Excerpt for The Sleeping Mime: a Love Story by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Sleeping Mime:

A Love Story

By Cuthbert Clark Hemingnot

The night was dark. But not totally dark. The moon was kind of out, even though there were some clouds. So you could still sort of see. And it was stormy, too. Not like a hurricane, but there was a 60% chance of storminess. So it was that kind of a night. It was also a night of mystery. A night of intrigue.

Walter Winchell Winchester III looked up at the moon that was mostly there, but not all the way there, and sighed.

A wolf howled, choked, then resumed his howling.

Walter had a feeling about this night. A nagging feeling. But not nagging like the way his dead wife used to nag. “That old nag,” Walter thought lovingly.

It had been at least 60% a night like this when he’d woken with a strange feeling nagging at him. He tried to wake his wife, but she was dead asleep. Her face was pure white, and she had dark black circles around her eyes. The scarf she always wore to bed was red around her throat.

She wasn’t asleep. She was dead!

The nagging feeling pulled at him as strongly as his grandma used to pull taffy. Which was especially sad, since Taffy was also the name of his dead cat. Taffy the tabby had been out on a night just like this . . .the night he swallowed Walter’s wife’s ring when he mistook it for a large, round kibble. She was alive then, his wife. But now, she’s not. And neither is the cat.

It was that cat’s untimely death that had brought him here tonight to meet with the man in the plaid trench coat and unholy mustache.

A dark bird flew in a circle above his head.

Walter could’ve sworn he’d seen the shape of Taffy, his tabby cat, in the clouds by the light of the moon. Or was it in his mind? The sound of footsteps took him from his thoughts.

“Are you Walter Winchell Winchester III?” a mustachioed man asked before thinking to himself, Wow, this is certainly some night. So mysterious and full of intrigue.

The man repeated his question and then accidentally inhaled the ends of his mustache and choked momentarily.

Walter wondered idly if the man would have hairballs later on, before violently shaking the thought from his mind.

The man in plaid freaked Walter out. He could have been pulled directly out of his favorite Western. Except for the fact that he wore plaid. His long handlebar mustaches dripped with drool. Or was that … marinara? Or, Walter feared … blood? Whatever it was, it wasn’t your common household drool.

Walter stepped closer and sniffed. “Well, I’ll be moose-trampled and buffalo-chewed!” He exclaimed. It was strawberry jam!

Which was good, because marinara is tough to get out of trench coats. Even plaid ones.

“Yes,” Walter responded to the question the man had asked twice. It felt like it had been a long time. “I didn’t expect to see you here … so soon.”

“I had to make a stop first,” the man said. “Before I came here to the park to meet you. You know. About the thing.”

“The thing.” Walt nodded knowingly. “Yes, the thing.” Though he had no idea what the thing was. Or did he? No, he didn’t. Yes, he did. Maybe. Nope. No, he didn’t.

“Yes, the thing,” said the man. “But not the movie The Thing. And not the comic book character the Thing. The other thing.”

Suddenly the black bird that had been circling overhead swooped in, quickly, and perched on Walter’s shoulder. “Nevermore,” it croaked.

“Ah, yes. The ‘thing,’” Walter said more businesslike, as the bird nestled against his neck.

The man in plaid licked his lips absently.

“This is my bird, Lenore,” WWW (as his friends sometimes called him) said.

Lightning lit up the sky for just a moment revealing the scars on the man’s face, exactly the way Taffy’s paws would have been if Taffy had scratched his face, which she hadn’t because she was dead.

The plaid-clad man looked mad as he reeled back and gave a look that was bad. “Keep that thing away from me. I’m allergic to birds.”

“Well, I’m allergic to strawberry jam!” Walter spat.

The plaid man’s bird allergy made his job as a back-alley veterinarian problematic at best. But it was why this meeting had to happen here in the park. Walter didn’t like back alleys. They held too many bad plaid memories.

The two men stood nose to nose, glaring at each other, in a stand-off of testosterone and allergies. They breathed on each other in an awkwardly close, but still macho, distance before Walter pulled away to pet his bird.

“Your breath smells like pickles,” the plaid trench coat man said.

Walter should really find out his name. “Plaid trench coat man” was too long for fiction.

The man grinned and opened his trench coat, revealing a sticker from a convention that said “Hello, my name is CHAD.”

Yes! It had to be Chad. Chad, the plaid-clad western lad.

Walter didn’t trust Chad the plaid-man. His gut told him to run. His nose told him to stay—the jam smell was intoxicating, reminding him that he might go into toxic shock if he ate any of the jam. Curse his allergies! And his heart needed to know “the thing.” He thought he might know what the thing was—he hoped he knew, but he totes had to know. Like, not just know, but know know.

Walter paused and tilted his head toward the bird, as if listening, with his ear. “What’s that, Lenore?” He paused, stopped, waited. “Lenore wants to know if having a taste of your jam is out of the question.”

“Enough with the games, Winchester! Forget the jam, the cat, the bird, all of it! Do you have the money or not?” Chad demanded.

Suddenly, a thunder clap clappity-clapped through the sky, startling them. This was the storm the weatherman had said was probably happening. At least, he was 60% sure it was the same storm.

Walter could hear his heart beating in his ears, though it was mostly due to his high blood pressure and not stress, though this was a very stressful moment. He stood, staring at Chad, with his jaws and fists clenched. Because that’s what real men do.

“Come now,” said Chad the plaid-clad lad. “I feel as though I’m being had, and that makes me feel bad and a tad mad.”

W.W.Winchester reached into his pocket and withdrew a stack of money. “Here’s your money,” he said nonchalantly, but with passion. “Now tell me what you know about the mime.”

Suddenly, Chad cleared his throat, as he felt the need to do all of a sudden.

“I have bad news for you about the mime.” He gestured with his hands, wishing he could be more like a mime and not have to say the words he didn’t want to say with his mouth.

“The mime had a peg leg,” said Chad. “It clicked when he walked—kind of ruined the whole silent mime thing.”

“Hmm,” WWW said to Chad. “Then that can’t be the mime I’m looking for. Are you sure?”

Walter and Chad turned suddenly to look at a mime, who had apparently been there for a while now, being very quiet, like a mime. The mime’s face was white, like the moon that was mostly there in the sky, but not all the way there because, you know, the clouds. He looked like a kid had scribbled black onto his pale, pasty face.

“Who are you? And where did you come from?” demanded Walter.

“ ,” replied the mime.

Walter and Chad, who in another life had been named Waiter and Chef, contemplated what had never been just as the mime leapt towards Walter with long, reaching arms.

 “Ah!” said Walter in surprise.

Chad leaped into his arms, squealing in a high, unnatural voice, even for a man in a plaid trench coat.

The mime stopped and put both hands to his cheeks, his triangle-eye makeup making him look more surprised than he already was, which was pretty surprised.

WWW looked suspiciously at the mime’s suspicious black-and-white striped turtleneck that looked suspiciously like something a French prisoner would wear, which did not bode well with the evil laugh the mime was miming. The problem with being a mime was that one could ever speak up in defense of one’s fashion choices.

“You’re starting to get heavy,” Walter said to Chad, who was no small man beneath the trench coat.

Chad quipped “He ain’t heavy...he’s MY BROTHER!” Then laughed bitterly as Walt set him tenderly on the ground.

So flustered with Chad and Walter, the mime dragged his finger across his neck and twisted his lips.

“The mime is your brother?!” Walter exclaimed.

The mime produced a paper sack. “I think you need to see what is inside here,” he mimed, which was a complicated idea to mime, but this mime was particularly talented. Like Siegfried-and-Roy talented, but with fewer tiger attacks. With sudden suddenness, the mime opened his mouth like he might speak. But then he didn’t. Cause he remembered he was a mime.

Chad shuddered. “Mimes are worse than clowns. I hate clowns.”

“That’s random,” quipped Walter.

The mime started making weird motions with his hands. WWW was confused. What was the mime trying to do? He couldn’t possibly be trying to communicate again.

“Use your words!” shouted WWW softly.

The mime opened the paper sack, and Walter looked inside the sack. And there, inside the sack, was Taffy. Poor, poor Taffy. Once, so alive, and not in a sack. Now dead, and in a sack.

The mime started backing away into the 60% shadows of the clouds, until only his white makeupped face and white gloves could be seen. But then he came back out of the shadows again, suspiciously. Then the mime mimed huge belly laughs. Like Santa, only without the jolly elves. Or the sound. Because Mime. Then the mime disappeared in a disappearing way.

Plaid Chad and WWW stared at each other and the cat in the bag.

Walter tenderly turned over the bag. “Cat’s out of the bag now, I guess,” he said. Just then he innately realized the mastermind of the mime—the masterminemind plan—to rid the city of cats. “We have to work together,” WWW said. “If we’re to save all the cats in the city from Mime Man.”

“I’m two steps ahead of you. I will let you in on the top-secret plan—Operation Hairball,” Chad said secretly. “I need a good man on my team. You in?”

Walter looked over his shoulder to make sure no one heard that Chad just asked him to be a spy. He nodded in a super macho way, the way that says, “Yeah, I’m in, but I’m not going to look too excited about it.” But he was excited, because being a spy was cool. His wife was cool. Walter suddenly felt lonely. “I sure wish we had some girls here to impress on this almost stormy night. They like spies, don’t they?” Not that he would care, because he was actually thinking about his wife.

Chad said, “Listen here, WWW. I only agreed to help you find the mime, not save the cats. I hate cats!”

“Wait,” replied Walter. “It thought this was your idea?”

Just then, a girl wearing cat ears walked by the park and was impressed by what she saw.

“It’s not mine. It’s the bosses idea. The big guy. The big kahuna. He wants to save them. I hate cats! They make me sneeze!” hissed Chad adamantly. “They get hairballs, and I have a thing against hairballs.” Chad smoothed his mustache.

“Then why are you wearing one on your upper lip?” WWW asked in exasperation.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch…

“I was on my way to St. Ives,” the woman said, “when I saw you standing here and was impressed by what I saw.” Her voice was high and sweet like taffy, and she had equally sticky questions.

“What is going on here?” the raven-haired, doe-eyed lady asked. “Is that a sack? By any chance does it contain a cat?” she asked.

“Forget the girl! Remember the mime!” said Walter in a yelling manner, pointing to the mime who lurked 60% in the shadows still.

“Wait, just a minute!” Chad shouted a distracted shout, for he was memorized by her beauty.

The girl looked at Walter on her left.

On his left was Chad. Standing next to Chad was the herself with the cat ears. She was still impressed with the boys, but was willing to wait to see what happened next. The mime was still lurking in the trees behind the small group. Lenora still perched on Walter’s shoulder. The cat, which had fallen from the bag, suddenly sat up and meowed, as if to say, “Walter, it’s me, Taffy. I’m back. But I don’t care, because I’m a cat.”

Walter was flummoxed and heavily bemused, for a man. “Hey,” Walter said, pointing his pointing finger at Chad. “You are a plaid-clad lad who specializes in back-alley animal check-ups. Check Taffy’s vital signs and for a ring she may have swallowed. It was my dead wife’s ring, you know,” Walter reminded those who had forgotten.

Chad looked at Taffy, who was most definitely still out of the bag. “I think I can help,” he said, pulling his veterinary degree out of his plaid trench coat. “I can do veterinary stuff. Even though I hate cats.”

The girl with the cat ears watched closely as Chad knelt by Taffy and tenderly stroked its head. She was very impressed. She didn’t believe Chad hated cats. No man with a touch that tender could.

The moment Chad touched the cat, it sprang up! In heat of the moment, the cat clawed off one side of Chad’s mustachio. Chad’s favorite side—the left side. Chad dodged backwards.

The girl’s eyelashes fluttered with that loving flutter that girls that are super impressed do.

She looked at Chad. “You’re very impressive,” she said, impressed. “Even with only half a mustache,” she added impressively. She wondered if she should kiss him now, or wait until she was more impressed with him. The thought pressed upon her mind as Chad continued to make an impression on her.

Chad was re-examining his hatred of hairballs and the theories of existentialism when the cat sprang away, disappearing into the dark darkness where the mime had almost disappeared to.

“After her!” WWW said, but Chad knelt over his fallen mustache, weeping.

Just then, they saw the mime, doing its best “staggering dead man” impression, complete with very convincing mime fake blood—or was it real? The mime collapsed, tenderly and violently, to the ground, without a sound.

Walter, Chad, and the new lady stood over the almost-dead body. “I think he knew too much,” Chad said. “You know, dead mimes tell no tales.”

The cat lady purred sexily, very sexily, which Chad thought was inappropriate for the moment.

The mime mimed a groan then suddenly lost consciousness for no apparent reason again.

The cat rounded on the men and the girl who had not been named, for she was just a girl and therefore not important to any story except to make men look better and to be pretty, except that’s not true.

Suddenly, the girl blurted, “My name is Sheila. And I’m important to this story.”

Chad was impressed.

Taffy curled up next to the mime and began to purr, which caught the girl’s attention and brought it back to the two men and bird that were standing over the sleeping, but maybe dead, mime.

“I think the mime was after the ring, but he couldn’t get it out of the dead cat, so he brought it to Chad the vet on this somewhat moony night,” Walter thoughtfully congested.

“And I’m here to help,” said Sheila. “I think Chad and I knew each other from veterinary school.”

“I thought you looked familiar,” Chad said, impressed.

Sheila was impressed that Chad remembered her, especially because she had just suddenly remembered him.

Walter looked at the look that passed between Chad and Sheila. He remembered looking at his wife that way. Before she died. He choked on a ball of emotion lodged near his Adam’s apple.

Chad shook his head, dislodging all thoughts of cats, hairballs, meatballs, strawberry jam, mimes, talking birds, and even the stack of money still shoved in his pocket. All he could think about was Sheila. But then Chad saw her cat-ear headband and questioned his dislike of cats, again. He was torn between his allergy of cats and his 60% chance of romance with Sheila … who adored cats. She even knitted sweaters with the cat fur she collected, he guessed.

Walter picked up the cat and left the lovebirds behind.

Alone now, Chad saw his chance. In a spontaneous moment of spontaneity, he swept Sheila into his arms and kissed her. His hands wrapped around Sheila’s neck, not in a “I’m going to choke you” sort of way, but in a “I love your face so much I could kiss your lips forever” kind of way.

Sheila ran her fingers over his eyebrows and the bridge of his nose, sighing with deep sighs.

As their lips met, fireworks and stars erupted around them.

WWW, who is the main character of this story, turned back to see Chad and Sheila kissing and wept bitterly inside. His tears soaked his face, and his jealousy ran hot. Not as hot as the kiss, because that was the heat of a supernova, but hot sad tears that almost burned as they fell over his cheeks.

60% of Sheila tingled from the kiss. The other 40% shivered. And 100% of her was 100% sure that this was the best kiss in the history of kisses. She thought, Wow, Chad really is the cat’s meow!

“I miss my wife so much,” Walter said to himself ruefully. “She was the main character in the story of my life.”

Suddenly, Walter’s exit was stopped.

Everyone froze as they watched the mime climb to his feet and stand before them, in a mimime-y way. He held up a finger and held his stomach to catch his mime-y breath.

Taffy hissed happily.

“THE MIME!” yelled Sheila in a loud voice.

Walter stopped. Because that’s what you do when a mime does this: *holds out hands in a stopping gesture*

What is going on? Walter thought. This is trippy.

Then everyone took a brief three-minute break to remember why they were here in the first place. Walter wanted the ring from the cat, and Chad and Sheila stopped kissing to remember they were going to help with that.

“We should help Walter,” Chad said.

Sheila, impressed with Chad’s devotion to his best friend, agreed.

The mime stood by, silently. Like a mime. The mime would be important soon. But not just yet.

“Finally,” said Walter, still holding the cat. “Some help would be nice. This cat,” he said as his voice cracked with heavy emotion, “holds the key to my heart. Or, more exactly, the ring of my dead wife’s hand. And,” he said, his voice cracking more as he fought back the emotion, “I need it. I need what’s in here,” he said, stroking the cat’s stomach, “to mend what’s in here,” he said, stroking his broken heart.

Sheila grabbed the cat. “I know what we need to do.”

Taffy began to cough.

“No, wait!” Walter shouted as Taffy started to hack up a hairball.

Taffy hacked and hacked and hacked, like a hacker hacking. And with a big SPLAT, the hairball was hacked up. But it wasn’t a hairball. It was a small bag, containing the ring.

The bag was out of the cat now.

The 60% clouds cleared and a single beam of light shown down upon the hairy mass in Walter’s hand. Walter’s hands trembled with the emotion of a man who just found the ring of his wife that had passed on whom he missed very much.

Sheila gasped, then she fainted

Chad gasped.

Walter gasped.

The cat gasped.

The bird gasped.

The wolf, in the distance, gasped.

 Sheila got up and gasped again.

The mime made a gasping motion with its hands

Then the mime stepped forward. Toward Walter. Toward the ring.

Something about the mime looked very familiar to Walter, who remembered familiar things at that very moment. He was 60% sure he’d seen the mime before.

“Is that her ring?” asked plaid-Chad to Walter, who was holding the ring in his trembling hand while he was looking at the mime.

Walter mimed nodding up and down. He couldn’t speak. Which impressed the mime.

He felt very mime-ish, and suddenly felt very connected to the mime who couldn’t speak either.

The mime slowly began wiping the face paint off its face. Slowly, and with emotion.

Chad and Sheila held each other tighter as Walter Winchell Winchester III stepped forward. His emotions were charged. Like a battery. Like an Energizer battery, the kind with the pink bunny in its commercials, that never runs out.

Layer after layer of mime makeup was peeled away. Suddenly, Walter recognized who the mime actually was.

His dead wife!

“I thought you were dead!” Walter said with emotion.

The mime mimed wiping away a tear, and shook her head. She mouthed, “I’m not dead.”

Lenore cawed in fury.

The mime wiped away a single real tear, then cleared her throat. She was about to speak with her voice for the first time in so long—like four months. “I faked my death to pursue my lifelong dream of being a mime,” she finally said.

Chad and Sheila stepped closer to listen to what Walter was saying and what the mime was saying in response, which was amazing because who knew mimes could speak at all?

Taffy the cat sat on the ground and licked her paw. She was so over being in this story.

Walter couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and not just because it was pretty dark in the park. He reached his hand out for his wife’s hand. He couldn’t wait to hold her hand again.

“Oh, Walter! My waiting, waiter, weighted Walter!” the wife-mime cried as she gazed into his eyes.

Walter gazed simultaneously into his wife’s eyes.

“Carrie, why didn’t you tell me you wanted to be a mime?” Walter asked. “I would have supported you with all the emotion of my heart.”

Shelia reached her hand out toward Walter’s wife. “Carrie, didn’t you know? It was a dream we all had of being in the circus. In fact, Walter used to joke about being the ringmaster. Because I just remembered I knew you and Walter before, too.”

Carrie looked deeply into Walter’s eyes. “I wanted to tell you, but I had already started my mime classes . . . so I couldn’t talk,” she said dolefully.

“You were in love with miming?” Walter asked.

He caresses her cheek with his thumb, wiping away the residue of her makeup.

“I couldn’t tell you at first,” she said, throwing her head to the side. “I was feeling trapped, like I was in an invisible box that nobody could see but me.”

Lenore cleaned her feathers, then continued to glare, huddling against WWW possessively.

“. . . And I really liked wearing red berets,” she said.

Walter and Carrie heard a muffled cry and turned to see plaid Chad wiping his tears on his plaid sleeve.

Sheila was impressed that Chad was so in touch with his feelings.

The group turned in surprise as they heard a guitar in the distance that was totally out of tune.

Sheila sucked in a breath as she realized she was in love with Chad, and always had been.

Chad cleared his throat and reached into his pocket to retrieve something. But it was probably small, because his pockets weren’t very big.

Sheila was so excited to see what Chad had in his hands. Her excitement began to bubble up her throat.

Chad withdrew the money Walter had given him. “I think this belongs to you,” he said, emotionally. He wobbled and braced himself on the shoulder of the woman whom he loved, and said, through closing air passages, “And I’m allergic to cats.”

The same excitement ran down her arms.

Chad jabbed an Epi-pen into his thigh with his other hand. Because, allergies.

“Thank you,” said Walter. “I will use this money, Chad. To help Carrie achieve her dreams. We will start a family circus.”

Then Chad regained his strength and turned to Sheila. His eyes bored into her like they were drilling for oil in Texas, deeply and with the hope of a big payoff.

Walter and Carrie stared longingly at each at each other, too, with longing looks of longing, silently saying all the things they didn’t know the mime actions for.

Just then another tune from the untuned guitar began to play.

Everyone is looking longingly at each other to music. Even the bird and the cat look at each other…

“Oh, Walter,” Carrie finally said. “You’d do that for me? We could build a life together under the big top . . . with each other.”

And the guitar played the most beautiful soundtrack song to the moment so it would make the memory memorable. It was so out of tune that the hairs on their arms raise in tribute. The song began so slow but built in pace and rhythm like his heart.

“I would, Courtney. Anything for you.”

“I always wanted a family,” she said. “And a circus. And you can call me Courtney if you want. It’s okay.”

The music in the background was powerful, like a 60% jolt of something powerful. The powerful song brought out something in plaid Chad he thought he’d lost years ago. The courage to love again.

Plaid-clad-lad Chad dropped to one knee. Why did his contacts keep falling out? And at the worst possible time. He wanted to see the look on Sheila’s face when he proposed.

The bird leaped forward and retrieved the lenses.

“Sheila, I’m so impressed by you,” Chad said. “I didn’t know I had lost something until I found you, then I found something I didn’t know I’d lost—something I don’t want to lose again now that I’ve found it. Will you marry me? Will you make this plaid-clad once-sad lad the happiest lad in plaid?”

Sheila was again impressed by Chad’s emotional vulnerability.

Carrie mimed throwing flowers at the happy couple.

The bird STILL stood there with the contact lenses in its beak.

Sheila said, “I would love to marry you. I’ve been waiting for this moment for the past ten minutes, which has seemed like my entire life, so it’s like I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life.”

Lenore, frustrated, ate the lens.

Walter looked at Carrie. “Baby,” he said, “I know our love has been asleep while you were away, but it’s all woke up now. Will you remarry me?”

Carrie clasped her hands to her chest and smiled and nodded and smiled again. It reminded Walter of her old mime days. So cute.

The two sets of lovebirds walked away—Walter and his once-dead wife, Carrie, and Sheila and Chad.

Distraught at his lack of cash, the guitar musician wandered in search of loose change. He totes needed a latte.

“You know what this means,” Walter said to his mime-wife. “I’d like you to forever hold your peace.”

Walter scooped up his wife in his arms.

The next day was 90% sunshine, but Walter felt 100% sunshine in his heart.

 It was his rewedding day.

As his wife sat peacefully beside him, he wiped a smear of jam off her slightly mustached lip.

The memories of last night were 60% gone, and he was emotionally happy that he had found a church that could hold a double wedding on short notice. And one that allowed cats and birds. But no clowns. He was happy to see there was even a sign out front. NO CLOWNS it said. It was, of course, in Las Vegas at Circus, Circus. The kilts were a beautiful touch. So much plaid. Plaid Chad was glad. Not sad.

Sheila was impressed by the meatballs and marinara appetizers.

Walter looked at his wife lovingly, feeling so much love for her. Then he looked at Chad and Sheila lovingly, but not because he loved them in a weird way, per se, but just because he was feeling so loving right then and was glad they could share the day with him.

Carrie could have done without the strawberry jam on toast, but it made Walter happy. As long as he didn’t eat it, he wouldn’t die. And she was happy that he was happy, on this their happiest day together. She mimed blowing a kiss at Walter, who mimed catching it.

The bagpipes played loudly from the backs of the elephants. The elephants were on loan from the circus. Walter made a note to return them in the morning.

Sheila and Carrie walked down the aisle. Both wore long white dresses, and Carrie’s face was painted white.

Sheila thought about how impressed she was by Carrie’s skill, and she wasn’t “kitten.”

The rest of the mimes from Carrie’s mime class in the audience mimed dabbing at imaginary tears of joy.

Walter thought about how life takes unexpected turns, almost as if he had a ton of other people making his life up for him.

“Tusk, tusk,” the preacher said. “So much baggage they bring to this happy day.”

The preacher began to sing to them as Walter gazed longingly into Courtney’s expectant eyes he whispered “Carrie, my love … Will you be mime?”

She nodded her head yes to his question. And the silent audience of mimes threw their arms into the air. Then, Walter kissed his remarried wife’s white painted face.

Walter and Carrie and Chad and Sheila stood side by side in front of the singing preacher. They all smiled. No miscommunication could ruin their double-wedding day.

“I have a 100% good feeling about this,” mused Chad.

Sheila was impressed at how easily Chad could recap the action of their life together. He was like super smart and stuff.

Everyone remarked at how emotional the last couple of days had been, what with all the longing and emotion. It was the sort of emotional high that one could end a story on. The kind that lingered even after it was over, settling in their pounding hearts, filling their souls with a sort of a twitch, a tickle inside that longed for more. More of the satisfyingly endings to their tumultuous and abrupt discovery and rediscovery of love, spoken and unspoken, without end.

The birds clapped, throwing feathers everywhere, and the cats meowed. Because this wedding really was the cat’s meow.

 It was the quietest wedding on record, what with people miming and all. Everyone in silent revelry and celebration. It was deafening.

The two men grabbed their wives, kissing them all the way out of the Circus Circus door onto two elephants rented by Walter.

And as Walter watched his wife on the elephant in front him he was impressed that she looked so regal, so loving, so awake. She was no longer a sleeping mime. She was his conscious wife, and he was 100% their forecast called for happiness ever after.

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