Mime Lives by Scott Redmond

The year is 2163.

A home for lost mimes an hour outside of Paris is where you are located. There is an almost eerie silence around the building. This makes sense, they are mimes. It feels like something is about to go down, you don’t know what but something.

There has been an increasingly low tolerance for your people in the past few years, and things seemed close to boiling over. Hate crimes and violence against silent artists were at an all time high, and they couldn’t even cry for help. They tried to fight back with guns and bats but they were all imaginary, so had very little if any effect.

It all started when She was elected. She ran on a platform of zero tolerance for street performers, and narrowly won. Times were bleak. Face paint was quickly banned, with some claiming it was oppressive to mime women. It is always the mime-norities they target first. Then the killings began There would be no warning before the troops came by in the middle of the night No one was ever seen again.

First they came for the human statues and you did not speak out- because you were a mime. Then they came for the buskers and you did not speak out- because you were still a mime. Then they came for the street dancers and you still did not speak out- this mime thing makes the talking difficult. Finally they came for you and there was no-one left to speak out for you.

Thus, you had been driven to the outskirts of town, the only way to keep the young mimes safe. All day you spent, erecting your invisible walls, laying out hypothetical bear traps, just waiting for them to come. You knew it was just a matter of time.

It was the break of day when the first battalion was seen coming over the hill. The night watchman tried to warn everyone, but his pantomime yells fell on sleeping ears, sleeping ears that couldn’t see him overly gesticulate.

They walked through your traps and barricades as if they weren’t there, breaching the perimeter as quickly as they’d appeared. Some they killed, others they dragged away. The young were taken with the hope that they could be re-assimilated into society, that silence could be bred out within a couple of generations.

Less than twenty minutes it took, for them to sweep through the entire compound. Some tried fighting back, back the military strength and the strong winds they were imagining were too powerful to overcome. Le Pen may be mightier than the sword, but the mind it seems is not.

You were the only one left. Clever enough to hide under an actual real blanket, no one found you and that they have left, the silence has intensified. Some of your brethren have been taken, the rest lie dead around you. The tears smear your face paint as you consider what to do next.

You decide that you cannot stay as surely they will soon return looking for any latecomers, so you run off into the woods. Running for many hours, until you find yourself unable to run any more you trip over something which should not be there.

A book.

Looking at the cover, it is Her autobiography. With nothing else to do, and nowhere to go you sit down in the wet mud to read it, tears still streaking down your face and causing the white paint to stain the pages.

It seems that her hatred of street performers, of mimes in particular dates back to an incident in her childhood. She was standing on a streetcorner in Paris, watching a mime perform, on a particularly cold day. It seemed like it would be nicer when she left the house in the morning so she went out only in a t-shirt. As the show went on, she got colder and colder and ended up with a mild dose of hypothermia. Though easily treated, she held the grudge from that day on and never forgave the street performing community.

Finishing the book in little over half an hour, she was hardly a writer, you continue your travels through the woods and come across a small, rickety shack emanating a strange blue light.

Knocking nervously on the door, you meet a strange old man; crazy white hair and a long lab coat reveal him to be a scientist. Through mime, you explain to him your story and fortunately he is on the side of the resistance. He explains that he is in fact an inventor and his newest invention is an as of yet untested time machine.
He offers you food, a place to stay the night but warns that you should move on in the morning for fear of being tracked. However, as he shakes you awake you realise that it is too late, they have already found you.
You both run for the time machine, hoping to escape into the future. As you open the door to the strange, glowing box you hear the shouts  of the soldiers behind you. The whir of a bullet. The old man falls, and with his last breath tells you to take the machine.
The door closes behind you. You take a moment to breath in deeply, and press some buttons with no real knowledge of how to work the contraption. As a mime, you weren’t even allowed your driver’s license.

The sound of cogs turning combines with a bright, unnatural flash. Everything shakes, forcing you from side to side and then… nothing. The movement and the noise and the light stops. The cold, dark metallic hue of the machine surrounds you in the darkness.

Clambering for the door, you exit out onto the street and recognise it. It’s Paris, but not how it looks now. How it looked before the purges.

You pick up a newspaper and recognise the date from the book; today is the day She got the chill watching the performer.
You rush to the yarn store, pick up some needles and run across the city, knitting against time. If you can just make a sweater and get it to her before she gets too cold, then all the bloodshed could be saved.
Cars block the path ahead of you, a parade is in progress. It seems as if the world is out to stop you.

Finally, just in the nick of time you manage to get to ehr and slip the jumper over her shoulders. Instantly, you can see the colour return to her face and she goes back to watching the show, laughing and smiling.
Back in the time machine, you travel back to the present day and you see all of your friends back on street corners, doing what they love, untarnished by prejudice.

You have done it, thanks to your amazing knitting prowess you have saved your silent brethren.

I guess it’s true what they say; a stitch in time saves mimes.

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