Teens & Young Adult Fiction

The cheerings of crowds were not new. The force in which my head was slammed into the ground, however, was.

The force of the impact nearly cracks my mask in two as I skid across the ground. Had it not covered the entirety of my face I would be coughing up dirt. As it is, I’m contemplating slapping the looming caped figure above me. Allen. You probably know him as Staunch, yes the Staunch. The prick in white tights and spandex bodysuit. You probably own a t-shirt or two with his logo on it. Don’t lie, I know you do. Everyone does.

He floats above me now, devious grin visible on his stupid face. Why anyone would buy cereal with that mug on it is beyond me. I want to slap him. The look on his face would almost make it worth it, but that’s not what they're paying me to do. Instead, I press my hands against the ground, ‘forcing’ myself to my feet, making sure to pant for extra effect.

“Puppeteer,” he booms, pausing for effect. “Your reign of terror is over.”

Yes, yes. My reign of terror, doing exactly as they tell me to in order to make their precious little stars all the more impressive.

“I won’t let you hurt innocent people anymore.”

Hah! Me, hurt innocent people, ridiculous. My record is cleaner than his. I’ve never once, in the three years I put up with this, hurt a hair on their insolent little heads. But him? One guy makes fun of his tights in a bar and he, in civilian clothing, punches the guy through a wall. His PR people had it covered in seconds. They had everyone convinced it was some crazy, drunk, normal fan who did it. I know people can do some really crazy stuff while drunk, but punch a guy through a brick wall? From the middle of the room? No! But nobody dares believe their perfect hero would do such a thing. The only part they got right was the drunk, and maybe the crazy, part. Should I point out he is barely eighteen? Yeah, I thought so. Anyways, here’s my part.

“Staunch, my nemesis, you’ll never stop me. I am the Puppeteer, master of puppets. You will never stop me.”

Perfectly repetitive. Hey! Did I mention he’s my nemesis? Yeah, well I just did, like every other time we ‘fight’. Apparently, all great heroes need a nemesis, or that’s what they say. Truthfully, it’s only really the corporate ones. You know, the actors who really, REALLY, need to fire their scriptwriters. The real heroes, they don’t need to beat up little girls in cloaks. Okay, I’m seventeen, only a year younger than him, but still.

I don’t understand people. I don’t understand the allure. I don’t understand their fascination. I don’t understand how they are willing to pay triple the price for some prick’s logo on their dang lunch box. And I certainly don’t understand how they believe any of this is real.

“Puppeteer, surrender now or face the consequences.”

‘Oh no, the consequences’. And what? If I just surrendered now would I just get off scot-free? So much for all the people I hurt.

“Never, for I am the Puppeteer, and you will fall to my fury.”

I say that, but what do I ever do. My finger is pointed at him as if it's some sort of threat. I mean I could turn the spectators, yes they're just watching this like they would some sort of game, into puppets, using them as weapons of my will, but will I? Well, that’s a no. It’s not in the script.

“You’re coming with me.”

Of course. The ‘you’re coming with me’ line, followed by some stupid challenge, a slight bit more action, then I make my escape from the super only for the whole routine to repeat elsewhere. I hate it. I HATE THEM!

“Make me.”

He reaches forward but doesn’t catch me as I dart down the street, away from the patch of dirt and the stupid super who slammed my face into it. He gives chase.


I bring to life several puppets, normal puppets, throwing one at his face. He catches it staring befuddled at the squirming jester. ‘Oops’. Was that not in the script?’ It bites his thumb. He winces, throwing it at the pavement, before returning chase. I hate him.

“Puppeteer, you will be brought to justice,” he calls, still not truly trying to catch me.

Justice? JUSTICE! There is no justice. The system killed it years ago.

We pass a clothing store. Glass shatters as mannequins, once docile, rise to my command, charging through the panes and into the crowd. People scream.

‘Oh. Is this not a show anymore?’


He yells for me but is cut off by a designer heel. He crumples over, assaulted by featureless figures. The remaining calm of the spectators, no, participants, gives way to utter chaos. They run every which way, a stampeding mass with no direction. ‘It’s almost like they’re surprised’. What were they expecting when they came to see the Puppeteer? Of course, it’s not like they ever get to see me DO anything. That’s not in the script, but neither was this. I’m tempted to tilt my head back and laugh. I really might have had they not bore the cheesy fake one so deeply into me that I’m not sure I could manage anything else if I tried.


I spin only to be slammed into the concrete. The idiotic super, Allen, Staunch, whatever you chose to call him, tackled me. He’s got his knee on my stomach and a hand gripping my wrist.

“Alicia, what are you doing!?”

I could say the same of him and his terrible hold but don’t.

“I’m being a villain. Is that not what you want?”


“Can you not win?”

He gapes at me, like the idiot he is.

“Are you even capable outside of the pathetic little act?”

“I-of course I can win. I always win. That’s how it goes. What is this about?”

“You know very well what I’m talking about. This isn’t the routine anymore.”

For a moment nothing is said. People scream and run, chased by mannequins as puppets bite their feet. A car alarm blares as one man falls, hitting a car. If you listen closely you might hear distant sirens whirring from far off. Amongst it all, he speaks.

“Then what?”

The words are directed at me but his eyes linger on the sky. He probably expects a full-length monolog of deeds to be done or maybe a simple I don’t know. But that’s not what happens. Instead, I follow his gaze to the specks in the distance rapidly taking the form of masked men and women. At that, I grab his neck with the hands he foolishly left free. He startles, eyes meeting mine. I release my hands and the hero stands, but now more than ever he is in my grip.

The other heroes land and soon they are mine too. Together they transport me to base where many more puppets wait to be made.

This time, I’ll write the script.

December 04, 2021 02:10

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Kasey Fisher
17:42 Jan 30, 2023

Great story!


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Palak Shah
17:54 Mar 19, 2022

Nice story Abigail. I loved reading it :)) Could you please read my latest story if possible? :)) Thanks :))


Abigail Romick
03:07 Mar 20, 2022

Hi Palak. I read "Perseverance." Mike's dedication to Bouncer was quite touching, a heart-warming story.


Palak Shah
15:31 Mar 20, 2022

Thank you Abigail :))


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Creed .
16:58 Dec 28, 2021

Very interesting concept, well written. Good job! One thing for future reference, though. When writing dialogue, the punctuation stays inside the quotation marks. For example, you wrote: “Alicia”. - it would actually be “Alicia.” I saw this mistake often throughout the story. I hope this will help. Awesome story!


Abigail Romick
21:38 Dec 28, 2021

Thank you. Your commentary was useful. I went back and made the corrections.


Creed .
22:36 Dec 28, 2021

You are welcome.


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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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