Tuesday, July 27, 2010



  • Friend
  • “‘A friend?’ Ashtaroth swung back his left hand and shot it forward in a wicked pitch that sent a stream of fiery energy crashing into the statue. ‘Aemaer! Friend you are and friend you shall be, emblazoned now for all to see!’ As the arcane smoke cleared, Loew edged in to examine the demon’s handiwork. The golem leaned back against its dolly, as impassive as before, but there was a change. Carved into its wide flat forehead were the letters f-r-i-e-n-d.” —Deborah Van Fossen, “Gone with the Golem” (2006)
  • Protection, forgiveness, life
  • “I don’t know why, but I took an eyeliner pencil, and I wrote the word ‘Aemaer’ on his forehead. I meant it only as a last gesture—my own goodbye. I knew the word from my Pop Pop’s books, a magic word meant to give life, to grant protection. I in no way imagined that it would act as anything more than a symbol—a mark of forgiveness that would fade away all too quickly as I stuffed John’s body into the crematorium oven.” —Christopher Michael Davis, “Cosmetics,” Little Knives: Twelve Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (2004)

    Origins: Kabbalic lore. Aemaer is likely a variation of Aemaet.

    1 comment:

    lilknivesguy said...

    I was honored to find a selection from my 2004 short story collection LITTLE KNIVES quoted among your uses of magic words. Although much of the research I conducted is gone to me now (locked away in a basement as all good research should be), I do recall heavily researching the assembly of a golem using an ancient Book of Creation that allowed one to combine standard letter arrays with letters of the Tetragrammaton to form powerful incantations. Aemaer, it would seem, is a variation of Aemet, which is a variation on the Hebrew emet, or Truth. When written on a golem's head, the Truth of God would give life. But remove the first letter (ayin), and one is left with only met (death). The golem crumbles. For me as a writer in LITTLE KNIVES, I explored characters with distorted world views that often grasped at supernatural explanations for the horrible things they do or were once done to themselves. In "Cosmetics," a lonely mortuary worker ends up confessing to inadvertently raising the dead. But has she given life to a golem? And if so, what will she do if the boss finds out! Thanks for the nod, Craig. You and I would appear to have much in common. Find me on Facebook. - Chris