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We remember when you dug us from the riverbank, but we forgive you. The water was cold and the people had need of us.

We remember when you divided and shaped us, but we forgive you. We were without form and the people had need of us.

We remember when you put us in flames, but we forgive you. We were soft and the people had need of us.

We recall the day when you sent us against swords. This we forgive. The people had need of us: we would not desert them when foes were near.

We remember when you broke us with hammers. Even this we forgive. The battle was won, and the people had no more need of us.

But though shattered, we remained on the hillside, for no people came to sweep the shards away. This too we forgive, for our eyes remained littering the ground and it allowed us to see.

We saw you crowned and we rejoiced though our own heads were shattered. We saw rings on your fingers and we applauded though our own hands were lost. We saw robes on your shoulders and we were glad, though our own backs were broken. We saw your image raised in the square and we were happy, for though we were given no such thanks, yours was sculpted from clay and in that we saw our likeness. These things we saw and these things pleased us, scattered though we were.

But fired eyes do not close if they are not swept away, and we saw too things which did not please us. We saw that crown shine upon your brow while the faces of the people became lined with care. We saw the fat bulge beneath those rings while the fingers of the people became calloused and bony. We saw the splendour of that robe grow while the clothes of the people wore to threads. We saw your image in the square and knew that the tyrant had claimed the city, though the bones of him and all his men rested amongst us on the hillside. These things we saw and these things we do not forgive.

We know that a foe is near and so, though shattered, we stand. We are cold once more, but the people need us. We are without form once more, but the people need us. We are broken now, but the people need us. Claymind and kilnheart, we stand once more, marching on the city we would protect.
We will dig you from your palace.
We will divide you from your wealth.
We will bring the flames of the people's anger.
We will send you to the swords of the river's flow.
We will break you to pieces.

And the people will not know to thank us, for we will sweep away the shards.
Well, it's been July 2nd for a little more than an hour and a half. Here's my flash fiction for the day.

Daily Literature Deviation: July 14th, 2012.

And a Daily Deviation on February 20th, 2013! Enormous thanks to ~joe-wright for suggesting this, and to ^Beccalicious for featuring it. If anybody is interested in reading more of these Flash Fiction Month pieces, I've collected them into a free ebook: [link] . And if anyone fancies having a go at Flash Fiction Month themselves, ~Flash-Fic-Month is well worth a look. :-)
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-20
Golem by *DamonWakes ( Suggested by joe-wright and Featured by BeccaJS )
:iconaelorn:
This is a beautiful tale of heroism, forgiveness, betrayal and maybe even a little bit of loss. This feels like a fully fleshed out story with a whole world of characters and places, but at the same time, nothing is missing, and the reader is left satisfied at the conclusion.

While the story of the golem is an old folktale that many have at least heard mentioned, you kept it very original, and gave your own flair. The work evokes strong responses, and the reader wants to hate the tyrant for abusing his (or her) power over the people in such a horrible way.

All in all, a very well rounded work.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
6 out of 6 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconmarianweaver:
This is simply marvellous. You've captured the implacable nature of the golem that is so frightening, while still imbuing it with the kind of patient forgiveness that can only come from something crafted from earth.

The voice of the golem is utterly believable - not overly dramatic, but not sugar-coating anything it sees. And the image of the broken clay scattering on the ground still watching what goes on is chilling.

The repetitive nature of your lines lends this piece an air of oral storytelling - solemn, almost ritualistic. It evokes the image of the shattered pieces whispering to each other.

The idea that the clay, once shaped and fired, cannot simply be broken and lose what once gave it purpose is something I've never come across before. Usually the golem, once its form is destroyed or animating words removed, becomes inert once more.

You've created something quite remarkable here. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.



:blackrose:
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 9 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconanniemae1984:
anniemae1984 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015
This is amazing.

The use of repetition and cadence throughout the piece brings to mind the rhythm of oral sagas. I love the way you open and close with the digging, dividing, etc. - really brings the whole thing full circle. And this might just be me, but the thought of being shattered but still aware, watching as things slowly fall apart is horrific. I'm glad we get some closure there.

Just...wonderful.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015   Writer
Wow. That's quite a compliment! I'm really glad you like the structure of this piece. Looking back, I think that's often the thing that separates my favourite flash fiction stories from the ones that are just okay.

I can't remember if I actually discovered this before writing the story, or if it was just coincidental, but failing to let a golem rest is usually pretty significant in the original versions of the myth. At least one story involves the rabbi who created the Golem of Prague forgetting to deactivate it for the Sabbath. It's hard to guess what influenced the development of the myth, but I would imagine the idea of leaving something conscious indefinititely may well have been a factor. I feel as though it's significant that the golem was specifically shut down, rather than just ordered to do nothing on that day.
Reply
:iconwilliewaffles:
Williewaffles Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
Im not entirely sure what this is, but I love it.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014   Writer
Thanks! :-) Glad to hear it.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what it is myself.
Reply
:iconravenwood-armories:
Ravenwood-Armories Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Awe inspiring. kudos!
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014   Writer
Thank you. :-) Even two years after writing it (to within a week, oddly enough), this one's really stuck with me.
Reply
:iconakaigee:
Akaigee Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I just happened to find this piece and I love it! You capture the nature of golems in a unique perspective that's very fitting. Now to traverse your gallery for more gems like this :)
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014   Writer
Wow, thank you! I find that writing in first person plural is one of those tricks that's generally not a good idea, except for the handful of stories that wouldn't really work with anything else.

If you're looking for similar things, you might like to try Hundeminen, which is another one with an unusual narrator. The Flash Fiction Month folders (and ebooks) also have a few stories like this, but since the vast majority of what I write for those events is humour, they might be hard to find.

In any case, thanks for reading. :-) I'm glad you enjoyed my work.
Reply
:iconprecipitous120:
Precipitous120 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
Here a link, can you resist the urge to click it...

precipitous120.deviantart.com/…

I guess not

Here is what i think of your poem

Great... I got a bit pissed off about the whole thing, right up until the very last bit, revenge on the king... with out that, you would just be wasting out time...

Brovo...
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014   Writer
Hey, I see you're a new member--welcome!

I have to admit, I very nearly flagged your comment as spam. There are a lot of bots around here that just post "Click this link nao!!!11!" type comments and, at a glance, this looked a lot like one of them. Beyond that, I feel like it's bad etiquette to link to one's own work in response to another author's piece--at least, not unless it helps you illustrate a specific point. If you simply want to draw readers to your work, you might consider linking to it in your signature: that way it's unobtrusive, and it'll be appended to every comment/reply you make.

With regard to your comment on the story itself, I think you have a point. I guess this kind of repetition isn't to everyone's tastes. Combined with the need to read all the way through to get the benefit of the shift at the end, I can see how that might piss people off. Thanks for reading!
Reply
:iconprecipitous120:
Precipitous120 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
I liked your post also because of the fact that I had just read a book with Gools in them... what are they called again... clay servants... well forget the name.

Your story line made me feel, who is the Name... how do they feel... it was an really interesting perspective... one that we often over look...

Well... did you get a chance to look at my poems? you can't tell me about your's and have me not show you mine
...Not a penis comment
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014   Writer
To be perfectly honest, I'm not inclined to read work that's shoved at me out of the blue. I never offered to exchange comments, and the fact that I've posted my own work online is not an invitation for you to demand a critique from me. I'm delighted you've left your thoughts on this piece, but I don't owe you anything because of it. Beyond that, I'd struggle to offer feedback on your work because I don't write poetry myself. Granted, this particular story seems to have come close--and you're not the first person to see it as a poem--but that was quite a surprise to me. Both the category and description should make it pretty clear I approached it as flash fiction.

That said, I've skimmed over some of what you've written, and I can offer some general advice: work on the basics. Make sure you know how to use capital letters, full stops, commas, apostrophes. Make sure you know the difference between "your" and "you're." Don't use ellipses all... the... time... Some people may be avoiding commenting because they feel like you're giving them a proofreading test. And please, please, please stop begging for comments. It's bad enough you left that as a comment on someone else's work--begging for attention while totally ignoring what they'd written--but it's even worse that in response to their reply you say "I'm beginning to think I suck like all the rest of you artists." Forget the poetry: fix your attitude.
Reply
:iconprecipitous120:
Precipitous120 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
Agh, these things differ from country to country... it often annoys me that I can't spell color, like colour the way our schools teach it... and that out 'Jaws' are used for the tiles, while your 'My toe is sore!' is used for speech...

Capitals can be used with in language at anytime... when the word is spoken... because it is a simple highlight to express to the reader that it is Exclaimed... or said in a higher note.

ellipses are not only to imply more was said, but also to create pause... when the poem is read out.

commas, are used to add extra information... it is for example instead of using brackets... they can also be used to create pause.

I do on occasion make the mistake of your and you're... I am not to sure why... but I know the difference.

and... this is my outlet... to be expressed as I will... for what ever purposes I will. If I want comments... so be it, if you simple want to express your feelings... so be that
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014   Writer
Punctuation, as a rule, does not differ between countries. Neither does capitalisation. Your use of ellipses is flat-out excessive: in that comment you use eight for every full stop. You can justify the numerous mistakes in your writing however you like, but they will put people off. Also, if you know you sometimes slip up with "your" and "you're," why aren't you proofreading your work to catch that? If you can't be bothered, why should anybody else?

There's no problem with you wanting comments. The problem is how you're trying to get them. It's extremely rude to comment on another author's writing and totally ignore their hard work in favour of whinging about how nobody pays any attention to you. It's even more rude to imply that everyone sucks except you. Plus, you've only been here a week. It takes time to gain a following, and that's assuming you don't drive everyone away by coming across as needy and egotistical. The begging needs to stop now.
Reply
:iconprecipitous120:
Precipitous120 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
Your and You're sounds exactly the same in my head...even when I read my work out loud... I guess it's an accent thing... read my poem about labels... and you will begin to understand everything
Reply
:iconvina-shiranui:
ViNa-Shiranui Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student General Artist
I really like the use of repetition.  You pulled that off well!
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013   Writer
Thanks! It's been a while since I wrote this, but it's still something of a favourite of mine. :-)
Reply
:iconvina-shiranui:
ViNa-Shiranui Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Student General Artist
:D  No problem!
Reply
:iconsmirkingcatlady:
Smirkingcatlady Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Really good work! Reading it brings images of time, and rain, and stone, eternal, unmoving.
I enjoyed it, kinda reads like an old epic saga or a song
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013   Writer
I'm glad you liked it. :-) Someone else actually compared it to song lyrics a while ago--I guess it might be the repetition. It's funny, though, since typically I stick to prose.
Reply
:iconthegexxonatr97:
TheGexxonatr97 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconwhoaplz:

This piece conveys so many different pieces, yet in such streamlined a stature. It's got a melancholy yet upbeat reminisce of the past, an uneasy and almost somber look at the present, and the unmistakable heat of hope and fierce vengeance over the horizon of a future rigid with certainty.

Well done, good sir. Jolly good show! :iconthumbsupplz:
Reply
:iconcarnie-vorex:
Carnie-Vorex Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
That's why I love golems. Such selflessness. I wept while reading.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013   Writer
Thanks! I'm pleased to hear you were so invested in the story. :-)
Reply
:iconroskvape:
Roskvape Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Strong use of structure and rythym! Excellent story, too. If I ever get a kingdom, I want golems in it! :XD:
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013   Writer
Thanks! :confused: Though personally, I'd like the option of becoming all corrupt and evil. What's the point in power if you can't go mad with it? :dummy:
Reply
:iconroskvape:
Roskvape Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
LOL!
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Digital Artist
Wow, that was awesome. :D Amazing you could tell such an interesting story in so few words. The voice of the Golems really makes this; the repetition is really ominous.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Writer
Thanks. :-) I went to quite a few creative writing workshops while I was at university (often with fairly tight time limits for exercises). It's been good practice for this sort of thing, and it's surprising how few words you can get away with, really.
Reply
:iconkaaslave:
kaaslave Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
Awesome. :)
Reply
:iconllirbwerdnadivad:
llirbwerdnadivad Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013
...wow. Just...wow. This was amazing, and it details well some ongoing problems with society today...in my opinion, at least.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Writer
Thanks. :-) I really saw this as quite a general thing--a creation that proves to be more noble than its creator--but because of that it probably could be applied to a lot of real-world situations.
Reply
:iconreyjjj:
ReyJJJ Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Geeeeeeeeeeenius!
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Writer
:laughing: I can't help but read that in the voice of Captain Monty from American Dad.
Reply
:iconreyjjj:
ReyJJJ Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I consider my comment flattered!
Reply
:iconhaseo112:
Haseo112 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa...
Reply
:iconjoshuarmour15:
joshuarmour15 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You have brought goosebumps to my arms. Well done. it is the best work about the stone heroes that fought for the people that I have ever seen. There is more than one way to see this.
In a way, we are all clay in the river. When the need comes, we become warriors to defend what is good, shaped by our trainers and put under the flame of combat. We are sent against the swords of our nation's foes, and broken apart to go our seperate ways when the foe is defeated. And we congragulate the one's who brought us together when they are given a crown and scepter. We are heroes, and the one who ordered us to battle is treated like a hero, but we understand the reason we are not dubbed heroes, for the people need a symbol for all of the heroes. Who better than the one's who brought us together? But when we see that he who claims to be a hero causing our nation to fall into darkness, that his wealth increases even as our own wealth and the wealth of the people decreases, we see the tyrant. So we prepare to destroy the tyrant, to overthrow the government that has betrayed us. The veterans lead the people against the tyrant to bring him down. We drive him from his palace, take away his wealth, give him to the people to suffer the wrath of those he has harmed, send him to the river to be drowned in the people's anger, and break the tyrant's will to control the people he has betrayed. None shall thank the people who destroyed the tyrant, but call them terrorists, make them the villians so the people do not rise up again. The shards should have remained, for another tyrant will rise up. And he will say we are the foes.
Reply
:iconaviangel-flycir:
AviAngel-Flycir Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Woah. This is awesome.
Reply
:iconnever-look-back-once:
Never-Look-Back-Once Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Only few ever remember sacrifices of those made of clay,
Fewer remember to sweep up their pieces.
Alas don't you people see?
Their memory never ceases.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Writer
Wow, thanks! :-) It seems this story really inspired you.
Reply
:iconnever-look-back-once:
Never-Look-Back-Once Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I always am inspired by the written word.
Reply
:iconjamminjo:
JamminJo Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sensational Work of Art :love:

Congratulations on your DD Feature :)
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Writer
Thanks! :XD: This was quite the pleasant surprise.
Reply
:iconangermuffin:
angermuffin Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It is beautiful, and creative, and I love it!
Reply
:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow it's really powerful and I love the imagery in this whole piece as well as the ongoing loyalty to a point where it all changes, I think that's nice, and the way you built it up with the repetition really works (I know sometimes repetition can bog down writing but this is done brilliantly!)

Congratulations on the DD! Well deserved I think
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Writer
Thank you! :-) It was surprising how easily the whole voice came together, really.
Reply
:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconbreatheendlessnights:
BreatheEndlessNights Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I finaly got around to reading the huge list of poetry in my inbox, and this one shines like a star from amoung the others. Splended, and well done.
Reply
:iconmizusakura:
MizuSakura Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013
Wow. This is great! Wonderful job!
Reply
:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Just spotted this at the bottom of the page! :D Many congratulations ^^ (No. 2, isn't it?) An excellent piece of work - so moving and so well-crafted.
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Writer
It is the second, yes! :XD: I certainly wasn't expecting that to happen so soon--if at all. Thanks!
Reply
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