The Puppeteer Master

I didn't know anything about what was going on, so I decided it would be best to follow the boy.  He seemed to know his way around, and I didn't trust the other two doors to get me where I needed to be.

As soon as I opened the door, strings and wires shot out and caught my wrists and ankles.  I tried to grab the door and shut it, but the lines dragged at me, drawing me into the room.  Once I was all the way in the door behind snapped shut by itself, and faded into darkness.

The wires grabbing me bit at my skin, and tightened by the second.  I didn't have anything to cut them with, and I wasn't strong enough to fight them back.  All I could do was watch as I was pulled further into the room.

The room was filled with shadows and darkness, leaving only a little visibility a few feet in any direction.  The floor was some sort of obsidian stone that had been polished and smoothed to the point it was like a giant black mirror.  Looming above were were countless limp puppets dangling by their strings.  They cast a ghostly image upon the floor, becoming a distant reflection below.  It was as though I was being surrounded by puppets.

But, as I was dredged ever deeper, I could hear the click and clack of wood and plastic joints.  The eyes of the puppets began following my descent, and distantly I could hear whispers fluttering about.

I realized I was nearing the heart of the room now, as the puppets numbers above me swelled.  I also noticed, though, that the puppets were not all of simple wood.  The perfect surface of the floor was dirtied by what was unmistakeably blood.  The puppets I saw were part human.

Some of them still had their real arms and legs, while others were simply missing body parts altogether, but had plastic joints inserted in their place.  It was a horror show, and I finally realized the truth.  These things weren't puppets, they were people.  People trapped in fake bodies.

Suddenly I was pulled up in the air and the wires and strings binding me tightened, digging at my skin even more.  I gasped in pain, but choked it off.  My head was lowered, but I slowly raised it to look at who I knew to be the one behind this butchery.

There was the boy, but no longer was he the frightened person as before.  He stood straight and I could hear a whirring and clicking sound coming from him.  As I watched the illusion of a child broke apart.  His skin peeled away like cheap paint and fell in shreds to the floor.  His hair dropped off, and his eyes were replaced by a pair of malevolent glowing crimson lenses.  His face was thin and brittle looking, and as the boy disguise fell away, so did the rest of his body.

Standing before me was an abomination.  All the body parts were a blackened wood, and everything was accented by a rusty metal that turned and twisted about the entirety of his being.  Beneath the wood slats of the thing's chest I could see cogs and wheels spinning.  Strangely, the metal pieces would go fast for a moment, then slow, then speed back up.  It was as though the thing had some sort of internal mechanical beating heart.

Eight appendages erupted from the monster's back, and I realized they were spider legs.  The abomination used them to lift himself up to eye level with me.  Clicking and clackin his eight new legs he slowly circled around me, sizing me up.  Putting his hands together he began his twisting fingers and smiling.   He drew closer to me, his fake lips pulled back revealing rows of sharp,rusty metal teeth.

A roar from above drew both our eyes up, and sliding down the strings of the puppets was the boy!  He had some sort of disk looking object which he threw at the strings of several puppets.  The strings were instanltly severed on contact, and while the disk swung back around to the boy, several dolls came crashing down.

The abomination was quick to dodge out of the way of the falling puppets, and skittered away on his eight legs.  With a flick of the wrist several puppets jumped to life and began clawing at the boy.  In the blink of an eye he cleared a path, and landed a few feet away from me.  He jumped up and in a single swing severed all the lines holding me in the air.

The abomination howled like a wounded animal, but the sound was like sheet metal being ripped into pieces.  Wires erupted from the ground and quickly formed a cage about us.  Without a second thought, the boy began slashing at the ground until there was a rough circle outlined around us.  Smashing his weapon down onto the ground, the floor cracked beneath us, then shattered.

Another howl from the monster, but this time it was unmistakably rage.  We fell for several feet, but the ground beneath was a soft dirt, so while I was bruised I didn't break any bones.  The boy grabbed my arm and began hauling me down what I realized was a tunnel.  I didn't have any time to note what the tunnel was like, though, because even as we ran the sounds of pursuit reached us.

We ran and ran, but no matter how hard we pushed the rapid clicking of eight metalic legs drew closer.  I felt the air move right behind me as something slashed at my back and only missed by a hair's breath.  I almost turned around on instinct, but I knew that if I did I would slow down, and then...  I didn't want to think about it.  Ahead of us there was an opening in the tunnel, and just as something came smashing down we hurled ourselves through it.

The tunnel widened up into a room filled with stalagmites and stalactites.  As we picked ourselves up and began running, our feet slipped and slid on the wet and slippery rocks.  By the sound of it, the abomination was having a difficult time manuevering when his metal  legs kept slipping on the damp surface of the rocks.

There was the exit!  There was a small alcove that had three doors waiting serenly, while we dashed as quickly as we could to reach them.

From behind, a grating and rustic voice rang out, "Seraaan!  Give!  Me!  My!!  New!!  TOOOY!!!"  There was a shake in the ground as something launched itself off the ground, and the abomination landed in between us and the doors.  The monster's hands snapped back, and in their place were several sharp instruments.  They snapped and slashed at the air as the abomination scuttled closer, closing the gap at an incredible speed.

The boy, Seran I realized, glanced around.  His eyes widened in inspiration, and he hurled his weapon.  Rather than aim at the creature, he struck a stalagmite.  Slicing clean through the rock, the pillar came tumbling down right in front of the abomination.

Another howl of indignation filled the cavern, but the destruction of the stalagmite was just the start.  Stalactites began raining down as a chain reaction started.  The ground shook and pieces of the cieling above began tumbling down.  Seran grabbed my arm and dragged me around.

With the cavern falling to pieces now and the abomination roaring in outrage, we found ourselves in front of three new doors. 

The End

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