The Puppet Master

Thick strings connected to all the puppet’s joints; elbows, knees, wrists and ankles. The puppet master smiled as he looked his newest creation over, lightly sponging her face once more before he washed it down with the hose, cleaning the marionette again. Hanging limply from the hooks stringing it up from its shoulders, the puppet did nothing but sway against the gushes of water. The female figure was clean finally and he was able to continue sculpting her.

Setting his tools out on the small surgical table, he carefully removed his latest creation from the hooks and laid it onto the stainless steel surgery table. Looking it over, he frowned a bit as his brow furrowed in concentration. The bust and nose needed a bit more work done, he decided. He needed to make his latest puppet perfect for its debut. He had a deadline to meet, after all. 
Slowly, the puppet master made improvements to the doll’s bust, making it look firmer, more realistic. When he was done. By the time he finished, it was not too big, not too small. He then began to painstakingly work on the nose. He straightened it, sanding it free of any blemishes. As he worked, he did not eat nor did he sleep. His only goal was to get his latest piece of art done in time for the exhibition.

He had finally found a spot to host his latest exhibition and the date was set. This new piece of art would be the main attraction. He would become the world’s greatest artist; compared to the likes of  Van Gough, even Michaelangelo. Actually, he knew he would be better than them. His art was unique.

When he finished, he carefully wrapped the finished marionette up and put it in the back of his truck lovingly. The exhibition would start in the morning. He wanted to get it up on display before then. He was dedicated. The earlier he could put his work up, the more people would come to see it.

Pulling up to the gallery that he had chosen for his exhibition, he felt small tremors of excitement flitter through him. Looking around, he knew it was in a prime location. The gallery was large, located in the center of the Tourist District, near major subway stops and bus stations. The large building lay hulking and empty for the moment save for the puppet master and his puppet.

Looking at his watch, he saw he had a few hours until his piece was debuted. This one was his best work so far. The artist had put a lot of work into this marionette. He even experimented with new techniques.

The artist carried his puppet to the window and strung it up. The strings were tied to the beams to support the puppet. Soon, he arranged his artwork. The puppet’s hands were posed above its head in a seductive gesture, tangling in the black wig. He looked at his work once that was done, a sideways smirk distorting his features.

He looked at his clock again. It was time for the premiere. The artist walked behind the curtain, drawing it. He was out of sight, but from the thick curtains, he was able to see the viewers’ reactions.

The first one to see the puppet was a businesswoman on her way to the subway heading to work. Her stiletto heels clicked on the sidewalk as she hurried past, but she backtracked, did a double take and stopped in her tracks. Then she screamed. The Blackberry was in her hand before the artist could comprehend it.

Perfect French-manicured nails dialed the numbers rapidly. She was calling the cops. The man slipped out from the curtains, making his way to the basement and emergency tornado shelter on the outside of the gallery. He stayed there, watching through the slates that divided the shelter from the gallery. Now, the next part of his exhibition was about to begin.

When the cops burst into the gallery, they froze as they saw his artwork in the abandoned gallery window. Her face and breasts had been surgically enhanced, making her look feminine, like a doll. Her nose had been reconstructed. Like the previous victims, her hair had been shaved off and replaced with a wig. This wig was long, straight and jet-black. The body had been dressed in a red evening gown, like she was ready for a night out. The pose had been seductive, as if luring a lover to her.

As The Puppet Master made his way out of the tornado shelter and onto the main street, he saw a crowd of people surrounding the gallery. Policemen were trying to block the view. He also noticed the press was there. A smile crossed his face.

His artwork was finally being noticed. The Puppet Master was famous now.