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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Tell A Tale
R J Dent's Mimique is a short story about Columbine and Harlequin, jealousy and loss, love and happiness.

Submitted: April 19, 2016

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Submitted: April 19, 2016




by R J Dent



He stands on an unlit stage in a darkened theatre.

A single spotlight beams down, illuminating his whitened face and white-gloved hands. He is enacting the commedia dell'arte story of Harlequin and Columbine. He is playing both parts and he is now acting – miming – the scene in which Harlequin stands over the dead Columbine, wishing she could be alive once more. He clutches a tiny purple flower – an Aquilegia vulgaris – in his left hand. He sniffs the flower. A single tear trickles down his face, leaving a dark trail. When it dries, it will be a diamond.

At this moment, he – Harlequin – is full of sorrow. He loved Columbine dearly. Pantaloon has killed her. Later, Harlequin will lead Pantaloon into a monster's lair and the monster will eat Pantaloon. Harlequin doesn't know this yet – and even if he did, he would be – as he is – too overwhelmed with grief to consider revenge.

As he looks tenderly at the body of his beloved Columbine, his body sags – his posture becomes stooped – older-looking than it is. The tragedy is clear to behold on the white made-up face.

And then – without warning – Columbine stirs.

She is alive!

A huge smile spreads across Harlequin's face.

Columbine sits up, and then – at first a little unsteadily – she stands.

The two principal characters embrace, kiss and then look at each other with joy and longing.

How Harlequin wishes – at that moment – that he could speak.






Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)



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