The Reaping Occurs Again

A mysterious red clad man arrives at the village with a spectacular puppet show to entertain the villagers yet things become darker as the show begins to end.


1. The Puppet Show

The square was swarmed with children of all ages and status. The rich with the poor and the forlorn amongst the giddy. Every child in the village had clustered together in the small market square under the scorching midday sun. With sweat drenching them they chattered excitedly with one another on the mysterious show about to be performed. The usual array of colorful stalls had been pushed back to make room for the wagon in which the show would occur. The children huddled around this bland brown wooden wagon eagerly in anticipation.

The profits of the stalls were at their height as children raced in line to buy goodies like flaky corn dogs and sweet smelling pies to enjoy whilst viewing the show. What was most beautiful was how the rich children bought goodies for the less fortunate generously so that they too may have pleasure watching the show with the others. Some children had ravenously began cramming the food in their mouths whilst others patiently waited with theirs knowing it would taste twice as good with the show.

Never before had a show come to their little village before and everyone had dressed up for the special occasion. The girls had their best stockings on with their soft petticoats and formal dresses. Some were wearing satin rose gowns whilst others wore navy blue and white checkered frocks with a little blue bow. The boys had on their button ups and polished slacks and some even wore fancy suits. Blacks and blues ranged to brown and even grey attires.

Suddenly a booming from the wagon silenced the crowd and they watched wide eyed with amazement as a man in a deep red tuxedo emerged from the wagon. He introduced himself as the puppeteer in a soft lilting voice that lingered musically when ending a sentence. His voice though soft was heard by all and the intense stare of his electric blue eyes were hypnotizing.

He began his show with the cautionary tale of what had happened to this village; their pied piper tragedy. He spoke of the crushing loss the town had faced and how in order for it to not happen again he needed to show them the actual story- unfiltered. The children, solemn, watched the man begin his tale. The delicious food was forgotten as the children watched the man, ashen, show them the vividly accurate impersonation of the plague with his amazingly life like puppets. He showed them with a gravity coating his words how due to the lies of the mayor the children of the town, their joy, was taken from them never to be laid eyes upon again.

Horrified and aghast at the tale the children listened as the man told them that when such a thing is done to a man who earnestly did his duty with the expectation of rewards the man never forgets and believes they should be made to forever repent and suffer for their crimes. Some of the children begin to cry and others shiver from the cruel tale. The man looks at them guilty of having put them through this grim trial and offers them a parting gift.

Another story yet more light hearted. The children readily agree and meet him on the morrow at the lake where he is next performing. The villagers await their children's return till midnight but not a child returns except one. She was hurting from a fractured leg and thus couldn't join the others as they followed the pied piper to the rushing riverside.........

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