Monster: Puppeteer1 min read

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The splintered scrape of broken bone,

forced to and fro across sharp stone.

No one to see, no one to care

how slowly died the desert hare.

No accident, no slip, no trip,

its mind caught in a monster’s grip.

Six-eyed, six-mouthed, the monster foul

controlled each scraping move, each howl.

Hare and lizard, dove and sparrow,

lowly beasts he chose to harrow.

The monster’s link a ghastly chain

that bound his pleasure to their pain.

Year after year small prey he hunted,

till such thrills at length grew blunted.

In search of richer meat to snare,

he slithered, cautious, from his lair.

And trapped a child to his delight;

fed on her hurts, fed on her fright.

His will the whip that steered her hand

to all the evils he had planned—

The burning branch, the severed thumb,

the screams to make her mother come—

Then what rapture, what doubled joys!

Mother and child now both his toys.

Forced the girl to scar her mother,

each one aching for the other.

Watched the mother grope her daughter,

stronger fodder than mere slaughter.

Nothing ignored, nothing wasted,

such games sweetened all he tasted.

Mary Soon Lee

Mary Soon Lee

Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. She writes both fiction and poetry, and has won the Rhysling Award and the Elgin Award. Her credits include Analog, F&SF, and Strange Horizons. She has an antiquated website at and tweets at @MarySoonLee.
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