Day 147: Burning Puppets

Burning Puppets
Matt Zurbo


Loki was a puppet,
made of wood and paint,
acting out plays,
he never thought were great.
(Medieval village, puppet show in cart/stage. Loki a fool puppet.)

Bish and bash, play the fool,
the same thing every day.
People laughing, cheering,
Loki wished they’d go away.
(Puppet King beating Loki. Puppet dragon, controlled by three people, in cramped background. People laughing/cheering.)

One day he said, “Enough’s enough!
I’ll do no more of this!”
Slew the puppet King,
then threw a puppet fit!
(Puppet King slouched with his own wooden sword through him. Puppet dragon shocked. Loki stamping his puppet feet, fists in the air. His puppet master is still holding his strings, but shocked, too.)

“Where do you think your going?”
said the man pulling Loki’s strings.
“Living a life of your own,
is not the done puppet thing!”
(Puppet master, still holding Loki’s strings high above him and Loki, both of them arguing.)

“What a great idea!”
the puppet dragon said.
“Yes, Enough of being nice,”
said the King, no longer dead.
(All three puppets walking off through crowd/climbing down from cart window. King still has wooden sword through him. Their puppet masters confused – but still controlling their strings.)

“Revenge, revenge!” cried Loki,
chasing villagers here and there.
“I’ll eat them all!” dragon roared,
as people tumbled from the fair.

“Look, can’t we talk this out?”
Loki’s puppet master fret,
“Agreed!” wailed the dragon’s handlers,
each one most upset.
(Puppet masters, and their puppets running, as mob with flaming torches follows them.)

Puppets and their masters
began to form a plan.
while outside a mob gathered,
of all the local clans.
(Inside blacksmith’s. Puppet masters are peeking out windows – medieval, so no glass – and/or barricading door, while puppets sit around table and anvil. Dark inside. Mob trying to look in.)

“I’m so sick of the same old thing!”
Loki ranted and raved.
“And these string! Gah!
They drive me insane!”

“Too right,” said the puppet King.
“The audience laughs and leers,
but has no idea about us,
all our wooden hopes and fears.”

Just then the Knight of the village,
burst through the blacksmith’s door,
boasting “I am here to stop you!”
and sent them to do chores.
(Alpha knight, chest out, chin big, mace in hand, standing in middle of blacksmith’s. Dragon doing dishes. His puppet masters still pulling his strings. King puppet mopping floor.)

But Loki could not be tamed.
He fought wooden tooth and nail!
When the fight was done,
the knight had for once failed.
(Loki and Knight fighting. Other puppets putting ropes around Knight.)

“Enough! Enough! Witchery!”
the villagers let out a cry!
And made to burn them down,
puppets soon to die.
(Knight, strung up like a puppet, outside blacksmith’s. : Loki, controlled by his master, pulling rope attached to arm of Knight up so it’s pointing away. Knight has sign on him. GO HOME! Villages outraged, shouting, flaming torches held high!)

“Wait! Wait!” Loki called.
“Two can play that game!”
While the puppet dragon,
stood ready to inflict pain.
(Loki standing in front of dragon, who is breathing flame up, into the air. Three villagers in front of them panicking, dropping their torches.)

A burnt school, a singed shop,
several houses flaming,
villagers full of fear,
began pointing and blaming.
(Loki in middle of villagers who are all arguing amongst themselves.)

“We’ve reached a compromise,”
Loki then announced.
“Leave us alone as we will you…”
then the puppet King pounced!
(Loki, in front of villagers, startled, as puppet King leaps at him. Both still controlled by puppet masters, who look confused.)

The puppets fought hard,
put on quite a show,
dancing was involved,
mercy was not shown.
(Loki dancing, King thrusting. Puppet masters now trying to get between them/break it up.)

Somehow the moon and sun,
got in on the act,
(Loki and King and dragon doing battle/dancing. One villager is carrying a cardboard sun above fight, another holding cardboard trees, two more seesawing waves in front of dragon, one pouring water from a can from behind fake cloud held up by another.)

and when the show was done,
everybody relaxed.
(Puppets, controllers, villagers and their props, all lounging around tavern table.)

Soon, wooden word got out,
spread by wooden mouths and string,
of a weird little village,
where puppets did their own thing.
(Finger puppets whispering to a ventriloquist puppet. Two clown puppets listening in.)

“Lift me up!” Loki demanded,
of this person and that.
Scared of being burned down,
they helped him with his acts.
(Puppet master taking a break as Loki acts out flying to the moon in a tin rocket, with villagers, eyes wide with fear, pulling strings/props. Crowd smiling.)

Now, every play was different,
yet still they entertained.
A puppet with its own mind,
Loki was happy once again.
(Donkey pulling stage/cart, steered by Loki, as they go from town to town.)
The End



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