The Show Must Go On

This is by Terry Morrison.

Even though class was well underway, not a sound could be heard coming from the fifth floor classroom.

Inside, seven students practised their craft with uncanny precision, lifting huge panes of glass, bumping into unseen obstacles and walking, or more correctly, being walked by invisible dogs on just as invisible leashes.

Being a mime required countless hours of energy-sapping dedication as each tiny movement was repeated over and over to create the desired effect. They dealt in illusion where each subtle twitch, every contraction and expansion of well-developed muscles was essential for the believability of the performance.

Theirs was a lonely profession. In all of Edmonton, only eight were enroled in the school and now their number had dropped to seven. Number eight died a week ago when he flew through a window after dropping three hits of LSD. He wasn’t a heavy user by any means. Once in a while, to help expand his consciousness and inject a little psychedelic manifestation into his act, he’d do a tab or two. The others were concerned but he assured them he knew what he was doing. The only explanation they had for his suicide was that he’d been sold some very bad stuff.

In spite of the loss of their friend, they planned to go ahead with a scheduled performance two nights later. The show would be dedicated to the memory of their fallen comrade whose efforts to achieve even greater artistic heights led to his downfall.

The show was also a benefit for a local drug treatment center which was trying to raise funds for its ongoing programs. They were determined that their friend’s death would not be in vain.

It was also an opportunity for them to reinforce their own individual resolve, to demonstrate that they could grow artistically without the benefit of chemical stimulation and to make sure they never fell victim to the horrors of mime-altering drugs.

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