"Yeah! Play!" The pink puppet added in its squeakier, more nasal voice. The pair of them began to sway and bob, with their arms swishing from side to side, dancing to some unheard music.
"Play with me... like friends do," Eli asked carefully while taking a small step backward, "or like how someone plays with a toy?"
The two puppets stared at him for a moment, eyes as unblinking as ever but it still managed to feel like a stare. Then they slowly turned. Painfully slowly, jittering the entire time, as if taking every due care to make the movement as exaggerated as possible. The pink one's face screwed up tightly, mouth crumpling in on itself in an expression of displeasure. They just looked at each other, and then just as slowly turned back to face Eli, who froze in the middle of taking another step back.
"You can't just ask us that question," snipped the pink one, waving its noodle-thin arms in the air. "Nobody ever asks that question!"
"Nobody," repeated the green in its deeper voice, and waved a three-fingered felt hand in Eli's direction, pointing clumsily. "But you're smart, huh? Mister Know-it-all!"
"Oooh, I bet he's smart enough for a guessing game!" The pink one began to bounce up and down excitedly. "I know just the game, I do! It's a game called, What Will You Find in Your Closet Tonight?"
"Raincoat," said the green one, rolling the R with a soft growl. The jagged white felt that it had for teeth didn't seem to be as soft and silly-looking as before.
"Shoooes," said the pink. Eli kept moving back with gentle steps, but even though he hadn't seen them move, the puppets seemed to be closer than before.
"Smiles and laughter."
"A big surprise."
A puppet is an inanimate simulacrum most commonly comprised of felt and stuffing, and traditionally operated through hands and wires to give the appearance of life. In Hollywood, they may have more than just the appearance of life. In spite of (or perhaps due to) their relentlessly sunny and overly-friendly dispositions, they are considered vermin within Hollywood and its surrounding areas.
Individual puppets are not as unique as people first assume, having the basic elements of their construction be very similar, almost standard in some respects. They are all made from colored felt wrapped around cotton stuffing, arranged into a simplistic humanoid form made from soft, rounded shapes. This, along with exaggerated features similar to those of people and animals, provides puppets with a non-threatening appearance they can use to get close to non-puppets. This is presumed to be a form of mimicry or camouflage to provide a predatory advantage.
On average, puppets are around 24–36 inches in length from head to fringe, the point at which the felt ends. This does not include micropuppets (approximately 1–3 inches, or roughly the average adult human finger) and so-called "fullbodies" which are typically larger than any fully-grown human being. Fullbodies are rare, being one of the few subtypes of puppet who possess lower limbs that allow for independent locomotion. Smaller puppets may possess non-functioning lower limbs, so that they may be seen as "sitting" by casual observers, but are usually unable to use these to actually move. All puppets are seemingly moved by unseen "performers" via operating mechanisms like wires and, most commonly, an arm inserted under their fringe.
It can be noted that what mechanisms supposedly control a puppet's functions do not actually attach to anything, despite first appearances. For example, while a puppet can be observed to be "operated" by an arm that clearly belongs to a human being, that arm is often emerging from behind an obscuring surface that could not possibly conceal a fully-grown human being. Attempts have been made to ascertain a source for what is actually controlling puppets, with the prevailing theory being that they might be the appendages of some extra-dimensional godlike entity that is slithering into reality through unseen fissures in the fabric of the universe, and perhaps further investigation would be a bad idea.
Puppet culture, or what passes for it, seems to be based around emulating the world around them. They play at performing jobs, although it is clear that no actual work is being done or any money exchanging hands. Additionally, many of these jobs seem to be deliberate misinterpretations of actual jobs, such as garbage collectors literally making personal collections from selected pieces of garbage. There is also an extraordinary amount of singing done, with poorly choreographed dance routines that rely heavily on flailing limbs and bouncing in place.
The majority of puppets, as best can be determined, live in Alphabet City, which is full of many doors and low walls that could conceivably be hiding a million full-time puppeteers, but which probably aren't.
|Demographics of Hollywood|
|Aliens ★ Animals ★ Cryptids ★ Devils ★ Humans ★ Mutants ★ Puppets ★ Robots ★ Toons|