How to Make A Golem

I was only three or four when I first read that page of the book. Grandpa’s big dusty grimoir was too heavy for me to lift then. I struggle even now.

How To Make A Golem.

I had learned not to ask questions raised by what I found during my regular secret visits to Grandpa’s study. He always knew where I learned the new words. He didn’t get cross, but he didn’t give me any answers either.

A little bit of spit.

By the time I was about ten years old, I had read the entire book. Memorised whole chunks of it. I’d even used some of the spells. Sally Jenkins would have never kissed me if I hadn’t enchanted her. And Mathematics made no sense whatsoever to me until I cast a spell of understanding upon myself. I suspect that Grandpa knew exactly what I was doing.

A little bit of mud.

The Golem page haunted me all those years. Became my obsession. The incantations were simple enough, the pentagramic pattern well within my abilities, but I could not get it to work. Was I being too ambitious?

Mix them together, while chanting…

Grandpa grew old, grew frail, and near the end I was scared to leave him to go to school. You must, he said, enlightenment is only possible through education. But I was away for months at a time, studying. And he had refused to have a telephone installed.

Spread small amounts of the mud to each corner of the pentagram, leaving most in the centre space.

When the call came I flew home on the first available flight. I got there just in time. Take my book, he said. Which? I asked, knowing exactly what he was talking about. Keep it safe, he said, and when the time comes it will help you understand.

The Golem should form, precisely as you envisage.

His funeral was sparsely attended. A few fellow wizards, I assume. No one who knew who I was. I returned to school the following day, with a renewed vigour. I would create a false man. My Golem.

The Golem’s movement will be slow at first, his muddy appendages cumbersome.

Day and night I tried and tried again, repeating the steps. To no avail, the mud remained mud.

But slowly he will become more lifelike, and almost indistinguishable from a human being.

And when I finally realised, eventually understood, I wept the whole night through. The tears burned my flesh. Spit on mud.

Of course I couldn’t create my own Golem.
No Golem can.

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David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

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