Filling the story gaps of literary characters:

Mary Shelly’s gothic novel "Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus", originally published in 1818, has at its centre the fateful creation of Frankenstein’s monster and the horrible consequences for its creator. Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist from Geneva, who studies a secret technique to impart life to non-living matter in Ingolstadt. This way his creature is born. When he fails to take care of it, as well as create a mate for it, the creature vows to take revenge on Victor. It tells him: “I will be with you on your wedding night.” The phrase tortures Victor, knowing that he is promised to his darling Elizabeth. He thinks the monster wants to kill him on his wedding night, but the horrible truth is only revealed to him, when he leaves Elizabeth, thinking it safer for her this way.

Sitting at the drawing room window, overlooking the pathway to the front door of the house, Elizabeth pretended to focus on her stitching work. Her little cousin was charging about the room with his friend from a neighbouring estate, playing and singing, making the greatest ruckus ever known to man. Elizabeth had one eye on them, carefully making sure that none of them got hurt, while her inner emotions ran as rampant as the children. Victor was arriving back to Geneva this afternoon and Elizabeth was sure that this time, they would finally be married. She had entreated him in her last letter to make up his mind whether he truly loved her. He had been abroad for such a long amount of time, studying in Ingolstadt and travelling in France, she had hardly any idea who he had met along the way. Maybe he had fallen in love with another, and if he had she should be glad to relieve him of the promises made between them. Elizabeth loved Victor deeply, but she wanted to receive his love in return. She did not want to share him with anyone – except for maybe his study and his work. A man must work, as her adoptive mother had told her, before her much too early demise.

A sudden shout made Elizabeth rise from her position at the window. Ernest had fallen in a bad way, and she rushed to him, the motherly figure that she was, fussing over her younger cousin. “Ernest, are you all right? Where does it hurt?”

The boy was holding his knee, whimpering miserably. Elizabeth examined his leg and concluded that it would be nothing more than a bruise. She exhaled in relief. Since poor little William had died, she would not be able to bear more grave news delivered to her adoptive father about one of his children. Elizabeth felt responsible for all of them, including Victor, her husband-to-be. She knew he had lived through hard times recently, his time in gaol as well as the creation of his creature were a heavy burden on his mind. But Elizabeth was confident that as soon as he was home, she could help him recover from the horrors of the outside world. Helping Ernest up and reprimanding him and his friend to be more careful, Elizabeth walked back over to her stitching work. Glancing out the window she finally saw what she had been waiting for all afternoon. The two oldest Frankenstein men were approaching the house. She yelped with glee and ran from the room, down the stairs to the front door. The boys were following her eagerly, not knowing what was going on, yet nonetheless participating in the excitement.

Seeing their father, Ernest ran the remaining meters and jumped into his arms. All the Frankenstein men reunited, at long last. Elizabeth welled up at the picture and turned her head a little to hide her tears, but from the corner of her eyes she was watching them approach. Victor looked different, much thinner and a deep kind of sorrow etched on his face. He halted a moment before taking the last step towards her. She saw the tumult in his eyes, and she knew this was related to the secret he had alluded to in his last letter. Elizabeth knew, by the look in his eyes that this was something terrible indeed. But she realised, she didn’t care. She loved him and she wanted to marry him. No matter what secrets he might hold. With this realisation in her mind, Elizabeth took the last step to close the distance between them and embraced her fiancé with her fragile arms. She felt him exhale with relief and she knew she had done the right thing. The elder Mr. Frankenstein was now approaching the young couple, smiling down at them benignly.

“Time to plan the wedding then, isn’t it, son?” he said, clapping Victor on the shoulder. “I will be proud to witness your long-awaited union, my dearest Eliza” he added, stroking the side of her face in fatherly affection. They were the picture of perfect familial love. Victor drew back, looking at Elizabeth with sorrowful eyes. She knew he loved her; she saw it in his silent affections and felt it in his soft touches. But something was holding him back and Elizabeth remembered that he had promised her the full truth the day after they were married. All the more reason to plan this wedding quickly.


Two months later, Victor and Elizabeth were on their way to Villa Lavenza on the shores of the beautiful Lake Como. They had been married that very day and were now travelling through the Alps. Stopping at an inn in the evening, to rest for their wedding night, Elizabeth once again wondered what it could be that troubled her husband so. The whole two months leading up to the wedding Victor had been in a constant state of anxiety and panic. Elizabeth had been the only person to be able to calm him, yet he never revealed his terrible secret to her. She knew it had to do something with the creature he had written her about. He had doubted his own morality in its creation and Elizabeth had encouraged him to not be too hard on himself. Walking through the mountain village to calm both their nerves, and stretch their legs after the long journey, Elizabeth began to wonder what would happen tonight, on her wedding night. She had no married women to rely upon for information. All she knew, she had learned from their cook in Geneva who had tried to explain in the simplest terms what happened between man and woman on their wedding night and many more nights thereafter. Elizabeth knew that she wanted to fulfil her wifely duties, she wanted to make Victor happy, but more than that, she wanted to lead a happy marriage, filled with love and affection. She did not want any secrets and she knew she needed to gather the courage to ask Victor what was troubling him so.

As she ruminated on these subjects with a quiet husband walking next to her, the heavens opened, and a dreadful storm came over them. Victor grabbed her by the arm and shouted: “We have to get back to the inn, my darling.” And with a tug, he started running and she after him. Elizabeth laughed with abandon, enjoying the wind and rain coming down on her. Her heart was beating fast, just as fast as her feet were hitting the ground. Victor looked back at her with worry, and she smiled even broader at him. “How exhilarating to be in such grand nature”, she shouted at him, and his running came to a halt. He turned and fully looked at her, soaked from head to toe and glowing red cheeks. “You look magnificent, my darling wife.”, he said with a hunger in his eyes Elizabeth had never seen before. She felt she should be afraid of him, but it made her insides tingle. With no one around to see their wild abandon, she threw herself in his arms and kissed him passionately. Victor seemed to be taken aback for a moment but then returned the kiss with equal fervour. Separating for air, they looked at one another and laughed. Elizabeth felt a distinct moment of utter happiness. The happiest she had ever been, she thought. But then the familiar gloom settled on Victor’s face once again, as he looked around them. “We should get off these deserted streets.”, he said and pulled her with him, back to the safety of the inn.

In their room, Victor smiled at Elizabeth with a sadness she could not comprehend. Had he not felt the same blissful exhilaration as she had just a moment ago? She was sure, he had, the way he had kissed her. Yet now it all seemed to have vanished. “My darling, I need to leave you tonight. I will only put you in danger by staying with you. Let me settle something once and for all, and God willing I shall return to you in the morning. Pray for a happy honeymoon at Lake Como, my beautiful bride. Pray for me, my darling.” With those words, he was out of the room and Elizabeth had no time to hold him back. She did not understand what he meant and felt a coldness in her heart she had not expected.

Standing still in shock, she realised she was dripping wet and needed to change her clothes. Glad to have a task to occupy her overly worried mind, she went ahead and rid herself of the wet hat and coat she was wearing. As she proceeded to take off her shoes, bending down to do so, she heard the door to their room open and close once again. With a smile, she straightened and said in a flirtatious tone: “Oh, Victor, what cruel games you play with me.” Looking over her shoulder, expecting her husband to look at her with warm affection, Elizabeth shrieked at the sight before her. A monster had made its way into her room and there was no escaping it. With its outstretched arms it came towards her, and a horrifying voice whispered: “Hello, Mrs. Frankenstein.” A moment later, the monster’s enormous hands were on her throat and her screams were stifled. As the life left her body, Elizabeth looked at the monster that was killing her and a sudden realisation came to her. This was Victor’s creature. Had he left her to die at its hand? Elizabeth tried to speak the question, but instead her last breath escaped her lips as she heard her husband shout her name from somewhere below – too far to reach her in time. Yet loud enough to let her know: Victor loved her and with peace in her heart, she let go.

Note from the author:

This text is the third part of a series of "Literary Gap" texts, which will be published in the weeks to come. Thank you for reading!

Literary Gap Story No. 1

Literary Gap Story No. 2

Literary Gap Story No. 4