about. I walked towards my front door. I saw no figure or shape on the other side of the small stained glass window. I peered through the hole and saw no one. The sun was just setting and the light illuminated through the red, blue, and green hues from the stained glass window. Perhaps I didn’t hear a knock, I pondered. Then, another soft knock. I opened the door to see who the ghostly visitor was. 

A small child of about 3 stood in front of me. She had familiar hazy blue eyes and coal black hair. My confusion was soon extinguished as Anna rushed up the stoop behind the tiny girl. 

“Pardon the surprise and my tardiness, Dr. Jekyll,” she said, nearly out of breath. 

Her breasts heaving to take in air hypnotized me. She was now dressed in red and her dark hair had been allowed to fall just below her shoulders. Her eyes gave the stars a healthy competition and centered my impatient soul. 

“Please, call me Henry,” I assured her. 

“Ok… Henry”, she started, “This is my little sister, Audrey. The nanny was unavailable due to the holiday weekend. I didn’t want you to think me a fraud”. Her earlier confident exterior had transformed to a more pitiful stance. 

“Oh, that is no bother at all”, I lied. 

What was I to do? Send poor, young Anna and her tot sister out into the streets after dark fall? The sun had just kissed the horizon good night and I had no choice. I put on my most charming smile and I lied. 

“Please, come inside”. I ushered them in the door.

I led Anna to a room where she laid the little girl on a bed. She began singing her a lullaby to help sleep take over. I prepared a cup of Hot Chocolate in the kitchen, the only decent thing my mother taught me during my childhood. I suppose it was to make up for the previous day’s fits. The little girl chugged it down and was soon breathing heavily, sinking deeper into the goose feathered blanket that sprawled over the mattress. 

Anna made her way into the powder room just across from the slumbering girl. I remained in the doorway, watching the child. Typically, when I was in the presence of a sleeping child I was busy opening them up to examine their insides. This was a different experience. The 

moon light broke through an oval window that was stained with roses. A soft red glow illuminated the bedroom. A small satin pillow rested near the sleeping girl's head. Anna was unable to hear the little child struggle. It took two whole minutes for the twitching of her minuscule figure to stop. I checked her pulse and confirmed her demise and felt glad to be done with the baggage. 

Anna emerged with a small cup of water from the powder room. 

“I am just going to sit this glass near her bed, in case she wakes up thirsty from the chocolate.” 

“I can help you with that,” I eagerly tried to intercept the drink. 

To no avail, Anna rejected my offer and entered the room. I braced for the shock of my deed. 

“Thank you, sissy”, a tiny voice echoed.

I turned to see the little girl was in good health! The satin pillow remained next to the child. The red hue had now transformed into a soft, orange glow of a candle flicker. Anna kissed and hugged her sister and we continued on with our night. Still, I couldn’t help but sense the dread that was still festering and I felt guilty for imagining such an act. 

I inhaled my dinner rather quickly. Anna was just half done when I offered to show the infamous library. She obliged and didn’t make it obvious if she thought the swift dinner was an annoyance. I felt jerking on my nerves that reminded me, once more, of my earlier hesitation to entertain this evening. I began to sense the unwelcome visitor, violently pounding at the door. Fervent for the moment he is finally able to bust through and wreak havoc. 

I rushed through my collection I had carefully put out for display. Anna was particularly drawn to the newest edition of Hansel und Gretel. I offered to lend it to her in hopes that it would expedite our departure with a promise of return. After all, it was a first edition! My success was in my grasp until she picked up my personal copy of the book that drew us together; Frankenstein

“Do you think the monster received redemption in the end?” she demanded of me. “I feel as though he was terribly misunderstood”, I said. 

“Do you think he deserved death?” 

“No. I have always had trouble with that part.” I couldn’t hide the somberness. 

I became sharply aware of my emotions. A flood of memories polluted my mind of past loves and failed friendships that have all perished due to my inability to be normal.

“But evil was inside him. Even after he learned to love, he had an innate lust for bloody revenge when that love was not returned”, she argued. 

“Wouldn’t you?” My muscles flexed under my shrinking jacket. “He wasn’t asked to be created. He was made and then abandoned. Blamed for his disfigurement. His sins. He had no one to show him how to love but still had the desire to be loved. He didn’t deserve death”, I shouted. 

I was now standing in front of my fireplace. I could feel heat on the back of my pant suit but it was the fire inside my heart that burned me. 

“A murderer is a murderer. A creature like that cannot exist in society. No matter how good he tries to be. He is still an abomination and that is the beautiful irony of it!” She tried to persuade me

Her relentlessness now infuriated me. It was time for the night to end. 

“You should be on your way, it is late”, I almost whispered. I hated her. 

“My thoughts are the same, Doctor. Since the moment I arrived you have seemed odd. Rushing through dinner. Getting so bothered by a book! Yes, sir, I am happy to leave but the trolley doesn’t show for another 14 minutes. Surely you can muster another 14 minutes or shall I wait in the dark?” Her eyes were filled with disgust and now void of any awe they previously had. 

“Very well! You can wait in the foyer.” My conscience and decency hung on by a strand. 

Anna, avoiding all eye contact, rushed by me out of the library and into the foyer and positioned herself on a reading chair by the front door. Her fingers nervously twirled the fringe of a pillow that supported her. A newspaper poked out of the drawer in the table beside her. She pulled it out in an effort to distract herself and did her best impression of pretending I was invisible. I opened the front door and stood under the porch. I didn’t want to miss the trolley coming down the road to collect the wrench. 

“Oh, my” she gasped quietly. It was a sincere shock, taking over her face. 

I could tell at that instant she regretted the outburst. I felt obliged to respond. Her caramel complexion had turned ghastly white. 

“What is it?” I growled. What was her game? Fight with me one minute and seek my sympathy the next? 

“The two women who had gone missing were murdered. The police have arrested a suspect. It was an old acquaintance of my father’s.” Anna looked bewildered. “You must have heard of the disappearance… Let me find their names… Ah yes, Minnie Williams and Blanche Lamont. Just one year older than I. How terribly sad.” 

“I just read that story this morning. The murderer was reported to still be on the loose.” 

“It says right here that he was caught. And to think, we had him in the funeral procession for my parents”. 

My body pulsed with electricity as I realized my error. I grabbed the paper from Anna and saw, to my horror, the date: April 14th, 1895. Easter. The paper I had read earlier must have been from the day prior! I was living a full day behind schedule! 

“Get out now!” I screamed. He was nearly awake. The door was cracking. Fingertips were poking through.

“The trolley is nowhere in sight! Didn’t you hear what I just read to you! Who knows how many more monsters are out waiting for a young girl and a baby to stalk!” 

“Are you so fucking stupid that you don’t see the monster standing right in front of you?” My spit splattered all over her forehead. “Since you got here it has been one inconvenience after the other. One debate after another!” 

“How dare you! Unspeakable! Unspeakable! I would have never accepted your invitation if I knew what kind of monster Dr. Henry Jekyll is! ” 

“IT IS MR. HYDE NOW!” I roared, slamming the front door behind me. A giddiness took hold of my heart; the chains that should be creating new scars were nowhere in sight. 

Anna rose and quickly lunged to open the front door, no doubt to yell for help as the trolley rolled by. I grabbed her raven locks and pulled her up to my face before her delicate fingers brushed the door knob. 

What are you?’ she cried. “What has happened to your face and your voice? How are you changing?” 

Her face was strained and incredibly red. My hand had stretched so wide that it encapsulated her entire throat. My fingertips met at the back of her neck and I could feel the rigidness of her spine as I held her 2 feet high in the air. My strength was otherworldly and grew even stronger with each slam of her body against my wood carved walls. I slammed her until a crack appeared in both the wall and her skull. 

Her mangled body hit the ground with a powerful thud but I could still see her tender breasts pulse as she continued to breathe. I grabbed a pillow from the reading chair and held it over her face. I pushed down until I felt the crack of her nose then I pulled back her left ring finger until it broke. No scream. I was sure she was dead. 

The front door beckoned me to meet the world. Finally! My exhilaration was interrupted by a small cry. A child’s cry. 

“Sissy?” A small voice called out from the upstairs bedroom. 

I turned, and with crimson soaked rags, proceeded towards my tiny guest, pillow in hand.

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