Friday, July 15, 2011

Entry #26

Golem
by Loren Eaton


The book looked ancient, with crumbling spine and yellowed-vellum pages. In it, Jonathan read how unspeakable words held matter together, how one could use them to shift the elements. To create.

That he’d found such knowledge shoved in a box of garage-sale paperbacks didn’t surprise him. Margaret was always careless, banal, frumpy. She disappointed him.

He’d fix that. He’d make himself a new mate.

The richest soil in their yard lay beneath Margaret’s prized tulips. Jonathan spaded them up. He pressed dark loam into a feminine form, wrote arcana across its forehead—

and creation’s breath seemed to catch.

A woman lay before him. But her waist was thick, breasts heavy, features flat. Wrong, all wrong. She opened her mouth to speak, and Jonathan smeared the mark from her brow, knowing as she fell to dirt that only he could see its luminous lettering.

He fashioned another from air sweetened by smashing a bottle of Margaret’s Chanel, and one more from her souvenir flask of Dead Sea water. The former proved thin and flighty, the latter shapeless and slow. He consigned them to oblivion with a touch of his hand.

Jonathan was pouring over the book when a key rasped in the front door. Margaret, home early, understanding writ on her face.

“You were my best one,” she shrieked, “and you disappoint me like this?”

He reached out to ward her off.

Her fingers brushed his brow.

Even as darkness rose, he saw his hand begin to curl away into flame.

41 comments:

j a zobair said...

I love the twist in this, but even more I love the writing. Your prose is gorgeous.

Aerin said...

Oh, Loren. Bravissima. Absolute perfection.

Aimee Laine said...

Whoops! Created tries to make his own life better and creator undoes everything he attempted. :) Awesome. :)

Loren Eaton said...

JA,

Thanks for the kind words!

---

Aerin,

You're back! Yay!

---

Aimee,

The creature thinking himself greater than his creator always causes problems, doesn't it?

Catrina said...

What goes around comes around. I found it interesting that he builds his mates out of the things Margaret loves.

Well done.

Mikki said...

This was awesome. Your twist was metaphorical, and entirely unexpected. I loved the idea best, though. How interesting that when we attempt to mold a person, it turns out that we're the ones in danger of oblivion. Beautifully written; nicely done.

Thanks for sharing!

pegjet said...

This is fantastic.
Course, I'm partial to stories with a "Margaret" in them.

Precie said...

Brilliant. It's never enough...never finished...never perfect...just the best so far. This is one of my favs...so far. ;)

Catvibe said...

Oh this is wonderful, I loved reading this, every paragraph the grin on my face getting bigger, but the twist at the end was sublime. Love this!

Phil W said...

Kudos, dude. This is good, worthy of The Twilight Zone.

Scott from Oregon said...

Awesomeness...

Aniket said...

I can totally see this winning. At least, among the ones I've read so far, yours is a clear favorite. Brilliant masterpiece. A complete entertaining story with a moral as a bonus. What more can one want? Just superb.

Joni said...

A perfect flash piece. I guess all relationships are complicated, right? Really excellent.

Peter Dudley said...

Oh. Oh. I am glad I wrote mine before reading this. I'd not have bothered otherwise. This is so good, so complete, so perfectly crafted. Masterpiece is a good word for it.

When I saw all his creations being made from things of Margaret's (flowers, perfume, souvenir), I thought we were going to get a guy realizing he could only create a shadow of what he already had. I wasn't ready for the twist at the end. I also love that he was made from fire, and the three he'd tried were earth, air, and water.

Simply marvelous, Loren. Wow.

fairyhedgehog said...

I enjoyed this one all the way through and I loved the twist at the end. What a great take on the prompt.

Josh said...

Another favorite of mine. Great writing, great twist, great emotion.

Loren Eaton said...

You are all very, very kind and exceedingly gracious in your praise. I truly appreciate it.

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Very nicely done. We'll keep you writing fairy tales (though with a noir-scribes laconicity) after all!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Fabulous! What a unique story - I love the different elements and how they correspond to the creations. Didn't see the end coming.

Ellis Bergstresser said...

The writing is excellent, the details of the substances he uses are keen, and the twist was unexpected. I loved it.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

And here I thought HE was the creator, when he was nothing but a creation. That had to sting.

Dottie :)

Old Kitty said...

What a unique take on Frankestein!!! Hell hath no fury...!! Great stuff, thanks! Take care
x

bluesugarpoet said...

Great twist at the end! Like Peter, I love that he tried to craft perfection from the most unlikely matter. ~Jana A.

Sarah Hina said...

Damn, this is good.

Richard Levangie said...

Loren:

A delightful entry. Among the best.

C Sonberg Larson said...

I really like this story. Super twist at the end. Great concept.

Aidan Fritz said...

Stellar. I like the twist ending which felt natural but wasn't obvious and takes this beyond the trope of creating Frankensteins to create something fresh. I like how the perfumes are used in this and the way brushing of the brow holds such power.

Michael Morse said...

That was great, honestly. My jaw literally dropped when I "got it."

JaneyV said...

Loren - just - WOW! Everything about this was perfect. And the end? I didn't see that coming at all. Really really magnificent!

rocky wing said...

this concept is incredible!! this is one of my favorites. i have read it many times and shared it with several people who have all agreed with my assessment. even though i know the ending, i still feel the tension as i read it, secretly hoping for a different ending.

Margaret said...

Wow!! This is just excellent. An incredibly perfect take on the prompt!

Josh said...

Congrats! Well-deserved placing and reader's choice. One of my favorites.

Chris Allinotte said...

To echo - this totally earned the honours awarded. I loved everything about this one. Can't be more specific than that.

Great story.

Rachel said...

As one of "the tribe" the title caught me right off. That you made this piece out of whole cloth in allotted words ---- amazing! Your wicked twist was masterful.

I see on your site you are interested in theology and philosophy. Both abundantly clear here.

Huge Congrats on your placing. I'm adding you to my Roaming List as I reconstruct.

Must have some powerful dirt under those tulips -- HER faves. hahaha

pegjet said...

Congratulations on winning the Reader's Choice. I very much enjoyed this story.

Mona said...

This reminded me of a 'poemette'that we used to sing in childhood:

God made man
Man made sin
God made hell
To put him in!

great metaphorical twist there!

Congratulations!

Wendy said...

Hey, double whammy! (A new nickname??) Congrats!!

Wavemancali said...

This was my #1 in reader's choice. Glad you placed and congratulations. Loved this story.

jason evans said...

Oh, that was so well done! Devilish twist. Great marriage of writing and story idea. A perfect score!

Congratulations on 2nd Place!

Peter Dudley said...

No surprise on the award. Congratulations!

shaolinsybarite said...

I love the clean, uncluttered prose. Congrats on the award. placing. ONward and upward.