From a book pitch for an illustrated short story anthology.

Wondering if maybe inking could be tonal, I began working with thinned down inks to do my linework.

I wanted it to be powerful and mighty; to destroy all those enemies we had collected during our time together. The Brents would fall at its feet and beg for mercy, but the monster would offer none.

She surprised me then, for the first time but not the last. She insisted that a monster made for vengeance would ultimately serve evil and never good. An avenging Golum would be a terrible thing to create and curse its creators and the people who wielded that power. She insisted that the monster must have a heart of love, that the creators must built it in love and that it should serve to protect and aide, never to destroy.

So I made the Golum that summer and when it came time to give it a heart and breathe into it the flame of life, I did so with love. I gave it my love, my essence, my heart. I gave it my father’s wooden box filled with my treasures (including the rubber mouse that she found when we took our band trip together), sealing it inside the monster’s chest, all the time repeating to myself: “my heart, my love, my heart, my love”, even if I wasn’t exactly sure what I meant. Truthfully, I was thinking of her; of her amber eyes on that May afternoon when she said the word “love” aloud and I heard it amplified through the pure golden chambers of her heart. I was thinking of her, I was loving her, even if I wasn’t able to admit or understand what that could possibly mean.

She stopped writing letters after the first. I received a postcard from her a week later and then there was only the hot stillness of the empty months of July and August. I spent that time perfecting the Golum and our fortress and trying with all of my will to stop wondering what had happened.