The Puppet Master

 

“I can’t believe he would do this,” the lady responded to the reporter through tears. “He always seemed like a nice person. I’ve never even seen him get angry before.”

 

The woman sobbed as the reporter pretended to be sympathetic. After a few moments, the reporter moved on to the next neighbor who was waiting to be interviewed.

 

The small crowd was standing outside the home of the man who had walked into a church and shot the place up, killing seven and injuring three.

 

All the statements were the same. The man seemed normal. He had no criminal record, no noticeable radical views, and didn’t seem to even know anyone inside the church.

 

One day, he was a normal citizen, and the next, a mass murderer.

 

The story would continue for a few days, but then another tragedy would happen that would draw the reporters away from this story and on to the next.

 

The Puppet Master sat on his recliner, enjoying the news cover his work.

 

He had been stuck on this plane of existence since the failed rebellion. That was the price he paid for joining Lucifer in his pointless crusade.

 

While the other angels could only persuade humans to do their bidding, he was the only one who was able to control the thoughts of one. The only limitation was that he couldn’t be discovered. If someone discovered what he was up to, they could keep him out of their mind with a bit of resistance.

 

Fortunately for him, the world was vast, and so far, no one had been able to put two and two together yet, though the advancement in technology was making it more difficult for him to go unnoticed.

 

He sat back and sighed. The high of making that human kill was beginning to wear off.

 

Oh, how he hated humans. Though they had done nothing personally to him, the fact that his father loved them so much filled him with jealousy.

 

He closed his eyes and focused, trying to find another patsy for his next act of violence.

 

Every angel played their part. Those that still followed their father worked to guide humans to peace, while those that lost the rebellion and despised their father’s creation, worked to lead the humans to destruction.

 

This was a great age for The Puppet Master and his companions. The world was at its peak of being divided. Throughout history, man had been united within their own lands, but now the world was divided, even within its own homes.

 

The Puppet Master enjoyed taking fairly decent men, finding that dark thought buried deep in their psyche that they never let anyone see, and then use that thought of hate, racism, and anger to make them do something horrific.

 

The violence would cause some to unite, but overall, it led to an even bigger chasm between people’s views on guns, violence, and everything in between.

 

Humans expected bad people to do bad things, but what really got them riled up, was the ones they never suspected of violence. The quiet ones who buried their anger and prejudices deep within themselves.

 

The ones he chose to commit these horrific acts almost always became submissive to the act. They enjoyed being allowed to act on their dirty little thoughts. It wasn’t until after the act was done, that they had a moment of regret before either being shot to death by Law Enforcement, or being arrested, to spend the rest of their lives trying to come to terms with what they had done.

 

He held an orb in his hands. It was filled with smoke and showed faces of different people from around the world. The faces changed like channels on a television, until a man’s face appeared and stopped.

 

“There you are,” he said, in his ancient raspy voice. “You will be my next puppet.”

 

 

Jeff walked down the street, unaware that someone was watching him. He didn’t consider himself a racist and even had friends of color, but when he saw a group of blacks hanging outside a convenient store, he couldn’t help but have negative thoughts.

 

That was enough for The Puppet Master. He added fuel to the fire of racism by forcing him to dwell on the thought longer than he normally would of. If fact, he couldn’t shake the shameful thought until after he had gotten home.

 

“Hi, Ahmed,” Jeff said casually, and was surprised that for an instant, he thought the only reason Ahmed had gotten his promotion was because his boss was a Muslim lover.

 

“Hi, Jeff,” Ahmed replied happily. “How is your day going?”

“Good,” Jeff said, sickened by his unwarranted thought of his friend.

 

Throughout the day, he couldn’t shake the negative feelings he was having against random people, some of who he considered friends.

 

“Hi, Jeff,” a girl named Amanda said, as she walked passed him towards her desk.

 

Jeff bit his lip when he caught himself replying with, “Hi, Hoe.”

 

Instead, he answered with a friendly, “Hi, Amanda.”

 

He didn’t dare say anymore.

 

By the end of the day, he was feeling angry for no reason. He walked around as if he had a chip on his shoulder but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.

 

At one point, he could have sworn he heard a slight laugh inside his head.

 

That night he had restless sleep full of nightmares that he couldn’t remember after he woke up.

 

As he brushed his teeth, he felt like someone was out to get him, though he couldn’t pinpoint who it could be.

 

“Is everything all right,” his boss asked a little before lunch.

 

Instead of being grateful for having a boss that cared enough to check on him, he took the question as an attack on his productiveness.

 

“Why? Am I not already doing enough?” Jeff asked sarcastically.

 

His boss was taken aback.

 

“Maybe you should head home early,” he said, confused by Jeff’s behavior. “You look like you need some rest.”

 

Unable to control his anger and not wanting to lose his job over an outburst, Jeff only growled and said, “Fine!”

 

The whole office watched him cautiously as he stormed out.

 

“Yes, yes,” a voice inside his head began. “They are all out to get you.”

 

Jeff took some aspirin and crashed on the couch.

 

All night like a mantra, the voice inside his head kept talking in that strange voice, “They’re all against you. All those black people who sit outside convenience stores, living off the government and looking for someone to steal from. All them Arabs who come into your country, take your good jobs, all while plotting to kill as many infidels as they can. And all those whores at work, who will sleep with anybody, the bigger the asshole the better, instead of even giving you the time a day.”

Jeff rocked back and forth. He had never been so angry in his life. He couldn’t understand why these thoughts were in his head now, but the repetition was slowly beginning to wear him down, and those thoughts started to make sense.

 

The next morning, he woke up exhausted. He didn’t even have the energy to clean himself up. He threw on some clothes and headed to work.

 

“My god, Jeff,” his boss started when he saw Jeff collapse into his chair. “You look like Shit. You need to go home and get some rest.”

 

A sudden sense of depression and anger filled Jeff and before he could stop himself, he said, “Fuck off!”

 

Everyone in the office stopped what they were doing and stared at them.

 

Jeff’s boss saw how everyone was looking and said, “Go home, or get in my office.”

 

Neither one seemed like the right answer to Jeff, so he replied, “Leave me the fuck alone, you wet-back, mother fucker!”

 

Jeff’s boss couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but he calmly stepped back, and said, “Sally, call security.”

 

He then turned his attention back to Jeff and said, “You’re fired. Get your shit and get out.”

 

Jeff felt like he was losing control of his mind. He felt like he had taken the backseat of his brain while someone else was driving, and he could swear he could hear the driver laughing at what was happening.

 

All he could do was grumble while he boxed up his things.

His head was killing him.

 

As he was being escorted out of the building, he could swear he could hear the thoughts of the people watching him.

 

“About time”, “I always knew there was something wrong with him”, “I never liked him anyway”.

 

He quickly made his way to his car and as he drove down the various streets home, it looked to him like everybody was watching him as he drove by. Judging him.

 

A cold sweat had covered his entire body by the time he threw his stuff down and collapsed on his bed.

 

All he wanted was to get some sleep.

 

He tried to clear his head. He knew they would take him back if he could get some sleep and return to his normal self.

 

Throughout the entire evening and night, he tossed and turned. His dreams were filled with thoughts of people laughing at him, rejecting him, talking behind his back, and his blood felt like it was boiling by the time he woke up.

 

He didn’t consider himself a gun enthusiast, but he did own a pistol and a shotgun.

 

As he walked to the bathroom to splash some water on his face, and then to the closet where he kept his firearms, the whole world seemed like a big blur.

 

He felt like he was in a dream state. He could see himself opening the closet and grabbing his pistol and shotgun, but it felt like he was watching someone else do it.

 

Emotionless, he loaded both the pistol and the shotgun, taking only a moment to look at himself in the mirror. Fear filled him as he barely recognized the ragged face looking back at him.

 

Unable to feel or really understand what was happening, he loaded the weapons and the bag of extra ammunition into his car, and in a fog, drove to work.

 

The Puppet Master giggled with glee. His favorite part was quickly arriving.

 

Jeff took deep breathes, trying to get the focus he needed to make all those co-workers pay for how they had treated him.

He had worked at the same job for years, so he knew the least observed way to get in.

 

Since it was later in the morning, the parking garage was full of cars, but empty of people, so he easily made his way to the elevator unnoticed.

 

He went to the sixth floor where there was construction going on, but they wouldn’t show up until later in the day to start work.

 

Once on the vacant floor, he quickly made his way into an unfinished bathroom.

 

He took his time loading his pistol clips, and the shotgun.

 

After he had finished preparing, he took one last look in the mirror, and horror filled him, when he saw a pale skeletal man, with shoulder length white hair, a black hat, and red glowing eyes staring back at him.

 

The world around him faded and he found himself feeling like he was now sitting in movie theater as he was forced to watch his co-workers fall one by one.

 

He was no longer in control of his body. He was now only a spectator, forced to watch himself commit a horrific act on those that just a few days ago, he called friends.

 

Suddenly, instead of sitting in a theater of his mind, he was propelled back into being control of his body.

 

He only felt the extreme remorse of what he had done for a moment, before a team of police officers busted through the door, took one look at him, and began firing.

 

As his life slipped away, he could swear he heard laughing.

 

 

The Puppet Master sat back in his recliner.

 

‘Another job well done,’ he thought, and looked upward with pride at the pain he was sure he had caused his father.

 

He once again held the orb in his hands and began the search for a new pawn, as in the background on the television the nation where Jeff had lived tried to come to terms with what had just happened.

 

“Ah, there you are,” he said gleefully as he stared at the face of a man in the Middle East. “You’ll do nicely.”