Stone Protector

Synopsis: A teenager, Gracie Klein has been the object of torment and taunting thanks to her slight overbite. Despite this, her immaculate, tremendous brain creates worlds of fantasy and forms her first real friend, who happens to be a golem. The golem, Josiah, develops a soul which is strange, but her love for him sparked this transformation. What will she do when she starts having feelings for her own creation ?

Chapter 1--Ancient Kaballah

Gracie Klein was a devout Jew by birth and had gone to synagogue every Saturday with her parents and was happy with life, well, relatively so. She was a bit of a klutz and awkward around others, so making friends had been difficult. Since middle school she had become a loner, especially after her so-called best friend Tabitha had made fun of her nose, calling her "mammoth schnozz". Poor Gracie never quite overcame the traumatic incident and began to shy away from her classmates after that devastating blow to the heart. Matters weren't always so "hunky-dory" for her, since she had a slight overbite, but her parents, David and Sarah, were working on improving this slight imperfection in her mouth's structure.

Bored with school and slightly with life, Gracie had decided to take a trip to her favorite place in town: the local library. There were thousands of books she had checked out in the past and the stories always kept her sensational mind active. Rapidly, she went into the garage, raised the door and hoisted herself upon her bicycle. No sooner had she kicked back the kickstand was she off to stimulate her starved imagination.

When Gracie walked into the library this time, she noticed that there was a copy of the ancient Kaballah. She had heard of the book before and was curious about it. She had read every other religious text she could get her hands on since different religions intrigued her. This one in particular was a mystic form of Judaism, and she was unfamiliar with it. Drawn to the book, she picked it up, held it close to her chest and took it to the front desk for check-out.

"Oh, hi, Gracie ! Checking out another book today I see ?", the librarian said, sweetly. Her hazel-green eyes were accented by her rectangular glasses and her attire was dainty and delightful as usual. Mrs. Shelia Peters, her name was, and she was a class act in every sense.

"Yes, Shelia. I wanted to chase away the 'boring school blues'.", Gracie answered, honestly.

"Ah. Well, this book will definitely do that. Just be warned. These spells are powerful, so don't use them unless you absolutely have to !", Shelia said, in a warning and ominous tone. Then she laughed merrily. Gracie was scared out of her wits and huffed, scowling a bit.

"Shelia, I am not amused.", Gracie said as Shelia checked her card, stamped the book and handed it back to her.

"I'm aware, but I can't help myself sometimes.", Shelia said, giggling again. Gracie took the enormous tome, which strangely was lighter than it looked. Carefully, she carried it to her bicycle, kicked back the kickstand and rode back home.

Chapter 2--Josiah Lives

It was an ominously thunderous night when Gracie began the ritual. She had drawn a star of David in chalk in her basement and lit candles all around it. In the middle of the star were rocks. Nothing out of the ordinary, just your garden variety rocks.

Wearing a black, flowing robe, she repeated the words that seemed strangely familiar to her, pricked her finger and blessed the rocks with her own lifeblood.

Suddenly there was a rumbling and shaking and the rocks began to move. They began to attach to each other, forming limbs, a torso, arms and finally, a head. Fairly soon, Gracie could hear the lub-dub of a heart coming into being.

"Josiah is what I will call you.", she said in a murmur to the golem. He awoke, yawning.

"Where am I ? Master, is it you ?", Josiah asked as he was helped to his feet. His appearance was grayish-white and his skin shone like quartz but the more Gracie had tactile contact with him the more the rocky features of his skin began to fade. His skin became more beige and his eyes took upon a mahogany tint. His hair was medium length, raven and curly. He was strong, but gentle in his mannerisms and intensely intelligent. It seemed whatever he touched, he could absorb and the knowledge became his to use. Strangely, though, Gracie fell more and more in love with him as she showed him the world she had brought him into.

Chapter 3--Love is Bizarre

Josiah was normal like any other being on the planet and he melded in with all the other humans around him. His appearance was no longer stiff and stony but alive and vibrating with the spark of humanity. Love had given him mortality.

"I am still curious, Master.", Josiah said one day as they were watching a film together in her room.

"You don't need to call me that anymore. I am not your Master, but your friend. Treat me as an equal, Josiah.", Gracie said, blushing floridly while Josiah took her hand tenderly into his elegant, yet powerful hands.

"Gracie, what is love all about ? I don't quite understand it.", he said, gazing into her ice-blue eyes intently. Gracie looked at her sandals momentarily and awkwardly giggled. Her voice cracked before she could speak. Usually she was quite the chatterbox around others but Josiah made her tongue-tied.

"Love is…complicated, Josiah. It's different for everyone. Like for me, when I created you, I felt overwhelmed with an emotion. I wanted a friend so badly I begged and pleaded that it would be so.", Gracie confessed.

"And that is why I have my mortality. Your prayer and hope gave me that. I suppose I am the first golem ever to have such a gift…", Josiah stated. But, Josiah knew he was more than just a typical golem. No. He was a human being and would know everything that human beings would in their lifetimes. He would probably live longer than the typical human because of his inner composition, but he would live, grow old and die just as normal humans do.

"I appreciate your love for me. I understand what this means now.", Josiah said, embracing her unexpectedly. The warmth of his skin made her feel like bursting. She had never felt something so intense, yet so serene and placid before. It made her feel sublime.

"I don't know if I can allow a relationship between us. Nowhere in the Kaballah does it say creator and creation can coexist. I fear if I create a rift…", Gracie said, with some tension in her sweet tone.

"There are no rifts, only love my sweet.", Josiah said warmly as he leaned in close to her and kissed her lovingly. From that moment, Gracie's life had transformed forever.

Chapter 4--Jealousy

As soon as Josiah began attending school with Gracie, she noticed that she had become a heck of a lot more popular. It wasn't because she was suddenly cool or happened to be wearing the hippest clothes in the tri-county area. It was because, quite simply, her boyfriend was the hottest thing since steamed heat. Gracie wasn't complaining, however. She knew whom she could trust and whom she couldn't and if she was ever in any trouble, Josiah would protect her. She didn't have any bullies bothering her anymore since Josiah was a towering figure. He never used violence. Just his stature alone intimidated would-be antagonists.

It seemed though that Gracie's popularity had some adverse effects. Her closest new friend, Natalie, secretly had a crush on Josiah. Behind Gracie's back, Natalie would flirt and make provocative passes at Josiah. Josiah, however, couldn't be swayed, even if Natalie was a siren in all aspects of her personality. Gracie didn't know of the rift in her friendship until she, Natalie and Josiah went out to shop at the local mall.

Natalie was hanging all over Josiah and only then Gracie noticed how sultry her so-called confidante was acting. Her behavior was by no means commendable.

"Get your mitts off him, you little harlot !", she shouted, trying to pry Natalie's hands from Josiah's waist. Josiah rolled his eyes.

"There will be no need for that.", he said, removing Natalie's hands easily. He then took Gracie by her waist and drew her in for a passionate kiss.

"If you're trying to separate us, nothing in the world could ever do that.", Josiah said, honestly. Natalie was infuriated and began yelling and cursing at them in traditional Arabic. Neither of them paid attention to her asinine actions or her spoiled attitude. Snobbishly and in an infantile fashion, she stomped off finally bellowing,

"Who needs plebeians like you anyway !"

No sooner had the brat walked away that the two began laughing heartily.

"She's right. We've got each other.", Josiah said, romantically, as he wrapped his arm around Gracie's trunk and they walked side by side along the various stores of the mall.

Chapter 5--As Time Goes By

As Gracie aged, she appreciated Josiah more and more. Sure, they would have their tiffs every so often but their love was unchanging. Gracie had gone through college with him, both of them going in different directions. Josiah was working to become a holistic healer and Gracie was learning how to become an accountant. They were interning and excelling in their classes. Despite the fact that homework kept them busy, they always found time to be together. In fact, Josiah had even mentioned marriage to Gracie in passing, hoping the idea would stick. But, Gracie was shy and she also wondered about breeching any laws the Kaballah had in its ancient pages. It had been so long since she had picked up the book. She had one of her own now so she didn't have to keep checking the one at the library out. There was only one method of finding out; marriage itself.

Epilogue

Tentatively, once Gracie had settled down in her job and Josiah in his position, they finally were married. It had taken 2 years, but the wait had been worth their patience. When the anxious day arrived, Gracie sauntered down the aisle and Josiah stood there at the altar, looking dashing as usual. The two were married with no troubles and to this day, no one but Gracie knows of Josiah's secret origin. It really doesn't matter that he was a golem to begin with. Love made him human and human he shall remain. Even now, love has given them both the ability to have a family of their own and the prospects ova very happily ever after 'til death do they both shall part.

The End