I really wasn't all that surprised to find out such things actually do exist in
this grim world of ours. After all, every living creature on this planet seems
to have been created for purposes of pollution or the continual corruption of
purity. There has to be at least a token rebellion. But I must point something
out to you right from the very start: the rumours they have so eagerly spread
about me are all utterly false! Though I am certainly in full approval of their
excellent work and feel at one with the remarkable cleanliness of their polished
thoughts, their prolonged insistance that I am also a Purity Puppet is a blatant
The invisible strings of Fate had discreetly pulled me in the direction of their
nameless village that evening. Dear little puppets, why did you call out to me
in such a pleading manner? Why did you choose me before all others?
The country lane was illuminated by the ruddy rays of the setting sun, and as I drove further away from Notown,
I began to enter into areas I had not yet explored. Nor had I ever wanted to explore
them. Being alone was an undoubted blessing that evening, and solitude was a friend
to free my brain from all the town's inherent problems. But a carefree mind is
one actively given over to reception of every kind.
As I turned a certain bend
in that winding lane, I saw a small vehicle which I could not easily classify
under any particular type. Indeed, to say it was more akin to a child's trolly
than any kind of car I knew of would be no great lie. It moved along very slowly,
as though currently engaged in maintenance work of the utmost importance, and
seated upon it was a small man, or perhaps it may have even been a child. But
it was the complete lack of movement from this odd figure that almost made me
consider him to be dead.
The sinking sun at this time was shining directly into my eyes, this making me most unsure about what
it was I actually did witness. Yet as I overtook this peculiar vehicle, I could
not help but glance sideways and notice the small figure appeared to be leaning
over and deliberately spraying areas of the road surface. This was done via flexible
pipes which led from a plastic tank strapped to his back, causing clouds of white
vapour to fall gracefully, before being briefly tinted into rainbow colours as
they caught in the sun's final rays. For a few seconds after I had passed by this
strange sight, the pleasing smell of disinfectant wafted in through my open window,
and for that brief period of time the interior of my car felt like a personal
haven from all the foulness of the world.
I had driven onwards for fifteen minutes or more when I came to approach the village.
It was most unusual, I thought, how the sign which should have given the village
name had been completely obscurred with white paint. Though still came the uncanny
thought in me that this was not the work of vandals, or even that of other people
who may have journeyed here from Notown before me. For some reason I then felt
compelled to slow my car down to little more than walking pace, and soon I began
to notice the presence of childlike figures in certain areas the village. Sweet
little puppets, why did you breathe the breath of your own purification into my
mind? Why did you betray the one who had so skilfully directed your endeavours
Those small figures I looked upon were all as still as death. They also appeared
as white as purest snow, save for their dark, hollow eyes; these seemed to scrutinize
my arrival, perhaps transmitting a source of visual information to some higher
intelligence. I saw they occupied a variety of locations throughout the village;
each white figure I looked upon appeared to be engaged in the mundane work of
humans, though never would I see the slightest advancement of that work actually
taking place. Their incredible stillness was of a frozen quality, it would not
decay or corrupt, but always it would remain cold and pure as a dead child's mind.
Though later I would learn something of their undetectable techniques, the remarkable
methods they would employ to halt the process of decay.
My curiosity had now been piqued to the point I knew I could not continue driving through this village without
stopping to learn more. Yet when I drove slowly into the village car park, I saw
that it was occupied only by one other vehicle. The appearance of this other car
was unlike any I had ever looked on before, as every single aspect of it had been
skilfully coated over with white paint. Indeed, even the registration plate and
the tyres had been completely covered, and my attempt to scrape a little from
the windscreen with my fingernails met with no success at all. Surprisingly, when
I tried the driver's door it opened for me immediately, though looking inside,
I was disappointed to find the car was vacant of any occupants.
As I walked away, I looked
back to notice three small figures had now surrounded my own car. All of them
remained frozen in motion, though in their white hands were held pots of paint
and brushes, while upon the ground had been placed a blackboard with the words
'CAR WASH' chalked in very large white letters. When I grew angry and yelled in
their direction, all three childlike figures vanished instantly.
Along the pavement of the
small road I began to walk past a row of neat, whitewashed cottages. Occasionally
I would see a garden or two with a small figure stood in the midst; though motionless
for the while, they were all obviously involved in some type of 'maintenance'
work before and after I had passed by. At this time the perfume of disinfectant
would again pervade my nostrils, and very suddenly it struck me as curious that
at this time of year so many gardens should contain only dead or dying flowers.
. . Perhaps the answer to this could only be found hidden within the infection
of time itself, or more accurately the disinfection.
But make no mistake about
it, there are still many things we don't fully comprehend in this black experience
called Life, and certainly the events I witnessed that fateful evening will mean
nothing much to all but a certain few of us. Yet I will make no secret of the
fact that I really did feel at one with my surroundings. If only the fading rays
of that eventide sunset had lasted forever... frozen for my eyes and my mind like
those small inhabitants of the village; those who now worship me so faithfully.
I now walked towards the centre of the village as though caught in a constant
flow of magnetism, a weak man manipulated by unseen puppet strings. Though always
I would notice sights to capture the attention; glorious statements made upon
all the foulness of this world were frozen for my eyes in outlandish displays
of contrived sarcasm. Yet one certain incident happened to slice deep into my
mind via a quality of sudden shock. It took place as I passed a particular cottage
which stood apart from every other. Outside it stood a small figure who was obviously
in the guise of a chimney-sweep. A pale powder (which appeared not unlike flour)
was almost impossible to notice against the pallid skin of his body and the blandness
of his face, while a collection of white-bristled brushes were being proudly paraded
over his shoulder. Written in large white letters upon a blackboard which stood
in front of this figure, I read the words: 'A CLEAN SWEEP'.
Drawn by intense curiosity
I approached the figure, and for the first time then I commenced detailed study
of a village inhabitant. Crouching a little, so that I could gaze right into the
visage of that stilled form, I was dismayed to witness a sudden crimson colouration
take place within those deeply sunken orbs which functioned as its eyes. In another
second I recoiled from that chosen purification of sin, for a previously concealed
crack within its bland face had instantly opened to display two rows of jagged,
white teeth. But my shock at the sudden transition within the smooth countenance
was quick to be replaced by a remarkable understanding that the figure was actually
smiling at me. As though indicated by the red glow within those formerly dark
eyes, the Purity Puppet had actually warmed to me! There was a force of emotional
warmth being generated which transcended all I had previously known, it reached
out and wrapped itself around my very heart.
For the first time in all my life I felt wanted and needed.
This unexpected show of
affection lasted only a matter of seconds before 'normality' was returned once
more, and feeling somewhat dejected by the Purity Puppet's quick return to its
bland appearance, I continued on my way. But now I saw that dusk was descending
rapidly upon the village and its shrouding areas. Within the surrounding fields
I occasionally noticed small forms stood in frozen motion; that they had halted
their secretive work the instant I came into view was beyond all doubt, though
I have to confess that I now experienced, for the very first time since my arrival,
an unexpected quality of deep alarm. Perhaps it may have only been the falling
of darkness which had now emboldened them, but still the sight of their unconcealed
movement was something I had never thought to witness. You see, their heads turned
very slowly but noticably in my direction, and all the time they followed my further
progress into the village. The quality of light was now such that I had no vision
of their bland features, yet still I knew that those deeply sunken eyes of theirs
studied me with utter fascination. But when I turned away from observing the inhabitants
of the fields, I saw that a solitary figure was seated upon a white-painted wooden
bench which I was very soon to approach.
I admit that I was disconcerted,
and not only because this figure also turned its head towards me and studied my
approach, but because of its ordinary physical size and its peculiar appearance.
This man (if man it was), was entirely dressed in white apparel, but tightly wrapped
around his head was a gauzelike material which, in terms of comfort and convenience,
could surely only be classified as a facial prison. In my mind flashed an image
of very young children attempting to bandage his serious wounds and perhaps even
tend to the total disfigurement of his countenance.
It was noticable that each
child was smiling broadly as they worked.
When I grew level with the
man, he patted the bench with one of his white-mittened hands to indicate I should
seat myself by his side. I did as he suggested and his gauze-covered head moved
closer to me.
A muffled voice spoke.
"Human or puppet?"
"I am human," I replied.
"Why do you seek to displace me, how did you link with their brains?"
"I seek to displace no-one. I drove into this place by accident."
"Do you really expect me to believe such an absurd statement?
"Believe what you like!"
"What place did you travel from?"
Now a deep sigh was detectable through gauze swarthe.
"Once I travelled from Notown..."
"What are you, human or puppet?" I asked.
"I am the Leader -- the chosen one!"
"Long may you reign, I seek to displace no-one."
We had sat in silence for a long period of time. The sky had darkened above us
now, yet a sudden shower of pale moonbeams had fallen to earth and begun to roam
about, carefully illuminating all the darkest areas of the village. They resembled
eerie spotlights as they travelled; I realised they searched for some hidden factor,
some fresh matter which needed extra light throwing upon it... There was a sense
of peacefulness all around us, a purification was being poured from the heavens
in the form of moonlight. Indeed, when I looked up at that pallid orb, I noticed
that it was currently full. Very soon it grew blurred and distorted in my vision,
two craters becoming akin to deeply sunken eyes that peered down at me, then the
whole of it resembling the bland countenance of a Purity Puppet.
When I saw the moonbeams
begin to illuminate the grounds of the churchyard opposite us, I was quick to
experience an unnaccountable thrill of excitement. Nor was I surprised when those
same beams exposed the pallid forms of guilty-looking Purity Puppets frozen in
the darkness which hung amongst the graves. The work they carried out was of a
more gruesome nature than I would have ever expected, as small wooden coffins
were now being carried atop their shoulders. The pretense of their utter purity
was instantly over! Puppet strings began to glint in the moonlight during their
descension to puppet limbs, then a multitude of synchronised tugs set a morbid
procession into motion before my watching eyes. From just beside me on the bench
I heard the sound of inhuman sobbing, but when I quickly turned my head, I saw
the 'man' I had previously spoken with had now vanished.
As the moonlight fell upon
the church itself, I noticed that its crooked spire stretched up high to pierce
the coal-black sky above it. I watched the procession continue. The Purity Puppets
carried their boxed burdens through open doors to enter into the inner secrecy
of the church, the strings attached to each puppet slicing through holy stonework
until they became central with the spire, and like a twist of platted hair, passed
purposely upwards and into the night sky above. I followed the network of glimmering
strings with my eyes as far as possible, then projected into my mind came the
image of a giant pair of puppet-master's hands, both clothed in pure white gloves.
The attraction of the spectacle
called out to me in ways I could never hope to perceive. Thus, when I actually
found myself stood amidst that moonlit churchyard, I was content to question only
the inner secrecy of the silent church. Yet gazing over at a row of small gravestones,
I grew appalled at the sight of oblong holes in the ground where the eternally
sleeping occupants had so recently been unearthed.
Towards the church I walked,
but now the deeply sunken eyes of the watching moon had reddened; crimson pulsations
of light travelled down puppet strings to be carefully conducted via the crooked
spire -- and from within the church came a sudden chorus of agonised, inhuman
cries. My entrance inside the building was then made, much to my regret, just
in time to witness the moulding of those small bodies. Each tiny coffin had been
placed upon the floor and opened, while a collection of Purity Puppets visited
each cold occupant in their turn. Crimson pulsations of light pulsed through their
strings and down into their moulding hands as they went about the purification
of every rotting body. Of course we all know birth is a painful experience, both
for Creator and offspring... but to sully the hands with the flesh of the dead
in order to mould a perfect lifeform... it is an immediate cleansing of the graveyard
sin. I forgave them their brief but necessary crime against purity!
The interior of the church
was white as driven snow. The floor, ceiling, and every wall appeared seamless
and completely disinfected of any sin that ordinary human 'worshippers' might
deposit in the form of selfish, pleading prayers. Indeed, such was the pure blandness
of the interior that it took a little time before I noticed the chancel's white-painted
crucifix and its nailed occupant with completely disfigured face. I looked harder
and saw that two newly-born Purity Puppets had already unravelled the white gauze
cloth and clothing from the pallid body. They remained as still as statues, just
staring in my direction. In a little while they began to carry the apparel towards
me, their eyes suddenly colouring red with warm affection as they gazed upon the
features of my own face. But very soon I learnt the jagged teeth of their own
gashlike smiles could also serve another purpose.