Ann heard a story once about golems. She was young, and the speaker was her father’s friend. He told her about how his people used golems to protect themselves. Beyond that, Ann knew nothing of them. She decided that she knew enough to make one. For she was lonely… People would have to understand. Not that it was their business. Not that her golem would be known to others.
He was to be her secret. And so she made him, and placed into his mouth a paper reading: ‘Love and friendship.’ When he awoke, in her dingy basement, surrounded by spiderwebs and dust, he felt nothing but fear. “Where am I?” he asked; too afraid to ask ‘Who am I?’
“You’re home!” was all she answered.
But this was no home for the golem. This was a dungeon. His creator and captor would leave for hours and return only when her loneliness grew. “I wish I could spend all day talking to you,” Ann said, “But I need to work.”
“Can I work?” he asked; too afraid to ask ‘Can I leave?’
“You don’t need to! All you have to do is stay with me. That’s why I made you.”
And so he stayed. Day after day, he grew more afraid of the outside. What if other humans were like his creator? What if they, too, believed love was a task to assign him?
After a month, Ann began to visit less. Soon after, he was alone more often than not. “I wish I could see you more,” Ann said on the last day she entered the basement, “But I made some new friends at work. They’ve been keeping me pretty busy.”
He was too afraid to ask ‘What about me?’ The question rang in his head until it was a shriek. Still, his mouth was closed. He would not trust her near the paper that brought him life.