Et Incarnatu Est

Et Incarnatu Est

A Story by joshua rainbird
"

Written in response to a writing challenge on Pantechnicon.net where we were asked to write about someone who meets a double of themselves.

"

Et Incarnatu Est

 

 

Sometimes, you just know how things are going to turn out, all the problems, all the difficulties, and yet you still go ahead and do it regardless. That's how it was with me and the golem and some would claim it was my only mistake.
I'd spent the week gardening and although I was pleased with my efforts, it was lacking something. Not even the rabbits that frolicked in the twilight gave the orchard a joy-de-vivre. It was pleasing but not spectacular.
 
Whilst I was sleeping I had this weird dream about creating a statue to act as a centrepiece. I even saw where it should stand, shaded by an apple tree, a sentinel in my garden of earthly delights.

Like most dreams the image faded when I awoke.

But I was undeterred; after all, I had the whole weekend. 
I gathered some clay and toyed with it for what seemed like hours trying to evoke the elusive image but despite my efforts all I had to show was an abstract shape and a pair of hands covered in orange dust. By noon cracks were beginning to show.

I decided to try again. A little water would help moisten it. As I stooped and cupped my hands the image in my dream shimmered on the river.

I rushed back to the clay splashing it until its slimy contours slid in my hands. From the lump I pulled out limbs and a bump of a head. Next came the detail. My hands slithered over its torso as I fashioned a solid chest and grooved its abdomen. Legs thickened with my touch. Veins were carved into the arms like worms writhing on its biceps. But I took my time with the hands. They had to be slender and sensitive, just like my own. Gentle enough to caress and strong enough to crush.

Soon, all that was left undone was its face. I smoothed the brow, flattened the nose and gazed deep into its unmoving eyes. My statue was beautiful, every inch a replica of myself. A dream fashioned in moist clay.

Yet, despite my efforts it wasn't me.

At first I repositioned it limbs, marvelling at how the muscles flexed with every pose. I splayed out its fingers then tightened them to fists, tilted its head... but it still looked dull.

Was this my only mistake?
To make a vision so beautiful and yet lacking that spark of greatness. I sat and thought, staring at its blank expression.
It was incomplete.

One last effort. This time I pulled its face into sternness but its eyes, cold and soulless, just stared back. No anger. I arched its eyebrows, pushed dimples into its cheeks and gently parted its cracking mouth to expose a smile. No love.

It was drying out again.
So I licked my finger and ran it across its lips. There was a faint quiver within the clay. The lips, plumped and moist, opened wider begging for more.
Suddenly, for some inexplicable reason, I grabbed its head, pressed my mouth firmly around his perfect gape and breathed some hope into those muddy lungs.

I felt the statue shudder within my embrace as he lurched forward. A wretched gurgling convulsed in his throat. I flew backwards as he crumpled and spewed a torrent of stinking earth. Terracotta bile seeped into the grass.
My creature was alive.

I watched from behind the trees. Where there was moist orange clay sweaty black skin now hunched over, marvelling at his own vomit. He spewed again, this time disliking the sensation. Blinking his eyes the golem raised his head and spat. He looked around. The beauty of my orchard was mirrored in his dark brown eyes. I felt the sensation, a trembling in his stomach. Shaking his dreadlocks he roared out laughter.

Something grabbed his attention. I sensed his fear, then realised he had seen me.

I walked cautiously into the open, allowing him to develop some trust. Confusion swam in his mind as dangerous torments. I extended my hand and, like a child, he cautiously reached.

Within seconds he had learned to walk. The first steps were gambles after butterflies, there were grazed knees and painful tears. A little later he had begun to speak, naming the creatures: the rabbits; the toads; and, the deer. And then he plunged into the river, at first he feared he would melt but after a little reassurance and a few nervous splashes he was soon swimming as good as any fish.

He was happy.

***

I hadn't realised I'd fallen asleep. I woke on the riverbank. A stench of rust haunted the air. Something had unsettled the balance in the orchard. I followed smell. The animals darted in all directions at my approach.
Then I saw why.

Shaded beneath an apple tree sat the man, sullen and bloody. At his feet a brace of rabbits with their innards spoiling the earth.

I knew what the answer would be but he needed to hear the question. 'What's the matter, Adam?'
He looked up with murderous eyes.
And then came the answer I expected, 'I was bored! You left me alone.'

© 2008 joshua rainbird


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Featured Review

On my second read I caught all the forewarnings any reader might gloss over on first glance. All were tied together by the end except a literary emptiness emptiness I crave to have filled. In other words, I need more! I caught a couple of POV problems and weak structures I would be glad to critique, if you are open to it. Your are a talented writer--imaginative!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

On my second read I caught all the forewarnings any reader might gloss over on first glance. All were tied together by the end except a literary emptiness emptiness I crave to have filled. In other words, I need more! I caught a couple of POV problems and weak structures I would be glad to critique, if you are open to it. Your are a talented writer--imaginative!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love the surprise endings most writers forget the fun and excitement that can come out of an unexpected ending.
Your imagery is really nice and refreshing
Really interesting idea :D

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oi. Powerful. The visual of you working the clay was especially powerful. I've been there, worrying the clay and knowing it wasn't yet right, but usually I end up lumping it back into a ball. I prefer your outcome! LOL

The beginning bit about the golem being a mistake really isn't necessary to the story. You could easily leave it off to give the readers a stronger jolt at the end. Not that I needed one, mind you. That ending was spectacular.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

WOW...never saw that ending coming. A very intresting write!


Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow! Great story, I really enjoyed it. Welcome to Writers Cafe and keep up the writing.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 8, 2008

Author

joshua rainbird
joshua rainbird

South Coast, England



About
I've been writing for around a year and a half now. My first short story Intracranial Biomodem was published in the second edition of Pantechnicon e-zine back in Jan 2007 ( www.pantechnicon.net ). S.. more..

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