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Luther
Luther

Luther

Franc68Lorient Montaner

'The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live'.—Socrates

For centuries man had sought to create the one creation that had borne the resemblance of his creator, but has failed to resolve the crux of the mystery that binds him to the continual process of his evolution. If man is capable of creating life, is he capable of reanimating a human through the mere method of his invention and ingenuity? Could the mechanics of 19th century science be sufficient to enable the ability of a man to perform such a task, as the one mentioned before? The possibility of that occurrence although minimal could not be excluded, when there is science to correlate the ideas of the mind with the boundaries of reality. It is that true essence in thought that inspires man to search beyond the realm of his limitations, and what he will discover will ultimately demonstrate the core of his active consciousness. This remarkable notion would be challenged by me, Heinrich Von Schiller, a Swiss by birth.

The year was 1848, and I had been occupied with the meticulous study and observation of what was the feasibility of the reanimation of man, through the use of electricity and advent of science. Others before me would establish theories that would corroborate my concepts on reanimation, such as Giovanni Battista, Antonio Caldani, James Lind, Alessandro Volta, and Luigi Galvani with their scientific studies, but I would go even further. I would attempt to create a man, utilising the specific aid of mechanical parts to give life to the being that I would create from my experiment. What I was attempting was not only considered irrational and untenable, but it was as well considered immoral in its actual representation, by those righteous persons who would object to the plausibility of any man in assuming the part of a deity that was as perficient, as their God.

I would spend endless months busied with this experiment that it would culminate in the success of my creation. Upon one memorable evening in my laboratory, I would perform the greatest experiment that man would ever experienced with awe and audacity in my century. Galvani would limit himself mostly to organisms of biology of which I had begun with in my initial experimentation. Within the span of three months, I had accomplished the capability of reanimating a common dog for a temporary period of time. When I mean, reanimate, I am referring to the essential movement of a dead animal. This process what nothing extraordinary, for it had been displayed by Galvani, but the experiment that I would progressed to would be effectuated on a human being. This was never executed before successfully, and I would be the first to reanimate a dead man.

I knew that there was the capacity for this experiment to be realised. What I was attempting would exceed the brief period of reanimation. I was seeking to reanimate a deceased person with the method of electric shots and more importantly, to live with a mechanical heart. The mere idea that a man could live with an artificial heart that was created for him was unfathomable, in the time period that I had lived. I was determined to replace a human heart that was no longer beating, with a mechanical one that would function properly in accordance to its defined purpose. I was not guaranteed any success, or would whatever I had achieved, would be deemed incontrovertible. For that, I would have to continue with my experiments and prove my theories on the topic of human reanimation.

I had pondered the night before in my dreams, the idea of performing my experimentation on a deceased human being. I was conscious about the ramifications of that audacious attempt. Not only was I risking my profession and reputation as a credible scientist, but the possibility of imprisonment as well if discovered by the local authorities afterwards. This was something that I was willing to risk. I had taken absolute discretion in my endeavours and experiments, so that the minimal exposure would be revealed to anyone who was not trustworthy. I had confided my experiment with only one man who I had shared my opinions on the matter. His name was Klaus Reichenberg, a fellow colleague of science. He would witness my incredible creation in person, and be the man that would inform the world of my unique discovery.

Upon the following morning, I had visited the local mortuary, hoping to find a deceased body, but none were delivered recently. Thus, I was forced to think of another option and that recourse was paying a gravedigger to unearth a fresh dead corpse. That would imply visiting a cemetery. I was able to find one that was on the outskirts of Zurich and convince a man there to execute the unearthing of the corpse that had been buried the previous day. He was reluctant at first, but then had acquiesced, when I told him of the amount that I would pay for her service performed. Thereafter, I had paid another man who was his helper to assist him in putting the dead corpse within the waggon I had brought. I could have had one of my servants handled this matter, but I chose to not involve them. I did not want unnecessary attention to my experiments.

I had studied the technique that Galvani had implemented, with the use of a scalpel to the sciatic nerve of a frog and some brass hooks that were attached to the spinal cord of that frog to the iron railing they were suspended from in their appearance. The phenomenon that I would commence would exceed Galvanis's experiment. He had produced his phenomenon, by the touch of metal electrodes of brass connected to the spinal cord to an iron plate. He was the first to observe and report muscular movements evoked, by the direct contact between two distinctive metals. I knew that I could use the conductive metal of brass connected to iron plates along with copper cords that I had devised, for the conductor of the electricity I would be utilising. Indeed, it was an innovative concept that I was attempting to prove.

The corpse of the deceased man I had paid for, was still stiff and cold. It had not reached the initial state of decomposition, but I knew that I would have not much time to be able to experiment on it. Therefore, I had proceeded with the thought of proving my notion about the reanimation of a dead man. I had everything intact, and the equipment that was necessary for the transference of electricity, through electric shocks. I had to be precise in my calculations, even though, I had to prepare myself for failure. I was eager to see the ultimate fruition of my experimentation. As a devoted humanist, I had championed the cause of life and the preservation of the human species. Only time would reveal the success of my work, but I would chronicle every significant occurrence of my experiments, in order to evaluate their valuable progress.

The experiment would commence once I had connected the metal hooks, cords and brass plates together that had then allowed the transmittance of electricity to flow from the electric shocks that would be applied to the dead corpse of the man from the cemetery. I had generated enough electricity to attempt the experiment to last, at least, for a brief period that could be observed. I would never imagine that what I would reanimate would be a vile creature that would haunt me for the rest of my life. Within minutes the dead man's jaws began to shake, and the muscles began to stiffen and contort violently as they had twitched. The eyes began to open wide in a profound dilation that was alabaster, and the hands began to clench with a full force. At brief intervals I would cease the shocks and observe the reactionary response of the deceased man.

It had seemed that for a temporary duration, the man was once more alive, but that would last for a few minutes or abundant seconds, because his heart which I had not known before was damaged. It had begun to gradually dissipate in its beating rhythm. I had noticed this, as I was near the specimen. There was no actual utterance of words pronounced, and the only sound that was heard from the dead man was a desperate groan. He tried to speak some words, as he had stared at me with a daunting gaze that was penetrating. It had almost felt that he was begging me to help him live. Looking at the poor devil was disturbing and at the same time incredible, for I knew that I was on the verge of discovering something relevant to science. The question at that time was what would I eventually discover?

I had considered myself a man of intellect and was informed about the evolution of human nature. What I had no true idea was what nature would I create, from this experiment that could be construed as genuine science? After a few more futile attempts of the electric shocks, I had not managed to reanimate the dead man, as I had sought to with my attempts. I had only accomplished what Galvani had done previously, make a dead specimen move. I had thought of resigning myself to my disappointing failure, but I would conclude after further deliberation that I had come too far to abandon my experiment. Plus, I had wanted to continue the experimentation for the whole week, hoping I could devise in my mind, an alternative or option to make the dead corpse rise, like the biblical Lazarus in reanimation.

That night as I was sleeping, I had another harrowing sequence of a nightmare that was ineffaceable in its vivid images. In my horrendous dream, I had seen the dead man of the cemetery that was my specimen rise once more. This time, he would rise to live, as his heart had beaten with a potent palpitation. His heart was no longer human, for it was mechanical. I had awakened from my terrible dream drenched in profound perspiration. I knew then that I had found my option to keep the dead man alive. I would have to create a mechanical heart, and I would attempt to achieve that miraculous task that would either elevate my status or mark my life. What I was planning on doing was never executed before by any known scientist. It was something that Galvani and Volta would be envious of its accomplishment and success, or be horrified by the events.

The morning after, I had discovered the key to the experiment, which was the stimulation of the heart. I was cognisant about the fact that despite the need for the brain to control the bodily functions and motions, without the heart the being could not sustain itself for long. It was then that I had created what were mechanical valves that were made from carbon and metal I had gathered. They would consist of a metal ring surrounded by a fabric sewn on to the heart that would replace the original valve. I had made a design of the heart and the procedure. I would perform surgery first on the dead man by carefully adding the protection of the heart. I had to take into the consideration the aorta, which was vital as well for the transference of blood from the heart to all parts of the body, with the exception of the lungs. I had to prevent blood clots or the possibilities of strokes that would not impair the arterial system.

The four valves that were the triscupid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valves could not be damaged, if I was to be successful in my endeavour. Thus, I was extremely conscious about that delicate nature. Within an hour I had finished the surgical procedure with the heart, and had then proceeded to reanimate the dead man who I would name Luther. From that day on, he was no longer the unnameable one. I had again connected the hooks, the cords and the plates to the deceased corpse, and this time I would reanimate a being that would be frightening in appearance. The man that once had died was dead forever, and what had risen was a monster that would be the sole reflection of a wandering evil that was representative of man's perversion. I had forsaken any semblance of morality, in order to effectuate my experiment. What I had not considered was that by reanimating a dead man from the burial ground, I would unleash a terror that was insatiable.

The electric shocks applied to the corpse would cause the twitching and unrestrained movement produced from the chemical reaction stimulated by the brain. Once more the hands would clench, and the legs would stiffen tautly. The eyes would open wide like a haunting spectre, as they were totally dilated in their actual form. I was observant of the unique occurrence, wondering if the brain was sending nerve signals or was it all just mere instinctive behaviour displayed? The thought that his behaviour was instinctive had been an impending question that had lingered in my mind profoundly, even after the dead man had been reanimated. The answer would require time and strict observation of the individual, but the notion of resuscitating a dead person had intrigued me.

The man I called Luther would rise to his feet gradually. His naked appearance reflected a ghoulish pallor with his glabrity, and he was willowy in stature. He was hairless, and there was saliva drooling from his mouth. He looked at me, and when he had attempted to utter a semblance of words, the only thing that made sense to me was his urgency to tell me something. In the end, I could not decipher his words. The thought that his behaviour was instinctive had been an impending question that had lingered in my mind, even after the dead man had been reanimated. He would collapse on the floor, and I would be forced to place him back on the table he had lain strapped. I was fascinated with what would come after the experiment. For how long could this specimen that was once a dead corpse be able to live, with what I had considered a normal life, under the circumstances imposed? Would the mechanical heart be able to sustain him truly?

For a whole week, I had observed him conscientiously, as he was unconscious. His mechanical heart continued to beat normally. I had made the conscious decision that I would monitor his progress and prepare more mechanical body parts, such as adding metal bolts to his joints in his arms and legs to fasten his fragile bones. His reanimation was only the beginning to my aspirations and regrettably, to the disturbing episodes of my ceaseless horror. The world would have never known the truth of my creation, if it was not for the realisation of my experiment. As a pure man of science, I was concerned with the advancement of the human cause and its unique evolution. I had invited my fellow colleague of science Klaus Reichenburg to my home, to examine the living specimen in person. He was the only man that I had trusted his discretion and above all, his opinion expressed. I had greeted him outside of the house and escorted him to the privacy of my laboratory, where Luther was being kept a secret.

'I am glad that you came, when I notified you Professor Reichenburg'.

'Professor Von Schiller my dear friend, how long has it been, since we last saw each other?'

'Almost five months or so'.

'What have you been doing during this time?'

'That is the reason that I have invited you professor. I have something incredible that is a scientific discovery that will change the world I strongly believe'.

'Judging from the tone in your voice, it must be a serious matter'.

'Indeed, it is,' I had replied.

'Then let us not wait any longer'.

'Follow me professor. I am eager to see your reaction'.

The time had arrived for me to share my brilliant creation with the professor. He was fascinated to know what I had to reveal to him at that moment. Thus, I had proceeded to lead him to the dark and damp chamber where the reanimated Luther was lying strapped to a table. When Professor Reichenburg had finally seen the specimen with his own eyes, his countenance had expressed an astonished look of disbelief. I had immediately intuited that his reaction would be utter amazement. He was somewhat hesitant at first, to approach the specimen, not knowing what to expect, but he then began to examine the reanimated body with his curiosity. He was also stunned by the hideous nature and appearance of the man that I had named Luther.

'This beast, who is this being that I see. It is a man or a creature?'

'Look closer professor. It is a man or more, a poor devil that had died an insignificant death abandoned to the solitude of a drear cemetery, with no headstone marked with his name and surname. Like Prometheus, he too had suffered.

'How can this grotesque being be a man, or was once a man?'

'That is a question for its former maker God. I cannot divulge much about the questions that you ask.

'Since when have you played God professor Von Schiller?'

'I would not call myself a god. I merely am a participant of science, as yourself. Am I not mistaken, Professor Reichenburg?'

'But I have never experimented with a fellow man. Did you begin with a dead man?'

'No, I did not. Like Galvani, I began experimenting with animals, until I grew tired of them and my desire to reanimate a human had compelled to me to experiment, where no man has been successful before'.

'I am intrigued to know more, but I must ask, this thing or man that you have reanimated, is he or it alive?'

'He is just as much alive, as we are professor. Listen to his heart'.

'Did this man not have a name?'

'He does now. He is called Luther'.

'I am still amazed by this discovery'.

'There is another thing that you must know'.

'What is that?'

'I have placed a mechanical heart inside of the dead man that has risen'.

'How is that possible?'

'By using my ingenuity professor, I have accomplished the unthinkable. I shall proceed to explain to you. The man's original heart was damaged, upon the reanimation. I was forced to replace it with a stronger heart that he could bear its rhythm'.

'Listen to his heart beat'.

Professor Reichenburg put his ear upon the heart of the being and could hear the beating of the mechanical heart'.

'It beats normally, like a human heart. His heart beats, but how can that be, if he was dead?'

'Simple professor, as I have mentioned before, I have replaced his damaged heart, with a new mechanical heart'.

'Incredible!'

'It is better than our heart, for it controls its beats per minute more effectively'.

'Is he conscious?'

'Barely'.

'For how long can he live, with a mechanical heart?'

'That I cannot answer, because I do not know at the moment'.

'What do you plan to do next?'

'Wait. My expectation is that he will be fully conscious enough to live or attempt to live a normal life'.

'Normal life you say? Do you truly believe that he can professor? Is that even feasible?'

''We shall soon see! If his heart will permit him, then I believe that he could'.

'If you are successful in your attempt, you will accomplish something that no other scientist has even done, bring back from the dead a man. Do you know what it will mean professor?'

'Yes, I am aware of the consequences, and I know that there will be the righteous people that will condemn me for this immoral act of depravity. I hope that you are not one of them'.

'By no means! As a scientist, I respect your intentions that I suspect are good'.

'Indeed, they are. As a humanist I strive for the betterment of humanity. Why not begin by giving life to that which was taken?'

When Professor Reichenburg had finally left the house, he would request that I take precautions and inform him of the developments with the experiment. I had assured him that I would, as soon as there were developments. It was a relief to know that he had accepted the intention of what I was experimenting and understood the reason that I had reanimated Luther in the first place. There was nothing I could do that was in my power, except to wait for Luther to completely awaken from his unconscious state of being. I was not guaranteed of that occurrence, or anything relative to that nature. This was the only time during the entire process of the reanimation that I could not predict what would happen next with an incontrovertible certitude, but soon I would have my answer. It would simply be incredible and haunting.

While I was in another nearby chamber in the laboratory, writing notes in my journal about the experiment, I would hear a peculiar noise that was coming directly from the chamber of Luther. Immediately, I rose to my feet to investigate the noise. I had entered the chamber and when I did, I had found that Luther was not strapped to the table any longer. Where could he be, I had asked myself bemused and unnerved? He was standing behind me, with his ghoulish look and stare. His body stood naked and drenched in deep perspiration. This time he had uttered some words that were understandable. He had risen from his unconscious state and the fathomless chasm of death. My reaction was of complete shock, for I could not believe what my eyes were witnessing. Even though I had prepared myself for this day in anticipation, it was nothing like what I had ever experienced before.

'Where am I? Who are you?' Luther had pronounced stunned by his new surroundings.

'It is possible that you can speak. You are alive then. You are in the laboratory of my residence, and my name is Professor Heinrich Von Schiller,' I replied.

'What am I doing here? I can't remember what has happened to me'.

His frightening guise was imposing in stature, but I had begun to be less unsettled by his appearance and more fascinated with his words, 'What is the last thing that you remember? Do you even remember your name?'

'The last thing I remember you ask and my name. That I do not know'.

He began to become weary, and I had told him to sit in the table that he was previously lying upon to rest, 'You should not exert yourself. It is not often that a man is reanimated'.

'Is that what has occurred?'

'Yes!'

'Why and who has reanimated me?'

'The why is simple, I am scientist and humanist. I believe in the preservation of life and saving it. As for the who, I have reanimated you'.

He sat down to rest, as his breathing began to shorten by the second. I had thought for a moment that he was relapsing. It would only be a brief period, before he would recover and be fully conscious and awake. There were so many questions that I had wanted to ask him, but knew that it was not an opportune moment to wear him down unnecessarily with my intrigue. Thus, I had left him to repose, then I waited eagerly for the next occasion to speak to him. Verily, it was a surreal experience and one that I would never forget. How could I? Life had been taken away from this poor and hideous wretch unfairly. I had facilitated the process of life anew for him, through his reanimation and a mechanical heart that had replaced his original one. In my mind, there was nothing immoral about that vivid occurrence.

I had sent a correspondence to Professor Reichenburg about the recent development, but he was unable to come to the residence, because he was away on a trip. This, I had been told through his correspondence with me. I would discover that the specimen Luther had a fond inclination for the scent of flowers. His sentience was unbelievable. I had left the window of the laboratory opened. Once I had noticed this peculiarity, I had proceeded to test his other senses, his hearing and his vision. There was an unusual form in his expressions that I had perceived as being fascinating. Despite his unsightly appearance, he had possessed traits of acuity that were representative of a man that had some type of intellect. There was one in particular that had reflected his comportment. He did not grin much. It was a definite singularity revealed of his callous expression. I had created a wig for him to wear in public and amongst the servants.

As the week had passed, Luther had survived. Although he would experience moments of weariness, his heart had not stopped beating, and that was good sign that he could perhaps continue to live for more time. I could not replace the lapse of his memory, for I knew that only time would tell if he could regain it. Instead, I concentrated more on making new memories for him. He had to learn mannerisms again and study the basic things about life that his memory had erased with his death. He would learn to read and write again. All the details about his life were foreign to me as they were to him. I had begun the process of my investigation, about Luther's identity in earnest, but I was extremely careful that no one with the exception of Professor Reichenburg knew that I had reanimated a dead man. I had no idea who Luther was and where he was from. His origin and personal story were a complete mystery.

I had treated him like a bidden guest. I dressed him well and made him wear dark spectacles to cover his eyes of dread. I was confronted then, with the secret that I could not afford to be known to the outside world. Luther would be presented to the servitude, as my guest. To the servants, he would be treated with kindness and respect. There was no need to reveal a surname on his behalf, because the servants did not need to know that intimate information. Thus, I kept him a secret and inside the house. He had been designated a chamber. I was not certain for how long he would remain a guest in my care. The one thing that was relevant to me was that he continued to live and lived he did. I was not a man of hauteur, but I was proud of the deed that I had committed with tremendous effort and merit.

One day during the second week of his transition, Luther had wanted to step outside and refresh his lungs. He was anxious to see the world outside that he could only see before, from the window of his chamber. By that time, he had appeared to be healthy enough to be outside and even travel. I had escorted him to the garden near the house, hoping that I would be able to observe his reaction to the outside world. He would revel like a child, basking in the sun and enjoying the marvellous wonders of Mother Nature. I took him to see the centre of the great city of Zurich, and he was enamoured with its aesthetic beauty and grandeur. There was something about Zurich that had caused him to remember the boisterous noise of the carriages for an instant. That remembrance was a fleeting one at best, because he could not remember anything more about the particular memory.

When he had returned to the house, we had begun to converse about the possibility of him to finally be able to leave the estate on his own volition. I was uncertain about the situation that he would have to confront, but I knew that he could not forever remain a guest at my residence. There was so much that he had to learn and what he had already learnt, I did not know if it was sufficient to enable him to live on his own. Therefore, my curiosity had compelled me to ask him. I had been like a dear brother to him, since he had been living in my house as my guest. I had two brothers and a sister that were my siblings, but I had not seen much of them during the years that had transpired. I had mostly considered myself a man of conviviality, even though I was becoming a social recluse, due to my scientific experiments.

One day, I would have a visitor. My sister Emma had arrived by carriage to visit me from Vienna unannouncedly. At first, I was surprised to see her face again, but that expression had quickly become a joyful sense of brotherly love anew. Hilda one of the female servants that I had would inform me of her visit. I was busy teaching Luther the basics of philosophy, German and French in the study. He was under my tutelage and was well dressed also. My sister Emma was a beautiful young lady, who had survived scarlet fever that had caused her to go blind afterwards. She had lost the majority of her vision in her eyes and could only see blurry images at best. She had been properly cared for, and she had adapted well to her blindness. She had used a walking stick to guide her. Luther, who was still living with me, would be presented to Emma. With time, his ghoulish alabaster eyes had changed into a brownish hue. I had no fear of what she would think upon meeting him, because she could not see his interior monstrosity, and she was like me, a humanist at heart.

'Emma, it is good to see you sister. It has been so long, since we last saw each other'.

'Heinrich my dear brother. Why have you not visited me? You have been too occupied to not even have time for your only sister?'

'I must admit that I have been occupied with my experiments as a scientist, but I know that it is no excuse. I am glad you are here'.

She smiled and said, 'You are forgiven brother. You have always been so intrigued by science, ever since we were children I remember'.

'I still remember'.

I had then presented to her, Luther who was observing and listening to our sibling conversation, 'Let me introduce you to a guest that is staying at the house. His name is Luther'.

Even though he had a slight speech impediment, he was eager to speak to a woman of such grandeur and beauty, as my beloved sister Emma. 'I am Luther, and the pleasure is mine, my lady'.

'Luther, that is a dignified name. If I may enquire, where are you from?'

Because the memory of his past was still unknown to him, he had chosen the city of Bern as his birthplace, 'I am from Bern my lady'.

'I have been there before. They tell me that it is wonderful there'.

'Yes, my lady, for it is known for its splendid background of the mountains and its countryside. It is surrounded by a majestic river'.

'Are you a travelled man Luther?'

'I would not consider myself that, but there is still so much about the world and places I want to visit'.

'Let us enter and continue the conversation inside the house', I had interjected.

We had entered, and Emma and Luther had carried on with their conversation, as if they were old acquaintances. I was impressed by Luther's knowledge, but I was not certain that he had possessed sufficient intelligence to be able to remember all the things that I had taught him and that he had read in books. He had become an avid reader and painter. At the end of the day, he would paint a striking painting of Emma and offer it to her as a token gift. This small gesture had made me a bit uncomfortable, because I did not know what were Luther's real intentions. The reality was that they had connected well. Could the reason be the fact that their natural inhibitions had united them, instead of dividing them? I was not certain as well, if I had built enough trust through my rapport with Luther to gain his absolute loyalty.

As more time had elapsed, the more that I realised that Luther was advancing in knowledge and in character, but some of his traits were becoming noticeably negative than positive. I had thought in my mind, had he started to regain his memory and his old ways that had included his fewer desirable penchants and attitude? I still needed him for the success of my experiment. If I had allowed him to leave, would he have returned on his own accord? Would he be able to function without me? Emma and myself, were the only true humans that he had ever known and met as Luther, aside from the employed servants Hilda, Helga, Heinz and Fritz. I knew that I could trust them to be fair and respectful towards Luther. It was the outside world that I was not certain that would embrace him with open arms. I knew if he had continued to survive that one day, he would finally leave the estate for good.

Emma would visit me often, and I had sensed that Luther was also the reason that she had come. I had the sensation that she had a fond affection for him that was endearing, but it was not love as Luther would profess for her. This occurrence I would discover upon Emma's visit, as we were gathered outside in the garden. I was seated, whilst they were standing together conversing. I could only overhear small bits of their private conversation, but not enough to know what it was truly about. When they were finished, Luther had stormed past me and walked to the stream adjacent the estate. He was not happy I had perceived. When I had asked Emma what had happened, she would proceed to inform me about their conversation. Luther had confessed his love for her, but she had rejected him and had told him that he was more of a brother to her. This had infuriated Luther, who had not known love before. I went to him to attempt to speak with him and calm his anger.

'Luther, I know what you are feeling right now'.

'Have you ever been rejected?'

'Yes, many times'.

'But you have at least tasted the fruits of love, whereas I have never'.

'It does not mean that you shall never find love or a woman to love you'.

'Do you think that some woman will accept my monstrosity?'

'What do you mean? You have become a learnt man and a fine student of philosophy and art'.

'And where has that got me in this life professor?'

'Far. You have progressed and outlived the prognosis that I had for you'.

'Then am I to believe that I am only an experiment to you and to the rest of the world?'

'No. You are much more than that'.

'Then tell me, where can I find a woman to love me for the man that I am? Why does the Lady Emma not love me, as I love her?'

'I am afraid that in this cruel world of ours, love is not easily found nor experience, as what you read in your books of romance'.

'Then all the stories of love I had read, are nothing more than lies?'

'Some are, but some are not. There are either fiction or non-fiction'.

'Why must love be so cruel? And why must the world be so cruel to me? Have my sins been too unpardonable to not allow me the felicity of love? Is my ugliness my condemnation? Am I the devil cast off from heaven to scorn?'

'Love is that of which we create, and its relevance is what we attach to it Luther'.

'If that is the case then professor, why was I brought into the world, and why did you reanimate me?'

'I reanimated you because you were dead and I wanted to prove my theory by giving you life again'.

'Then I served only as an experiment? Is that not so Professor Von Schiller?'

He was no longer the feeble-minded dead corpse that I had reanimated, for he was much more than that, he was a thinking man with intelligence. 'It is not better that you accept your destiny. I know that you possess thoughts that you once did not have. Creativity and passion that you did not once have. Things of which, you never had'.

'What good have these thoughts and passion served me, if I cannot be love and appreciated? Must I wander the Earth, as a monster that cannot dwell with human nature?'

'Where would you go Luther?'

'I would go where I would not be rejected, with Mother Nature. I shall go into the world through the thick forests, and ride the high tides of the ocean, cross over the steepest mountains, until I have reached the valley of the most beautiful blooms conceived. In a remote place, far better to where I was conceived'.

'For how long do you think, you can last with a mechanical heart?'

'For as long, as it continues to beat'.

'Come back with me to the house and accept the friendship that Emma and I offer you. It is better than the solitude which you will find in the outside world'.

He was loath at first to return with me, but he ultimately did. He had excused himself to Emma, and they had resumed their friendship; even though I was not certain if Luther's acceptance was really genuine. During that night, I would be awakened by a horrid scream coming from the chamber where Emma was sleeping. I rose to my feet and had seen her listless body dead on the floor, as one of the female servants was aghast by the discovery. My first suspicion was that she had been killed by Luther. Immediately, I had searched the house for him, and he was gone. It was too premature to know the cause of her death, but Hilda had informed me that she had seen Luther leave the chamber where Emma was sleeping. I did not want to believe that the dead man that I had reanimated was then a cold-blooded murderer in essence.

I had no ideal where to find Luther. He could have been somewhere in the vicinity hiding, or outside of the area by then. I had gathered several men to hunt him down. I did not wish to include the police, for fear that I would be arrested for the experiment that had brought back to life Luther. We had searched and searched for him, but to no avail. He had vanished from the Earth it would seem. The question that I had pondered was, for how long could he be absent, before he would have to return to the house? Emma's body would be buried upon my return. The commiserated affection that I had for Luther had become sudden rage. This was something odd for me, because I had always considered my comportment to be based on my rationality, not by my stirred emotions evoked instantly.

For days we had searched for Luther, but was unable to find him in every nook that he could be hiding within the nearby villages or cities. There was one place that he was extremely fond of, and that was Bern. Thus, we had travelled by train there, hoping to find the monster that had murdered my dear sister Emma. Once at Bern, we checked for him. We had placards posted throughout the city, with a drawing of Luther and a reward offered for any pertinent information about his whereabouts. Later one night, we had been informed by a man whose name was Gerwin. He had rented for several nights, a room for a stranger that seemed to fit the description of Luther. He had told me that Luther had been seen leaving the city. He did not know where he had gone. That was primarily all that he could apprise of Luther's presence.

If Luther had indeed left Bern, the question was then, where was his next destination? The death of Emma would still haunt me, as we had continued to search for Luther, along the way from Bern to Zurich. I could not delay any longer her interment. Thus, I had returned home to bury her, as she had deserved. Upon that mourning of gloom, I had said my goodbyes to Emma, swearing that I would find her killer and exact swift punishment unto him. I had the men continue with the search, whilst I remained behind. During the burial, I had a hopeless despair in me, for Emma was the closest sibling to me. I kept on repeating in my head, the reason that I had reanimated the foul being that was Luther? If Luther was to blame for physically killing Emma, then I was to be blamed for creating the murderer. Could it be possible that Luther was reverting to his old self, before he had died? If so, what man or beast was I to confront then in person?

After the burial of Emma, I had concentrated all my resolution and knowledge in locating Luther. What I did not know was that Luther was indeed near. The tension had begun to strain him and debilitate his mechanical heart. He had been forced to scavenge and rob to keep alive, but the police were on his trail. He had committed acts of theft and on one occasion murder. This I would learn afterwards. The investigator that I had hired to seek his background had found a record of him, and it was not good nor flattering. I would discover Luther's original identity. Apparently, Luther was born with the name of Berhard Stauffenberg and had a criminal list that had depicted horrible acts of crime that had included murders that he had perpetrated. His death was concluded as a suicide. The police were looking for him, but he had killed himself, before he could be apprehended. Perhaps, this was the main reason, why he was buried without a name on his original tombstone.

Naturally, I was not aware about the terrible news that I had received. I could not believe that I had reanimated a real monster in disguise. One that would haunt me forever. If Luther was once a madman gone astray, then what was the creature that I had given life to in essence? I had invited Professor Reichenburg to my residence to discuss the disturbing situation. He was the only one that I could confide my hideous reanimation. I waited impatiently for his arrival, knowing that the killer of Emma was still on the loose. He would arrive by carriage, and I had been outside. Once inside we had discussed the issue of Luther and his involvement with Emma's death.
I apprised him of every detail that was known and had demonstrated my anger towards Luther without hesitation.

'How could you permit this to last for as long it has lasted Professor Von Schiller?'

'That is a question that I have asked myself, a thousand times, before and after Emma's death'.

'Where could this monster that you have reanimated be at?'

'I don't know, because I have searched for him everywhere imagined'.

'Surely, he must be long gone from Zurich'.

'Perhaps, but I have a strange and intuitive sense that he is not far from here, and that he will return to the house that gave him everything'.

'But that is mad professor. Why would he do such a foolish thing, knowing that the authorities are looking for him?'

'All that I know, is what I have experienced with him. However, if he has regained his memory and has reverted to being the criminal of vehemence that he once was, then I fear that he will strike again'.

'I hope for your sake that he is caught soon', said Professor Reichenburg.

When he departed the estate, Professor Reichenburg had given me a stern warning, and that was that I could be blamed for the death of Emma inadvertently. I had pondered those words of his, over and over, until I could not bear any longer to rack myself with senseless guilt. Was it even possible that Luther would seek revenge upon me, for his direful predicament? If so, then he would inflict the same terror that he had inflicted on his victims. That was a horrifying plausibility to accept, but I would not have to wait any longer to have my answer. Luther had returned to the estate, and this time he would return with a devious intention. I would be in my study pondering the situation with Emma's death and Luther's whereabouts, when he had entered unannouncedly. At first, all I heard was deep breathing, then his familiar voice had echoed his return, as I was observing the drawing of Luther in the hall. Thinking, what devil had I created?

'Professor Von Schiller. A ghost has returned to haunt you'.

'Luther, you damn scoundrel! What do you want here? You are not invited here any more!'

'I have come back to get a new heart, and you will give me that heart'.

'Are you mad? After what you have done to Emma and the others?'

'I did what I had to do to survive, and as for Emma, I did not kill her, she tripped and fell. It was the fall that had killed her, not I'.

'Do you expect me to believe that Luther?'

'I don't expect you too'.

'I shall have you turned over to the police'.

'I doubt you shall, for it would incriminate you directly'.

'I don't care! You must pay for your abominable crimes'.

'No more than the horrible crime that you committed in reanimating me'.

'You ungrateful conniver'.

'I have regained my memory'.

'What has become of the man that I once taught to be human again. Is there not an ounce of that man within you now?'

'That man is dead professor and shall never return'.

'What makes you think I shall concede to your demand?'

'Where is the scientist that once strove for the preservation of humanity?'

'He is dead as well! You will be condemned for your crimes'.

'And who will condemn you for yours? A god that you have tried to emulate?

'That is my sin to bear Luther, or should I call you by your real name Berhard?

'I see that you have discovered who I am. That does not concern me professor'.

'Look at what you have become Luther'.

'It is not said in the holy books that we are born in the image of our maker?'

'True, but it does not mean that we are born to kill'.

'Must I serve the purpose of being your Judas?'

'Give up this madness of yours, Luther'.

'Are you going to help me or must I be forced to obligate you?'

'How?'

He grabbed a sword that was hanging in the hall nearby and had threatened me deliberately, but before he could achieve his brazen threat, his mechanical heart would begin to rapidly stop beating. It had appeared that Luther's heart was not as robust, as he had thought previously. He put his right hand over his ailing heart, as he began to ache in severe pain. I was not certain what was occurring to him, except that he perhaps was suffering from some type of discomfort. Soon, he would fall to the floor and die. His mechanical heart would beat no more. Gone was the insidious terror that had reigned over my life, ever since the untimely death of Emma. I was not able to physically exact punishment unto him, but I was able to in a manner that would cost his life, my invention of the mechanical heart of which he had depended on for his existence.

The last fainting utterance of words that he spoke was the following, ''The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Curst it be that I shall haunt you forever Professor Von Schiller!'

I had remembered that first part of his utterance, which was once said by the philosopher Socrates. The aftermath was not what I had predicted. Nevertheless, it had given me a finality to the nightmare that had resulted in being Luther. He would be reduced to scant ashes, and I would regret the day that he was reanimated. After this horrendous experience, I would never again contemplate or effectuate the experiment of reanimation. I had learnt that man was not destined to reanimate humans with mere science. There had to be more a philosophical reason for that reality. In the years that would pass, science would evolve its natural course, and I my own. I would continue to seek the advancement of science, but I would spend more time with my personal life. In the end, my life had drastically changed. The patent memory of the being I created had remained in some degree of my torment. The veil of darkness that is death can linger untethered, until its shadow is removed definitely. I had been rid of the lurking shadow that was once Luther, or so I thought. Ecce homo.

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About The Author
Franc68
Lorient Montaner
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4 Mar, 2024
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