“Getting starting is always the hardest part,” Griffin said. “What kind of canvas do we wanna work with here?”
Griffin and his brother stood in silence for a minute, contemplating the pile of cadavers in front of them.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this,” Griffin’s brother said.
“The secrets of life aren’t just going to reveal themselves, Justin.” He approached the corpses for closer inspection. “Now,” he said, “come help me decide which one of these beautiful pieces of bait I should take a bite at.”
Justin sighed and walked over to his brother.
Many months of work later found Griffin and Justin standing over a large table. Griffin pulled back a shroud to reveal the figure lying underneath.
Laying on the table was a monumental woman. She was about eight feet tall, and had a burly physique that made her look like a human punch. However, her face was the cynosure; it was like looking at a train wreck. It was framed by a mess of greasy, black hair. Rough, heavily blemished skin was stretched tightly over her peculiar bone structure, which featured a strong jaw and a protruding chin. Her cheekbones jutted out low on her face at about the same level where her tiny, crooked nose sat. Beneath it, her pale, wide-lipped mouth seemed to be fixed in a permanent grimace. Most disturbing, however, was the fact that her eyes were open. They were deep-set, and surrounded by dark circles that were almost bruise-like in appearance. The hazy, bloodshot eyes glared out from under her heavy brow, unseeing.
“Yes, Juice?” Griffin replied innocently.
“Can I be honest with you for a second?”
“Frankly, this is upsetting, Griffin.”
Griffin made an exaggerated face of shock. “No,” he said facetiously. “Not upsetting!”
“It’s really bothering me. I-”
“You don’t like my-”
“I need to-”
“-my magnum opus?”
“I can’t do this,” Justin wheezed through a laugh.
Griffin grinned. “You don’t like my Mona Lisa?”
“I think your Mona Lisa went through a shredder.” He looked at her, uncertainly. “I’m trying to find the place in my heart to love her,” he choked out.
“Keep looking, mon frère!” Griffin chortled.
“So are you gonna like, name her?”
“Yup,” Griffin proclaimed. “I’ve got it all picked out,” he said, drawing the word “all” out for a good couple seconds.
“Is she gonna have our last name?”
“Yeah. I mean, I made her, so I guess that kind of makes me her dad, right?”
“Hm,” Justin said. “Not sure how I feel about that.”
This statement was punctuated by a crack of thunder and a flash of lightning from outside.
Griffin clapped his hands together. “Ooh, I guess that’s my cue!” He ran to position himself amongst his various contraptions. “Let’s pop this girl in the oven, it’s time for her to cook!” Justin quickly moved himself off to the side.
Griffin grabbed the control mechanisms with a manic grin. “It’s about to get buckwild.”
The machine surged into action and began lifting the table with Griffin’s creation on it up to the roof in a dramatic fashion. Wind howled through the building as the roof opened to allow the table through it. The air was overwhelmed with the sound of machinery clanking and thunder roaring. Griffin was laughing maniacally, which actually had the effect of making the cliché scene somewhat less impressive, due to the fact that Griffin – who was already about as intimidating as the Pillsbury Doughboy – had a laugh that sounded less evil and more like a baby goose.
The woman was finally lowered back down to the ground, looking slightly crispier than before. As soon as the machine clicked off, Griffin and Justin gawked at the woman in anticipation.
She blinked. And the boys lost their collective marbles.
As the two of them yelled and gestured incoherently, the woman got her first experience hearing. It was very loud, and she didn’t like it very much.
In her annoyance, she moved to sit up, which finally broke the boys out of their celebration. Griffin gasped excitedly and started moving towards her while talking in a high pitched voice.
“My girl!” he said. “Hello! Juice, look! Look at her!”
“I am,” he wheezed. “She looks like a human ransom note.”
Griffin ignored him, focusing on his creation.
“Hi!” he beamed up at her. “How are you?” He reached out towards her but jumped back when she gave a startled yell. He laughed and started reassuring her while Justin continued to cackle in the background.
Soon enough, Griffin gained her trust enough that she allowed him to touch her. He reached out and gently guided her into moving her limbs. He could feel her muscles working, her skin beginning to warm, her pulse beating. He could feel her living.
At this point, Griffin had been smiling so hard for so long that he felt like his face was going to split in half. He turned to look at Justin, only slightly misty-eyed.
“Justin,” he whispered. “It worked. She’s alive. I made this.”
“That’s a funny trick to play on God,” he quipped, but there was pride in his voice.
Griffin returned his attention to his creation to find that she was staring at them quizzically. He smiled at her, and was ecstatic when, after a moment, she contorted her own face in an apparent attempt to match his expression, a ghastly grin wrinkling her cheeks. This was just another one of the numerous good signs Griffin had seen in the short time since giving her life. She likely didn’t know much, if anything, at the moment – the brain Griffin had used to create her was essentially a blank slate – but from what he had witnessed so far, she seemed to be responding intelligently to stimuli, which meant she might be able to learn.
The deluge of emotions Griffin had experienced in the last hour or so had been more than a little overwhelming. At this point, he was hardly even sure what emotions he was having, just that they left his heart feeling like a freshly squeezed orange.
He was beginning to feel the endorphin high fade and exhaustion seep in when he heard another sign of life: the woman’s stomach growling.
“I don’t think she’s gonna be able to live solely off of lightning there, Griffin,” Justin said.
Griffin stood up straight, stretching a bit. “Probably not,” he said. “I’ll go see if I can find her some people food real quick.”
“Oh,” he exclaimed after taking a few steps. “I almost forgot!” He made an about face and rushed back to stand in front of his creation. He took her hands in his and looked her in the eyes.
“My large, powerful daughter, whom I love with all my heart,” he said earnestly. “I know you probably have no idea what I’m saying right now, but your name is Pam McElroy.” He beamed at her. “And you’re going to be extraordinary.”