The Video Shack

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Puppets are at a Size Disadvantage for Murder

Chapter 21

Puppets are at a Size Disadvantage for Murder

“You have no idea how long I’ve been alone up here,” the doll said.

“Please stop talking,” Tom begged.

Even as he said the words out loud he couldn’t reconcile in his own mind the act of speaking to a puppet. As though responding to the doll gave validity to its existence. In fact, he didn’t not believe that the doll existed. He believed that despite the fact that he knew it was in the room with him he could not accept the fact that it had the power to speak.

After the puppet spoke for the first the first time it stood up on both legs and began pacing around the room. It moaned and rubbed its wooden legs. The doll told Tom he didn’t remember the last time he used his legs. The puppet explained how he had given up on ever seeing a person again. The toy told Tom that he didn’t like to be alone. The longer he remained in the tower without other people the more he had given up on his own existence. He had begun to believe that he was merely a doll again and surrendered the attributes that had become accustomed to accepting when he believed he had come to life. He said that when you are alone so long you have no reference point to convince you of your own existence.

“Don’t hit yourself,” the puppet said to Tom. “You’re going to hurt yourself. If you hurt yourself so badly, I’ll be alone again. Do you understand how long I’ve been alone up here.”

The puppet told Tom about the parties they held in the main part of the castle when he came to life. He explained how everyone who ever met him was afraid of him. Most people the puppet ever met responded to him the way Tom was acting now. They didn’t all punch themselves in the head the way he was punching himself in the head. The puppet didn’t understand why people were so afraid of him. He didn’t want to hurt anyone. He just wanted to have someone to talk to. That was how he wound-up stuck in this tower. Someone at a party carried him up here and he was never able to get back to the main part of the house. He said he can’t walk down the stairs. Everytime he gets close to the stairs he can’t move any more.

He said that people who were in and out of this place were always performing rituals and ceremonies. He had begun to believe that that was how he came into being. Someone performed a ritual that brought him to life. He said that he understood that he was once not alive and then suddenly he was.

Tom had been asking himself for sometime if he was awake or sleeping and now he knew he must be sleeping. He was dreaming. He kept punching himself in the head trying to wake himself up. Could he have dreamt this whole night? It would make sense that he never actually walked into this place, that he only arrived here in a dream. But he couldn’t divide the time-frame into portions. When would the dream have begun he asked himself? Did he dream he was surfing at the beach with Magdalena? He had never seen anyone surf the way she could surf. Perhaps that was a dream. Did he dream that the money was missing from the cash register at the video store? This was the kind of thing that happened to him when he was a younger boy. He would lie in bed trying to rewind his memories to sort out when the dream might have begun and when real life was happening. Sometimes he couldn’t find the dividing-line.

Certainly a doll talking to him had all the hallmarks of a dream. That was not something that happened in the waking world. However, the farther he reeled back his memories like a videotape on rewind the less he could split the time in half between his waking state and his dreamscape. But the only alternative that left him with was that the puppet was really walking around the stone cell talking a mile-a-minute about secret rituals and ceremonies that could bring inanimate objects to life.

“You’re bleeding,” the puppet warned. “There is blood dripping down your head.”

Tom felt the strand of blood fall into his eye. It burned his cornea. He rubbed his eye with the palm of his hand trying to draw tears that would wash the burning substance away.

“I think the person who brought me up here thought I might kill someone. It was a woman. I remember it was a woman who brought me here. It was a long time ago, I believe. It feels like I have been here a very long time. I remember the woman at the party said that when dolls come to life they have a habit of murdering people. That was why she wanted to stash me away. She wanted to put me in the tower so that I wouldn’t kill anyone.”

He continued on by saying that he never had any inkling of killing anyone. He didn’t even know what it meant to murder a person. Plus, he was very small, and the act seemed an over-reach.

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