June 25, 2011
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The old woman finished her last two marionettes and laid down the tiny paintbrush for the last time, her pale cream hands with soft blue veins spidering the back of her slightly wrinkled hands, finally given reprieve. No more would those arthritis ridden hands, nimble even in old age, again paint or create marionettes. These last two were her finest carved and painted creations ever. Sky blue eyes that were beginning to cloud over with blindness glittered with happiness. She caressed the small marionette's painted black hair.

Bringing him close she blew onto his face, the wood growing resplendent, sunshine seeming to make it softly glow.

"I gift thee with my breath the exuberance of spring that is busy with life." She whispered before slender deft fingers tied fishing line around his neck before laying him down on the mahogany desk. Picking up the other puppet, this one taller than the other, she also blew a stream of air onto his face though her breath was now as cold as the harsh winter. The tan wood of his face paled when she breathed on him. Like spilled milk the pure white color bleed down his body, leeching the wood of its natural light brown color. The old woman smiled and placed a light peck on his lips making them an inviting pale pink.

"I gift thee with my breath the serenity of winter." She murmured and with those words tied fishing line around his neck. She then tied Gerard's left wrist to Frank's right. Picking them up by the fishing line around their necks she took them outside and tied them up in a low hanging branch. Inhaling deep she gathered all the air she could into her diaphragm before releasing it, making the marionettes sway. When she had used all the air in her lungs, the old witch woman told the marionettes "So long as you hang you will be my creations. When you both are cut then you may shed these wooden shells and become creatures of flesh. But beware my children one cannot live without the other." With that she finished the spell.

And without a last look back the old woman went to her home, laid down in her cozy little bed and never woke again.

Five years passed till the old woman's grandson, who had inherited the small home, came to live there.

Upon seeing the marionettes swinging gently in the breeze Mikey smiled remembering them from his childhood. Coming closer he inspected them to see Frank's eyes once painted a milk chocolate brown with flecks of sunlight were now dulled, though they had not lost their beauty. Similar eyes were also dulled but neither had lost their loveliness.

"Looks like you two need some fresh paint." Mikey chuckled giving the two a fond smile before heading inside. Ten minutes later he was back with a pair of scissors with which he cut the two marionettes down. Cradling the two wooden men in his arms Mikey went in and laid them on the mahogany desk that was their birth place. Settling his lanky frame into the leather swivel chair Mikey mixed the paints needed. With a gentle and cautious touch, one that not even a lover could coax from him, Mikey began to refresh Gerard and Frank's paint.

Two hours trickled by before Mikey sat back, grimacing when his back protested at the sudden shift in posture. Standing up he stretched his sore back and slender, bony fingers, joints cracking as he did so, before he ran his hand through his sandy brown hair. "Alright I think that's good enough." He murmured to himself appraising his handiwork. A little sloppier than Grandma but not too bad, he thought with a shrug before rubbing his eyes, feeling as if his eyelids were made out of sandpaper. With a yawn he told the two marionettes goodnight before heading into the small adjoining bedroom.

It was midnight when Frank's reddish brown eyes with tarnished yellow within fluttered open to see his lover beside him. It was a moment later before Gerard's eyes also opened.
A sudden grin lit up Frank's face, his tan skin seeming to very faintly shimmer. Gaze into those reddish brown eyes and you could see a faint flickering flame within his pupils.
"We're free!" he exclaimed softly scooting down from the desk and pulling Gerard with him, since their wrists were still bound. "We're human!" Frank whispered excitedly suddenly noticing the slight chill to his lover's skin against his own hand. When Gerard did not respond Frank gazed at him with concern. "What's wrong babe? You don't seem happy." He stated. A look of sorrow crossed Gerard's milk white face.
"He will be unhappy." Gerard answered tipping his head towards Mikey's bedroom. Frank raised an eyebrow at Gerard's statement before he got what Gee meant.
"But Gee don't you see? Creator's son let us go so that we can be happy!" Frank argued gently tugging him towards the door.
"Please may we say goodbye? Please?" Gerard pleaded looking longingly towards Mikey's bedroom. Frank sighed and shook his head
"You are too soft for people of the past." He murmured letting Gerard pull him towards the room.
"He is as much of our childhood as we were his." Gerard replied before bringing a pale finger to his lips. Entering the room on silent feet the two made their way to the just big enough bed Mikey slept in.

They gazed at the sleeping man for a long minute before silently they faced each other and pressed their hands together.

"As payment for my life I gift thee with my breath of summer; happiness. For every heavy sorrow you must bear you will be given thrice as strong happiness." Frank whispered his tan skin shining with the essence of summer. The man's small body seemed to grow as he called upon summer, his familiar. As his shoulders and chest broadened a tame burst of flames flared up at the bottom of his black- t-shirt and made quick work of the fabric. With his upper body bared the room warmed nicely, warding off the crisp autumn air, scented with dead leaves. So filled with his familiar he could not help the giggles that came forth. This caused his silver lip ring to glow white hot from his sultry breath

"As payment for my life I gift thee with my breath of winter; peacefulness. Come sorrow, hatred, or fright you will always have a reservoir of peace." Gerard breathed chalk white skin glowing from within. The man's crow black hair seem to ever so slightly ripple as within his hypnotic hazel eyes a blizzard raged. Gerard's black suit and crimson tie greatly contrasted his milk white skin. He closed his eyes and let his head tip back as his face relaxed into a look of bliss as winter enveloped him into it's arousing coldness.

And as one both men finished with

"We hope you never have need of our gifts." The two turned and faced their palms skywards and blew their gifts onto Mikey.

Raindrops of sunlight fell and soaked into Mikey tanning it and streaking his hair with blond highlights. He shifted in his sleep energized by summer. The intricate snowflakes floated down and upon making contact made him fall into an even deeper slumber, calming summer's effects.

Gently Frank tugged on his wrist that was bound to Gerard's and without protest the two crept from the room.

"We've been cut down from our puppet strings." Both men whispered and with that the fishing line round their wrists dissolved into dust, cutting the last string with their Creator and freeing them from their debt.

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