The Puppeteer by Anas Mahdad

With a wide smile showing his yellow teeth, he looks up. The sky is grey, the tall skyscrapers run through the clouds hiding the sun, black walls surround the city, and behind the paint you can see old colors covered by the pale black paint. And as the streets became bigger the smiles on the faces became smaller little by little until it utterly disappeared. The streets are busy but quite, everyone is paying attention to the huge television screen at the main plaza; The government just passed a law outlawing looking at the rainbow whenever it appears “it is the devil’s way of distracting good working men from their duty but our faith is too strong” the supreme leader shouted from behind the stance. The public went quiet, not even a whisper, just exchange of glances between them and the policemen surrounding them knowing that just a wrong look can make you spend the rest of your life rotting somewhere underground, finally everyone looked down and continued their way, it was not a surprise given that it was only last month that they limited the smile to 50 millimeter length to illegalize showing teeth while smiling.

he misses it all (the sun, the blue sky, the rainbow, the smiles…) So Down in the corner of the street and in his little Carton stage on the it all in there. there is the sun, the rainbow the blue sky and the joyful people and above them all he stands holding the strings controlling his puppets smiling with them. There, in his little world he dances, sings, laughs, loves, he can be a clown a butterfly a dog anything. In his world there is every color except for the grey there is enough greyness in the city, there is the happiness, the joy, the colors. That was the only happy place in the city, sometimes he looks at the city; miserable, heartless city and he wishes he could have its strings, he surely would make it much happier he will color it draw a smile on the faces and makes it the happiest place on earth. His memory draws him back to this very street but in a different time a time where he was the one dancing, laughing, acting a time where he didn’t need puppets to do that for him.

But to him it sounded like the people have forgotten how to smile (and maybe soon smiling will become illegal) he whispers to his puppets laughing at his own joke. In the street no one took notice of him or his puppets. Maybe it attracts their children’s eyes but they drag their kids away as quick as they can from him and his little stage thinking that it will corrupt their minds. But for him even if what he does doesn’t put money on his pocket. Still he likes doing it, as soon as he holds the strings he completely melts into his small sweet world disappearing from the rough outside world, he always asks himself ” how can he bring this much joy to so many puppets but can’t bring joy to himself?” He looks up wondering who is controlling his own strings?, who is controlling the city’s strings? He looks down again to his stage and enter his world again, the only moment he feels alive is the moment he holds those strings. And the only world he belongs to is that little carton box it is his sanctuary from the horror of the real world it is his home where he can rest. It was like any other day the sky is grey the sun is hiding as if too afraid to come out and frowning faces walking on the streets, and him on the corner with his little stage playing with his puppets in his colorful world, out of the crowd a policeman noticed him and came after him angrily, the puppeteer quickly hid the puppets in his jacket and ran to the end of the street. with his official grey suit, and hard steps the policeman threw himself on the thin puppeteer breaking almost every one of his bones saying: “You have been arrested For spreading revolutionary thoughts and corruptive ideas“ and while the policeman was spraying black pain on the colors of the street, the puppeteer without the power to do anything he looks up and start sobbing like a child unstoppably.

There, in an unknown dark place and behind the iron bars he lies down the floor, and from the light slipping through a small hole in the wall, He raises his hands and draws a butterfly shape on the wall and color it in his mind, puppeteer of his own life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: