Content copyright © 2019 Robert Jack

“I'm afraid it isn't good news,” Ernest said with a sad smile. “Your condition is worsening. I'm so sorry.”

 

Nurse Hill lowered her eyes and squeezed Millie's hand, then hurried out of the room in tears. They'd become rather close over the past few weeks, taking turns reading to one another whenever she was up to it. It was one of the few things keeping her going. Now that she knew she wasn't going to get better, she realized just how close the bookmark had come to the end. “It's okay,” she said, speaking to herself more than anyone. “I'm ready.”

 

“You're a very brave young woman,” Ernest said, talking over his shoulder as he checked the hallway. He closed the door softly, and when he returned, he was whispering. “Millie, I need you to listen carefully to what I'm about to say. We may have reached the limits of conventional medicine, but I know a man who has gone far beyond those limits. I know you must be sick to death of doctors poking and prodding, but my brother is different. I would like you to meet him. Have you ever been to Geneva?”

 

“Switzerland?” Her laughter gave way to deep, wet coughs. The hand she withdrew from her mouth was spattered with red. “Now I know you must be joking. Look at me! I doubt I'd even survive the flight.”

 

“That's no matter, no matter at all! I know this is difficult to understand, but you haven't seen the things I've seen! How would you like to stay in a castle? Hm? A true castle, just like the one in your book there!”

 

“Your brother lives in a castle?”

 

“Indeed, he does! You'll see it for yourself if you come with me. Oh, please come with me! Say you will!” Ernest had forgotten himself. His voice had risen with his fervor, and now Nurse Hill was trotting back into the room. “Is he bothering you?” she asked.

 

“Not at all,” Millie said. “He was just leaving.”

 

“Of course,” he said, putting his hands up in surrender. “But what shall I tell Victor?”

 

“Tell him I'll think about it,” Millie said. “Good day, Mr. Frankenstein.”

 

 

Copyright (c) 2015 Robert Esckelson