The Curious Case of Alpha-7 DE11

Transcript of voice mail found by Dr. Jarothy Pickman, as provided by Dan Stout
Art by Dawn Vogel


Hello, Joachim. This is Dr. Manderagon. Vincent Manderagon.

I’m calling because I’m having trouble with one of our Golems. Specifically … ah … I just had it in front of me …

<Rustling papers> 

Here it is: Serial number Alpha-7 DE11. He’s behaving oddly, and I’m worried that it may be starting to spread to the rest of the brood.

I called tech support, but they’re just bouncing me back and forth. I know it’s the weekend, but you’re my sales rep, and I need to get a call back today. Let me give you the situation quickly.

This Golem came with the brood I purchased two months ago–still well within the warranty period. I had them uncrated and left them to acclimate to the island’s humidity so that their clay wouldn’t crack once they were animated, blah-blah, you know the drill.

Regardless, after 48 hours I animated them with holy words and dead man’s blood, and before you know it, they’re stomping up and down the corridors, carrying equipment, cleaning up after surgeries, performing just like they should. I was all ready to give you guys a great write-up on Yelp, when I started to notice odd behavior.

The Curious Case of Alpha-7 DE11

The other twelve Golems in the brood appear normal. But this one–this Alpha-7–seems to almost show emotion. Oh, I know its face is hardened clay, but it manages to convey something with its, I don’t know, its body language, I guess.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.

Dr. Jarothy Pickman served as primary tech assistant to the late Dr. Manderagon. He was off-site on a material re-stock expedition during the unfortunate events at Manderagon Manor. Dr. Pickman’s whereabouts are currently undisclosed, though he assures us that he is nestled in concentric circles of arcane protection and heavy armament. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the fund to establish Manderagon Mansion as a permanent historical landmark.

Dan Stout is a freelance writer living in Columbus, Ohio. During the day he helps businesses share their stories with customers and clients, and at night he writes about the things which terrify and inspire him. His fiction draws on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim, as well as an employment history spanning everything from “subpoena server” to “assistant well driller.” Visit him at

Dawn Vogel has been published as a short fiction author and an editor of both fiction and non-fiction. Although art is not her strongest suit, she’s happy to contribute occasional art to Mad Scientist Journal. By day, she edits reports for and manages an office of historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business and tries to find time for writing. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. For more of Dawn’s work visit

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2 Responses to The Curious Case of Alpha-7 DE11

  1. Jessica Yates says:

    Great read, it was very intriguing and entertaining! And I will be looking for more stories from this author.

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