How Do You Get a Mime To Speak?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jack Donovan and his wife, Kate, are still dealing with his deafness. Meanwhile they decide to have a party for their 16 year old with mimes as the host and hostess. But one of them decides that they are unable to leave the house. A Mime is the victim, but who is the culprit?

Submitted: February 16, 2019

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Submitted: February 16, 2019

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How Do You Get A Mime To Speak?

By

Brian Lee Clements


 

Jack Donovan just got back a couple of days ago where he attended the wedding of his friends David and Carol in Panama City, Florida. He had known the couple since high school and recently got involved with them when he helped solve a murder of a dwarf in their home.  That’s right, a dwarf.  He was able to help solve it very quickly so David and Carol could get married and move on with their lives.

 

Donovan has been a private detective for about a year now.  He had been a detective for the Colorado Springs Police Department for quite a few years until he lost his hearing in a car bombing.  It turned out that his partner at the time was involved with the bomber.  But that was an earlier story.

 

When Jack returned to the Springs, he decided to spend some time with his family.  Everybody, including himself, has had a difficult time with his deafness.  Hopefully with the downtime, they can help each other with coping with the situation.

 

Donovan has been married to Kate for about 30 years.  They met while she was going to

medical school at Alabama-Birmingham.  He was already working at the Florida Marine Patrol.  They waited until she started her residency in Orlando to get married.  That way, Jack could work in Titusville which was only 50 miles away.  They found a place halfway between the two locations near the Beeline Expressway.

 

After Kate did her residency and internship, they moved to Panama City where she opened a practice in General Surgery and also Emergency Room work.  Meanwhile, Jack transferred to the local office of the Marine Patrol until they moved to Colorado.  They became good friends with another doctor, JoAnne Robinson and her husband, Lee.  Jack and Lee worked with each other at the local office of the Marine Patrol.

 

In the meantime, they had four kids.  Two boys and two girls.  The boys were named Matthew and Jacob, while the girls were named Olivia and Samantha.  Only Samantha was still home.  She came as a surprise while they were in their late 40’s.

 

Well, Everyone moved to Colorado in November, 2000 where he joined the Colorado Springs Police Department until his deafness from the car bombing forced him to retire in 2017.

 

Now, Samantha was going to be 16 in a couple of weeks, and, Jack and Kate were wondering what to do for her birthday.  Being parents of a teenager can be difficult and she was not really in a talkative mood a lot.  Sam, as they called her, thought all parents were square and dumb.  So what’s new, right?  So, her square parents started to talk about what they want to do for her.  Maybe embarrass her?

 

“What do think we should do for her party?” Kate asks.

Jack responds, “That is the million dollar question.” Jack replies.  “I have no idea.”

“I’ve asked around at work and the hospital.  People just shake their heads and wish me luck.  They seem to know how difficult it can be with a 16 year old.  People have given me suggestions, but it is hard.”

“Like what?”  Kate gives him the list and Jack looks at it.  “None of these really interest me. How about you?”

“Jack, I’m not thrilled about these either.  I thought about a costume party, but she thinks that is too juvenile.”

“I got an idea.  How about a Mime Party.  Everybody dress up as a mime.  At least it will be a quiet party.”

“Mime?”

“You know.  A Mime”  Jack then imitates a mime pressing against a box.”

“Nah.  I want to see who is here.  If everybody dresses up as a mime, I won’t be able to tell what person is which. But... we could invite a couple of mimes and have them be our hosts”

“That’s even better.  This is going to be fun.  We can’t tell Sam.  Ok?”

“Why?  She’s going to know something is up if we don’t tell her anything.”

“Let her wonder.  It’ll be great. 

“I don’t know….Why not?  Since it’s your idea, you’ll need to call around.”

“Hey,,,I can’t hear. Remember?”  As Jack points to his ears.”

Kate snaps her finger.  “You read lips so well that I keep forgetting.  I’ll call. Can you go to different catering and cake places to check on prices?”

“I should be able to do that first thing in the morning.  I’ll go online and email some of them tonight and make appointments.”

“Time for bed.  I have three surgeries scheduled for tomorrow.  Morning comes pretty quick for me.”

 

The next day, Jack went to five caterers, plus Chick Fil-A, and got various prices for the event.  While he was out, Kate sends him a text and asked him to check out a place that has mime acts.  He texted back and went to the location that she sent him.

 

Jack started thinking that this will be interesting meeting.; a deaf detective talking to a mime who doesn’t speak.  He found some parking on TeJon right by the business.  He goes in and talks to the secretary.

 

“My wife sent me here to see if I can book some mimes.”

The secretary responds, “Mimes? You’re kidding me, right?”

Donovan responds with a straight face, “I’m serious.  It’s for my daughter’s 16th birthday party.”

“Oh, yea.  Your wife called earlier.  You’re that deaf detective I heard about recently.”

“I hope it’s all good.  Do have any mime acts in town?”

“We represent three acts.  How many do you need?

“We would like to have a total of two people.  What we would like them them to do is mingle, converse with everyone and to just have fun. If they have an act that is fine also”

“I think I know the two mimes you need.  They are very good.  They do it in their spare time.  What's the date of the event?”

“How does Saturday, January 26, sound?  

“Ok. That’s this Saturday. I’ll let them know and give them your info.  They will probably get in touch with you within the next day.”

“They’re going to have to get in touch with my wife.  I’m deaf, remember.”

“Sorry.  I forgot.  You seem to read lips pretty good.”

“That’s what my wife says to me all the time. Is there anything else you need from me right now”

“Not right now.  I’ll email the contract to you later on this afternoon.”

“Thank you very much.”  Donovan reaches out to shake the secretaries hand. “I already excited about this.”

 

As he leaves, Donovan thinks, ‘That went kind of easy.  I hope it goes well.’

 

Since this is only Monday, they still had a few days left to plan everything.  They already told Sam last week to send out invitations, which totalled 50 guest. Jack and Kate felt like they could handle it because some of their friends offered to help chaperone.

 

On Wednesday, which was Kate’s day off, they were able to meet the mimes that were going to perform/host.  They called themselves “The Great Duo.”  Jack couldn’t remember their names, so he just thought of them as Mime 1 and Mime 2.

 

“The Great Duo?” Jack asked.

“Yes.  Mime 1 responded. “We used to be call “The Gread Trio, but one of us quit.  In fact, he just disappeared.”

“What happened to him?”

“We really don’t know.  We think he went to a bigger city to try his luck out.  I heard one time he was at Seaworld.”

“Seaworld?  I remember that they used to have Mimes imitating people at the Killer Whale exhibition while you waited for the show to begin.  That was funny.”

Kate interacts, “Do you guys know what is going to happen Saturday night?”

“Oh yes,” Mime 2 responds, “We’ve done a few birthday parties before and they will have a blast.”

“But, have you done one for a 16 year old?”

“Yes, and they have been fun also and no complaints yet. But we do ask that you tell the guest of honor that there will be mimes.  We don’t want her to be caught off guard and feel embarrassed.  The other guest, sure.  We can even greet them at the front door.”

Jack says, “That will be even better.”

 

Kate give Jack a sarcastic look while Jack gives her a ‘What did I do?” look.

 

Kate then adds, “We’ll see you Saturday Night around 6?”

The mimes say in unison, “Sounds Great.  See you then.”

 

They walked them to the front door and said their goodbyes.  Afterwards they start talking about the mimes they hired.

 

“I hope this is a good idea,” Kate says.

‘I’m sure it will be,” Jack responds.  “We’ll have mimes, teenagers, caterers and chaperones.  What could possibly go wrong?

“Yea.  That’s what you said back in October when you went down to Florida with a hurricane heading there.”

“I got out in time.  Didn’t I?’

 

Kate give Jack a sarcastic stare.

 

“By the way, what were their names?  I didn’t catch it.” Jack asked.

“You didn’t?  Neither did I.  Let me look at the contract.”  

 

Kate looks at the contract and looks puzzled.

 

“It doesn’t say.  That’s strange.”

“I’ll say.  We have two mimes coming and we don’t know their names”

“ ‘The Great Duo,’ of course.  I’ll call the agency and find out their individual names tomorrow..”

 

T Minus one day.  Friday comes around and they decide to tell Sam about the guest host for the party.

 

“Mimes?” Sam responds.  “What the heck are you talking about?  Mimes hosting my party?  I’m going to be so embarrassed.”

“You do know what a mime is, don’t you?”  Jack says as he imitates pressing against a box.

“Yes, I do. But, a mime?”

“It’s going to go great, babe.” Kate replies. “You’re going to love it.”

“I hope so or I’m going to be wearing a bag over my face at school on Monday.”

 

Now that they got that settled, Jack and Kate started to decorate the house for the party.  They figured where everything would go, especially the food table.  The caterers would set up in the kitchen and distribute all the food from there.

 

Saturday rolls around and the caterers get to the house around five to set up.  For some reason, Kate did not decide on Chick Fil-A.  Then the mimes show up around 6 to get their makeup and costumes ready.

 

When the mimes showed up, Kate decided to ask them their names.

“I’m sorry.  I’m George Weber and this is my sister, Hilda.  I thought I mentioned our names.

“You may have,” Kate replied.  We just couldn’t remember it.”

“That’s ok.” Hilda said. “Some people just refer us as Mime one and Mime two.”

 

Jack and Kate gave each other a look and a smile.

 

George and Hilda went to strategize while Jack and Kate went to check on the caterers

 

Jack asked, “Who did you get to help chaperone?”

Kate replied, “I got Dr. Robinson and Carol.”

“You got Carol? Cool.  Who’s Dr. Robinson again?”

Kate give Jack a weird look.

“Her husband, Lee, is that State Trooper who was shot about a year ago.  You used to work with her husband with the Florida Marine Patrol in Panama City. I had to go in to cover for JoAnne  because she was working in the emergency room when he came in there.”

“I remember now.  We went to high school with the two of them in the ‘70s.  I recall that she had leukemia at one point, didn’t she?”  Almost died from it what I understand.”

“Yea.  It a beautiful love story.  I’m told that their love for each other is what saved her life.”

“Wow.”

“The guest should start arriving any minute.  Are you ready for a fun evening?”

“I am.  But, Will our guest of honor have fun tonight?”

 

As the guests arrived, the host and hostess got into character and stayed that way through the whole evening.  They mingled through the crowd, even acted as a waiters and did some entertainment as the night went on.  After the cake and ice cream got served, everybody started dancing.  The mimes also danced with each other and also with some of the guest.  Even Sam danced with the male mime.  Well, 11:00 came and the guest started to leave but there was one problem.  The host and hostess were missing.  Nowhere to be found.  That was odd.

 

After the last guest left, Jack, Kate and JoAnne started to clean up.  Sam also started to help, but she was told to go to bed and relax for the rest of the evening.  

 

After Sam went to bed, Jack started to look around the house to see if he could find George and Hilda.  He finally found Hilda who was still in character and helping to clean up the den.  George was still missing.

 

George finally ended up in the guest bedroom where he looked everywhere.  Thinking George might be hiding, he even looked in the closet. Nothing.  Then, Jack decided to look at a place he never thought of before: under the bed.

 

Jack really didn’t like to look under beds.  They were usually full of lost socks or even evil dust bunnies.  What he saw startled the heck out of him.  He found a mime laying under the bed.  To him, most mimes looked the same.  Jack couldn’t tell if the person was alive or dead.  So he decided to pull the body out from under the bed by his feet.

 

Jack yells and texted Kate to come up to the guest bedroom.  It took Kate about three minutes to get up there with Hilda, still in character, in tow.  Kate kneeled down to check for vitall.

 

“I’m afraid he’s dead.” Kate says.

“Are you sure?” Jack responds.

Kate gives Jack a sarcastic look, “I’m a doctor, remember.  I know dead and I’m afraid that George is dead.”

 

All of a sudden, Hilda, still in character, starts screaming mime-like.  Mouth opening but no voice.  She then starts imitating crying but with no tears.  Jack goes over to comfort her and she collapses in his arms.

 

As Jack lays Hilda on the bed, Kate calls 911 and tells the operator what was going on.

 

“We’ll need the coroner, ambulance and the police at our address.  There is one dead person and another person who is in shock.  Yes, that’s is all we know right now.  My husband is searching the place...I understand. He used to be an officer.  Ok.  Let the officers know my husband is deaf so they won’t shoot him.  Thanks.”

 

She hangs up and starts to pay attention to Hilda, who is passed out on the bed.  After a few minutes, Jack comes back upstairs and tells Kate that nobody else is here, except for Sam.

 

It takes the police about 10 minutes to get to their house in the Mountain Shadows area.  Ambulance got there about two minutes later.  Detectives arrived about 20 minutes after that.

 

It turned out to to be a late night.  None of the detectives had ever worked on a death of a mime.  A couple of detectives had seen a couple of episodes on TV, but that's about it. Now it was time for the questioning.

 

Lt. Jones was started the questioning.

“How long had you know the deceased?”

Jack answered, “Not well.  We just met them about a week ago to entertain for my daughter’s 16th birthday party”

“Where’s your wife?”

“She’s talking to my daughter about what happened tonight.  They’re both pretty shaken up about it right now.”

“I’ll talk to them later.  How do you like retirement, Jack?  Feels different on the other side of the interview, doesn’t it?”

“It’s okay.  Doing P.I. work lately.  My hearing suck though.  Can’t hear beans out of them.”

“Let me know if I need to speak better.  I’m not used to talking to deaf people.”

“You’re doing pretty good.  Even though I’m distracted.

“Why are you distracted?”

“Well, for one thing, a mime was killed in my home.  At least we don’t have a dead dwarf this time.”

“Yes, you have had some unusual cases.  I wonder what’s going to come up next.”

“No telling.  Do you know how the victim died?”

“Looks like he was stabbed in the heart.”

“Personal then.  How about his partner, Hilda?

“She’s still seems to be in deep shock.  You’re not going to get involved with the case, will you?”

“Well, I will taking a personal interest in this since it happened in my home.”

“You’re going to me make me lose my job if I’m not careful.  Is there anything else you can tell us?”

“They did mention that they used to have a third partner. They didn’t mention his name.  But the guy is a mime in New York City or Orlando trying to make it big,  They didn’t say if he made it or not.  Sounded like they split on good terms.”

“We’ll check their agency to see if we can get a name and location.”

“My wife can give you that information.”

“We’ll also need the names of everyone that was here for the party.”

“There were about 30 people here tonight, plus the chaperones.  All teenagers.  You may have a little trouble getting information from them.  Teenagers seem to have a code of honor.  Remember?”

 

Kate got the detective the list of the agency while Sam wrote down the names of the people who attended the party.

 

“Mom, I don’t want to be known as a snitch at school.”

Kate replied, “You’re not being a snitch.  You’re simply helping the police find out who did this awful thing.  Wouldn’t you want your friends to help out if something bad happened to you?”

“Well, yea.  Now that you explained it a little better,  I’ll write down the names.”

“That’s better.  Let me know when you have it ready.”

“Ok.”

 

Before JoAnne left, the police did a quick interview with her since her husband, Lee, is on his way after his shift.

 

“JoAnne says,  “I was downstairs pretty much the whole time watching the kids.  The only time I left was when I had to go to the bathroom.”

“How about after the party?” Lt. Jones asked.  

“I helped clean up and went to the bathroom again.  Wish I could help more but I really didn’t see anything.”

 

The detective said she could go.  Her Husband, Lee just pulled up the house where he saw all of the police cars in front.  He was intrigued but was only able to stay for a few minutes because was ready to leave. 

 

The police wrapped up their initial investigation around 3AM.  Sam was already asleep and Jack and Kate were getting ready for bed.  It had been a long evening.  Unfortunately for Jack, all of the events of the evening kept running in his head as he laid sleeping.

.  

‘How did the body get under the bed without the bed getting all messed up?’

‘Why would anyone want to kill a mime’

‘Who is their former partner?’

‘Where were they for those few minutes’

 

These were questions that piqued Jack’s curiosity.  If JoAnne was talking to him, Jack didn’t hear her or read her lips since it was so dark in the room.  

 

Jack finally got to sleep around four and got up at 10.  Jack didn’t hear anybody get up but he smelled the coffee brewing downstairs.  The guest bedroom was still taped off.  The police were planning to send some crime scene investigators to go over the room one more time.  They were scheduled to be there around noon. 

 

The investigators got there around 12:15  and started looking around the room where the body was found.  When they looked in the closet they discovered some small traces of blood inside including the door.  They also found some dried blood on the carpet in front of the door.  What could this mean?  Was the body inside the closet and on the floor?  This would had meant that the body was moved about six feet to where it was found.  Also, the bed still looked like it was just made.  Just a few things seem out of sorts.

 

Later that afternoon, Jack was texted by one of the detectives that Hilda was now coming out of her state of shock.  He was also asked if he would like to come to the hospital to watch the interview with her.  Jack texted back ok and left around three.  His wife, Kate, decided to stay home and finish cleaning up the downstairs while investigators were checking the room.

 

Jack left about three and got to Memorial Hospital-North about twenty minutes later.  It too him about 10 minutes to find Hilda’s room.  He arrived before the detectives got there but the room was guarded by an officer so he couldn’t see her by himself.  The detectives got there right at 3:30.

 

“Hi, Lieutenant,”

“Hi, Jack. Ready to for the interview.  If you have any questions, feel free to join it.  I remember how good of an detective you were.”

“Hopefully, I can follow along without interfering.”

‘You’ll do well.  But thought you might want to know but we got a lot of information on the victim since last night.”

“Really?  This might prove to be interesting.  Let’s do it.”

 

Jack, the Lieutenant and the other detective knock and enter the door.  They proceed to read the Miranda Rights to her.  Jack thought that this was already getting interesting.

 

Lieutenant starts the questioning, “What can you tell us about last night?”

“Not much.” Hilda responds. “We did our gig, which was going very well, and we went to clean up. We used to bedroom as our dressing room.”

“That’s true.”  Jack says. “We told them they could use it.”

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing.  I saw George’s body when I when I heard Mr. Donovan yelling and then I must have passed out.  Next thing I remember is being here in the hospital.”

“Really? What if I told you I didn’t believe you?”

“I would say you are wrong.  Why?”

“We found your bloody handprint inside of the door.  Would you like to change your story?”

Hilda thought for a minute, “I better tell you everything.”

“I’m listening.”

“George and I are really husband and wife, not brother and sister.”

“Why the masquerade?”

“It was just a little joke we used to play on people and we just got used to saying it all the time.  It was just for fun.”

“Tell me what happened last night.”

“Well, Jack went upstairs to reapply the grease paint. He came down and then it was my turn.  When I got to room, I noticed the chair was knocked over and the bed was a little messy. I just straightened the bed and went to get another pillow out of the closet.”

Jack asked, “Why would you do that?”  

“I don’t know.  I went over to the closet to open it and out falls George.  I was in shock.  Didn’t know what to do.  So, I put is body under the bed until I could figure out the next step.  My next thought was, ‘Who was the mime downstairs?’”

“Who was the mime downstairs?”

“I don’t know.  People say that a lot of mimes look alike and some use the same type makeup.  But their face is unique. ”

“In what way?”

“A mime paints his face the same way every time.  It’s like a fingerprint.  If he attempts to do it differently.  His technique stays the same.  Like a painter also.

“If you saw him again, would you recognize him?

“I think so.”

“Why didn’t you tell me or my wife what you thought?” Jack asked.

“I thought he might make a scene or something stupid.”

“Do you know when the funeral is?”

“Probably in about three days.  Mimes around the state want to pay their respects to him in their art form”

“What do you mean?” Jack asked.

“They will perform at the funeral in character,”

“Really. That might be a good place to see if our culprit is still around.  I would like to go, Lieutenant.  What do you think?”

“Good idea.  We could send a couple of detectives there.  What do you think, Hilda?  Will you be ok with us there?”

“Only if you catch the guy.”

“OK, anything else you can think of?”

“No.  Just that George was the love of my live.”

 

About three days went by.  Jack tried to find out more about George and Hilda but nothing came up.  The funeral was going to be around 1:00 at one of the Presbyterian Churches downtown due to the size of the crowd attending.  Jack got there around 12:45 so he could get a good seat and observe.  Detectives were in different part of the sanctuary so they can observe.  Jack sat next to Hilda.  He also explained to her about his deafness which see understood,

 

As the funeral started it became one of the most bizarre things he ever saw.  Mimes were participating in acts paying tribute to their fallen comrade.  It was almost like a silent movie without the piano playing.  About 30 minutes into the funeral, Hilda taps Jacks leg and Hilda points to one of the mimes.  A tall overweight guy.

 

“I think that’s the mime I saw at your house.”

“Are you sure? “

“  Sure. The style, the hair, the hat and the weight.  Can’t forget him.”

 

Jack texts the two detectives, ‘Suspect spotted...Tall fat guy on right side….Careful. May run.

 

Jack and the two detectives get up and step to the back of the church, keeping an eye on the suspect and escape routes.  About 10 minutes later, the ceremony is winding down and the mimes are getting back to their seats.  All but the one.  The suspect. He, however, makes a mad dash to one of the side exits which leads through the kitchen.

 

The detectives follow suit.  As the mime runs through the kitchen, the detectives hear a loud bang of pans hitting each other and a big thud.  Weapons drawn, they finally catch up to the suspect.  And, what do they find?  They find the mime on his back, knocked out with a big bruise on his forehead.  Standing above him was Hida with a frying pan in her hand with a big grin on her face. 

 

They take the suspect into cuffs and stop by the hospital before taking him to the hospital.  Jack was not allowed to go with the detectives so he asked them to keep him in the loop. They said ok.  Jack did not hear anything for two days until Lieutenant Jones came by to tell him what happened. 

 

“The person turned out to be a friend of Jack and Hilda.  The person’s name was David Nelson.  He was a former partner until he got kicked out for drug use.  He went to New York to make it big but there wasn’t any demand for mimes there.”

“Why did he come back?”

“He wanted to prove that he was better than George and Hilda.  He almost pulled it off except they got into a fight upstairs and he accidentally killed George.  He stuffed him in the closet and took his place at the party.” 

“Nobody would have know the difference.  I wouldn’t. My wife nor Sam wouldn’t.  What a waste.”

“I agree.  Nobody should had died that night.”

“Thanks, Lieutenant.  I’ll give my wife and daughter all the details.  Sam will have a story to tell at school tomorrow.”

“I’m sure I’ll see you around.”

 

After Lt. Jones leaves, Jack gets on the phone to call his wife. Snaps his finger and remembers that the can’t use the phone due to his deafness.  So texts both his wife and daughter and gives them the cliff notes about what happened.

 

In the meantime, Jack starts to wonder if he will ever be able to hear his wife’s and daughter’s voices again.  He knows he won’t so he needs to make a decision about his future.  Should he learn sign language or not. So, he sends an email to get more information from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.  

 

Maybe sign language will help him in the future as a detective.  It may make it more interesting.


 

A mime is a terrible thing to waste-

Marcel Marceau

 


© Copyright 2019 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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