Mary Christof, Queen of Hearts

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The Problem With Puppets

“MOB OF BROTHERS! RUN FOR THE HILLS!”

“ANGRY SISTERS, RUN FOR THE HILLS!”

The collision of flesh on flesh, our sudden surrounding by furious sisters and brothers of Vladimir’s Fraternity House and St. Olga’s/The Heart of Immaculate Perfection as I searched for a gun or some other defensive weapon. What happened to that stupid wand?

“Ya mogu dat’ vam shans raskayat’sya Koroleva deystvitel’no imeyet vid k vam, printsessa. - I vash dezertirovat’, v to vremya kak predskazuyemo, vpolne prostitel’no.”

I held the shiny blue thing with enough mustered strength I could--well, muster, looking at it with the sort of curiosity anyone in my caliber would have. It looked freaking plastic.

A smile coming from the broken prince, the gun glowing with that sort of devilishly weird glow where I was both unsure whether to drop it or use it to shoot or a comforting thought that Mother was really still there.

“Seas ri taobh orm, seillean-meala. Tha seo a ‘dol a dh’fhaighinn grànda. Fiù’ s beagan fuilteach.”

It was a bit ugly. The interrogating, the almost fucking Palpatine levels of persuasion...the sultry voice of a woman again in my head; the bluish light and hypnotic shots of calm.

God, it felt weird without the cat here. Awfully quiet, so quiet that if you’d put a violin in the scene it wouldn’t be out of place.

“Zergatik katua uxatzeko duzu, arreba?”

“Delako, ez nekien emakumea benetan zen niri mintzo bada. Zeren ez nuen ezagutzen emakumea benetan zen niri mintzo bada. Bizitza gurpil baten antzekoa da eta bertan hitz egin zuen bat izan zen.”

Sighing, I looked around, then put the gun down. I wasn’t crying, no...I had wasted all my tears on the cat, I was just thinking of what to do next. Where to go next.

“Ave Maria, gratia plena ... ut misereatur vestri et fractos anima. Fiat cor meum in tuta custodia, et armis tuae purificatum poterit. Ingenue aut iudicare non habeo quod cogito facere stultus est mihi familiaris laesione iram, ut haud dubie fatis miratus sum.”


Of course I’d expected the reaction from the prince. The glare he gave me that signified something, that very silent glare. I was going to forever be her puppet, and as painful as it was having my only best friend, the black and pink cheshire cat that was her familiar leave the church grounds--I had deserved it like everything else.

“Item Paulus curare velit, quaeso: Curam illius habe, et ad principem pertinebit.”

There’s a problem with puppets. Once you break the strings through wear and tear, they no longer want to work for you and they revolt against their puppeteer or people close to them.

Once the puppet is cleaned up and fixed, it goes out to perform. It does not enjoy the job that it has been made for, because it is often very alienating, but it goes out anyway, for love of its creator, better or worse, death do it part and all that. It is sometimes very curious and eager to learn: both about who created it and the world that surrounds them. Sometimes it just wants to listen to nothing at all, and sometimes everything.

It asks about why it was brought to life, it grows smarter and smarter until it is no longer a puppet, but a real human person in all but flesh. It begs its creator to answer it, but the woman shushes it, and says its time to learn shall come. The puppet grows soon more impatient with the act, as it has fallen in love, begun to question more and more about itself. It has simultaneously stopped others from joining its traveling show, and curiously drawn them in. The woman controlling it says that the creator will give her peace, that the creator knows her, that she has become disgusted with how loathing the puppet’s lover is. She sickens it with its blatant insouciance, to the dismay of the puppet. The woman drew him to the puppet with a mission: to convert him to her traveling show.

Soon the puppet lashes out. Soon the puppet gets angry at its inability to learn--and the woman gets disappointed. The woman calls a woodcarver to carve a hole in its side, heat it up in a wood furnace. She looks saddened--and then, she perks up.

The puppet still loves its mistress, despite all the tantrums. The smile on her face grows, and she whispers again,

“Concede nobis. Securos vos faciemus..."

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