Puppet Master

The Maker’s workbench is dusted with a special compound of his own devising. A face-mask must be worn at all times during the course of his operations. The compound itself is non toxic, but it is imperative that disturbances, even those of the breath, are kept to a minimum until the appropriate time. Over the years he has become extremely adept at this, carrying out each of the required movements his craft demands in the momentary stillness between the beating of his heart.

An assortment of precision equipment decorates the walls of his workspace, his fingers slow dancing their secret mechanisms as he lovingly perfects his wares. Each item must be an exact replica of the previous. There is zero room for error. He is both artisan and inspector of the highest calibre. For three nights of every month he works, in the silvers of a full moon, when the rays are at their purest, their light illuminating the bench via a modest skylight.

Upon completion, each item is carefully submerged it a bath of liquid music. This is to ensure that his work vibrates at the correct sonic frequency. How the Maker smiles as his listens to their forlorn melodies whilst they dry in a chamber of forgotten dreams. Sometimes he likes to tap along with his foot, adding his own rhythmical accompaniment.

Once a month, as the full moon begins to wane, the Maker is visited by the Puppet Master. Together they drink apple tea as the Puppet Master inspects the most recent batch of merchandise. The Puppet Master removes a small phial, containing a silvery blue powder, from his dirty suit jacket and teases its stopper. This is his ritual. The stopper is removed and with a theatrical twist of the wrist, the powder is released into the air. How it sparkles and shimmers as it catches the moonlight, momentarily illuminating the Maker’s otherwise invisible goods. They are the finest of strings, lovingly crafted, each precisely three metres long and lit by powder and moon-glow. Gently they sway in the breeze, like a drunken lover’s waltz, before slowly fading to nothing as the dust settles on the floor. The Puppet Master always finds this moment particularly exciting; he likes to dance in the powder, chirping with glee at the footprints he leaves.

This is how the Puppet Master’s time with the Maker always ends: with a dance and a click and the twirl of a stick, and a fond farewell and a see you in hell. He gathers up his merchandise, consults his list of names and addresses and leaves to resume his nightly rounds, on which he will silently attach the invisible strings to unsuspecting sleepers.

And the Maker? He bolts the door, mops the sweat from his brow and takes a comfy seat by the fireplace, where he will gently doze until the next full moon.

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