Karl stretched before getting back into his truck. He was on a longer haul than usual and was headed into Long Island to collect a crate to be delivered to southern New Jersey. The early start was starting to catch up to him and he’d stopped at a truck stop in northern New Jersey to get a large Dunkin Donuts coffee to help keep him awake for the rest of the trip from Philly.
He sighed with relief when he pulled off the highway and weaved his way through the city streets to the warehouse. When he pulled up, two orthodox Jewish men rushed out to greet him.
“Thank you for coming so quickly,” the taller of the two said.
They both were wearing black suits with white shirts, prayer shawls, shiny black dress shoes, and a black hat on top of curly hair with long sideburns. The two men were a stark contrast to Karl who was wearing a baseball cap over his short hair, a plaid shirt, jeans that had seen better days, and work boots.
“Sure thing. Where’s the crate?”
“This way,” the shorter one said and hurried to open the warehouse door. Behind it was the largest crate he’d seen. His truck wasn’t tall enough to fit it in standing but it should fit on its back.
“You know I am going to have to lay it down on its back, right?”
“That is fine as long as it will not bounce too much. We cannot have it breaking.”
“A golem,” the taller one answered.
“Like on The Simpsons?” Karl asked. They stared at him with blank looks. “It’s a cartoon. On one episode the kid finds a clay monster that cannot speak but does whatever it is told to do when you put a scroll of paper in its mouth.”
“Does it really work that way?”
“You do not need to put a scroll with the orders on it. You simply need to tell it to do whatever you wish following the method the creator decreed.”
“So you could tell it to get into the truck?”
“If we knew how. We are just the middleman. Only the creator knows how to make it work.”
“Right. Let’s get this guy into the truck,” Karl said as he grabbed his work gloves from the back of the truck and pulled them on. The two Jewish men moved out of the way to allow Karl to do his work. An hour and much cursing later, Karl had the crate loaded into the truck and secured for the three hour journey to Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“Who’s doing the paying?”
“We will pay you half now and the rest will be paid on delivery.”
“Fair enough,” Karl said then waited for them to return with his money. Karl counted it out then got back into the truck.
As he drove along all he could think about was the golem from “The Simpsons” and what it was able to do. He wondered if it really was able to do things like kill people or rob banks. Or destroy a vehicle so that a person could disappear and never be heard of again. His curiosity overwhelmed him and Karl pulled into an empty factory parking lot. He climbed into the back of the truck then carefully opened up the crate.
The golem was very tall and ugly. It looked like it was stupid, or at least as stupid as you could make a clay monster. Karl dug around in the hay to find any papers that might tell him how to make the golem work. His persistence paid off and he found the information he was looking for.
It was all in Jewish. Karl pulled out his smartphone and opened up Google translator. He entered the text. It said, “Rise up and do as I bid thee, Golem. Go forth and ...” Karl assumed the next bit would be the orders that would be given to the monster.
He typed in the orders he wanted to give and was happy the makers of the translator figured people would need to know how to say the stuff so they gave the pronunciation as well. “Hʻkʻrwng ʼarwyp ʼwn tʼán wwy ʼyk bʼapʻln dyr, gʼálʻm. Gyyt ʼarwys ʼwn ẕʻştʻrn myyn trʼáq,” he said.
The clay figure began to move, like a current of electricity suddenly flowed through its body. Karl stared up at it, unable to believe it was really working. The golem broke through the roof of the trailer then stood up. It stepped out of the truck then it smashed the trailer and the cab, destroying them thoroughly as ordered. When the golem finished, it stood upright and motionless, silently awaiting its next order.
A passing police officer noticed the truck and golem statue. He called for backup then started to search through the remains of the truck to see if there were any human casualties. When they found Karl’s body, it was mangled beyond recognition.
No one ever claimed the golem and it still stands as a silent sentinel in the factory parking lot. And Karl got his wish — he disappeared and was never heard from again.
Moral: Curiosity killed the cat, and Karl, too.