Frankentein's_girlfriend_cover_final

Geoffrey Golden is the bestselling author of Frankenstein's Girlfriend, Snarkicide, and co-author of Grosslumps. He also writes Sesame Street comics and (not a joke) Disney Princess comics. Geoffrey lives in West Hollywood, CA with his wife Amanda and their cat Gilda. His favorite Disney attractions are Alien Encounter (closed), Journey Into Imagination (the old version), and Muppet*Vision 3D (doomed).

Frankenstein's Girlfriend by Geoffrey Golden

A hilarious teen novella about geeks figuring out life after high school and who they really are: a Mummy or a Frankenstein. Dana is an awkward eighteen year­old whose anxiety and competitiveness have kept her from making real friends. When Dana meets a boy who belongs to a cripplingly nerdy subculture based on classic monsters, her life suddenly becomes a lot more interesting—and much more embarrassing! Her life plan was to skip college and leap into the CEO position at Juiceroo corporate, but she might just learn that life isn't a straight line. It's a winding path into a mad scientist's laboratory!

All­Time Amazon Best Sellers Ranks:

#1 Hottest New Young Adult Humor Release Top 5 Young Adult Humor
Top 10 Satire Fiction
Top 30 Young Adult Horror

CURATOR'S NOTE

We’re proud to present this satirical YA slice-of-life tale about a geeky girl’s life after high school. The awkwardness never ends. It just gets weirder. – Geoffrey Golden, The Devastator

 

REVIEWS

  • "Frankenstein's Girlfriend is a monster mash of everything I love! Mad scientist / author Geoffrey Golden stitches together unforgettable characters, hilariously sharp prose, and moments of teenage awkwardness that make your high­school­yearbook picture look like the cover of Vogue. If you need your funny bone reanimated, look no further than Frankenstein's Girlfriend!

    –Heather Nuhfer, author of Monster High, The Vampire Diaries, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics
  • "With a name like Frankenstein's Girlfriend, it has to be good. And it is! Cover to cover laughs from one of the top comedy minds in the game."

    –Asterios Kokkinos, stand­up comedian
  • "I hope Mr Golden can create more characters as well written as Dana in Frankenstein's Girlfriend. She and others in this little novella came to life for me very quickly. Great book and I can't wait for more."

    –David Cutter, Amazon Reviewer
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Dracula was pouring the blood punch
Wolfman served finger food to munch
Swamp Man said, “This shindig’s a trip!”
But Igor thought the chips could use more brain dip

Dana stood frozen in the echoing hallway of the apartment building, a few feet away from the door to masher party central. She clutched a pair of wax fangs in her sweaty palms, and looked very presentable in her velvety green dress, but Dana worried “presentable” might be a faux pax at a creepy costume party. Though there were two elevators and a set of stairs directly behind her, she felt trapped in this monstrous mausoleum; a corny chorus from the 1960’s chanted her hideous eulogy...

Frankenstein wore a lampshade on his head
The buzz from The Fly was that the party was dead
Drac disagreed and swooped to the dance floor
Joined by The Raven and that wildcat Lenore!

Dana stared at the paper streamer­covered door in silence. In her mind’s eye, she scribbled over the entrance with a fast pro/con list, like a football announcer drawing over an instant replay:

Pros: Appear supportive to a guy I like; infinitesimal chance of making new friends; something about having interesting life experiences?

Cons: These people are really weird on the internet; if anyone at work finds out I’m here, I’ll instantly lose their respect; what if Frank’s friends hate me because I’m not going to make myself look gross on purpose?

Verdict: ...

It was a monster shindig
All the villagers fled
They didn’t want to party
With the kooky undead

Frank stood next to Dana, dressed in his snazziest attire: black khakis, black dress shirt and belt with a metal Frankenstein face as a buckle. Perhaps he wasn’t the brightest bulb on Dr. Frankenstein’s re­animation machine, but Frank knew the scared look on Dana’s face. He’d seen that look so many times before.

“We can go bowling,” Frank whispered, disappointment in his voice.?

“No, that’s quite alright,” Dana responded, clearing her throat. “I’m looking forward to meeting your friends, who I am confident won’t weird me out.” When Dana spoke those words, she got upset with herself. Who was she to judge other people’s weirdness? In high school, she was voted “Most... Ambitious?,” the first time an ellipses and a question mark were used as part of a yearbook award in North America. Surely she could muster up a little empathy for a group of misfits.

Then Dana had a flash of inspiration: She’d recruit a new cashier for the Juiceroo at the party! Patrick needed to be replaced, and Dana had seen enough kids sports movies to know that a team’s all­star is often a startling choice, like a little girl from the wrong side of the tracks or an unexpectedly athletic raccoon.

“Come on,” she said.

Emboldened by her new plan to work at the party, Dana grabbed Frank’s wrist and pulled him through the door. He tripped a bit, not anticipating her sudden burst of enthusiasm, but to be fair, Frank rarely anticipated anything correctly. The music became much louder as they stepped through the masher threshold.

It was a monster shindig
All the creatures raved
They’d remember this night
‘Til they returned to their graves (in a few hours!)

Dana glanced around the living room of the small, scary little apartment: a vat of dry ice fogged up the sticky floor; red and black paper hung over the dusty beige curtains; a plastic bat hung from the ceiling of the attached kitchenette, next to a pile of crusty dishes stacked precariously high in the sink. Though the decor didn’t frighten Dana one bit, when an actual spider crawled out from a pot in the kitchen, Dana had to bite her tongue to silence a scream.

Construction paper gravestones decorated the walls – with names on the tombstones like, “Sue E. Side” and “I. M. Dedd.” All of the pun names contained a generous helping of initials.

Everyone was coated in layer upon layer of grease paint, pancake makeup, and spirit gum. The noxious mix of makeup and sweat in the air was palpable. It was like the set of a 1930s horror movie, if the studio was located near a modern day fish market. Dana assumed the revelers didn’t notice the scent, otherwise they’d have opened a window in this “tomb.”

Dana was surprised, and noted to herself that considering the size of the place, they managed to pack in quite a few freaks. There was a man on the couch who used copious amounts of spirit gum to attach what looked like pubic hair to his face, though she understood it to be a wolfman costume. He sat next to a much heavier mummy man with white pancake makeup coating his face, ultra­tight white spandex, and a layer of toilet paper that buried none of his “treasures.” The mummy and wolfman reverently watched a claymation monster movie from the 60s called Beach House of Dracula, in which a lady vampire taught the Phantom of the Opera to do a dance move called “The Wa­Ghoul­si.”

A pretty, mousy girl dressed as Bride of Frankenstein dominated the corner near the liquor

table, her skyscraper black hair swishing back and forth like a baseball bat as she enthusiastically made out with a tall, bushy­bearded Dracula. Maybe that toxic smell is an aphrodisiac for these people, Dana wondered. Of course, judging by the way the Bride kept opening one eye to look at her date, Dana sensed there were more dangers present than mere zombies and insects.

“I’ll get you a plasm punch,” Frank said, wandering off to the liquor, and therefore, closer to his Bride.

“I don’t drink,” Dana quickly replied, but Frank was already walking away, and with uncharacteristic speed.

I guess I’d better start recruiting, Dana thought to herself, taking in a deep breath. Time is money, something a good cashier will know. Maybe that should be the last question in my impromptu interview...

She spied a pile of green face paint, tattered black robes, and gray hairs that, at first, Dana didn’t recognize as a person. Dana presumed the frumpy Swamp Hag was either an elaborate piece of décor or a pile of dirty laundry, but once she started moving, it was clear the Swamp Hag was a person struggling to discretely adjust a wedgie under her rags. There was a lot of detail and craftsmanship put into the costume, which Dana acknowledged. The trick, as Dana saw it, would be taking that level of dedication and applying it to the far more sophisticated art of customer service.

“I’m Dana,” she announced, sticking out her hand, all­business.

The Swamp Hag tilted her head, confused. “Is that your given name,” she cackled, “or your masher monicker?”

“I’m not a masher.”?“Yes, I suppose that’s true. Then you are in grave danger, little girl.”?“I am?” Dana questioned, as nonchalantly as she could. The first thing that popped into her

mind: Frank brought her to be part of a virgin sacrifice. They’d bloody up her face with a filthy saucepan while chanting, one of us, one of us! The combination of the toxic stench and her brutal imagination put a knot in her stomach.

“I’ve seen normies enter these woods before,” the witch continued. “They come here lost, scared of the unknown, shunned by the world around them. They leave with good friends, bellies full of plasm punch, and a decaying outer shell! For only by making yourself hideous on the outside will your true beauty to shine through. Are you ready to become a masher, little girl?”

“Uh... Is this a hypothetical question? Like, you can only choose good looks or a good personality, so which one do you pick?”

“Okay,” the swamp hag replied, not sure if Dana understood the full meaning of her masher recruitment spiel.

“That’s a good one,” Dana exclaimed, genuinely excited. “I guess I would choose good looks. If you have good looks, people might assume you have a good personality, even if you don’t. But if you’re ugly, people will steer clear of you because you’re hard to look at, and your good personality won’t make a difference.”

“Yes, people will judge you harshly by your looks, but not mashers. We just want to... CUT LOOSE!”

The hag produced a plastic knife when she shouted and lunged in into the air above her

head, catching Dana by surprise! Dana shrieked loudly, and the mashers who witnessed the scene all laughed. The swamp lady cackled along with them, taking a few bows on her way to the bathroom.

“You go Swamp Queen,” a woman’s voice joshed. “Scare that normie!”?That’s when Dana realized: These are not Juiceroo people.?Frank lumbered over to Dana, who was shaking her head and forcing a “good sport” smile.

Accompanying him was Frankenstein’s Bride. He handed Dana a red plastic cup and made his eloquent introduction:

“Dana,” Frank began, awkwardly. “This is my ex­girlfriend Alisha. She is now my friend and she insisted on meeting you.”

“I like your costume,” Alisha said. “Are you one of the creepy twins from The Reckoning?” “I’m not wearing a costume,” Dana frowned. “I’m not a masher.”?“Well, not yet, anyway,” Alisha winked at Frank and smiled warmly.?Suddenly, Dana had the urge to slice up this mouse like a kiwi, but she chided herself,

remembering that the Juiceroo knives were for fruits and vegetables only. Marco took care of the vermin, even though it wasn’t in his job description. Good ol’ Macro, Dana thought.

She took her first ever swig of plasma punch, a sugary concoction which contained less than an eyedropper of alcohol, and wondered if going to this party was a shortsighted error in judgment.

“So, how did you two meet?” Alisha wondered.?“Online, on Transyl­Date­Ya,” Dana replied.?“That’s so funny! You must be, like, the only normie with a Transy­Date­Ya profile. Did you

know it was a dating site for mashers? Were you looking for a little monster lovin’?”?The couch was decorated to look like a coffin. If it were an actual coffin, Dana would’ve

climb inside of it and died right there.?“Dana works at Juiceroo,” Frank lobbed out there like a grenade.?“I love their... BananaManiac?” Alisha added, unsure of the name, but making big eyes at

Dana while she sipped on a green cocktail in a plastic cup.?“BananaMangoiac,” Dana corrected. “Do you get it with protein powder or energy powder?”

Dana quizzed.?“I’m not sure,” Alisha thought. “I think I just get it plain.”?Dana rubbed her forehead. This girl was giving her a serious, unrelenting migraine. “The powders are ten cents extra,” Dana explained. “For ten cents, you can change the

entire complexion of your day! You can be more focused, get more endurance, or feel more spiritual with our limited time Native American Ash™. Why not take advantage of that?”

“I like the way it tastes!” Alisha smiled playfully. “Frank, be honest, did she tell you not to mash­up tonight?”

“No, she... we...” Frank sputtered.?“He can mash­up whenever he likes,” Dana butted in. All he had to say was “no." “So it doesn’t bother you that he likes to wear a Frankenstein costume when it’s not

Halloween?” Alisha wondered, the innocence of her tone melted into inquisition.?“I really don’t care,” Dana lied, not allowing the little rat to get an edge on her.?“Goodie,” Alisha replied excitedly, literally jumping up and down. “Then Frank can do his Sparker speech tonight!”?

“Not tonight,” Frank blathered. “It’s not...”

?“You can borrow Tony’s Frankenstein hair helmet,” Alisha squeaked. “Please?”

?“Uhm...” Frank worriedly looked at Dana. He was hoping to slowly introduce masherdominto their relationship, but if he performed this speech for the crowd, it would take the funeral car from 0 to 60. Then again, another cute girl in his life was telling him to do the opposite, making this a perilous bind for Frank.

Dana interpreted Frank’s anxiety as wanting to perform––is this related to the video of him I almost­saw online?––but feelng held back by her. As a proud leader in the twin fields of people management and beverage creation, Dana thrived on seeing others reach their full potential. At least, she believed she would thrive if any of her snotty idiot underlings dared to push themselves to become excellent Smoothisans (smoothie artisans). So that’s what Dana wanted to see from Frank––his full potential. Yes, it might also be his full weirdness, but at least that would give her a reasonable excuse to break­up with him. When dealing with people, Dana always liked to have a Plan B.

“Go on,” Dana assured Frank. “I want to see this.”

?“Really?” Frank questioned.?

“She said do it,” Alisha smiled, then playfully shoved Frank across the living room and into her bedroom, closing the door. “Don’t come out until you’re King Frankenstein!”?

The masher monicker thing suddenly clicked for Dana. Because there are so few classic monsters – Wolfman, Dracula, Knife­Wielding Swamp Hag––they must create individual names to differentiate themselves. She thought it might be funny to shout “zombie” at this group and watch eight people turn their heads. Of course, one of them would probably ask, “Do you mean Zombie Stephen or Zombie McWhateverface?” Just thinking about that response made her tired.

When the bedroom door opened, Alisha told the crowd to hush, and to Dana’s amazement, they did. The TV was muted, the music silenced, and everyone gathered a few feet from the door. Dana hovered towards the back of the crowd, a little mystified by the anticipation in the air. It’s like the President is here, Dana thought, and is about to grant this group a full presidential pardon for their creepiness.

Frank re­entered the room, his clumsy galumphing now mistakable for dramatic technique. He wore a plastic Frankenstein hair helmet and his face was covered in green grease paint, though he missed a few spots along the neck. There were two black slashes under his eyes, like a football player, and his overall demeanor was noticeably more gridiron. Frank held a plastic stool with two hands, which he dropped in front of himself. He stepped up to survey the room. His room.

“How many of you would like to see my bare chest break out into flames?” he asked the crowd, to thunderous laughter and recognition applause. Dana was intrigued. This was Frank? The guy who had to repeat his margarita order at Gordo’s six times due to intense mumbling?

“I don’t have that power,” Frank continued. “I am King Frankenstein. I’m an outcast, like you. I’m afraid of fire, I can’t control it. Just like I can’t control what people think of me. What my family and normies think of me. That’s what it means to be a masher. When you’re a freak, they want?to throw you in a cage, lock the door, eat the key, and push the entire cage into the ocean. Good riddance to all those monsters, they’d like to say. But that’s not so for sparkers—”

Boos from the crowd. Dana wiped her sweaty palms against the sides of her dress. In school, she read every Sparker book and saw every Sparker movie, because––Dana reasoned––she was a girl, and knowing about the Sparker universe was part of her responsibility to girldom. Eventually she outgrew it, though if pressed, Dana would have to admit she was on Team Korrigan.

“Please,” Frank silenced the booers. “As we know, sparkers are those ancient, yet gorgeous teens with chiseled abs who burst into sparkly flames at the drop of their t­shirts.” The crowd laughed. “Typically, monsters aren’t portrayed in movies as sexy. Monsters aren’t the most popular kids in school. Monsters don’t get the girl, get married, and have fireball babies. The best a monster can usually hope for at the end is to escape into a forest or a mercifully quick death by plunging off a cliff.”

Frank leaned far forward on his stool and groaned, allowing the crowd to catch him and place him back on his feet.

“Thanks,” Frank continued. “I needed that. Otherwise, I would’ve broken my nose.” The mashers laughed, again. “The 10th and final Sparker movie, The Sparker Saga: Flaming Anguish Part 3, comes out next month. In its wake, there will be many folks who are left disappointed. Lost. Confused. What’s next for those fans? After Korrigan renews his vows to Willa on screen, fans will think to themselves, ‘where can I go to meet a real life Korrigan? A real life Willa?’ Of course they will, because fandom inspires passions inside that live on forever. Yes, these lost souls might see the popular kids at their school as bearing a physical resemblance to Korrigan, or his water­spraying rival, Worrigan. They might look the same on the outside, but the popular kids are too busy winning student council elections, football games, and the approval of their rich parents to mope with these fans. They’ll need something deeper and more meaningful to fill the void.”

“Did Hollywood forever ruin the monster movie genre by giving us monsters with stylish hair and fiery pecks? Yes, of course, but they also expanded the definition of monster. They widened the pool, and we shouldn’t fear that. We should welcome these Sparker fans, these soon to be lost souls, as sister and brother monsters. Let them mash at our shindigs, let them howl at our Spook Fest next month, let them brood with us, and truly understand what it means to be on the outside looking in. Let’s create a new world where normies are the outcasts, and burn the old ideas of beauty with flames that singe, not sparkle. And when Hollywood big shots come to you, looking to turn the masher story into a movie with teen heartthrobs, tell them to just release Dr. Groovy’s Gruesome Graveyard onto DVD with some goddamn commentary, then tell them to go to hell.”

The mashers went wild with applause, stomping on the floor, disturbing every last neighbor in the building. Frank’s speech left Dana speechless, thoroughly impressed with his ability to command respect from an audience. Impressed, envious, and for the first time in their budding relationship, seriously turned­on.

Unexpectedly, Frank waved Dana to come up. She looked surprised, dipped her head a little and put her hand on her chest, as if to say, “Me?” He nodded proudly and Dana quickly elbowed her way through the mashers, excited to meet the new and improved Frank. He stepped down from the pedestal, took his green­coated hand in hers, and lifted Dana onto the stool. She loved this new view. According to her subconscious, being half­a­foot taller instantly transformed her into a goddess.

“Dana,” Frank stated, amid whispers from the crowd. “Now you see me for who I really am. Not as some costume shop employee from the internet, but as a King among so­called freaks. Will you be my queen?”

“Are... you asking me to marry you?” Dana worried.

“No...” Frank stammered. “Just... y’know... be my girlfriend.”

“Uh, okay,” Dana smiled.

There were many more cheers from the group, but mostly from the male mashers. Their excitement was no doubt fueled by the prospect of a conclusion to Frank’s endless five months of moping since Alisha broke up with him, and enough was enough. The lady mashers appeared less convinced by Dana’s swift appointment, and by Dana herself, as they were firmly on Team Alisha.

Dana saw none of these distinctions. A crowd cheered for her. A crowd applauded her. She was like Princess Ja’lura in Kings and Conquerors, when she became betrothed to a barbarian leader and helped rule his brutal tribe, except this barbarian leader couldn’t drink a soda without coughing, and his tribe’s weapons were knowledge of cheesy cartoons from the 1960s. Dana took this opportunity to make fierce eye contact with the Swamp Hag who ridiculed her earlier, and the hag looked away in embarrassment. Victory.

“She’ll never really be your queen,” Alisha interrupted, “until she’s one of us.”

“Dana will get initiated at Spook Fest,” Frank countered, and then turned to Dana. “Don’t you want to become a masher? That’s why you wanted to come to this party, right?”

All the eyes on her made it nearly impossible to make a proper pro­con list in her head. Dana knew from television that peer pressure was “bad,” but giving up this instant feeling of respect, and thereby letting that little vermin girl be her undoing, would’ve been far worse.

“Of course, my King,” Dana smirked, kissing Frank deeply, in front of everyone. This got the entire crowd thumping once again, except for Alisha, who remained quite skeptical, even as her bushy­bearded boyfriend cheered and hugged her from behind.

Dana didn’t even have to look at Alisha to know how pissed off the kiss was making her, and that made it so much hotter. The green makeup smeared all over Dana’s face, onto her hands, and underneath her nails, which she’d regret for the next week. She theatrically placed her green hands on his cheeks, responding to the crowd’s encouragement... but it was Alisha who was visibly green with envy.