The Toymaker stared at his opponent, his eyes agape and filling with tears.
“You are too late,” said the Butcher. “Too late.”
The Toymaker grieved mightily, for the Butcher had killed his first son also. “You have killed him! Now you have killed both my sons! My first son, who knew only love, was killed by you. And now, my second son, who knew only truth, you have killed him. You have killed love and you have killed truth!” The Toymaker wept, for he had made both sons as gifts.
The Butcher grunted, dismissing the Toymaker’s tears, and retorted: “No. I have only killed a single truth, your truth, and there are many others. Truth must be desired, sought after, earned to be valued. Your wooden son’s simple truth would have given freely, cheaply, and by its cheapness would be worthless, whilst all other truths were left unexplored in its wake.”
He turned his back on the grieving father, returning to his tools and hung the sword up into its place, between an ancient two-handed nail-driving iron mallet, still bearing droplets of blood from its last act of violence; and a wicked silver axe, clean and freshly forged, waiting its turn like a promise. The Butcher continued speaking.
“And as for your first son, I killed only a single love, a love for you, and there are many others. Love should be passionate, should be wild to drive the emotions and stir the blood. Love should cause the lovers to strive. Your first son’s love was a cold and hollow love, which leads only to worship and stagnation. All other loves would have been smothered, criminalised.”
The Butcher walked past the Toymaker, who sat on his knees, weeping for his lost sons, and threw one final barb as he started to leave, “They deserve more than your toys.”
“HE WAS NO TOY!” The Toymaker roused himself from his tears, and shouted at the Butcher’s retreating back, “He would have become a real boy!”
The Butcher did not stop, did not turn around, but a sneer could be heard clearly in his voice, “A real boy? Indeed. If I had let him live, he might have become a real boy. But then we would all be your puppets.”
Hi folks, my first post for a while – the flu that hit me last week had a fun gastro-laden second Act, which slapped me and the rest of the family down pretty hard. On the plus side, I lost 2 kilos in two days (4.4 lbs), and eventually had those weird fever dreams I was looking forward to. This very belated Jacopo della Quercia #PopQuizHotShot (four days ago now) stuck in my mind and combined with flu symptoms produced this short weird bit. I think the key to this story came from the halo that seems to sit over Pinocchio’s head.
I’ll try to get back on the writing horse again now, so let me now what you think of this Uncertain Tale in the comments! Does it work? Is it terrible?
Where would you have gone with this picture?