A Sad Mistake


By R.L. Stine

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ebook (Digital original)


ebook (Digital original) $1.99 $2.99 CAD

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A reclusive, haunted Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant are visited by a strange, persistent stranger in this haunting short story by R.L. Stine.

It’s a dark and stormy night, and the new, unnamed assistant to the penniless Dr. Victor Frankenstein answers the front door’s knock. There stands a stranger, who has managed to track down the elusive doctor and forces a wager: reanimate the man’s dead brother or face exposure to the community at large. But who is gaming whom–will the massive corpse actually be revived?

“A Sad Mistake” by R.L. Stine is one of 20 short stories within Mulholland Books’s Strand Originals series, featuring thrilling stories by the biggest names in mystery from the Strand Magazine archives. View the full series list at mulhollandbooks.com and listen to them all!


A Sad Mistake

R.L. Stine

When the stranger arrived at Dr. Frankenstein's house, I did my best to send him away. Strangers aren't normally drawn to Giron, our village, so distant from Geneva and unknown but to the farmers who have worked the hills for generations.

The man didn't appear threatening. Far from it, with his slender face, damp straw-colored hair falling over square spectacles, his cheeks pale and pinched, his overcoat open and dust-covered from the journey, and his boots…I noted his boots especially—small for a man and caked with dirt.

The horse, a scrawny brown mare bathed in sweat, uttered a cough. Behind her, the canvas tarp over the man's wagon rattled in the strong breeze that never stops blowing through our valley.

He looked down at me from the wagon seat. "My name is Nathaniel Borne. I believe this is the house of Dr. Victor Frankenstein," he said formally. His voice was high, his diction clipped. Like a schoolteacher, I thought.

"You believe incorrectly," I told him. "There is no one by that name in this house."

He grunted. An unpleasant sound. He raised his eyes to the cabin door. "He is in there," he said. "He must see me. He will avoid me at his peril."

I saw his gaze and could read his thoughts: How could Victor Frankenstein be reduced to living in this lower-than-humble cabin?

A question I asked myself when I first found him. Living in this tin-roofed cabin with the wallboards peeling and splintering and no furniture save his cot, which sat beside the stove. When I found him he was huddled by that stove, shoulders hunched, gripping the knees of his worn trousers with his long bonelike hands murmuring her name—


I found the great doctor nearly by accident during one of my travels through the picturesque villages south of Geneva. I like to paint, and the red roofs and white walls of the rustic houses caught my eye. I don't have the skill to capture the billowing greens and browns of the rolling hills, but I have pleased myself with my canvases of stark farmhouses jutting up from flat, green fields.

I think my brush has captured the loneliness of these places.


On Sale
Dec 6, 2016
Page Count
48 pages
Mulholland Books

R.L. Stine

About the Author

R.L. Stine is the creator of the bestselling Goosebumps series, which inspired the popular television show, as well as the Fear Street series and many other spooky tales for children. He has also written dozens of joke books for kids.

Learn more about this author