How The Journey Began

Words Spoken To St. John of Nepomuk

Trapped as you are in your cast bronzed bonds, I will give you hope. Last night I discovered a true power, primal, supernatural, and a curse that has blessed my life with meaning.

The chime of a bell still lingered on in the air, its sound carried lazily by the frozen air. I set the on the floor in front of me. Rabbi Loew’s Golem stared pleadingly at me from its page. My breath, suspended in the cold, hung my apology over it for a brief moment before I struck the match with a flash of sulphurous yellow. At first reluctant, the flame eventually began its greedy consumption of the agèd paper. I leaned forward, attempting to soak up the warmth, to justify the sacrifice of my oldest companion. I bent over the flames, I became immersed in the cloud of smoke. Tinged blue it stung my eyes, sought out my nose and mouth and crept over my skin. Soon I felt its insinuation, the dry heat curling up inside my head. A sweet metallic taste of ink once formed as words spread through my mouth. The tingling of my eyes drew an instinctive blink. Upon the heels of the momentary darkness my world had slipped away. The fire below me sparking, growing smaller. I was falling away, upwards, to a hard landing on the ceiling. No part of me animate I lay prone, in defiance of gravity. Below me, the final wisps of smoke were coiling around each other, intertwining, gathering strength, substance. The stubborn remaining embers were pouring forth the blueish smoke. It curved around corners, filling an unseen template until there below me stood the golem, its head mere inches below my face. The smoke made solid clay. It moved towards the door, its slow purposeful stride trailing remnants of curling blue grey. As it stood below me, I felt myself floating away from the ceiling. With a sudden drop I was clinging to the back of the Golem’s rough body. Oblivious it carried me through and out of my hut. The Golem’s strong steps clattering against the stone cobbles, we emerged onto the Pražský Most. Looking around the middle distance surrounding us faded into charred edges of nothingness. Still with arms wrapped round the Golem’s neck, we walked across the bridge. The bronze statues lining our path looked on, as we passed they saluted us with reverent bows of head. Arriving at the middle of the bridge we advanced on an old man knelt at the feet of the bronze St. John of Nepomuk. His lips moving silently. We stopped a few feet from him. Despite the heavy footfalls that announced our passage, the old man remained still, oblivious. Finally he turned to us. Pulling myself up onto the Golem’s shoulders I got a clear view. I immediately recognised him as Rabbi Loew, my vehicles creator. His eyes focussed upon the Golem, I knew what answer he had been wishing for. The Golem was to have its life ended. Without looking I could see the parchment in the Golem’s mouth with emet scrawled upon it in the old man’s handwriting. A simple erasure of the e would bring this creation of clay to its death. My symbiosis with the Golem assured me of my role. He must not die. This is not that created by Loew, his would still be rampaging through Prague. My golem borne of the smoke of his tale must live on. “Vraždit” I murmured. My Golem obeyed his creator. Stepping forward it raised one huge clay arm and brought it down upon Loew. The man exploded into a thousand fiery scraps of paper. Each glowing orange they were carried away dancing in the wind. The Golem stood still, remaining in the arm thrust forward position, statuesque. It looked up at the last few pinpricks of light that remained of Rabbi Loew. An ear splitting grinding accompanied a sudden unfamiliar speed of movement. Turning upon the spot, the Golem began running towards the opposite railing of the bridge. With suprising ease, it burst through the stone of the edge of the bridge, and we fell tumbling towards the blackness of the Vlatava. The world dissolved to smoke. A momentary falling through blue haziness, my eyes once again tingling, my chest filled with heat. I landed breathless back upon my own body. I blinked awake in cold darkness.

I crave more. Words call out to me to escape their pages. They seek me and i will find them.

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