The Puppets Dance- A short story


This is a short story I had to write for an assignment in my Creative Writing class at university. I decided to share it with my audience after it was marked and handed back, so you could perhaps provide feedback and/or give your thoughts about it.

Please enjoy.

The Puppets Dance

Fear, the involuntary response to an action or situation, causing one’s fight or flight motion to activate. A feeling of high anxiety consumes the body, until either the threat disappears or the individual is killed. Books can describe fear as best as they can, but words cannot even remotely prepare one for the events in which would cause anxiety to reach incomprehensible levels. I live in a constant state of fear, and the cause is not so easily explainable.

I shall attempt to underly the various factors which contribute to the isolation in which I endure, within this prison to the best of my abilities. It all begins with my wife and the attributes she exhibits, particularly on the days in which she does not feel well. I would call her a narcissist but by doing so, I would be serving my dear wife a compliment, a deed I do not wish to be conceived.

My wife scares me. I no longer understand what travels through her brain.

I do love my wife though, and whilst I sit in my office parading my thoughts upon this page, I find myself thinking of our marriage and all its complexities.

I wonder, does my wife love me the way I love her? I question her fidelity, for our intimacy, has fled long ago, and now it is just a wisp of what it once was. Perhaps due to my high state of intelligence, I am now able to perceive the lies that my wife hides behind her smile and makeup.

She has many flaws.

I have started to construct a series of data entries, demonstrating the major and minor incidents that occur with my dear wife so that we may revise over the misdeeds at a later date. By doing so we may be able to make great progress in shaping her into the ideal character we both desire.

The first time I showed my wife the elaborate plan I had created, she smiled a great joy. Her body shook as if it could not contain the happiness within as tears formed in her eyes, a true spectacle to behold. She does not deserve me I like to remind myself but she is my wife of course. I must help wherever possible.

I remember standing within the church, smelling the dust dance within as I watched my soon to be wife stare at me with eyes filled with dreams. Sunlight flickered through the beams of the roof, showering her with celestial beauty.

She looked like a goddess. No, she was a goddess.

We said our marriage vows, our hearts full of contentment and an undying faithfulness to serve the other. She was so naïve however, thinking that love solved everything. One had to work to make a relationship work, and most simply did not have the time to refine the ties between each other.

She does not look at me the same way anymore, however. I fear she has gone cold, letting cruelty harbour within, replacing the tenderness I fell in love with.

Our jobs grew into our lives, our dreams became support networks for our career. We forgot that we had to work to continue a relationship, our energy became focused elsewhere, and slowly our marriage wilted away.  Only memories on the wall and a dusty diary served as tools of remembrance of the happier days.

I tried to bring forth love into the relationship once more, serving to once again date my wife by showering her with gifts and affection. Her phone was a better companion to her than I am, for she is always upon it.

Here lays a seed of doubt. With the phone, it seems she has another to whom she contacts, particularly in regards to the problems our marriage harbours. I caught her within the library, whispering in a low tone, muttering words that were barely understandable. By listening to the story she was telling for some time, I noticed it was a male voice upon the phone.

My heart was struck, leaving me unbalanced as I wandered to the cabinet and grabbed a bottle of sweet poison, wishing to indulge in self-pity as I let my mind traverse the possibilities of what may be.

I struggled not to lay a hand on her. I praise myself that I did not.

Not every day was like this. Some were better while others suffered from intangible happiness, unable to find the presence of the marriage existing anywhere other than dreams ending in nightmares.

I have found a shoulder to lean upon, however. A sweet colleague of mine from Harvard, offering sentimental companionship and tender touch to console a weeping soul.

My wife argues that by continuing to do so is cheating and an irrevocable step to ending our marriage. Our marriage ended years ago. It is now just a fleeting flame trying to ignite itself on hope and distant memories coated in emotion.

As I still continue to write, I must be honest to myself for if I cannot even tell the truth to my own self, no one else will respect me and nor would I blame them.

During a period of our relationship long ago, I once traced my wives curves and edges with my fingertips, wishing to study her as thoroughly as possible. I wished to understand what went through a pretty skull such as hers, for she was always full of surprises, keeping me on my feet.

I now fake doing the same action. I am no longer studying her but rather convincing her I am doing such, and instead imagining cracking her head open and spilling her fluids upon the bed sheet. I would use her fluids as paint for my canvas.

The final straw was finding a divorce paper upon my desk in the study. I smiled and burnt through such with my lighter. She’s not leaving, and if she tries, I will find her.

I like games.