The Puppet master
I remember that very first day I was brought home from the adoption center. On that day I got to finally have an actual family again, like my brother, Oliver, my new mother, father and they spoke of a cousin I would have. It was no surprise I was being adopted; they had come to visit me there six times before this, and told me they wanted to take me as their son. They picked me up on that late morning in an old pick-up truck, and took me back to a huge house on a hill. I found it a peculiar place to put a house. It was on top of a hill away from all the other houses and perfectly placed so that it was covered by old willow trees until you got close to it, along with a stream that ran down one side of the brick wall on the house.
I watched as my new family brought helped me bring my bags inside. My mother, Leslie, was short, thin and had long and wavy brown hair. My father, Greg, was very broad; he had short dark brown hair, and was always smiling. From what Oliver had told me he almost never was mad. Then there's Oliver. He was medium sized, and had jet black hair. I myself have brown slightly curly hair but otherwise seem to resemble Oliver pretty closely. I didn't see my new cousin that day. I just remember that my new parents said I wouldn't be seeing much of him because he currently lives in an asylum for reasons unsaid.
I was nine years old when I was adopted. Now I'm sixteen. I have lived a wonderful life in this home; it's the one place where I always feel welcomed. My brother and I have grown attached to each other and have a bond stronger than most. Every year my family packs into the truck, and we drive, but my parents never tell us where we're going. For some reason they always have loved surprises. Some would say that it's weird that we don't know where we're going, but it always ends up leading to an odd, yet interesting place. In past years they taken us to beaches, cabins, camping, you name it we've done it. We usually go every summer, in late July and spend exactly one week there.
"Luke! Hurry up we gotta go!" my mother screamed up the staircase. It seems like we are always running late when we are leaving for our yearly vacation. I quickly slung my ripping backpack over my right shoulder and ran down the steps almost falling on every one. I met Oliver at the bottom. "Hey are you ready? I heard Dad talking about California, it's gonna be awesome! " Oliver said the excitement large in his voice. "Yeah I'm ready, come on lets go help dad load the car so we can actually leave," I replied with a smirk on my face. When we got all of our bags in the car, I got a strange feeling. It was like someone kicking me in the stomach and screeching for me to go back to the house. When I felt the strange occurrence, I wasn't sure how to react so I just ignored it. But I couldn't shake the feeling it was some sort of warning and I started to feel a little nervous about joining everyone in the car.
"We have a surprise!" my mother sang once we were in the car. "Oh no," I heard Oliver mutter quietly under his breath. "We've decided we are going to go visit your cousin Cole this year," My dad said. You could tell that he was nervous, that meant that this must have been my mother's idea. I wanted to object but didn't since it would have crushed my mother.She was very sensitive about things like that, especially cousin Cole. He is, after all, her only nephew. I could see the disappointment crawl across Oliver's face. I couldn't blame him though; he had been looking forward to this trip for months now. I felt a twist in my stomach and a pain in my head then. I cringed in pain, and then spontaneously let out a scream. Everybody in the car jumped. I had heard the person in my head again, screaming. Go back.
When I awoke all I could see was white. Then Oliver's head came into sight. "Jeez, you Ok bud?" He said sounding worried. "Yeah, wh-what happened?" I was still so confused. Where was I? "You screamed, and then passed out for the whole car ride, what happened?" He exclaimed. "Oh um, there was a uh, spider on me, Oh so are we at the asylum?" I asked. "Yeah we've been here for about an hour and a spider? Dude I didn't know you were that afraid of spiders," He told me. He helped me up and we started to walk around. We couldn't see Cole yet; they told us that they needed to prepare him to see people. I guess that means they wanted to make sure he's ready and so he doesn't turn psycho on us. We walked for about half an hour, but there wasn't much to see since it was just all white with the occasional exception of gray. Oliver stopped walking. "Did you hear that?" he asked. "What?" I asked skeptically. "That boom," He said looking all around him. Right before I was about to respond, I heard it. It sounded like metal thunder, and it was terrifying. Then the red emergency lights flashed a vibrant red and the siren screeched throughout the halls. Someone got out.
We knew that we had to get out of there, so we sprinted down the left corridor and dove into the first empty room we could find and locked the door. It was completely white with padded walls; the only object in it was a bed. Everything was silent. I felt like I had a tornado in my insides. Oliver started to breathe harder and harder. I was wondering why he was breathing so hard. That's when reality actually hit me. We're sixteen year old boys with no parents, trapped in an insane asylum with a crazy person on the loose. Oliver's crazed look and my unbelievable gaze met. We looked directly into each other's eyes for two seconds until we knew that our situation was more serious than it seemed.
"Oh no, what are we going to do? What are we gonna do?" Oliver whispered. I was slightly worried since he was talking to himself. "Ok here's what were gonna do, we'll run up the right corridor, down to the first floor and out of the asylum where we can get help," I said. It's a good thing I had grabbed a visitors map before this happened. "Ok let's go," he said. I could see some tears blurring his eyes but he wiped them away before I could really tell. I grasped the key firmly in my right hand, and unlocked the door. That's when the power went out. When I opened the door I immediately heard the thunderstorm outside through the barred window to my left at the end of the hallway. So that must've knocked the lights out. I checked the corner, and then summoned Oliver to start running. We ran for a while, passing most of the doors on this floor then when we stopped to see if our mother and father were still in the waiting room. They were there, but it looked as if they were sleeping. How could they be asleep when someone who's insane could be out and attacking people? Then as if they were planning it, they both stood up at the same time.
They started to move. But when they moved they moved robotically. In stiff, short little movements. It was almost like someone was making them do that. "Come on, let's just leave them and get out, they'll be fine," Oliver said while pulling my arm. We ran more, but it was almost like there was no end to the floor. There was only one more room on that floor that we hadn't checked. "I'll go check it out and you keep look out," Oliver said in a low whisper. I agreed, and he moved forward. There was no light but the lightening outside. He turned the corner as I waited silently. I waited for a long time, ten minutes or so. I eventually had to go in and see what was happening. I turned the corner. The thing I was witnessing was utterly petrifying and put me into shock.
Its body was thin and lanky, but strong. The skin tone of this thing was literally pitch black. It was the color of the midnight sky. Except it's face. It had a white mask, as if it wanted to hide itself. On the mask, there were two eyes holes and the eyes in them were black and mesmerizing. But what really struck me was the mouth. It was a large crooked grin that looked sick and twisted and it had two lines connecting the corners of the mouth to its chin where its mouth opened and closed. Like a nutcracker would have. Oliver was on the ground next to its feet. Then Oliver stood and I noticed that the creature was using its hands to control Oliver's body, like a puppet. Then for one split second, it looked straight up and stared right into my eyes.
I stared back. But my legs wouldn't budge; it was like they were telling me to stay. It dropped Oliver, and stopped controlling him. Oliver blinked quickly then looked up and saw me, but didn't get up. He couldn't. The creature started to walk towards me, not run. I heard my brain yelling run you idiot! So I dashed away, then I stopped when I reached the cafeteria back on the second floor. I went inside and locked the door. I sat down and just took a deep breath. I needed to process what was going on. I was thinking for a while, and then it hit me. The room that I first saw the puppet guy in was Cole's room. I know this because my mother told me that Cole was in room 1612, and that was the last room I was in on the first floor. Is Cole a monster? No, Cole would never do that. Then a lightning bolt struck and a loud bang hit the doors as they creaked open , and I looked over to see the black outline of a person, no, creature standing in the doorway.
I barely had time to react before it lunged towards me. It pounced like cat, immediately knocking me to the ground. It was hissing and hitting me. I found myself hopelessly trying to fight back. I punched it in the face, and then I felt some sort of piercing sensation in my neck. My entire body went numb, and I was blinded. He was moving me, and controlling my actions along with everyone else. I heard others walking, and just knew that the creature was controlling them too. A flash of white light snapped in front of my eyes as my vision started to regain itself again, but I could still not control my body. I glanced around and saw workers, my family, and other patients lying on the ground. They had not been awakened from their temporary slumber yet, it was only me.
I screamed as a large metal pan from the cafeteria wacked my head causing me to collapse. I grabbed at my now blood soaked head as I slowly stumbled back to my feet. It was only then that I realized I was back in control. I turned around and saw it there just looking at me. I followed the first thing my head told me to do. Attack it! I jumped at it; I was just high enough that I could grab it by the neck. We were wrestling each other to the ground. I was bleeding a lot, and started to lose my consciousness. I fell to my knees expecting it to kill me. But instead of finishing me there, it just turned and walked back to where the others were laying. It picked up all of their bodies at once, and made them empty their pockets. What is it doing? Does it want something from us? I was so confused. I watched as it dropped their bodies and then as it paced back and forth, he must've known I was too weak to fight him anymore and let me be. I could sense a small hint of sadness and frustration in its body language.
To be safe, I checked my jean pockets. The only things I had were my cell phone, and a map of the asylum. None of those things would prove helpful to it. But I had to take my chance anyway. "Hey! You! ," I yelled. It turned his attention back to me looking slightly annoyed that I was still here. It cocked his head to the left as if it was asking what? "Here take this!" I was yelling louder now even though he was in the same room as me. I hurled my phone across the room. It landed about a foot in front of it. It still had the same confused look on its face. It picked it up, not knowing what to do with it. It was almost like a small child getting a new toy. It was absolutely fascinated by the letters, numbers, and light it made. It then shot me a look that seemed like it was asking; "friend or foe?"
It was a strange feeling. I felt as though I could actually read his mind. We were talking through our heads without actually having to speak out loud. "I'm your friend, I'm not going to hurt you," I said in a much calmer voice. It rolled his eyes at me, so I gave a confused look. I heard it in my head saying "It's a little late for that". "Well then what do you want from us?" I asked. I surprisingly wasn't too scared anymore. Talking to it felt like I was talking to Oliver; like I could actually; maybe trust it a little bit. It startled me when he said "home". I stared at it for awhile, just trying to figure out what it could possibly mean. That's when I realized why it didn't scare me. The voice I was hearing wasn't a stranger's voice, it was Cole's. I knew it was his because in old videos my family has, before I was there, I would see him and his voice is distinct, raspy and low.
"Cole? Is that you?" I asked. He did a polite little bow, congratulating me for figuring it out. My feet started to slowly shift over to him. When I reached him, I put my hand up to touch his shoulder. Look what this place has turned him into. I thought to myself in horror. But an idea struck me. If we wanted to have a home, why couldn't I just let him go? He didn't seem like a killer or even crazy. He let me grab his arm and I started to pull him with me. He didn't seem to like being yanked around, but at the same time, he knew I was taking him somewhere important. We reached the front entrance hallway of the asylum. "There. Now you can go have a home," I said. He looked at me and did nothing. Then before I even had time to react, he was gone. I'm not sure how he couldn't have known where the entrance was, but it didn't matter now.
I walked back to the others. All of the lights had come back on and the place looked like nothing had happened. They got up slowly one by one. None of them remembered anything, so they assumed that nothing had happened. The only thing was my still bloody head, but covered the wound with my hair and held my hand over it. The workers went to the rooms to check the patients, who were all there except Cole. Then after two hours of their hopeless looking they told my parents the news and how they would send out a search party for him and notify the police. My parents were hurt, but accepted it and thanked the workers for telling them. They told us vacation was cancelled, and went to get the car ready to go home. That's when Oliver came up to me. "Something did happen here, didn't it," He said. It was strange, he didn't ask me, he told me. "Yes," I said in a hushed tone. "So that thing, it was real?" He questioned. "Not a thing, it was Cole," I said. Oliver thought for a few seconds, then just nodded and walked over to the car. I felt relieved that I wasn't the only person who knew. But I knew he was going to ask more questions when we got home.
The car ride home was long, mostly just my parents babbling on about how sorry they were. But the whole time I was tuning them out and just thinking to myself. Am I just crazy? Was that really Cole? Oh no, I probably just released an insane murder into the world. I glanced over at Oliver, who was in deep thought to. It was probably a lot for him to take in; I know it was for me. But I still couldn't believe that no one else had any idea what had just happened. Even my parents! They couldn't see the irony that the same time Cole got out, they just all happened to be unconscious on the ground. My thoughts were interrupted by my parents telling me that we were home.
It was almost nine when we got home that night. Oliver and I discussed the day a little bit, and I answered all of his questions. I was exhausted by now but couldn't shut my eyes. Oliver was sound asleep, like nothing was wrong. I felt guilty in a way, since I let a monster out to the rest of the world. But I felt like a hero to. I hadn't just let out a monster, but I gave a trapped soul freedom. He could now live the way he has always wanted to. Free, careless, and who knows maybe he wanted to start a family, even though that probably wouldn't work out to well. It was his life; he has the right to control it. I gave him a little nickname though. I thought it was pretty clever. I called him the puppet master. For what he could do to people. It was funny that he could control other people, but he wasn't allowed to control himself. I stayed awake in my bed thinking about this for awhile, until I dozed off. I awoke at around midnight to a loud noise outside. I figured it was just a coyote, but got up to check anyway. I looked out the window. I then saw a faint outline of a body, and heard crazy laughter. Then the body disappeared. But I could still here the laughter, coming from a body that was perfectly covered by the willow trees.