My grandfather’s dying words were for me to be killed before it was too late.
The superstitious old man had to shit in a diaper during his last days and he had the nerve to tell our family that they needed to kill me? I couldn’t stand his self-righteous bullshit about how I didn’t deserve my gift and would abuse it every chance I got.
I mean, he was right, but that wasn’t the point.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” he would say. Thanks for the lecture, Uncle Ben, but Spider-Man was a moral goody-goody and I’m not about that life.
Grandpa never really liked me after The Cynthia Incident of 2k13 and even though I can’t say I blame him, I blame him.
“Your mother told me about what happened at school today, Samantha,” Grandpa told me, not even waiting until I stomped the snow off my boots before he started lecturing me.
“Did she tell you that I had a good reason?” I asked, making sure to avoid eye contact with him.
“There is no good reason for what you did to Cynthia. She’s permanently disfigured now.”
“You don’t understand!” I snapped. “I had to! I had a good reason!”
His grip on his weathered walker tightened as he asked, “And what reason was that?”
“She was prettier than me,” I stated. “And now she isn’t.”
Grandpa never let me have any fun after that, always incapacitating my golems before they had the chance to do my bidding. But he can’t interfere with my plans anymore. The rest of the family’s tears hadn’t even dried yet by the time I locked myself in the basement where my mom keeps the clay and tiny scrolls of paper. I head towards the back of the basement where my grandfather’s clay was stored and make sure to grab a huge bag of his good clay. It isn’t like he’ll need it now anyway. I plop the ten pound block of clay onto the worktable and just take it in for a moment. The scent of the earth invades my nostrils and while some may find it overwhelming, I revel in it. They want to bury me alive? Fine. Let them try.
I could probably live in the earth beneath the crust and eventually emerge stronger than ever.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to use my gift without feeling rushed or being interrupted, so to finally be able to take my time so that I can properly create a golem is a blessing. I throw some water over the block of clay to soften it up and make it more malleable and begin trying to shape the legs first, deciding to save the head for last.
“You need to make good, strong legs for a golem, Samantha. It’s the most important part.” Grandpa had told little seven-year-old me back when he didn’t think I was the scourge of the earth.
“But then he looks fat and short and stout like a teapot,” I protested. I looked over at the golem he was making beside me and noticed how bulky it looked compared to mine.
“Well, it can’t have little roach legs. How else will it be able to support itself and protect you?”
I scrunched up my nose at his mention of roach legs, remembering what he said about being so hungry while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz that he ate the roach that skittered over his legs one night.
“Is that how you killed the Nazi pigs, Grandpa?” I asked excitedly. I liked when he talked about his time in the concentration camp.
He hesitated and answered, “My golem was strong enough to fend off the guards while some of us escaped, but you shouldn’t intend on using your golem to kill others.”
“But what if they really deserve it?” I asked.
He bristled slightly at the intensity of my stare and said, “Start over on the legs.”
I nodded and maliciously smashed my golem’s spindly little legs.
I take a look at my finished golem and can’t help but realize that it looks a lot like Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas with its short and stubby legs. I never could get the legs right.
That won’t matter though. Not for what I have in store for it. I rummage through the drawers for the tiny paper scrolls and some kind of pen, but instead of owning a regular ballpoint pen like a normal human being, we own a fucking quill with a nearly empty bottle of ink.
I grumble for a few minutes trying to get enough ink on the quill tip, but it’s just not working. I eventually just give up, grabbing the X-Acto knife from the drawer and press it into my palm. I wince because I’m a giant baby, but at least the blood is flowing enough for me to get some onto the quill and scribble my name onto the scroll. Trying not to let my blood dribble onto the worktable, I roll up the scroll and stuff it into my Oogie Boogie golem’s mouth.
“They want to kill me,” I say to my golem. “But you won’t let them. You’ll do whatever you have to. You’ll kill them if you must.”
I stare at it for a few moments, listening to the pitter patter of the rain on the roof until I see its arms twitch. As if on cue, a crack of lightning resounds through the house. I smirk and grab it by its waist, carrying it upstairs so it can carry out its orders.
Most of my family had come over to comfort my grandfather in his dying days and now that he was finally dead, it was time for them to leave.
Sophie’s bawling on the couch like the fake whore she is, and Aunt Jane is passing out food from our fridge that doesn’t even belong to her.
“Is that the last of the quiche?” I ask, the venom seeping into my voice.
Aunt Jane grabs the last three quiches with her meaty claws and replies, “Yeah, I thought everyone could use some comfort food.” She turns to me, probably to hand me the tray, but she freezes when she sees the golem in my grasp.
“Is something the matter?” I ask nonchalantly.
Everyone else in the room cease their meaningless chatter to stare at the golem. The only sound that can be heard is of the rain, which has now increased in intensity.
“Does your mother know you have that?” Aunt Jane asks quietly.
I stare her down and without looking away, I shout loud enough for my mother to hear from wherever she is, “Mother, I’ve created a golem that Grandpa can’t strike down!” With that said, I put my golem on the floor, and it takes this as its cue to begin growing to the size of a wardrobe that leads to Narnia.
“Samantha!” my mother shrieks, running into the room. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“What am I doing? You wanted to kill me! You all were going to kill me! Because of that old man! You’re all just jealous.” I can’t tell if I’m starting to sound hysterical. “You’re all just jealous that my golems are so powerful. My golem will never let you touch me.”
“Samantha, stop it! You don’t want to do this!” Talia whimpers.
“You said I should be buried alive!” I snap.
“You should!” Joseph yells. “We should’ve killed you when we had the chance. You’re sick.”
I shoot him a sickly sweet smile and gesture towards him. Before anyone can react, my golem waddles over to him like a penguin and grabs him around the waist, squeezing him and making his eyes bulge out of his head. Joseph’s wife’s shrill screams permeate the stunned silence before the golem slaps her so hard she flies through the air and hits the wall.
“Who’s next?” I shriek, hearing how utterly unhinged I sound now.
Aunt Jane is still clutching the tray and when the golem turns towards her, its hollow eyes staring right through her, she throws the tray and it slices through the air like a Frisbee before striking my golem. The force is enough to throw it off balance and it begins to stumble backwards, trying not to fall before it finally topples onto its back. Its short stubby legs flail in the air while it tries to get up from the floor before the life slowly drains from the golem and it finally gives up.
The rain outside suddenly stops and the sun begins to stream between the closed blinds.
“Shit,” I swear.