The Red Strings
At first glance, all you would see
is a room full of strings; strange, dark doll-like masses dangling from them,
suspended at different heights above the ground like puppets. Perhaps you’re the
one of the more observant types and could tell that all the strings were the
same shimmery hue of red, or maybe you’d notice the eerie silence of the place
first. Your eye might be drawn to the
strangely human-like attributes of the dolls, or possibly to the sheer number of them, so many you could spend
eternity counting them.
But few would be actually acute enough to sense his presence. And by him, I of course refer to the master of this peculiar room, the being that silently wanders the endless display of strings and dolls.
You don’t see him, you say? Well, I wouldn’t expect you to. Unless you’ve been here a long time and know exactly what to look for, the master is terribly difficult to spot.
He wears a deep red cloak, almost the same tint as the infinite fields of scarlet strings. He moves slowly and leisurely, often out of caution, but what has he to hurry for, really? His face and body are entirely concealed; however, you can easily catch a glimpse of his hands when he passes by, for the curtain of strings was so thick he has to push his way through them.
Ah! There, the ripple amongst the strings to your left! Do you see it? That’s him, the master weaving his way through. He’s coming this way, but don’t worry—he isn’t coming for us.
The master stops a few paces away, before a feminine doll hanging from a long red string. Look closely and you can see that its string is frayed, the glossy red cord a bit weaker than those around it. The master touches the string, rubbing it between two fingers. He gently yanks on it, and when it doesn’t give way, he nods in satisfaction. This one will pass.
He picks another one nearby; a male attached to a shorter string, perhaps only three-quarters of the previous length. This string appears much sturdier, its red more vibrant, but when the master plucks at it, the doll vibrates shakily. The master, displeased, reaches into the depths of his cloak, withdrawing a simple pair of sharp silver scissors.
He poises the blades over the string, and snip—the doll falls from its suspension. It tumbles onto the floor, disintegrating into ash.
The master, done his business, moves on; he disappears back into the endless drapery of red.
Life and death, the fate of each individual human—it is all decided in this very room, the room of the red strings of fate.