Sticks and Stones

"By the end of this book you are going to hate me. Scratch that - By the end of this blurb you will sincerely hate me." ********* Akilah Ackerman and Asami Akuhei are step-sisters. Both share dark pasts and both have created dark futures for themselves. One is suffering from a mental illness and one is a manipulative back-stabber. One is trying to gain approval from the living, while the other is trying to gain approval from the dead. One is Psychologically Efficient whilst the other is trying to keep themselves sane. One is about to rule an entire nation and one is going to lose that and their history. This is no ordinary story about sibling rivalry...


5. 3. The Cloaked Puppeteer


There's a door in my wake.

White, the pure kind.

No marks of any sort , no sign of it being used before.

I want to turn back but when I try, the floor begins to crumble

So I open it.

The sounds of screams begin to pierce my ears as I carelessly stumble across the field of grass that stood before me. I can hear shadows and monsters, but when I turn they aren't there. Bells begin to chime and it began raining red. The rain hit my eyes causing me to lose sight of where I am going. Suddenly, I lose my footing and begin to tumble down what feels like a hill. I keep falling no way to stop myself.

Something grabs hold of me

My eyes regain clarity and I note the 7 mismatched puppets surrounding me, each with a devilish plastered smile on their face. They each have hollow pairs of eyes that made you feel like you are looking at death himself.

All of the sudden, one of the puppets casts their hand over my face and pushes me into the ground.

I am in a room, square and covered in grey with the roof left open. The room had medals and certificates plastered across the room , with a name written over them all in red - my name.

The first puppet bends over from the roof to inspect me , before grabbing me tightly and shaking me crazily . I am powerless and the motion begins to wear me out almost entirely. The puppet mockingly laughed at me and spoke,

"Drifter, drifter advocate of lies"

The puppet drops me again and this time I end up falling into a river which contains the multitude of whispers and secrets of myself and those I obtained from others. The secrets begin to literally drag me down to the bottom as I try to stay afloat. The second puppet is sitting across by the river bank, playing with her half destroyed doll, surrounding her are hundreds of other dolls (the same one) in one massive pile that are now going up in flames. She sees me and mockingly laughs,

"A façade , a façade , they murder seven times" this she begins to repeat over and over again

I begin to feel agonising pricks across my body, to find that it is the second puppet pricking the broken doll that she is still holding onto. I endure the torture until the second puppet is finished with her doll and chucks it in with the others, causing me to completely sink into the river.

I am sat on a throne.

I want to move but I can't, my body has been strapped to the chair.

Surrounding me are hundreds of different versions of myself - one happy, one depressed one excited, one petrified , each expression creepily displayed for me to see - all except one...

Anger, wrath.

The third puppet comes to me in like black smoke which morphs into what it is, he stands behind me and begins to chant in my ear

"Drifter, drifter advocate of lies"

A façade, a façade, they murder seven times

The mask will fall and the truth will out

The secrets will rise and the cloaked one will count

the days you have left to live

and the days you will give up to win

but in the end , broken bones and broken minds will fuel the wrath inside"

The puppet turns to face me , before morphing back into smoke and clashes with me...


I wake up.

I think at least.

I am chained to my bed, forced to watch an array of broken clocks blazing endlessly in fire , there is no escape as I am forced to watch everything surrounding me burn. I close my eyes and when I open them again, I am in a no man's land.

Debris and destroyed buildings everywhere, no sign of life. The sky is a murky brown and on the floor there lies whatever remains of the earth.

I see the cloaked man once again, he sees me too then turns away...


Its 8.35 am. Time to get dressed.



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