It was me and Rose's tradition to go the annual puppet show at the old theater down the street. Rose was a refined 20 year old who grew up watching theater, playing cards, and succeeding in checkers. So it came as no surprise that she would go there every year. Day or night. Rain or shine, and she would go there without me if she had to.

Theater is what defined my love, Rose. It was one year in particular I decided to scurry on down there with her, and watch a show with her. "It's so nice of you to finally take interest in the theater. I think you'll find it... interesting." she said to me as we walked out the door.

But there was one thing I hadn't told Rose, one thing no one but me knew about. I was seriously, serious to the point where I could die, terrified of Puppets.

Of course, in my attempt to make my wife of two years happy, I decided to overcome this fear and enjoy a nice visit to the theater. I didn't say goodbye to any children on the way out because of a disorder my wife had. And she's not very proud of it either. You see, it was some disorder of her, er, nether regions.

Long story short, she could not ovulate. So it was me and her, silent in the car are we drove through the streets of Boston before arriving at the theater. The line to get in was long, and I had sweat running down my face before I even got in. Rose seemed to notice it.

"Something wrong, Satoshi? You look... scared." Rose inquired.

"I- I'm fine, Rose. Just excited to see this..." Don't say horror show, don't say horror show.

"... Spectacle of art." I managed.

"Oh Satoshi, you call everything 'art'." she said as she hugged my arm.

As we walked through those hall doors, I swallowed my fear. "For Rose." I mustered. We took our seats and Rose motioned me to look at the stage as the puppets floated out on strings and danced around the stage.

I looked at Rose, she seemed so attentive she didn't even return my gaze.

"Oh! Satoshi! Look at that one!" Rose screamed with excitement. I turned my head to see a lone puppet, dancing by himself, as all the other puppets were in pairs.

"He seems... full of nothing." I mindlessly stated.

"Well, duh Satoshi! He's a puppet!" Excellent observation Rose.

I started intently at this lone puppet. He seemed to... compel me in a way.

Luckily for me, I made it through that horror show without having a complete mental breakdown. "See how fun that was? We should go again next year! Think of all the new puppets and new dance! Oooh! Satoshi we should go next year! Please!" she cried.

She sounded like a schoolgirl. Guess that's why I married her, right?

"Y- Yes." I said, "We'll definitely go next year. Just for you." "Yay! Thank you, Satoshi!" She hugged my arm again, a blush spread across her face. After the show, I got to meet the man behind it all. The Puppetmaster himself. And we were to address to him as such.

According to him. when it came time for me to shake his hand, he was a bit... holdy. If you will. He gripped me hand a bit longer and said, "You are double-jointed... yes?"

"Yes I am. How did you know?" I asked. "Just something I know... Have a... nice night." And he turned and walked back inside. It had been an eventful night, no doubt. As we arrived home I had to carry Rose to bed.

Like, literally pick her up out of the car and carry her inside to bed. As I laid there and was about to doze off, I heard the faint sound of... knocking.

I started out of bed. I've spent to many nights wide awake on my laptop reading horror stories of crazy animals and rituals, crazed psychopaths and animals from hell. I'm just going to check it out and go back to bed.

As I walked carefully down the stairs, rubbing my eyes the whole way, I felt a slam to the back of my head. As I laid on the floor, ready to lose consciousness, I heard someone above me say, "This will go great in my collection."

The rest is hazy. I don't remember much. I was in darkness when I awoke. I couldn't move any part of my body. Not even my eyes would shift.

After so long, watching figures after figure get removed from the room I was in, I saw a light. And a figure walked towards me, picked me up and walked out.

We walked out some stairs until I saw a tall red curtain. I was in disbelief. What I was thinking better not be true. As the curtains rose, I could not believe what I saw. Full house.

I started to move, but I didn't shift my body. Not even in the slightest. Until I saw what I saw. Rose. My love. Sitting in the audience. I tried my best to focus on her, but I couldn't move anything.

Until I glanced at her, and I saw tears streaming down her face. After the show was over, I was picked up and put back away.

Until next year.

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