His first memory was of frightful lightning flash, terrible roar of thunder, and Dr. Laren screaming madly, "He's alive! He's alive!"
Those first hours were vague. His body weak, his mind cloudy. Bandages unravelled, revealing flesh of unearthly green. He saw himself in a mirror--the square head, jet black hair, bolt in neck, stitch on forehead. Dr. Laren gave him clothes to wear: black turtleneck with matching jacket, brown pants, and heavy black shoes to cover his large feet. The doctor also gave him a name.
"Boris," pronounced Dr. Laren, gazing upon his pride and joy. "I shall call you Boris, after my great-uncle in Transylvania."
Dr. Laren taught him many things during those first few days. Boris learned that he lived in a house on Hartford Street in a town called Elmville in the United States of America. He also learned how to speak.
When Boris had finished his lessons for the day, he would play in the woods behind Dr. Laren's house. In the woods he befriended the birds and rabbits and squirrels, and occasionally picked a flower to admire its delicate beauty and enjoy its sweet fragrance. He developed a taste for nuts and berries, and Dr. Laren soon discovered that Boris could not stand the taste of meat.
"I do believe, Boris," said the doctor, "that you are the most gentle creature on earth."
One day while wandering through the woods, Boris happened upon a little girl sitting by the edge of a stream, kicking the water with her bare feet. She wore a white summer dress and Boris thought she looked as pretty as a flower. "Hello," he said in his best friendly voice.
The little girl turned and, upon seeing Boris, screamed in fright and ran away.
"Wait!" cried Boris. But it was no use. He kneeled on the patch of grass where the girl had been sitting and gazed into the stream. Then he despaired, for he knew why the girl had been so repulsed. Why should such a lovely creature want anything to do with a hideous, deformed thing like himself? Dejected, Boris sat by the stream and wept.