Puppet On A String

The old man looked at me with a snaggletooth grin.

Our train pulled into the station. I saw the old man and his raggedy clown puppet. There were a few people nearby watching his show. I liked marionettes. It was amazing how with just strings, he could make it move so life-like. It danced, walked, and entertained as more people crowded around.

Mum made some comment about keeping homeless off the subway platforms, but I didn’t see any harm in it. I watched intently.

I saw a constable and worried he would make the man leave. “About time,” Mum said and went back to her book.

The old man looked at me with a snaggletooth grin. With his free hand, he made a strange motion toward the policeman. Suddenly, the officer began to move in step with the clown. No one else noticed, as the old man and the puppet captivated them.

The officer had a sightless look in his eyes and moved in a jerky motion, arms and legs swinging unnaturally.

The old man still smiled and then he winked at me.

I watched the officer dance his way toward the opposite tracks and off the platform as the other train entered the station. I stifled a scream with my hand over my mouth as it came to a screeching halt, while the body flew through the air.

Our train started to move. I stared, wide-eyed as the crowd became frantic. I searched the platform, but I could not see the old man or his clown anywhere.

– Written for Microcosms 21 weekly contest. Related to clowns with prompts Puppeteer/Subway/Horror. WC 249. Photo from Pixabay.com.

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