Arturo opens his eyes again. Shoot, it didn’t work. Everyone around him is still long dead. He’s still stuck in this tomb.
Arturo sits up and looks around the tomb. It’s a nice tomb, he thinks. It’s clean, anyway, as far as tombs go. Not that he’d been in a tomb before, but the idea of a tomb is messy with cobwebs and bugs. And this one is not so bad. He has room to move around a little bit, which is nice, but to do so he has to crunch and crack through the bones of dozens of skeletons.
Arturo situates himself against one of the walls and starts pushing the skeletons out of the way. It’d be nice to have a little bit of room. A tiny little square of solitude. Arturo looks around, contemplating what his next move could be. He can’t get out of here, he knows that much. This tomb is too well built. Plus, he’d just be thrown right back in.
Two days ago, Arturo was lowered into this tomb. His fellow townsfolk were, as they put it, simply annoyed with his behavior. As is tradition in Arturo’s town, after being declared annoying, he was lowered into the tomb and the tomb was sealed shut. It was his own fault for being annoying to begin with. He’d thought the town needed another mime because Dolores was, in his mind, too old school and boring. He wanted to break new ground in the form and truly entertain his friends. But nobody else was on the same page.
It took about a week for the town to grow annoyed. Now, sitting here, Arturo can see they were patient. Especially when you’re dealing with a rogue mime. At first, the townsfolk gave Arturo the benefit of the doubt. They’d watch his performances, odd as they were, and clap politely. Most people thought it was just a phase, or perhaps the sheer nervous energy of trying something new.
As the days went on, though, the townspeople grew more and more annoyed. Arturo would burst into restaurants where people were eating and pantomime a single role of a popular play in an off-putting asymmetrical perfomance. Or he’d rush through town, knocking over anything that got in his way, acting out a scene where he was getting chased by a dinosaur.
But even those antics didn’t push the town over the edge. It was the smaller things. The annoying little quirks. Arturo liked to draw attention to those who didn’t want it. He’d often grab the shyest person in a room and make them the center of his performance. Or he’d spend a day following someone in a bad mood, repeatedly trying to make them laugh. Or at the very least, he’d suggest, pulling on his cheeks, just smile.
Eventually, the townspeople held a meeting and decided to put Arturo into the tomb. They’d done this plenty of times before. Every skeleton there now was once someone who’d gotten on the town’s collective nerves. There was Agata, who would routinely leave her water hose on, wasting the town’s water. Or Bernardo, who was the type of town drunk who’d lock you into a nonsensical conversation, oblivious to your desire to escape. And then of course Taavi, who always spoke just a bit too loudly.
Arturo knows he doesn’t have much time. Or an audience. But as he clears out his little space in the tomb, he can’t help but pantomime his favorite scene from a play, mouthing “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” into the darkness.