Silence | Teen Ink

Silence MAG

February 18, 2010
By Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
1 article 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Music is what emotions sound like, what cannot be expressed, but cannot remain silent.


The street was filled with a cloud of people ­elbowing each other to get a better view as a silent performer bared his soul before them. Maurice, unlike any other mime in New York City, could bring a crowd to tears as he told stories with his body. I had been going to see his performance once a week since I was six. The way his eyes illustrated every emotion left me speechless each time I watched his miraculous presentation. There was so much that I longed to ask him, but I knew that if I did, he would stare in silence, uninterested in breaking his vow to ­indulge my curiosity.

“If you have any questions, I would be happy to ­answer them for you. See me after the performance.”

I had been so enthralled in Maurice's magical ­performance I didn't even notice that his assistant, Henri, had walked onto the makeshift stage with a microphone, wearing a brightly-colored sweater that looked as if a rainbow had thrown up on it. He gave an enlightening introduction about the mime's life before every performance. He would ask for questions after each performance, but I was always too shy.

“I'm going to ask this time,” I whispered to myself as I walked to the end of the line of people who wanted to talk to him. The puzzle that plagued my brain was how this mime, whom everyone admired, could spend his days and years in ­silence. Did he simply have nothing to say?

“And what can I do for you, miss?” Henri asked, a smile playing at his lips.

“Err … well …” I froze. I could feel my face burning as I managed to forget my question entirely.

“Well, there are several people in line behind you. If you have something to ask, I need you to ask quickly so that we can give others a chance.” He grinned widely at me. He couldn't have been more than 15.

“Yes,” I began. “I was wondering how Maurice managed to uphold his vow of silence for all of these years. Surely, he would need to say something at some point.” As I finished the question, I could see Henri's face light up.

“That is my favorite question to answer. I get asked that at least once per show.” He chuckled a little. “Let's just say, I'm really good at Charades.”

I laughed. “So, why do you and Maurice always come to this street? I mean, as popular as this act is, wouldn't you be able to go anywhere with it?” I asked. The smile left his face and was replaced by a thoughtful look.

“Well …” He paused, seeming uncertain. He didn't make eye contact with me as he murmured under his breath: “I will tell you, but not here. Would you be available in about 20 minutes, when all of these ­people are gone?”

I nodded. I wondered why it made him so tense. Something in me wanted to say that it was no problem. He didn't have to tell me, I would understand. But I very much wanted to know.

“I'll wait over here until then.” I walked to a nearby bench and sat. The conversation replayed over and over in my mind. I watched as Maurice signed autographs and Henri continued answering questions.

About 20 minutes later, after the crowd had gone, Henri came over to the bench. Without saying a thing, he gestured to me. Puzzled, I followed. We walked to a little diner two buildings away. We went inside, sat and ordered.

“All right, we can talk now,” Henri said as the waitress left the table. “First of all, what is your name?”

“I'm sorry, my name is Claire. I moved here from France when I was four.” I looked down at the glass of water on the table.

“Hello, Claire, I've seen you in the audience quite often. I think you already know that my name is Henri. It's nice to meet you.” He smiled at me. The waitress came with our food and we began to eat. I had a salad with chicken and mandarin oranges and he had a cheeseburger with fries.

Henri and I talked about everything except what we were here to talk about. He seemed to be avoiding the topic. Suddenly, there was a crash in the kitchen and a can of beans rolled along the floor. The waitress ran after it, trying to catch it.

“All right, you've stalled long enough. Back to my question.” I took the break in conversation as an ­opportunity to change the topic. “Why do you and Maurice keep coming to this particular street?”

“If you really want to know, I'll tell you.” He let out a sigh and put his burger down. “Twelve years ago, we lived in France. Maurice had two children, a boy – me – and a girl. She was a beautiful child whose smile could light up even the dullest of days, and she always found a reason to smile. When she was just four years old she was taken from him by one of his best friends. He tried to stop the man, but they slipped through his fingers. After that, he vowed to spend his life in silence until he got his little girl back.”

“That's when he became a mime?”

“Yes. For the first two years we traveled the world looking for them, and then Maurice heard she had been taken to New York City. So we came here, but we haven't found her yet.” He looked at me with tears in his eyes.

“I have to go.” I got up from the table and hurried out of the restaurant. I ran back to where Maurice had been, hoping he was still there. To my surprise, he was sitting on the very bench I had sat on earlier. He was staring at a bird in front of him that was being fed by a couple of small children. I went and sat beside him. I focused on the bird, too.

“I need to tell you something.” I didn't look up to see if he was listening. I just kept talking. “When I was a little girl, in France, I used to live with my ­father and brother. There was a man who would visit all the time, and he would play with me endlessly. One day, I followed him to his car, and before I knew what was happening he took me. He took me to New York, where I lived with him for years. I managed to escape and I'm staying with a friend now.” I looked up at him. He just stared at me, the white make-up running as the tears streaked down his face. I could feel myself start to cry too as I waited for a reaction.

“Claire,” he said as he smiled at me. “You look like your mother.”


The author's comments:
I wrote this for my writing fiction and poetry class, but when I got started with the story, I couldn't stop. I got very close to the characters. I hope you enjoy.

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This article has 27 comments.


Miranda K. said...
on Feb. 15 2012 at 3:25 pm
Spectacular!

abridge BRONZE said...
on Apr. 8 2011 at 4:42 pm
abridge BRONZE, Durham, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 11 comments
I liked  it a lot!  I would like some more detail about what happened when she was kidnapped, and maybe a bit of foreshadowing at the beginning.  Great job!

reenay_95 GOLD said...
on Nov. 25 2010 at 10:59 pm
reenay_95 GOLD, West Lafayette, Indiana
16 articles 0 photos 87 comments

Favorite Quote:
You can't see the stars if you are always looking down.

oh gosh, that was beautiful...

bubj98 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 11 2010 at 7:56 pm
bubj98 BRONZE, Oceanside, California
4 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"hate is a strong word ,but love is a stronger one"
"sometimes batteries help when the little robot inside your head stops working"
"i guess that guy over there is like...alive?"

i believe this story has much potential .novel material....yes.short story......I WANT MORE please.perhaps a flash back from maurice,how did claire feel,what happens after that,more .please im begging you this would be great at bookstores.let me know ok.ps check out my work in the future if you can ,keep writing my friend

on Sep. 21 2010 at 6:29 pm
Msrbl@Bst BRONZE, Columbia, South Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love is the opiate of the universe.

So awesome! There were sad elements but all i could feel was happiness! great piece (:

on Sep. 18 2010 at 2:39 pm
Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
1 article 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Music is what emotions sound like, what cannot be expressed, but cannot remain silent.

Thank you so much! :D I truly appreciate it.

on Sep. 18 2010 at 9:06 am
thebushhippie PLATINUM, Sandown, New Hampshire
24 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Leave behind your own footprints! :0)

Amazing piece! I totally did not see the end coming. Love it, love it, love it! I too hate when teachers make page/word limits on writing assignments. They should be happy that we are eager to write! Anyways, spectacular job. Extrememly creative and original. A true work of art!

on Sep. 13 2010 at 3:59 pm
MaddLove BRONZE, Swanton, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
If I'm going down I'm taking you with me

Nice, excellent, outstanding!! I did enjoy the ending the most! I feel your pain when you had to cut it                 :( my teacher makes me cut mine all the time(even though they make NO SENSE afterward)!! :'( Way to revise though!     

on Jun. 14 2010 at 6:30 pm
Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
1 article 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Music is what emotions sound like, what cannot be expressed, but cannot remain silent.

Why thank you. :) I do appreciate it. ^-^

a.m.f BRONZE said...
on Jun. 14 2010 at 2:26 pm
a.m.f BRONZE, Gainesville, Florida
3 articles 12 photos 97 comments

Favorite Quote:
"God never shuts a door unless he opens another."

I don't think it's all that rushed.  I like it :)

on May. 17 2010 at 2:10 pm
Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
1 article 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Music is what emotions sound like, what cannot be expressed, but cannot remain silent.

Well, It was a class assignment. I set myself up for a 10-12 page paper, but I was allowed a maximum of 5 pages. thus, there were some sacrifices that needed to be made to make the story end on time. I plan to extend and revise it but I haven't done it yet.

on May. 17 2010 at 5:12 am
xAllegria BRONZE, Singapore, Other
1 article 2 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
Ça fait tellement du bien d’aimer les gens qu’on aime, que ça finit par faire mal. Je sais pas comment on survit a ça. Non franchement, je sais pas. LOL (laughing out loud) ®, Lola.

It's a bit too short and predictable after Henri's story. You should include a bit more description. This seems too rushed. THere is too much telling and not showing, we don't get a good enough feel of the story.

on May. 12 2010 at 2:52 pm
Funnybunny1337 BRONZE, Chehalis, Washington
1 article 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Music is what emotions sound like, what cannot be expressed, but cannot remain silent.

Well, It was a class assignment. I set myself up for a 10-12 page paper, but I was allowed a maximum of 5 pages. thus, there were some sacrifices that needed to be made to make the story end on time. I plan to extend and revise it but I haven't done it yet.

on May. 12 2010 at 12:19 pm
invasion-of-the-asians BRONZE, Greenville, South Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
keep on keeping on

i agree. it has a good plot but it is a little too rushed. too short. use more detail and let your characters take a break sometime. i have a story i really wish i could submit, but its too long, and i doubt even if i could that anybody would read it. its about 12/15 pages :/

mikky said...
on May. 8 2010 at 8:59 pm
omg! i love this! wow the endig was so surprising. i didnt expaect the mime to b her father. this is sooo awsome! pleeeease keep wrighting :0

Emiline SILVER said...
on May. 5 2010 at 8:46 am
Emiline SILVER, Nashville, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When deep injury is done to us, we will never recover until we forgive. Forgiveness cannot change the past. But it does enlarge the future."- Mary Karen Read

Wow. I really love this piece. Thanks for sharing with us. Please keep writing!

on May. 4 2010 at 6:53 pm
Ebonykitty SILVER, Naples, Florida
8 articles 1 photo 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
You can't run out of dreams. Dreams are the start of everything...

I love it, it's amazing. I never would've expected that ending, but it was marvelous!

on May. 2 2010 at 9:49 pm
FightingBlurb BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. -Douglas Adams

It suffers the same problem most other stories here have, it being rushed, but that's really about the only problem. I'm thinking maybe a little foreshadowing with Maurice, and a little more description upon Claire receiving the news. It is your story, after all, though. I'm sure you'll make it great.

PoAph SILVER said...
on May. 2 2010 at 8:08 am
PoAph SILVER, New Delhi, Other
5 articles 1 photo 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."
- Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!

<3


dancer13 GOLD said...
on May. 1 2010 at 3:17 pm
dancer13 GOLD, Troy, Michigan
19 articles 0 photos 98 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them." ~Jane Austen

I think you could make this into a novel, if you added more layers and whatnot...making it longer would make it more plausible. For example, I don't think that Henri would so suddenly/willingly go eat dinner with some random stranger who asks him a question. Do you know what i mean?? it's got a LOT of potential, though.