Puppet on the Podium

Her voice rose and fell with the wind and the times. It quivered with emotion, pain and joy, sorrow and exhilaration. It bloomed out, casting a rainbow-coloured spell over the whole world, and the whole world seemed to shrink to her voice in the rusty stadium, and the whole world prospered and blossomed and grew.

Spectators drowsed in a trance, transfixed, listening, at the same time unseeing, unhearing, unfeeling. The golden voice brought home destiny, and the spectators saw and heard and felt destiny in the voice.

The voice reached out, a tangible force, pleading and begging the hearts of the people of the world for freedom and life and  liberty.

Liberty!

The girl's voice held the note at the top of the scale, perfect, pure and pristine in its unblemished loveliness.

Then it came crashing down with a great ring that echoed everywhere. The girl's voice faltered, and a slender ashen body crumpled on the podium as if folding in half like an abandoned puppet.

Used by the power of the voice, an instrument of supreme might, the girl was merely a slight puppet, a sack of bone and skin, when deserted by the virtue that kept her jealously and used her as it pleased.

But at least she did not have to die. She had sung. If the cruel unfeeling power of the voice did not kill her first, she did not have to die. No; she would be bought instead, and some master would keep her for amusement, unaware of the hypnotic qualities of that great and wonderful voice. Freedom was far off.

Liberty was a dream; a form like an abandoned puppet on the podium in a foul rotting stadium. That was her.

The End

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