Short Stories

The Fluting Mime

I was nervous. Stood in front of a pair of the most imposing doors ever. I mean it is just meant to be a hall, somewhere to practice so why the heavy oak doors? Is it to keep audiences in or others out? Who had never heard of a fortified theater? Let alone one in a university.

There you go. I’d done it. Scared myself enough to want to leave. Honestly I’d promised to to try and I had. I’d tried to go through the doors but…

“Are you waiting to go in?”

I jumped and turned around. There stood a girl with waist length black hair and a pale face. “Um…”

“Are you new?”

I nodded. Noting that in her hand she carried a french horn case. To be correct you couldn’t really miss it, being large.

She peered at me and I know what she was looking for. I held up the small case, one foot by about six inches.


I nodded. What was I doing here?

She walked around me and pushed on those opposing doors. They swung in silently. She walked through.

“I’m new too. Only just started uni.”

“Same here,” I managed in a quiet voice.

“So who have you played with?”

Played with? Oh man, I am seriously out of my depth. “Kind of a beginner…”

“Oh?” Her interested voice sounded wonderfully surprised and disappointed. “Well, it will be good practice.”


Inside we all lined up. Me with the other flutes and then brass section, violins… Well, you get the idea. A sheet of music was passed to me, which I immediately wrote the notes under. One of the other flutists sniffed disdainfully.

I ignored it.

“One, two, three…”

And we started. I did three notes with the others before I became a tangle of fingers and flute.

Second go I managed four and the third I got six. Six notes. Maybe a fraction of a second. About the same time as it takes to draw in a breath. The rest of the time I pretended and tried to follow the music.

I didn’t make the cut, but they did tell me I could practice with them.

“Thanks,” I mumbled. I never returned. Six notes. It wasn’t enough. My dreams of being in a full orchestra was dashed before it they had begun.

I still play the flute, very slowly. But it is relaxing, although it can be odd to hear ‘Clowns’ played at a sedate stroll.

This short story was inspired by the daily prompt – we got the beat.

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