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Puppet String

The lead guitarist plays slowly at first, a discordant solo getting progressively louder. The bassist and drummer join in, followed eventually by the lead singer.

The singer's eyes are closed, his face is a block of anguish, his voice is gravel and pain, tearing holes through the crowd.

"She keeps a puppet string to my heart / She keeps a puppet string to my heart" ... The song is building in fury, the singer grips the microphone stand, he sweats, oblivious, taut as the coiled spring of a revolver. His shakes are matched by the guitarist's hands thrashing across the instrument. The beat is relentless.

The crowd is transfixed, unified. One girl stares unblinking, her mouth agape, saliva dripping onto her blouse. The man next to her clenches his fists, unaware he is crushing his cigarette packet. He cannot see, he cannot think, he only hears. Drops of blood fall from the noses of significant numbers of the audience near the front. Headaches are appearing in many - needles of pain shooting straight through the cerebral cortex. No one speaks. No one moves.

The song grows larger, it's too vast, full of impossible pain and rage, engulfing the consciousness of the crowd.

The singer is screaming at the crescendo. The song ends abruptly, he throws the microphone across the stage and stares a thousand miles into the crowd.

There is total silence, for an infinite moment, before the crowd explodes into violence.

Story by:

Peter Blaws

submitted at 4:40pm

29 November 2011