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This was A piece I wrote for my media interview, when given the promt of 'freedom'. When I was given the prompt I had several ideas, from an escape story to a twist on marriage. It was when coming up with these idea’s that I realized something-every single one of these characters who yearned for freedom would never truly be free-because they had no free will. Every action, every movement, every word they spoke was controlled by me. It got me thinking, what if there was a character who’s sole purpose was to know he was a character and curse this fact? Every story is created by a combination of two factors: The writer, and the person reading the story. This raises the questions-What happens to the information that the writer doesn't give? Does it simply not exist in the characters world with no consequence? More importantly, what happens when the story is over? And finally, how would a character react to this knowledge?

Submitted:Sep 4, 2013    Reads: 20    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

John Smith was cursed with the gift of knowledge. The knowledge that he himself was nothing but a puppet to someone else's whims, who's existence was little more than an illusion. He knew that whilst he had been alive forty seven years, those forty seven years had not existed until a few seconds ago when the stranger found out about them. He knew that the face that stared back at him in the mirror, that the eyes filled with worry and unprecedented fear, the teeth protruding in a slight overbite and the overly large nose were nothing but signals passing through someone's brain, his appearance a fluid concept for whichever stranger was currently viewing him. He knew that as he raised a hand to stroke his chin in an attempt to ease the fear swelling in his chest it was not him doing so, but merely the will of the puppeteer which the stranger made true. He even knew that said fear wasn't even real, and he was being forced to feel it for this fear was the only purpose of his existence. He knew that up until now he was standing in pure nothingness, him and the mirror being the only two entity's to exist in the world, but only now was he was standing in this room with a single ebony door to the left of him, swinging open and closed as a small breeze buffered it. He knew that until now he was the only living being to exist in the mind of the stranger, the unknowing accomplice to the puppeteer, and yet now stood his wife and child, looking into the room with bloodshot and tear-filled eyes, begging him to stop and come out and think about this. He knew that whilst his life had existed for only seconds, as the stranger was further manipulated by the puppeteer, he began too remember how he was at school, cheerful and bubbly and popular with no hint of self doubt, and how he met his darling Vivian during one particular school football match where a wild shot flew into the crowd, hitting an incredibly beautiful girl in the face. He remembered how he escorted her too the nurses office, and how they got to talking. How she said shyly that she had come too every single football match just too watch him play. He remembered how cliché and unlikely it was, but it happened anyway. Because the puppeteer willed it too, and the stranger then found out making it become true. He remembered the cold winter nights where he sat with her in his arms, and the tender moments they shared under the starry skies. He remembered the first time they kissed, the first time they made love, the first time they fought. A life filled with Cliché's that were allowed to happen because of the puppeteer and the stranger. He remembered the proposal he planned, and her face when he got down on one knee. The feeling in his chest as she said yes and hugged him just as she did on that first cold winter's night. He remembered when they found out she was with Child, their beautiful little Amy. He remembered quitting football, and going into work in an office. He remembered the resentment he felt, for himself, for Vivian, for Amy. He remembered the girl in the office with the bob cut and pretty eyes who would bring him a blueberry muffin every lunch time, always with the excuse that she baked too many. He remembered when he and her were alone in the copy room after his big fight with Vivian, and the sweet words she whispered in his ear. He remembered kissing her, getting lost in the throws of insecurity and only wanting company and revenge. He remembered so much, and yet so little, for only what the stranger had read or heard had become true in his life. His childhood, parents, friends and enemy's all remained non existent, as the puppeteer simply deemed them irrelevant. He felt the anger and the rage that the puppeteer wanted him too feel towards him, cursing his existence. But weather he was cursing the puppeteer's existence or his own was up to the stranger, because that's how the puppeteer wanted it.
He knew that the gun in his hand was not there before, only coming into existence because the puppeteer willed it and the stranger made it so. He knew that the wide eyed looks of fear that Vivian and Amy showed as he raised the gun to his temple were only there because the puppeteer willed it and the stranger made it so. And he knew that he would only pull the trigger, or he would only drop the gun, or the police would arrive or Vivian would only burst in if the puppeteer willed it and the stranger made it so. It was at this point John Smith was granted his final gift from the puppeteer and the stranger: A glimpse. A glimpse of a floppy haired youth in his mid teens, adjusting his glasses before going back to breathing life into his entire world with just a laptop with two key's missing. Forty seven years of memory and life being spun in a mere forty seven minutes, all for sake of having a future for himself. But John Smith saw others. Many others, flashing in his head all at once. A blonde haired man with his fist to his chin, wondering what the hell he was reading. A man with dark hair reading with interest, analysing the words to decide on the puppeteer's future. An overweight man with black hair scrolling through on his phone. Men and woman, boy's and girls. Some interested, some curious and others bored, some reading, others listening, all of them slowly realizing the role they were playing in the grand scheme of things. All of them slowly realizing that the reason John Smith's hand was shaking so hard was because they read or heard the words that made it so. All of them realizing that the reason for his fear was because John Smith's life and past had been conjured and created in such a short time, and with many details missing from it what would happen when those strangers had nothing else to sustain their control? Would he fade back into the nothingness for once he came, his very existence nothing but a pawn to prove a point? Would those blanks be filled in by those strangers continued thoughts of him, and they decided weather he lived of died, and created a backstory that the puppeteer had not originally intended? Had the puppeteer, by bringing in so many factors played god to much more of an extent that he had originally planned? Or would John Smith finally be granted the power of free will that he so lacked in his few minutes of existence, continuing to live in this world that was spun by a teenage boy's imagination, with constant knowledge of the fact he was the only human alive to truly know that god was a young boy trying to get onto a media course, and the entire world was nothing more than his audition? He knew that he would find out very soon as he could sense the puppeteer stop willing it so, and as such, the strangers ceased to make it be.


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