Author: Stewart MacDonald PM
Rain lived a normal life. The life of a high-school graduate with a mediocre apprenticeship, but one badly-placed comment to a street mime will bring him into a terror he cannot believe, and to a fate worse than death. T for violence, language, and mimes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Humor - Words: 3,892 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 5 - Published: 11-05-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2592386
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hey guys. My first actual one-shot on this site. I hope it can make it with all the other amazing one-shots out there, but if it doesn't, it doesn't. The idea for this came from nowhere. I just got to wondering what the fuck is up with mimes, and a bunch of things sifted through my head. I'll let you read these thoughts in my afternote as to not give anything away, but enjoy, folks.
Rain Simmons lived a normal life until that Friday night. He had just graduated high school and was awarded an apprenticeship for the Darkhurst Auto-Shop. The owner of the place, Owen Hayes, was really impressed with his grades in the class. Rain was relieved. He had just scraped by every other class with 50's and 60's. The auto was his only bet, and the cards had laid down right. If not for this, he had no doubt he would be doing some variety store job just to pay his bills, never mind feed himself and his girlfriend Selena as well. He couldn't afford college, up until last month he had lived with his Aunt and Uncle who barely had enough money to support his cousin Layne. Yeah, his family were suckers for the a-i-n sounds.
He didn't know why they bothered with Layne, she was going downhill. She had bad grades in school, drank, and was going out with one of the local loser pot-heads Mick Russian. He supposed he shouldn't let it get to him so much, high-school problems had now ceased to be his problems. He was done, since June of last year. He had a fairly mobile car, a steady job with Owen (Drunk as he was, he was a surprisingly good mentor, when it came to cars at least) and was almost ready to propose to his girlfriend Selena. The few friends he did have in high-school had established themselves to be dick weeds. Just losers looking to take a free-ride off him, and he felt like a different person without them. It wasn't like losing a limb, more like losing a tumor.
He knew how selfish that sounded, even in his own head, but it was the truth. They'd moved on to what they called lives, and Rain was happy to be the one who was actually making something of himself. Selena and him had hours of conversations between them in the late hours of the night about the future. How he would open up a garage over in Chatham Kent, how they would move to the rich neighborhood in Chatham... The possibilities were endless! That Friday started like any other. He swung out of the bed in his apartment over the Darkhurst Variety and rubbed his eyes. The alarm clock blatted like some wounded animal and he silenced it quickly. Selena turned over in her sleep and Rain hopped out of bed.
He went downstairs and grabbed the grocery list they had assembled last night, to keep them going another week. Cereal, milk, bread, soup, Kraft Dinner... The poor man's feast. Hell, he could live off Captain fucking Crunch. He didn't need much. Rain was a levelheaded guy. He knew what he had and what he didn't. Dreaming of the future was one thing, whining about what he had now was completely another. He wouldn't sink to that level, God knew enough people already had. He was no optimist, just smart. What happened was no more his fault than a stillbirth across the world was his fault.
He always went over a county to grocery shop, in Chatham. Gas had not quite gotten completely out of control so it was a lot cheaper to go to the Price Chopper in Chatham. It wasn't a huge city, but it was pretty big for this part of Ontario. He disliked city driving. City-people had this weird tendency to make him want to punt small, furry animals. Or infants. There were days he would like to kick an infant, especially when women toting said infants darted out in front of him when he had a green light. What would you do if that baby ended up in that yonder fucking hedge, bitch? He would wonder, and then giggle to himself, both horrified and delighted at the thought.
He tossed on a striped shirt and jeans and headed down the thin flight of stairs to the car. It was eight in the morning, by the time he got to Chatham it would be almost nine. A few public school kids walked by him and he swerved around them to get to his simple little Mazda. Simple was Raincode for junker. It moved though, so he liked. He started it up and took off down the street. The cops in this town were never up so early. They always took after the harmless pot-heads who went to the arboretum, and they were only there after school, so they were all still asleep. Rain supposed there was maybe one poor Smokey out poking around in the morning fog, but he had yet to see him.
This was also Raincode for drive a bit over the speed-limit. He would be fine, at least until he hit Chatham. He didn't know much about there, but if the cops were bad in little old Darkhurst, they would be worse in Chatham Kent. So on and on he roared, never once feeling the twisted fate that loomed ever closer. The fog slipped by, and perhaps that was his only warning. The fog was sinister today, seeming to form fingers that clawed at the windshield before giving up with a sigh only audible in Rain's imagination. It made him shudder, that fog. Summer Drive slipped by, and soon he would see the bright blue Ontario county sign, reading Chatham-Kent. The fog departed slowly as the sun crept up and Darkford County faded in his rear-view.
He passed through a few smaller towns as he decided to crank his radio. Soon, he was seeing the Chatham sign. Downtown Chatham was a nightmare, so he relished the outskirts while he could. The Downtown area was a maze of thin roads and sudden turns that always had him grouchy by the time he was done. Grouchy enough to kick a baby? His mind asked innocently and he shook his head, chuckling to himself. He neared a stoplight and enjoyed the last bastion of sanity in this town. The morning rush was just starting too. Christ, what a time to hit town!
Rain made it to the grocery store without assaulting any small fuzzy animals and/or infants, barely. As all thoughts of baby-kicking left his head a particularly loose-looking woman with a stroller had raced the red light, lost, and decided to run across anyways. Rain actually found this more funny than anything else, what bugged him was the people shooting angry glares and middle fingers at him. Oh yes, he thought bitterly. Next time I'll remember to buzz on through and turn that skank into rasberry jam, if that floats your motherfucking boat. He pulled in and was a little shocked to see a mime standing beside the grocery store door. He raised an eyebrow as he passed but said nothing.
A mime? Was this for real? He offered no other thought and went about his business in the grocery store. An hour later, when he came out, the street-performer was still there. His pantomimes were good, he would agree, but seriously! He didn't even know mimes were still around. They'd always been kind of a joke in modern society. Joke signs in forwarded e-mails (Please, don't provoke the mimes!), conversation topics, but right here in Chatham?! What the fuck? "Ever considered getting a real job?" Rain snapped, a trifle bitterly, at the mime as he passed. The mime stopped and looked at Rain, and as their eyes met, Rain felt a cold chill go through him.
The mime's face was a normal white face. White down past the neckline... (It was good, he admitted. He could see no skin beneath the greasepaint) Black eyeliner and black lipstick. But his eyes... They were a cold blue, that seemed terribly sad and hideously sinister all at once. A sad smile suddenly bloomed on the mime's face as he pointed at him and shook his head. Rain felt cold chills go up and down his spine. The mime said nothing... But nonetheless Rain felt like he had just been marked.
'Whatever dude..." He shuddered again as the mime's gaze followed him down the street, and never left him even as he rounded the corner. In the drive between Chatham and Darkhurst, he didn't spare the mime a second thought. Not until he got home. A crowd of people were gathered around the front of the Variety. It was lunch at the high-school, and most of them were kids he knew. Brian Darkhurst (Mayor's kid), Mick Russian, Blaine Anders, Marty Blanko... Others he had seen around but didn't know the names of. "What's up, boys?" He asked as he got out of the car. Brian looked at him, a small goth looking kid who Rain kind of got along with, and shook his head.
"You won't fuckin' believe it man." He looked back, and snorted. "I don't fuckin' believe it. Nobody knows who he is."
The thought which had only been a childish paranoia in the back of his head grew as he tried to see through the mass of kids. He pushed aside the local reporter, Jack Stewart, as he tried to take a picture. "Fuckin' balls..." He heard the surly reporter grumble, but Rain didn't hear him. He was frozen in place.
In front of him was the mime. He would have dismissed it as coincidence, but the cold blue eyes caught his and the mime again smiled sadly. "Fuck you!" Rain suddenly roared at the mime as he began to do the old glass box trick. How the hell had the mime beat him to his house? Just how the fuck?! "I don't know who you are but fuck you!!" Rain began to charge forward and hands grabbed him.
"Easy man!" Blaine Anders, a huge blond football player who was still somehow a good guy soothed. "It's just a mime. It ain't worth it!"
"I just saw him in fucking Chatham!" Rain bellowed and tried to break free. "The painted jack-hole followed me here!"
"Are you serious?" Jack Stewart asked, laughing and looking bewildered at the same time. "A mime stalker. Darkhurst just gets weirder and weirder." Stewart turned to the mime. "Hey buddy, if this is true then I think we're a little mimed-out."
The mime smiled again, and began to slowly strut away, smiling and wiggling his fingers over his black and white-striped shoulder. "That is fucked." Brian Darkhurst said in awe. "Completely and totally fucked."
"Can I take your picture?" Stewart asked. "You gotta admit, this would make a pretty good-"
"Fuck yourself." Rain exploded and stormed inside, nearly hitting Selena with the door.
"Whats going on, babe?" She asked sleepily.
"Nothing babe. Sorry for waking you up, you gotta sleep for the night-shift at the bowling alley." He took her by the shoulders and began to lead her upstairs.
"Was there a fight?" She asked quietly. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a mime." He ignored her shocked glance and kept walking upstairs.
Just a mime.
He went to work that day, and this time he was distracted by thoughts of the mime. That damned mime. He must have a pretty fast car to have beaten him here, but if that was the case, where the fuck was it? Being a mechanic in training, Rain knew his cars. There wasn't one new car in town, not that he'd seen. He was more than a little scared by this, and nearly dropped a car on Owen when he brushed the controls for the lift as his boss was under it. The machine began to hum and lower and Owen had scrambled out. "Jesus Christ in a fucking shithouse!!" The large man had bellowed. "Watch what you're doing, Simmons, or you're out on your ass!"
"I'm sorry sir!" Rain apologized and remedied his error. "I'm a little distracted. It won't happen again." And it wouldn't. His work was completely on his mind now.
"Fucking right it won't." Owen grumbled and stepped back under. "I'm going to have to get one of those pits to work in..."
"Yeah, the lift isn't exactly safe." Morris Hayder, the high school kid who ran the variety store section said absently as he flipped through a skateboarding magazine.
"Did I ask you?!" Owen screamed.
"Guess not." Morris drawled absently, his eyes not leaving the magazine. To Rain he said. "So I heard you've got anew friend from the guys at school."
"Oh, for fucks sake. Going around already?" Rain said defeatedly and threw his hands in the air.
"Apparently. Who knew, eh? A fucking psycopath mime in Darkhurst." Morris looked up and smirked. Rain would like to punch the smirk off his face. "Think he likes you?"
"Think you can shut up for about ten minutes? At least until I get to go home?" Rain snarled.
Morris bobbed his head absently and returned to the magazine, and Rain shook his head in disgust. Leaving work that day proved to be more eventful than the rest of the workday. The mime was back.
"No shit!" Morris guffawed as Rain froze and stared at the harlequin, who was leaning on apparently nothing and inspecting his fingernails, which were covered with white gloves. "You just don't believe this shit till you see it!"
Rain then let out a wordless roar and charged the mime, who, without even changing expression, turned and ran away. It wasn't a scared run, it was a cocky, arrogant run. The mime turned back once he was a safe distance away and moved his hands in the air.
"The fuck's he doing?" Rain panted as he rejoined Morris on the steps.
"Makin' a little box, it looks like." Morris said through tears of laughter.
And indeed it was. It emphasised the sides with it's hands and then pretended to hold it against it's ear and shake it. The mime looked at them and shrugged before opening the 'box'. As he did this, his other hand shot through what would have been the bottom and shone forth the middle finger at Rain. Morris dissolved into laughter as Rain grabbed a rock and hucked it with deadly accuracy. It struck the mime in the forehead, and the mime stepped back, a hand against it's forehead as blood spurted forth.
"Fuck you!" Rain screamed like an animal, spittle flying from his lips. "I hope that hurt, you motherfucker!!" The mime lowered it's hand as blood trickled down it's face, and Rain noted two things with a sick feeling in his stomach. One, the mime's make-up was not running with the blood. And two... It was smiling. Not a sad smile this time, but a sick, evil smile.
"Oooh, he's pissed!" Morris giggled and then patted Rain on the back. "I'm goin' home, big-guy. Mom's making lasagna and I got the munchies hardcore." He looked back at the now retreating mime and snorted laughter. "Enjoy the fun."
"Yeah." Rain said quietly. His voice was very distant. "Yeah."
The end of the nightmare came sooner than Rain thought. His mind already burned with rage and the decision to kill the mime had already solidified in his mind. It was finalized that night at approximately 3 AM. In the grip of nightmares he could not explain, Rain suddenly bolted awake to the sound of the doorbell. "Aw, who the fuck?!" He nearly yelled, and Selena sat up beside him in her Ramones nightie. "Probably your cousin in shit. You'd better let her in." She said groggily and flopped back down. He tossed on a shirt and stomped down the steps, ready to yell, and tossed open the door. His words died in his throat at the site of the mime sitting on the bench in front of his house, smirking. Any signs of the rock-wound were gone.
"You're a brave motherfucker, ain't you?" Rain said, his voice shaking. The mime did one of those silly shrugs again and wriggled it's eyebrows. With that Rain snapped. Selena had come downstairs at the sound of his harsh words and screamed as Rain threw himself upon the mime. They both toppled over the top of the bench and onto the street, Rain bringing punches down and the mime simply smiling away. They rolled onto the cold cement with a thud that Rain absorbed the most of, but it only infuriated him further. The punches came down again and again, and even as the blood began to pool around the mime's skull, he did not stop. He did not stop until Selena wrapped her arms around him and pulled him off, sobbing.
Rain fell backwards on his ass and looked at his bloody, cut knuckles, and then back at the mime. The stalker was quite dead, there could be no doubt. But Rain felt no satisfaction. Only fear. Because no matter how hard Rain had beaten him, the mime had died smiling. Not the evil smile, not even the sad one. It was a peaceful smile, as if all was right in the world. "Jesus, Rain!" Selena wailed. "Jesus!"
Rain stood and grabbed the mime. "Get a towel." He said quietly.
"What?!" She hiccuped.
"Get me a FUCKING TOWEL!!" Rain roared. She was gone before he finished his sentence. She came back down, and Rain first wiped up the blood and wrapped the towel around the mime's head. "Get the car door." She obliged, and Rain motioned with his head at the mime's legs.
"Oh, fuck, Rain... Do I have to?" She said, tears streaming down her face.
"Do you want me to rot in prison?!" He said, tears forming in his own eyes. She stepped over, and retched as she grabbed the mime's legs. After they got him in, Rain went around back and retrieved a shovel. Before long they were driving down the backroads of Darkford County, and Rain pulled into an abandoned farmhouse. They buried him in silence, and Selena demanded they say a prayer. Rain obliged, but he didn't pray for the dead mime. He prayed for himself.
His head burned the following morning, as if he had been on a serious bender, and his prone girlfriend had not moved. He looked at her sadly before looking down at his split hands. He looked very pale in the darkness of 6 AM, and he shuddered as he could clearly see the split skin. He got lucky. It had rained in the night, and the blood had disappeared from out front, and none had got in his car. He silently got up and made his way to the bathroom where he showered and cleaned up. He did not glance in the mirror after he was done, he did not have the energy to shave. His face burned dully, probably from the impact with the cement the night before.
He couldn't believe he had snapped so badly and done what he had done, but at the same time it was all his human mind could have done. He had noticed the subtle things about the mime that had made it so disturbing. The dissapearing wound... How it had beat him to Darkhurst... How it had even known to go there... And that smile, especially it's death smile... As if it had been released from some terrible burden. He had to destroy the sinister mime, or his mind would have snapped from the impossibility of it's actions.
All Rain wanted to do right now was sleep. What happened last night seemed like a terrible nightmare, and he would be happy to return to it, only in his dreams. The lights were on as he came out of the bathroom, and Selena was facing away from him, at the counter. She turned as he came in, and as he opened his arms for an embrace, he was caught completely off-guard.
By the sounds of her screams.
He tried to reassure her, but the words simply wouldn't come. Why was she staring at him like that? Her eyes wide and terrified, her mouth an open pit which the piercing screams erupted from. She pointed at him as she fell back against the counter, all strength running from her legs. He charged back into the bathroom and stared into the mirror, his pulse racing, his sick assurance clarified.
Those sad eyes... The white face... They stared back at him. His eyebrows were gone, now drawn on in black. He splashed water on his face; boiling water... But to no avail. This was his flesh now, his curse. And as he watched, his reflection tipped him a snarky wink. He opened his mouth to scream... And nothing came out.
Not a sound.
No one is absolutely sure what befell Rain, not even his hysterical girlfriend. The dead mime was dug up the following day after she went to the police, and they only discovered a moldering skeleton, dead for five years, apparently. He was never indentified. Rain disappeared into the night, crying tears that did not smudge his makeup and screaming screams that could not be heard. Yes, nobody knows what befell Rain, but on sunny days in Chatham, you can see a mime performing.
So the next time you see one, bite your tongue. Yes, they're ridiculous, and there are thousands of unkind and witty things you can say to them, and why not? They can't answer back. Just remember that they may be waiting for you to say something. Waiting for someone to torment and punish until they can pass on their curse. Waiting for you. Don't do it for the mime, do it for yourself, because sometimes the greasepaint doesn't wash off. There are things worse than death.
Don't find out what they are.
Okay, so I got to wondering why people become mimes, the butt of so much ridicule? Surely there aren't many of them. Then I thought, what if being a mime wasn't a choice? What if, it's a curse? What if when you spill the blood of a mime on yourself, you become the mime? Wow, I know it's a goofy idea but I thought it ended up being really effective in the end. I like it at least, and I guess that's what counts. Thanks for reading.