The lifeless puppets lay strewn across the stage with emotionless stares and strings waiting to be pulled and manipulated.
Their meaningless existence shows through in the lines on their faces. The idiotic painted smiles give no indication of any thought provoking activity going on inside. And the years go by, a silent clock soon to run out and never be rewound.
So simple do they seem and yet as similar as they appear, there is an obvious difference in each one. Just once, a light swept into the pile of inanimate beings, each light varying from dim to bright...with only some with the slightest shade of intensity.
These mysterious inhabitants reek havoc on their own lives as well as that of others; permitting emotions that permit both pleasure and pain.
For some, the surface is all there is to see. Just a scratch or even a deeper cut beneath would reveal much of the same. Their life is not marred by any true knowledge or awareness. They are happy because they are incapable of feeing pain. Not to say they cannot inflict it upon others. They will probably venture through an entire lifetime without once pausing to consider what they might be missing. Majority rules and they are without a doubt in the dead center.
For others their appearance is an introduction to a complicated maze of thoughts that stem from every emotion ever felt, examined and filed for future reference. Despite the obvious, the Puppeteer still intertwines the strings and the animated puppets find themselves mixed with inappropriate dance partners, who, given the chance, attack each other...once devoured and the other resting before its next meal. Defeated, the remains scattered, the apparent loser quietly marches off stage in disgrace, carefully picking up the pieces, not wishing to lose any. Yet inevitably, they forget where each piece went and the ones that don't fit any longer are discarded and misplaced somewhere deep beneath the surface.
From there, facades are maintained; each thought is weighed more carefully than before and the light is guarded with a fortress of darkness that only reveals the slightest shimmering of light...veiling any true communication that might permit another fatal dance.
The casualties of emotion mount and numbers stagger in comparison to even the bloodiest of wars. All honesty and sincerity is replaced with cynicism and distrust. Almost daring anyone to come too close...forewarning of the burn should anyone come too close to the flame.
The fear of stumbling is too great to reach for something that might just as well glide smoothly across the floor without flaw. Time passes quickly and reasoning is muddled amidst memories of a time when life seemed almost unbearable. To survive, the light must be cut in half, severing any ties that might become a liability late on...settling for mediocrity in lieu of loneliness, yet refusing to allow true vulnerability.
At some point, fate deals another cruel blow. Another misfit puppet plummets right into a tangle between all the jumbled mess, throwing the cautious puppet into a tailspin. Starting to doubt the fear inside, hoping desperately that another chance is warranted. Cautiously approaching the magnetizing light, much like that of a moth to flame...careful not to reveal too much, too soon, if ever.
Just when the guard is released and the gates come down, too late is the realization of potential danger. A glimpse of what could have been just before the crushing blow is delivered. Another guarded individual. Much more concerned over emotion...much wiser? And careful! Withdrawal is inevitable and they are left in the slaughter of disposable pawns. So sweet was the withdrawal, silently slipping away beyond reach.
Again scattered pieces are hastily retrieved. The mind retraces steps to reinforce weaknesses in case another battle should break out.
Back to life where they co-exist and are merely observers of life. The doubt of danger is now a certainty and they dare not come out. The pleasure pain always lingers hurt in the end and a momentary grasp of something is not worth the knowledge they are left with when there is nothing.
But the cycle does not stop there. Another unsuspecting player is drawn to the fire buried deep beneath the surface. And so the endless tragedy repeats itself. Another closed book. Another fallen dancer. A cruel Controller, who continually pushes and pulls strings to the limit.
We have the power of our minds. We can resist but not hold out entirely. A mass web of confusion destined to continue on into eternity. Waiting and watching...the fear ebbing only to resurface again.
Point of fact; mindless idiots win, hands down.