Real Boy This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 23, 2018
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 Geppetto was a woodcarver. His creations were strewn throughout his tiny cottage. His cat, Figaro, weaved his way in and out of his collection of work to greet his owner. Geppetto ran his hand along the back of his furry friend and wiped the sweat beads from his brow. He stepped back, Figaro in his arms, and admired his newest creation. A puppet, it took him many sleepless nights and caused bleeding, calloused hands to construct his masterpiece. He studied his detailed handiwork, tracing his hands along the joints of his knees and elbows, testing the flexibility of them. The woodcarver placed a yellow hat with a blue ribbon and red feather on top of the puppet’s head, pondering for the entirety of the process of the creation for the name. Once he looked at it completed, he knew exactly what it would be.
“Pinocchio.”
Geppetto arranged him in such a way that he almost looked like a real boy. Like the son he always wanted. Geppetto created Pinocchio in his likeness to make him as realistic as possible. If he was real, he would have been a beautiful Italian boy with Geppetto’s blue eyes and the chestnut hair from when he was a young boy. Because of his now faded eyes and silver hair, he did his best to create Pinocchio in his likeness to recreate his youth. Geppetto lived alone and had no family, no friends. Just his creations and his pets, Figaro the cat and Cleo, his goldfish. There was also a cricket that Geppetto constantly tried to get out of the house, but he always found his way back in. His name was Jiminy Cricket, and he felt that Pinocchio was meant to be his owner, like Geppetto is to Figaro. All he wanted was a friend, and he was determined that it would be Pinocchio. Someone else had other plans.
The night Geppetto finished creating Pinocchio, the wooden boy was visited by a supernatural being, the ghost of a boy who wished to be human again. He possessed the unknowing wooden boy. Pinocchio’s eyes fluttered open, and he moved his arms. They creaked slightly from the new movement, but slowly loosened. He tried to stand up, but fell back down, scared of what was forming in front of him. He pretended to be back in a lifeless state as a blue light illuminated the room and revealed a woman. She was bathed in the blue luminescence, and everything she wore was blue. Her flowing gown, her high heels. Her hair and skin were blue, but a faded, almost ghostly shade, probably because she was a ghost. She was the girlfriend of the boy that possessed Pinocchio. The boy was unaware of this, though. He just saw the blue ‘wings’ lightly flicker behind her. The woman approached Pinocchio, knowing that the boy she loved was inside of this puppet, and she was determined to have him back, forever.
“Do you wish to be a real boy?” the woman asked. She knew the puppet wouldn’t answer, so she continued.
“I am the Blue Fairy, and I am capable of granting your wish to be a real boy.” She paused, considering her choice of words to make this sound as believable and tempting as possible. She weighed her options of what she should do, and made her decision.
“However, there’s a price to pay. Something you must do so you can become the boy you wish to be. You must exterminate your creator. The man’s soul must be released from his body into the unknown so your soul can be created. If anyone gets in your way, you must stop them if you wish to be a real boy. If you wish to complete this task, I will grant you life until sunrise so that you can do what is needed. If you do not complete the task, you will never be real. Do you accept?” She could feel that the answer was a yes. She pretended to give him temporary life and disappeared through her blue light. Pinocchio stood up and jumped off of the table he was placed on. He knew what had to be done.
He attempted to walk towards the door, but collapsed. The ghost hadn’t walked in quite some time, so he had to get used to walking again, specifically on wooden legs. He pulled himself back up, trying to steady his wobbling legs. He walked forward, one step at a time, his knees buckling and trembling as he gained full control of his limbs and could maneuver himself without holding onto the wall and other objects. He approached the door and twisted the knob. The door swung open as he fell over again. Walking was going to take a lot of getting used to. He pulled himself up again and walked forward, slowly. Slowing his pace would make less noise so he could do what he needed to do. He wasn’t sure where to start, until his first problem ran into him. A tiny green bug jumped into him. Pinocchio jumped back and steadied himself again so he wouldn’t fall over.
“Oh! Hello there! I’m Jiminy Cricket, and I-” he was cut off by Pinocchio grabbing him and bringing him into Geppetto’s workshop. He pinned the cricket down on the table using knives, and began his business. He slowly carved into him as if he was a block of wood, waiting to be a new creation. Pinocchio finished, leaving Jiminy opened up, as if he were being used for a dissection. Pinocchio walked away towards Geppetto, ready to kill anyone else that tried to get in his way.
He walked down the hall towards what he assumed was Geppetto’s room. On his way, he tripped over a black figure in the dark hallway. Getting annoyed, he got up and snatched the black figure out from under him and took him into the bathroom. He turned on the water in the bathtub and plugged the drain. Pinocchio turned on the light, and was able to see the room. The black figure was a cat, who had a collar on his neck reading Figaro. There was also a goldfish in a bowl with the name Cleo written in the gravel at the bottom of the fish’s home. Figaro was running around the bathroom, doing his best to avoid the water splashing around the tub. Cleo was watching Figaro, knowing Pinocchio’s intentions and hoping she wasn’t next. Pinocchio knew there couldn’t be any witnesses, whether they could speak or not.
Pinocchio turned off the water on the tub so it wouldn’t overflow and grabbed the cat. The puppet was hesitant, not wanting to kill the innocent animal, but he knew he had to because of what the ‘Blue Fairy’ told him. He closed his eyes and shoved Figaro into the water. He struggled and scratched at his wooden arms. Pinocchio waited until he felt the cat stop moving. Figaro floated in the water, lifeless and limp. Pinocchio got up and looked away from the tub, unhappy with what he had done. He looked at the goldfish, knowing he had to kill her as well. He grabbed the bowl and took her into the room across the hall.
It was dark, but he could tell he was in Geppetto’s office, where he would create the blueprints for his wooden creations. He put the fish bowl on the table and turned on the lamp. He grabbed the fish out of the bowl and broke a splinter off of his leg. He pinned the fish down under the lamp’s warm, yellow light. He watched as Cleo struggled to try and escape the beam of light slowly cooking her. Pinocchio sat in the chair in front of the desk, knowing it would take a while for the job to be done, but he had to make sure the fish died before he got to Geppetto. Cleo knew there was no way out and accepted her fate. She stopped resisting and bathed in the light until she was no longer the bright orange goldfish she once was, but a pale yellow, almost invisible under the yellow beam that consumed her. He left the room, hoping this time he could just get to Geppetto and get the job done.
He went back to the workshop first. He needed something to finish off Geppetto the way he wanted. He wanted to make him feel like a block of wood, just like he was. He knew that it was the only way he could be the boy he wanted to be. He grabbed a detailing knife that was in the corner of the room and he walked out, ready to do what he needed to do so he could be a real boy like the ghost inside of him used to be. He walked down the hall, making sure he was silent so he didn’t wake up his next victim. He was ready to be a real boy.
He walked to the last room, knowing it had to be Geppetto’s room. He slowly opened the door and walked in, making sure he was absolutely silent. He shut the door and walked towards the bed. He stood right next to the man that created him, knowing what had to be done. Pinocchio woke him up and struck him as hard as he could with his arm, knocking him out. He dragged him out of the bed and tied him to the chair at his desk where he would plan his creations. Once Geppetto woke up, he started his final project. He sliced into him with the knife over and over, making sure he wasn’t cutting too deep, so he could say something before he finished him off. He felt that Geppetto had suffered enough once there were over fifty cuts all over his body. Pinocchio sank the axe into Geppetto’s chest, making sure he was alive while he said the last words his creator would ever hear.
“I just wanted to be a real boy.”
Once Geppetto was gone, the ‘Blue Fairy’ appeared. She wasn’t blue, she didn’t have wings, and she wasn’t wearing a gown. She looked like a normal girl, but still had the ghostly glow about her. She walked towards Pinocchio, a devilish grin on her face.
“You did it! You killed everyone you had to so you could get what you wanted. But, you still haven’t realized something.” She stopped and walked around Geppetto, towards the closet.
“You still don’t recognize me? I’m surprised, sweetheart. We were lovers in the last, remember? I’m not a fairy, no.. just your girlfriend. I just want to be with you, forever.”
“How did you know it was me? How could you get me to kill everyone my creator cared about, and my creator? How could you?” Pinocchio screamed at her. He wanted to know if he would really become a real boy like he wanted to. He was about to chop her up with the axe, but he stopped. He heard a noise in the closet. He walked towards it and opened the door. A bright blue light almost blinded him and he stepped back. Once he regained his vision, he saw a beautiful woman bathed in a blue light. She stepped out of the closet, but she was tied up, so she couldn’t go far. Pinocchio untied her and asked who she was.
“I’m the Blue Fairy. The real one this time. I could’ve made you a real boy.”
“Why can’t you now?” the puppet asked. He just wanted to be a real boy.
“I don’t grant wishes to people like you. People who commit crimes. People who kill. Ones who destroy lives don’t deserve to have theirs bettered.” With that, the Blue Fairy vanished.
A beam of light came through the window as the sun rose. The ghost inside of Pinocchio felt himself slipping out of the puppet. He tried his best to stay inside, wanting to hold onto the only attempt he had at being a real boy.






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