The first chapter from my soon to be self published book....
The drive out to the lake had taken a bit longer than he had remembered it, probably because the group would always car-pool and so, he assumed, the company reduced the appearance of time. It had been the first he had ever been at the lake house by himself. It sat dark and eerily quiet, just the sound of wind, whipping through the tree tops, and the sound of the lake, washing up on the beach.
As though there was someone to see him and, as though, he was about to do something devious, he crept past the house, looking over his shoulder and jumping at the smallest of noises. An image of someone standing in one of the windows, watching him, kept running through his head. Pulling a mini mag-lite from his pocket he walked past the house and down the beach. Soon the trees blocked what little of the moonlight there was. He began to feel his feet sinking, slightly, into the ground and he knew he was close. The sounds of a trickling stream guided him toward his intended spot.
Water lapped at the beach, catching his pant cuffs, in their wake. Kneeling, his hands were ice cold, wrist deep in the mud patch, where the small stream trickled into the cold waters of the mountain lake. His lips were moving, as he recited the same set of words repeatedly, under his breath. It was important, he had read, to do this. Attempting his best at getting the incantation right, he found himself over pronouncing each word. It was a mystery to him, why he was so concerned about getting it wrong. The words were not his language and he was pretty sure that he was butchering each syllable. In hopes of finding some recordings of the words, he had gone online, so he could hear them spoken but, after a hard search, found nothing.
The shape below him was forming into a man, a large oversized muddy one. His freezing hands were infecting the rest of his body; the shivers crept up his arms and down his spine. It was summer but only for another few weeks and then fall would take the reins. In a week, when he and the guys would be up here, it would be a bit colder, still. There was a large coffee in the car, a travel mug with a plug in heater, to keep it warm. The idea of wrapping his hands around that mug, feeling the warmth filter back into his fingers, comforted him. Mosquitoes that had somehow lived past the days of warm summer sun swarmed around his head. There were light trails of mud markings all over his face and neck as he, gingerly, attempted to swat at them while trying to remain clean. By now, he thought, the mud had to be so thick the mosquitoes wouldn’t be able to get to his skin. The image he must be making, a man covered in mud moulding another man out of mud, struck him as funny. The flash light, illuminating the quiet night, bobbed with his silent laughter and began to dim, as the batteries died. His time was almost up. It was almost done anyway, just one more thing, a piece of the person it was modeled on.
Arms out, keeping his hands away from his clothing, he stood up and walked into the water. Then leaning over began to rinse his hands free of the mud and clay. Once clean, he pulled the object from his pocket and, moved back towards the mud figure, he forced it into the chest, where the heart should be, and then he smoothed mud over the hole. It was almost complete. Last but not least, using his thumb nail, he carved some letters into the things forehead. These had been easy for him to remember, without having to write them down. Having gone through a Kabbalah stage, at one point, they were familiar to him.
He wasn’t sure if his therapist would have approved of this work of art, she had suggested him to make. “Take your anger and frustration out in a creative way, write, paint or draw. Get it out, quit harbouring it.” He knew she had meant for him to do exactly those things, create a Rembrandt, make his own Picasso, or become the next Stephen King. Instead, with his inquisitive mind, he had gone home and typed ‘therapeutic art’. One link had lead to another and then another and soon he was looking at Golems. It wouldn’t ever walk, it couldn’t talk, and nothing would ever come of it, he knew, but it was the action, the creation, that he was capitalizing on. Through his efforts the anger that resided in his heart would be transferred into the mud man, lying before him, and then, with the next rain it would wash away. Symbolism, that’s all it was. The same way divorced women used to throw their wedding rings into the Truckee river, running through Reno, Nevada, back when Reno was the divorce capital of the world, he would throw this memento, of his betrayed love, into the mud effigy and let nature cleanse him of the hurt.
Feeling strange, he stood up, the hairs on his body were raised and his goose pimples followed suit. It was as though electricity were coursing through his body. Looking up he scanned the skies, thinking a storm must be brewing. This high up in the mountains, he knew, storms could approach without warning and lightning was a dangerous thing. But all was clear, not a cloud to be seen, only the stars were looking back at him. It must be working, he thought, all that negative energy leaving his body, dispersed back into the world from whence it came. Already, he felt better. This might work; he could sense the success in the air. For once, therapy was paying off.
Cool, he thought.