MIRROR AND SYLVIA are sitting around a table, just reading or playing on their phones.
SYLVIA: (looking up): Don’t we have a Riff?
MIRROR: (also looking up): So we do.
AND NOW…THE CONCLUSION
Mirror: This is it. The last of the Puppeteer trilogy. “My Sacrifice.”
Sylvia: Don’t you mean our sacrifice? Like sacrificing our time and effort making jokes about these bland stories?
Mirror: No, I mean the name of the story is “The Puppeteer: My Sacrifice.”
Sylvia: Oh. Really, that’s the best name the author could come up with?
Mirror: Eh, whatever. Wanna do a recap?
Sylvia: Fine. In the first story, some chick had a porcelain doll, become suicidal, and was killed by the Puppeteer. In the second story, some guy had an abusive mother, thought the Puppeteer was his imaginary friends (because he had no other friends), and then the Puppeteer killed his mother. Neither of these stories tied into each other, and I expect the same from this.
Mirror: You’d be right.
Mirror: Anyway, let’s have a suicidal trust fall, and Riff this bitch.
My name is Zach.
Mirror: Do you and your brother have a suite life?
My mom actually named me Zachary; but I’ve always preferred Zach.
Sylvia: And this matters because…?
It was just easier to say. I just haven't heard her say it for the past…four years. Why, you may ask?
Mirror: No, I’m actually asking why you had ellipses between “past” and “four years.” Were you trying to sound like you were trying to remember? Are you going for a Shatner impression?
You see, my mom died those four years ago. Some people said she got tired of living the life she did, that she committed suicide. But I knew the truth.
Sylvia: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
What really happened to my mother all those years ago. She didn't just end her own life like that…She wasn't that type of person. She never gave up…Someone killed her.
Mirror: Ohhhh…it’s a Shatner impression. Got it.
And I watched it play out. It wasn’t just some dream that never happened, it was a nightmare that turned out to be way too real.
Nothing happened after that. It was like my life took a break, everything started to slow down. I watched adults arguing with other adults, talking about the custody over me.
Sylvia: The thing is, no one really wanted to.
Mirror: I understand. No one wants to deal with William Shatner.
I was only 13 by that time and not capable to take care of myself.
Mirror: Not if you ask Riker’s dad.
Sylvia: I think we really need to stop making Star Trek related jokes.
I ended up going from hospitals, to foster care, before finally ending up at my aunt's place… I wasn't exactly happy. But it was alright. Nothing could be worse than staying at home, or ending up with someone I’d never met before.
Life just happened more or less. I continued on like nothing happened. Spent most of my days at home, or at the doctors…Everyone wanted to fix the orphan kid with the broken heart.
Sylvia: Fix as in neuter?
I let myself get fixed, on the outside at least. I began smiling again. But inside, it was the same as always.
I really did miss my mom.
But what was so important about remembering what happened those four years ago?
Mirror: I don’t know. Plot progression?
The truth…The truth that got me where I am today.
Sitting here. Soaked in blood, stained with my own sweat and tears. My eyes haven't left my hands for the past five minutes. What happened? I just remembering waking up and suddenly…this. Only an hour ago, everything had been normal. It was close to dinner and then…My aunt was in my arms, dying. The sound of complete utter silence filling my ears. Ringing.
Sylvia: Then it’s not utter silence.
Everything I’d known for so long was far gone. I was worthless.
Mirror: No argument here.
I couldn't even help my aunt as she was bleeding to death in my arms. She just…fell. A few seconds, and she began screaming. Just like her, my mom. But this time, I couldn't see who was pulling the strings behind the curtains. The next thing heard was her husband, my uncle, walking into the room. And by an invisible force, he'd been thrown backwards and down the stairs. Everything looked like a bloody murder accident.
Sylvia: Or the last time I went to a party.
Mirror: Do I want to know what happened?
Sylvia: All I’ll say is that a saxophone can be a deadly weapon.
Mirror: Oooookay then.
Sylvia: -–threateningly plays saxophone-
And now I'm only sitting here.
Watching the last energy drain out of my aunt's eyes.
I had to get away.
Shaking, I stepped up from the corpse of my relatives spread across the floor in horrible disarray. I tripped, falling towards the floor.
Mirror: Are you that character in a horror movie who, while being chased by the psychopathic killer, trips on almost everything? Because you sound like you are.
The more I slowed down, the more I began panicking. Oh god..This couldn't be happening. I stumbled to my feet once more, staring at my surroundings. I needed to disappear before anyone could see me… And I needed to disappear fast.
Sylvia: Use your magical plot device powers to become invisible.
The neighbors would make sure to check in if they had heard anything…Pretty sure they had. Anything but this…
I slammed the backdoor to our house open, breathing in the cold night air. Good. No one around, everything was clear, I start to run…But where to go? I had nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide. I could only run for now…I had no one to call.
Mirror: Hello, bold faced text person who is definitely the Puppeteer and is only bolded here in this Riff and not in the other Riffs despite being bolded in the original story to help clarify who’s talking. What’s up?
A voice interrupted my trail of thoughts. I didn't have time for this…
Sylvia: (Zach): The schizophrenia can come around later!
Fuck! Yet I couldn't help but recognize the voice. I had…murdered my family. Just like before. There was nothing left for me here anymore. But that voice, that fucking voice…
I could recognize it.
Mirror: (Zach): Was that Morgan Freeman?
What have you done?
I turned on the spot. Someone knew, and someone was following to remind me. But I hadn't done anything wrong…Nothing. My hands clenched into fists as I tried to continue on, ignoring the voice haunting me.
Or are you just going to run away like usual? Just like with your mom…Dearest boy…Why are you running?
Sylvia: (Zach): To keep in shape. Why do you think, fucknut?
Shut. Up. Shut up!
I clutched my hands unto my head, spinning in a circle.
Mirror: You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a Zachary baby, right round, right round.
I couldn't breathe. It felt like a ton of bricks had landed upon my lungs, crushing them beneath the weight. I stopped spinning and then…I saw someone.
Someone with a golden smile with two out prints of eyeballs hanging above his mouth. And…I knew who he was. I froze for a second only to realize, I was standing in the middle of the road. I took off, following the face from the past across the way. "Wait!" I called out for him. He seemed to be turning, facing the other direction. Did he wanted me to follow him…? I knew him, I had seen him before.
Sylvia: (Zach): On Deviantart.
He was my mom's murderer.
Ended up running into an alleyway, I stopped. He was nowhere to be seen anymore. It was so quiet, too quiet…
Mirror: That line was cliché, too cliché…
And I was waiting for him to return to me. I needed to confront him. Bring some kind of justice to myself…But I should had been planning on hiding, instead of chasing the ghost who was inviting me to follow him. But I did as he wanted me to.
Sylvia: (Zach): I’m kind of a dumbass that way.
My body froze again. It refused to continue on. Even though I was completely alone, it felt like someone was standing directly behind me. Breathing unto my neck. But I still couldn't move. He was holding me down.
Mirror: Zach, get out your rape whistle.
Look at the mess you've gotten yourself into…Why did you kill those people, Zachary? I return to you, and you end up like this…
Me? I couldn't even speak. I tried to open my mouth, but kept shivering in the process to talk, argue with him. "I…I did not…kill…"
Oh, but you did see them die, didn't you? And you were the only survivor…Tell me. If you did not kill them, Why are you trying to run away?
…Why was I trying to run away?
Sylvia: Damned if I know.
I held no guilt…Or did I…? My vision started to blur once more. I couldn't see anything besides my own hands, still stained with blood from fingertip up to my elbows…And then I could see it. My hands pushing down my uncle down the stairs, grabbing a knife to cut my aunt…It was a horrible sight. How else could I explain it? There was no such thing as invisible forces
Mirror: Great, you offended Obi-Wan.
and I couldn't say that to defend myself.
"What…What do you want me to do…?"
Me? I beg of nothing but mere friendship, my dear Zachary…I kept you safe for so long under my arm, but you forgot about me…I'm no longer your friend.
And he stepped back.
I fell with my knees into the snow, elbows digging into the cold ground below me. I looked up and I could finally remember him. My only friend…
The Puppet Man.
Sylvia: Elton John’s lesser known hit.
"No, Please…Don't leave me…I…I got nothing left to live for, I got no one to talk to…Please, help me…I don't want to be alone…"
I don't want to become you.
Mirror: (Puppeteer): Well aren’t you a dick.
Another voice caused me to turn around. This time it was deeper and seemed to be come from behind me. It was darker, more light in tone. My eyes fell upon a man dressed in an officer suit
Sylvia: Not a police officer’s uniform, mind you. An officer’s suit.
just a few feet away from me, flashlight staring back at me with light shining right into my face. I cowered in fear, holding myself tight. No, no…They had found me…Fuck…
"I heard you back in here…Are you holding up alright? What's wrong?"
He came closer.
This could not be happening.
"Are you hurt? Come on, talk to me…Is there anyone I can call?"
I shook my head. No, I didn't need help. But either could I bring myself to actually tell him. He had already seen the blood covering my arms. I just continued to shiver, praying that he'd leave me alone. But I knew that wasn't going to happen. The man came closer, continuing his attempt to communicate with me. I just wanted him to disappear, before I could hurt him. Before he could see him. The officer finally decided to call in and report.
His greatest mistake.
Mirror: Great, the one time a police officer in a bad Creepypasta story does something smart, it’s a mistake. Maybe this is why they’re all idiots.
You see that? He's calling in to report your disappearance, they know what you did…You are going to be locked away after this, Zachary. You will never see the sun again…Nor me…You'll be completely…alone.
If you don't act now…You're over.
I know what I had to do. And yet, I despised myself for it.
Sylvia: Kind of what we said when we decided to Riff this story.
By pure instinct, I grabbed one of the empty bottles of glass that I had noticed earlier when entering this place. Two steps and…He had his back turned to me. He couldn't even see it coming.
I rammed the bottle into his head, leaving it in a disaster of shattered glass. The man fell down into the snow, snowflakes flying up in haywire before finally placing themselves on the unmoving man on the ground.
But he moved. Twitching. I could feel a cold harsh gulp of guilt causing a blockade in my throat, causing me to hurl. I needed to kill him. There was no going back. I turned him around, pinning him down by placing my knees unto his elbows, crushing them under the impact of my weight.
Mirror: Yes, this 13 year old boy is crushing a fully grown cop’s elbows under the weight of his knees. Zach, how fat are you?
The once shattered bottom of the bottle now served as a weapon, deadly shark. I continued to just ram it into his neck repeatedly, watching the blood gush out over the pure white snow. Again and again I forced the sharp edges into his throat and pulse, watching him die by my hands.
And it was a lovely feeling of relief that filled my senses at that exact moment.
Realization came. I dropped the bottle at an instant, watching it fall down with a thud and crash. Then there was nothing. My eyes was still locked on the officer, now dead upon the snow, bathing in his own pool of blood. It all came to me. I had killed this man out in the open for anyone to see,
before I could think it over…I had already stood up.
Relief quickly turned to regret.
Mirror: Wow, the Forrest Gump reboot is worse than I thought.
I could still hear the voices coming through the officer's phone as I stepped over his body. Ignoring it, I only continued. My friend behind my back continued to follow, I couldn't hear or see him anymore. With everything step, I could feel him pulling the strings of my feet running across the winter landscape of the city. I could already hear someone finding the dead policeman on the ground. It was a sign to run, and I did.
Sylvia: And Zach ra-aaaaan, he ran so far away!
It felt like my body just kept running, but somehow my mind was still at the scene of the crime. That man, murdered by my hands. He didn't deserve it, he wasn't worth it…Yet I had killed him. But to save myself, to rescue what dignity I had left.
Mirror: No, I’m pretty sure your dignity died with that man.
The screaming behind my back kept filling my ears. Murderer. Murderer. Murderer.
But nobody understood me.
Sylvia: (Zach): No one understands me or my pain! Life is only pain and suffering! It’s not a phase, mom!
Everyone refused. As each minute passed by, people started to catch up with me. A police car finally found me, but I knew where to go. The old bridge.
Mirror: You throwing Gwen Stacy off there or something?
I turned quickly, still feeling the ghost tracing my footsteps as I ran. The snow began to fall down upon me once more, filling my sight with white snowflakes. It was beautiful. But I was unable to appreciate it.
Sylvia: Then why mention it?
I hurried, finding the direct path to the old bridge, I set out to go to. It was the only place I could hide…
Little did I know it was about to become my grave.
I was trapped. Upon the ladder between the bridge and steady ground, trapped between by the noise of sirens from the police car, and the ocean waves filling my ears with disarray. I felt completely numb by the wind hitting my face, someone calling for me. But they didn't know my name…neither did they know my reason for being here.
Mirror: (Zach): They didn’t know my pain and angst.
All they knew I had killed someone. Yet again I was the broken kid that someone needed to fix, I simply refused to go back - it was too late. Whatever life I had left behind there in my old home - it wasn't mine to keep anymore.
And there I stood. With one foot on the ladder and one foot out on the steel barricade, holding the bridge up. I only had one hand wrapped around the vertical iron bar, the other swaying back and forth in the air.
I had nowhere to go. Again.
If only I could jump. Maybe it could save the last bit of pride I had inside of me. No one could ever know about me, my past, my family, my mom, or him.
Sylvia: I’m pretty sure they would. DNA testing, matching to your records. Just saying.
Suddenly, my body fell. The slippery cover on the steel bar wasn't holding my weight up, and caused me to loose my balance. In the middle of it all, my heart stopped, and my lungs seized to function. And then…He grabbed me. My feet were still upon the ladder, holding my body up somehow, while his grey hand forced a tight grip around my shirt, holding me. But my back was facing the water, feeling the wind tearing around my weight as I tried to force myself back up. But as he was saving me from a horrible death, he was also the one holding me down.
His golden smile met my eyes, staring in complete awe.
He spoke to me.
Mirror: (Puppeteer): The FitnessGram Pacer Test is a multistage aerobic capacity test that progressively gets more difficult…
Sylvia: (Zach): NOOOOOO!
Do you trust me?
I didn't respond. I could only sense the ocean beneath me. I slowly turned my gaze to meet his, trembling with fright. I didn't wanted to die, not now…Even if it was the last resort, there had to be another way out. I finally responded with a simple nod.
My friend smiled towards me one last time.
And then he let go of my hand.
Sylvia: (Zach): It belatedly occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t have trusted this guy.
Everyone watched as the little boy they knew as the poor broken kid fall towards the ocean waves. It felt like floating, like a sick and twisted dance. That whole night…It never went as I had been promised it would. Some even said they could see me flying for a brief second, like someone was lifting me up before I finally fell towards my death. I didn't care…I welcomed everything to slip out of my grasp.
And as I died, my life began.
The start of a wonderful new life.
Mirror: Oh, great, we’re gonna get sequels.
Mirror: Like all the stories in this trilogy, it’s just sort of meh.
Sylvia: None of the characters are developed at all. Well, there were really only two (unless you count that cop, but he was only there to die), but even these two don’t have much to them. Zach is just sort of conflicted and angsty. And also either a really strong 13 year old or a really fat 13 year old. And the Puppeteer’s kind of a dick. He just fucks around with this kid, urges him to murder and suicide, and then uses him as a proxy. Oh, yeah, by the way: this story was the story of Zach becoming the Puppeteer’s proxy. (A quote from the author, BleedingHeartworks, in the description of the story: “This is about Zachary and his origin on how he became a Proxy of The Puppeteer.”) So…is the Puppeteer a Slender Man knockoff, a Jeff knockoff, or what? I’m genuinely confused. But, whatever. As a standalone story, it’s more of the same. Angsty kid, death, friendship. Ugh. Now, as a story in a trilogy, (a trilogy in which none of the stories really tie into each other) the fact that it’s much of the same really hurts it. Hell, it can argued that it’s less than the same. It doesn’t really add much of anything, outside of the fact that the Puppeteer has proxies…for some reason. It doesn’t go into who, or what, exactly the Puppeteer is. Basically, the story, and the three stories as a whole, are afraid to try anything new. We get the same characters, the same pretentious writing, and the same awkward grammar, and it all ends the same: someone dies. All of these elements end up making these stories boring, bland, and interchangeable. If you spend a decent portion of your time online, or even in general, posting pictures of band members with the quote “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” on it, you might enjoy these stories and relate to the characters. For everyone else, you probably won’t.
Mirror: There are some good things. The spelling’s pretty decent, and the Puppeteer is still kind of interesting. Out of all the characters in these stories, the one I actually sort of give a shit about is the Puppeteer, if only out of curiosity about who and what the fuck he is. And the story, and all of the Puppeteer stories, aren’t bad per se; they’re all just sort of bland. That’s the biggest problem. If they were more unique or interesting, that would be nice. But, for what it’s worth, they’re just sort of meh. But that’s what we think. What do you guys think? Was the story good? Was the Riff good? Do you also have “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” in your head too? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.