Close your eyes…
Go to sleep.
Imagine a wooden figurine dancing on stage in front of a crimson curtain, in a darkened theatre. The grace with which it moves belies its hinged joints and metallic hardware.
The spotlight illuminating the figurine catches on several translucent strands dangling above its head, connecting it to a cross-shaped control held by a black, gloved hand.
Pulling the strings, the phantom hand manipulates the marionette, controlling its actions like an omnipotent choreographer.
Devoid of independent thought or free will, with no agency, the puppet is a slave to the whims of its master.
Such an existence is to be pitied…
You, however, revel in it – all whilst ending the existence of those with souls far freer than yours.
Leading us to believe that you were a man of conviction, executing dark misdeeds for motives known only to you, we learned that you answer to another.
Death whistles, and you come running. Following orders, you fetch and roll over like a good dog, hoping for a treat.
Reciting your violent routine against a bloody backdrop like that crimson curtain, you satisfy his urges and desires.
Contorting your limbs to his liking, he moves you about his chessboard, a mere pawn.
But there’s safety in servitude, isn’t there?
Removing responsibility, abandoning accountability, you believe that you’ll never be held to task for the things he makes you do.
Though it’s your hand administering the lethal toxin, gripping the hilt of the knife, or pulling The Garrotte tight, it’s he who pulls the strings.
Whilst you may think that deniability grants you immunity, it’s the poison which has paralysed you in life and death situations.
Unlike the coated daggers in your sheathes, you’ve no edge.
You’re a killer without killer instinct.
Every time you’ve had a shot at everlasting glory and immortality, you’ve come up short.
Me? I accept what I am.
I’m a monster, and I embrace that.
I puréed Matthew Cories’ insides like a blender; I mashed Jimmy Sartyr’s brains into mincemeat; I snapped the great Edward Newton’s neck like that of a chicken.
All these abhorrent acts, I committed of my own volition, no strings attached.
Three times anointed, and currently the endgame for peons like you.
It’s time to turn on the house lights, revealing who truly operates in the shadows.
I’ve a death-grip on the controls. I pull the strings, making you dance for my amusement, framed against a crimson curtain made of your own blood. I contort your limbs in ways they were never designed to be, waiting for the snap!
When you beg me to cut you loose, having realised the futile and impotent life you lead, I’ll mercifully grant you the same release to which you mercilessly, unquestioningly condemn others.
Wrapping the strings around your throat and pulling them tight like a Garrotte, I’ll ensure that you do the same thing you always do when up on the big stage…
Sweet dreams, Corvus.
One, two, Sandman’s comin’ for you…