Sky Light Rain – The Puppeteer

8_The Puppeteer by Judy Darley

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share a few insights into the stories that make up my collection Sky Light Rain. I’ll explore them in the order in which they appear in the book. My eighth story in the collection is ‘The Puppeteer’.

Shirley Sharp picI’m often inspired by the narratives I see in artwork, and ‘The Puppeteer’ was initially prompted by this amazing painting by artist Shirley Sharp (published here with her permission).

The characters populating Shirley’s canvasses often have a somewhat melancholy air, which gave me the first seeds of my protagonist’s personality. Then I needed to make sense of the two creatures apparently sitting on his hands, and I dreamt up Tib, a puppeteer who has lost his family through his obsession for his craft.

In the end, a pair of socks offer Tib the courage he needs, but is it too little too late?

The story becomes something of a journey, as the sock puppets help Tib find his way through a fog of melancholy towards hope. The tale plays with time, as Tib is unsure how many months or years have passed. I also prod the question of how much of what’s happening is real, and how much is the product of Tib’s sorrowful mind.

An earlier version of this tale was published by Toasted Cheese Literary Journal.

The tale begins:

How long had it been now? Tib wasn’t certain. More than one year, less than two. God, how had so much time crept by? He thought he’d get them back before this many months. Once the numbness and confusion passed, he was certain he’d be able to win Nancy over, persuade her to bring Pippa home, but it had already been eighteen months, maybe twenty. Or more…

He’d only seen young Pippa once since they left him, and that had been in the most humiliating of circumstances.

Sky Light Rain is published by Valley Press and is available to purchase here.

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Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Knotted Rope‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Two Pools of Water‘.
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Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Fascinate‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘A Blackbird’s Heart‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Paper Flowers‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Strawberry Thief‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘The Moth Room‘.