Saturday, October 14, 2006

Widow of Frankenstein, part the fifth

“Of my early days, there is little to tell. I simply don’t remember them, any more than you remember your infancy. I assume that in those first months, Adam taught me to speak and to read. I have no recollection of a time when I did not have those skills, but I must certainly have been taught them.
“I said that I was created to be Adam’s bride. In my eyes, however, he was always my caring father. The idea of being his mate repulsed me. I spurned all of his romantic advances. Though I think he understood my reservations, he was still filled with rage at again being rejected, and he abandoned me to wreak his vengeance upon Frankenstein. I never saw him again after that, and did not know he was dead until I read it in Shelley’s book, years later.
“I attempted, for a time, to live as Adam had, scavenging and hunting in the forest, and occasionally stealing. I did not excel at this manner of life, and might possibly have died of starvation, had I not devised a plan for my survival. I could read and write, and had more than a passing knowledge of the Bible. (This last part was due to the fact that it had been a main textbook of my education.) I knew, also, that there was a convent located a few miles from a nearby village. Though the sisters there had taken a vow of poverty, they did not lack for the basic necessities of life.
“Wrapping myself in voluminous garments that concealed evidence of what I was, I then presented myself at the gate for admission into their order. I was a quick study at Latin, and soon I took up the habit and resided with them as Sister Martha, because the name ‘Eve’ had unpleasant associations with sin entering the world. Fortunately, the habit covered most of my scars and stitches, and the polite modesty of my sisters prevented them from asking too many personal questions.
“Not long after my acceptance into the protection of the cloisters, disease swept through Europe. Because we were servants of the Lord, the sisters and I spent much of our time with the sick and dying, ministering to their needs. Many of our order died from the epidemic–true, good and selfless women, all of them. As the cruel whims of Fortune would have it, however, I–the abomination who rightly should never have been brought into the world–was spared from the scourge!

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