The Puppet Master

May 4, 2016

PROMPT: Open Prompt

I'm not sure why I did it. I knew it was wrong, but I felt I had no choice at the time. I was in no position to question orders. The child beside me squirmed, trying to escape. He struggled and fought but I easily overpowered him. He was after all, still just a toddler. 

The light above us dimmed. I could still smell the faint scent of caramel that surrounded the circus. The boy in my arms sobbed, crying out for his mother. I tried to calm him, afraid his yelling might draw attention but the guests still wandered around obliviously. The light blew causing the child to scream. In all honesty he was giving me a head ace. The air grew colder, I could see my breath. The circus music rang in my ears but it was no longer the joyful tune I was so familiar with. It seemed much slower and echoed threw the room. The hairs on the back of neck stood up as the boy in my arms went still. I could feel him shaking but other than that he didn't move. At first glance it looked like he was too perplexed to move but as I studied him, I realized he was bound. 

There were strings tied around his wrists and legs, preventing him from moving. The strings lifted him into the hair as I let out a terrified shriek. I didn't know what to do. More strings attached themselves to the child's body, cutting into his soft skin. He cried out in agony, staring at me, his eyes pleading and desperate. 
" H-h-h-help me!" 
I wanted it to stop, I wanted to help him but I was frozen in place. My stomach lurched as I watched. The strings continued to tighten, twisting his arm so far back the bone snapped. Blood poured down his open arms, dripping onto the floor. 
" You can leave id you'd like. " A voice from behind me said. 
I turned and in the the dim light saw Hallow standing there. Her corpse-like eyes glistening with amusement. The boy behind me whimpered. I wanted to leave. I wanted to run but I couldn't, my feet wouldn't move. 

Hallow's gaze fell upon the young boy. She moved closer to him and raised a knife. I begged her to stop but she wasn't listening. Her eyes solely focused on the boy that hung on strings. He screamed, calling out again for his mother. " This is my fault" I thought. I shouldn't have done this. I should have said no. What kind of puppeteer would request her assistant to kidnap a child ? A poor helpless child. I tired to look away but my eyes stayed focused on the boy. Hallow smiled softly at him before peeling back the skin on his arm revealing criss-cross veins and bloodied tissue. She cut threw muscles and bone, throwing them out of sight. The boy had stopped screaming but his chest continued to rise and fall. Hallow dipped her fingers into his chest, pulling apart his rib cage and with one final cut, he stopped breathing. The room fell silent. The light turned on again but I wish it hadn't. The scene before me was too horrific for words. Hallow's dress was soaked in blood, as were her fingers. My eyes stung , my body ached. I closed my eyes , hoping to wake up and realize this had all been a dream. When I opened them again Hallow was in front of me. She whipped my cheek with a piece of cloth, removing the splattered blood. 
" There we go, all clean." Her voice had returned to its usual silky tone.

She turned and swiftly began placing the child's organs into containers. When I recovered from my shock, I spoke. 
" What are you doing ? " My voice shook slightly.
I couldn't bring myself to ask her why she did it. No answer she could give would satisfy me. There is no reason good enough to justify murdering a child. Hallow chuckled, holding up the container in a joking manner.
"   You'll be amazed how much people are willing to pay for organs these days."  
When I didn't respond she continued. 
" 'ave to keep the circus running somehow. " She said in a toneless voice. 
Hallow smiled but this time it was more twisted, a tainted version of her usual grin. 
Silence fell upon us. 

I left the next morning but I never told anyone about what went on behind those bright circus lights. Hallow and I have run into each other once or twice but we've never spoken. I don't want to speak to that monster. I've put it all behind me but still a part of me yearns to return to her side. 


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