“The Puppet-Maker” By Triston Weber

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year

I awoke in a strange room. It was a dimly lit workspace with strange woodworking tools. It had no windows and the room was heavily sealed, I also had this strange sense of unknowing yet knowing. The room seemed very familiar, yet I did not know why. The only thing I remembered was “Puppet-Maker” yet I did not know why I remembered this or how it related to me. I only knew that it gave me a feeling of dread, that word. “Puppet-Maker.” The only thing I could remember was this word I did not know the context of. However, one thing was obvious to me. I needed to get out of this room to get some answers about what was happening to me right now, so I started searching the room and looking for any sign of escape or clue as to who I am. I did not have much luck except for an old gas lantern and a sign on the door which read “Evan Lorraine.” There was also a strange tape and an old cassette player. I put the tape into the player, closed the lid, and pressed play. I heard something along the lines of:

Entry 11, John Benedict 


“This is Benedict”

“I have sent this tape to you in the hopes that you will hear what I have to say”

“I know what you’re up to with your experiments Evan! And I have to tell you that your twisted experiments will no longer be tolerated!”

“You are playing with fire! Do not make me do the same!”

“This is your last warning Evan!”

It was very strange. Apparently, someone named “Benedict” does not tolerate whatever experiments someone else named “Evan” is performing. It was almost frustrating not knowing anything; is this Evan evil? Is this Benedict good? Who am I and where do I fit into this situation? These questions tormented me; it felt almost as if I were walking into a pitch hallway with no light. The name Evan felt somehow very familiar. It frightened me. I rolled the syllables around in my mind, dragging them out. “Eh-vaaaaan. Eeeeeeh-vanuh. Eeeee-vvaaan.” The name felt strange in my mouth, but I couldn’t help but feel like it belonged there. 

I set the matter aside for the moment, for now that was not important to this most dire situation. Whatever the answers were to these haunting questions, they were not answered and nor were they going to be answered anytime soon. In the meantime, I did manage to find an exit. It was a withered, creaky door that even when moved ever so slightly, made a blood curdling sound that was almost like the words of death himself. The old door led into a pitch hallway that I could not see much of from where I was standing. It was then that a drastically important decision had to be made, “do I explore the hallway? Or do I stay in the room and hope for another solution?” The decision weighed heavily on me, a part of me wanted to explore while another part wanted to stay and hope that an angel from heaven would come and rescue me from this haunting situation I was in. I waited for what seemed like an hour, though it was probably only a couple of minutes. I grew restless, and furthermore I started feeling hungry. 

Oh! The hunger felt like a burning flame in my stomach. This must be the way that the wretched, starving peasant felt as he knelt at the feet of a fat king, sitting sleek and glossy on a high throne. I tried to get my brain to think about other subjects but my stomach grew ever more restless. It growled, and growled until eventually I could take it no more. I made the decision to take a lantern I had found in the room and wander the halls in search of desperately needed sustenance. I sniffed the air like a starving lion looking for the next meal. I caught the scent of something that smelled delicious, not food exactly, but it beckoned me.

As I headed in the direction of that irresistible smell, I noticed that there were several doors on each side of the hallway. The hall led into several other hallways, in what I now assumed was some kind of building. I continued to move in the direction of the smell and passed several doors, all boarded up and nailed shut. All of the doors that I discovered had names on them, or at least what I assumed were names. As I held the lantern up to each nameplate I passed, the letters were corroded so badly that you could barely see any letters at all. It was almost like walking through the ruins of an ancient city. Once again it felt almost familiar in a way, but I did not know why. The smell continued to grow stronger and I continued forward eagerly.

The hunger had migrated, it was no longer in my stomach but seemed to consume my entire being. I discovered that I felt desperate to reach the source of the scent. However this was not the weirdest thing I had discovered when traveling through the halls. As I turned the corner I immediately saw a sight that the devil himself created. The hall was filled with puppets, they lined the walls on either side of the passage. I was terrified. It almost felt like the puppets were placed there intentionally by something or someone, but despite seeing these strange puppets in the hall and being terrified, I also felt this strange feeling of recognition. I knew these puppets. Yes! The ventriloquist’s puppet was named The Moose. And the blonde haired puppet was Daniel. I knew their names and it was very eerie. I also had this strange feeling of… Did I work with them? No, it was much greater than that; I knew these puppets. Knew them in a way that went beyond a mere understanding. I must have made them. But how could I have made them? And why was this the only thing I remembered? 

The smell was driving me mad, my hunger was pushing me forward faster and faster. I sped up, something inside me was telling me that the aroma was coming from the other side of the door at the end of the passage. I just had to make it past the puppets. As soon as I thought about this, what sounded like a confused child’s voice said “Evan?” I immediately turned around to find The Moose behind me. The puppet was lifeless but as I peered more closely at it, what sounded like wood shuffling came from behind me again and when I turned back around, all of the puppets were staring at me. They gazed with the most chilling stare, it looked like their eyes were black pits just staring at me. At this point I ran down the hall as fast as I could and their eyes followed me as I ran. I was so scared that I didn’t even worry about the former questions anymore, I simply ran down the hall. 

Somehow I knew that they were chasing me down the hall, it felt like an eternity of running down a pitch black hall with nothing but a lantern and puppets chasing me. I eventually was about to make it past that final door and into a light filled room, but as I entered this light filled room I could hear a voice. Yes, it was a deep, booming male’s voice saying, “No! Stop Evan!” I wrote it off at first, but then another voice that sounded like a young child’s voice rang out. This one screamed, “Evan no!! Don’t do it!” That voice was quickly followed by a loud and concerned female’s voice saying, “Evan what have you done?” 

The voices clearly came from different people but they all echoed with heavy, oppressive terror. I tried to block them out but they felt like thunder inside my head. I collapsed against the door, sealing it shut. The puppets were barred on the other side but the voices echoed in my head and rang in my ears. Suddenly it was quiet, the voices stopped. It was an almost uncanny quiet, and then as I turned around the voices began to become louder than ever before. It was almost torturously loud. I began to question if I was really experiencing this event or if I was dreaming, but then I realized that it is not a dream, and it’s not avoidable. But what? What could it be? 

The smell! The smell was definitely coming from this room. I inhaled it like a man starved for air. I searched for the source, but strangely, the smell seemed to be coming from the light itself. Then, suddenly I remembered. I remembered why everything felt so familiar. I remembered who Benedict and Evan were, and I remembered what the puppets were… I was  Evan, and I was the puppet-maker.


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