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Under the stark spotlight, Luther stands center stage, a macabre maestro with a twisted grin. In each hand, he holds a puppet, their strings taut with anticipation. 

“The thing about puppets is that they are entirely at our mercy, silent actors in our narratives, their destinies crafted by the puppeteer. With the puppets at my command, I could spin any tale I desired. They have no control, no authority over the miniature world of fabric and timber, for they are under my dominion. In this realm of strings, I am the master of their actions and their fates, orchestrating a ballet of shadows where I alone dictate the script.”

“This resonates with your experience, doesn’t it, Felix? Despite all the puppeteering you have done throughout your career, you have lived the exact same reality. To your father, you were just an embarrassment, a child who brought him nothing but disgrace. In you, he saw not a son, but a pawn – a puppet to toss and swing around however he pleased, and you were powerless to change it. You embodied the life of the very puppets that gave you purpose, Felix. All you could do was sit and stare, as he treated you as horribly as one could imagine.”

With a sudden, dramatic gesture, Luther flings the first puppet aside. It lands with a lifeless thud, its strings sprawling chaotically, like a marionette discarded after a performance.

“In the view of Doom, Felix, you were nothing more than a plaything. Never an equal, not for a single moment. All you have yearned for was fair treatment, to be recognized for your true self. But yet, Doom saw things differently. He never deemed you sufficient just as you were. Instead, he cast you into that Odyssey Pool, remolding you in his likeness, and you couldn’t fight back. No plea could defend you, for your destiny was snugly in Doom’s grasp. He was the clever manipulator, the string-puller behind the entity that was Scissors.”

Once again, Luther’s hand whips to the side, casting away the second puppet, joining its counterpart in desolation. 

“You have been moved by the hands of others your entire life, Felix, just like the puppets from your act. However, unlike those lifeless figures, when your strings are pulled, there is no applause. There is no laughter of children – only the resounding of your own surrender in the quiet. And come Sunday, the narrative will repeat itself.”

Luther walks over to the side, the puppets now at his feet, their strings severed. The stage is silent, save for his confident, menacing aura that seems to whisper to the audience. 

“Because you see, Felix, once that bell rings, I will become the conspirator of your destiny. I will take the spotlight and direct your defeat with the precision of a conductor. Each of your actions will be by my command, each stumble a chord in the melody of your collapse. You will be left empty, and when the final act ends, it will be my hands alone that wield the strings, casting your legacy into the darkness of oblivion.”

“It’s hunting season.”

Luther Grim