The puppets danced insanely to a silent tune. Their wooden legs clicked together and their hands beat in the air.
One puppet was a girl. The other was a boy.
There was a heart carved into the boy’s chest. He loved the girl. She was his world. But the girl did not have the same marking. She was oblivious.
The boy puppet danced towards the girl puppet. The girl stopped dancing and turned towards the boy.
The boy’s hand touched the girl’s. Suddenly, she was aware. He was there, in front of her, wanting her. The girl was uneasy, not knowing what to do with the boy’s wooden heart. Should she smash it? Should she hold it?
She turned to the Puppeteer for answers.
The Puppeteer gestured with his hand. He enjoyed making the citizens on strings suffer. He moved the tips of his fingers, and the girl walked away from the boy.
The boy ran away. The Puppeteer made him cry.
Then, the Puppeteer had an idea.
He pulled the boy puppet up so he could hold him. He ran his fingers along the boy’s wooden back, inspecting him. Then he whispered silently into the boy’s ear.
He found another puppet, a smaller one, still a boy. He did the same to the new puppet.
Then the Puppeteer took the two puppets, put them on strings, and forced them to dance their way to a new stage.
The show was on. The puppets’ lives were changed. The Puppeteer controlled them, made them go from their familiar stage to this strange new one.
On Earth, a boy named Jamie Kay, having just been rejected by his life-long crush, was quietly crying over his loss when he abruptly fell over. There was a flash before his eyes, and instead of seeing the ceiling of the school gym, he was gazing into the night sky.
He sat up and looked around. Trees were everywhere. Beside him, his younger brother, Alex, was staring up at the sky, bewildered.
Jamie coughed, and Alex looked towards him. Then Jamie said, “What are the chances, do you think, that we’re not in Kansas?”
Text copyright © 2008 by Terri Freedom. All rights reserved.