My Zaide's Golem

by Carolyn R. Russell

I’m seven years old when my great-grandfather tells me about the family golem, about how in the old country they would conjure this thing out of mud that would protect our ancestral village from pogroms. Tell him the rest, my dad says. And then I learn the bloody cost of coaxing such a creature into being from a circle in the dirt. I can’t understand most of what Zaide is talking about, but I know that I am being asked a question. I say no: I want nothing to do with this savior. My dad carries me in his arms and cries all the way home.


Carolyn R. Russell is the author of The Films of Joel and Ethan Coen, published by McFarland & Company in 2001. Her humorous YA mystery, Same As It Never Was, was released in 2018 by Big Table. Carolyn’s dystopian thriller, In the Fullness of Time, was published by Vine Leaves Press in March of 2020. Her essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, Flash Fiction Magazine, Club Plum Literary Journal, and Dime Show Review. She holds an M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University, and has taught on the college, high school, and middle school levels. Carolyn lives on and writes from Boston’s North Shore.