In Fiction on September 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Wall Assortment, by Rochelle


 His body makes angles

obtuse and acute

suggesting walls here

and doors there.

He pinches at fireflies that give off no light

and chases them




Though crickets are roaring and leaves clatter loudly,

the children can hear him just fine

when he leans back and shouts at the top of his lungs

(even though there’s no sound at the time)

And when jackboots sound,

that discordant sound,

The mime holds his arms straight and tight

and draws a long shade—an impenetrable shield—over children and grownups alike

and the soldiers

do not


“Shh!” Marceau mimes

This is my story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt (the photo at the top of the page). It’s loosely associated, I’ll grant you, but when I started looking into Marcel Marceau—and realized he’d gotten his start in miming as a way of keeping children silent as they made their way from Nazi-occupied France into neutral Switzerland during World War II—I decided this was the story to tell.

Let me know what you think below, then check out the rest of this week’s story’s with the linked blue dude above!

  1. I think you did a fine job with the prompt. The trinkets representing the quieted children who would be saved from the atrocities represented by jackboots. Nicely done.

  2. Great story/poetry. I don’t think the link from prompt to story needs to be literal. I loved what you did with it . And thanks for the the lovely history lesson; I didn’t know that about Marceau.

  3. Awesome choice of narrative 🙂

  4. Lovely writing, and interesting history that I didn’t know. It’s not about miming or children moving from France in WWII, but your story still made me think of the film Lore. Have you seen it? It’s about Nazi children moving across the land during the war, and it very beautiful and moving.

  5. Dear Brian,

    I love it that you zeroed in on the ticket to Marceau. One of the pinnacles of my past. He was amazing, even from the nosebleed section. Your story/poem was exquisite and I learned a piece of history I didn’t know. Bravo!



  6. Dear Brian,

    What a great story. I didn’t know the history and I’m glad to have learned it from you. Very observant of you to find those tickets, too.



  7. Oh yes, I loved the rhythm of this – very clever indeed!

  8. Hi Brian,
    You’ve found a new plane of creativity here and I don’t believe there will be another story like this. Who know mimes had such power? Excellent words about someone who doesn’t use words. Great irony. Ron

  9. Brian,
    What a great story done in the form of a poem. Poetic, perfect and my absolute favorite this week.


  10. This is … unique (and I do mean in a good way!) I love the history you’ve knitted into the story-poem, and how Marceau uses angles and shadows as protection. I really, really enjoyed this.

  11. This peace has an interesting meter. It would make an interesting melody.

  12. I feel like an idiot. I never knew about Marcel Marceau. I had no idea he was Jewish, let alone a hero. How ignorant of me. Thank you so much for this, a charming rhyme, but the education it provided me was worth more than the sum of all of our parts. (Two more famous people I grew up enjoying without ever knowing their Jewish roots, are Houdini and Kafka, but although fabulous personages, neither of them were heroes…).

  13. Brian.. this is one of the best stories I have read from you and that says a lot … a great poetic voice and still a story with lots of meaning in it…

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