Story-time Saturday: The Golem

Another art-inspired fiction.
Best source I've been able to manage. 
If there is an artist's direct page, feel free to message/comment and I will update ASAP.

     There were birds chirping somewhere nearby. The light of the late afternoon suns forced its way through the canopy into the hollow where the Golem awaited, peaceful and still. The gnarled fingers curled into dirt and stone, intimating their original form, uselessly. The stone lining the hollow had worn smooth over the years of rain and erosion, creating soft cascades of water that could have been soothing.
Or torture
     The Golem had once had a Name. It had once had a Home. The ache to feel the cool comfort of the planetary embrace far below and the lover's caress of warm breezes far above gnawed at the Golem's soul. It held on to those memories as fiercely as it had once held on to the ground below during the Storm Times.
Who is screaming? 
     When the young ones had first begun to grow around It long ago, they had reached out. They were curious. They sensed their Kindred within, but the shape was wrong. The shape was not tall and proud, there were no branches of green and light and Life. It had been Shaped. The young ones were repulsed, so much that nothing new grew near the Golem as the years passed.
Alone, so very much alone.
     There were many creatures in the world. Creatures with strange souls. Some were defined most by their Quick movement, and quicker lives. Some of them could touch the souls of the Growth, and the orbs through which they gathered their knowledge of the world would widen in fear and wonder. Then the Quick would disappear, fleeting and disruptive to the Cycle, but rarely more than a nuisance.
Abomination. Unnatural.
     The Golem remembered being whole among its Brethren. There was peace, and sun, and good rain. Until the Quick came in numbers. They touched the souls of the Brethren and for the first time, the Growth learned fear. Death was Life, and creatures and Growth alike came and went. Growth would pass from Life to Life, generation to generation. It was how things had always happened, until the Quick came in numbers. To give knowledge. To give Shape.
     There were Other Quick, the Growth was told. The Others would not allow the Growth to continue the Cycle as it had since the beginning. The Others would end the Cycle, bringing the Heat Death of fire and the Slow Death of tiny creatures, and they would consume the souls of the Growth until all was dust and ash and rot.
     WHY? demanded the Brethren. What could the Growth do against forces that can wield both the Heat and Slow Deaths?
     The Quick had an offer: a meld, a Shaping. To combine the knowledge and form of the Quick with the energy and power of the Growth, perhaps the Other Quick could be stopped. Perhaps the Brethren could be saved from the Others.
For the Brethren. For Home.
     The Golem remembered offering it's soul and body to the Quick. Some of the Brethren were appalled at the idea, but It remembered the willing sacrifice. It remembered the agony as limbs and leaves, branches and twigs, trunk and root were twisted and corded into muscle and sinew. New limbs defined it now: arm, and leg, and head, and fingers, and ...
What is Root? What are Leaves?
     The Golem remembered the fear of the Brethren, the fear of these Other Quick who would use the Heat and Slow Deaths to destroy them. The Quick had not lied, the Other had indeed mastered Death both Heat and Slow, but in the Shaping, the soft bark that had once sheltered the tiniest of the air creatures was now as hard as the deepest stone. The Golem could no longer feel the air high above. It could no longer reach into the earth to feel the cool embrace. Heat and Slow Death could no longer touch It, and the Others were stopped.
     As quickly as the conflicts arose, they fell away again. The Golem had tired of its purpose, and begged the Quick give it Death, that a new Growth could begin, and Life could continue in the Cycle. But the Quick did not know how to give the Golem death. It was a New Life, one that would continue forever. Trapped. Enraged.
Such a new sensation, rage.
     The Quick had gathered their numbers which could touch the Growth and forced it deep into the forest, far from their homes, farther still from the Brethren the Golem had been Shaped to protect, and forced It to dig. Stone gave way beneath the crashing blows of soul-hardened fists, until a hollow had been dug sufficiently deep enough to hide It.
A planted Growth that will never grow.
    Then the Golem was chained. The Quick thought that they had put It to "sleep." There was no sleep for a Golem of the Growth, no rest. It was, and always would be, a Growth. So awareness lingered like the longest of the Cold Sleeps, as the planet spun for countless times around the suns, as the water softened the angry blows left in the rock, as It was forgotten by the Quick. Life would not continue to Death as it should, and for the Golem that was the worst crime of all.
Without Growth, there is no Life. 
Without Life, there is no Death. 
Without Death, there is no Cycle.
     Somewhere not far enough away, the ravens and wolves were feeding. A Quick was approaching.
     What would it offer?


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