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In the Hall of the King of Colors
In the Hall of the King of Colors
The prisoner sat in his cell. Alone in a gray stone cell, in tattered gray clothing gazing down into his long gray beard. Although there was a barred window, there was nothing to see but more gray. Although he was in the castle of the King of Colors, the prisoner’s cells were the grayest places in existence.
The prisoner had a name. His name was Kavin. He knew his crimes, and he knew that in this land, they were terrible. However, in the back of his mind he knew that they were no sin.
As he pondered his crime in the grayness, a clattering brought him to his senses. All of the prison guards wore large gray boots with heavy, gray steel soles which caused a large clamor of noise whenever they chose to walk.
The man approached the bars, then stated simply in a monotone: ‘The King desires your presence. Come with me. Now.’
Kavin happily obliged however painful it may have been.
The guard opened the cell door, a crude structure made of gray steel bars welded together. The guard then roughly took Kavin by the arm and “escorted” him down the hall.
While being dragged, Kavin tried to read the guard’s emotions and tried to judge what kind of person he might have been. But it was to no avail because in addition to wearing gray boots and gray clothing, all of the guards were issued gray caps which covered their eyes quite nicely.
Along the hall, there were other cells identical to Kavin's. They were all unoccupied.
At the end of the passage, the route forked. To the left, lay the guard's barracks, and to the right lay the rest of the world. They obviously went to the right.
As they exited the gray level, the walls, ceilings and floors began to change. At first, not very visibly, but then they became obvious.
The dull, gray color slowly became replaced by color. Real color. Colors of the light spectrum. It had been a long time since Kavin had seen an actual color. This particular color was a mixture of gray and blue. But as they progressed down the hall, the bluer the color became.
The hallway seemed to stretch on and on until, all of a sudden, ended with an abrupt color change.
The straight hall took an abrupt turn so that the wall in front of them was an aquamarine color, but as they turned down that hall, the walls became green. The floors stayed blue. The ceiling turned violet.
This hall was not a straight line. In addition, there were blue doors in different places on either side. This hall is home to many of the lower class. In fact, Kavin used to live in one of these doors. The one right over…
‘Excuse me uh…,’ Kavin glanced at the name tag on the prison guard’s gray jumpsuit. It read Larv. ‘Excuse me Lard. That’s my home over there. May I look inside for a moment? I am feeling sentimental.’
‘Name Larv. Not Lard. No stop. King commands your presence. Must hurry,’ said Larv.
‘No but. Come.’
They hurried down the hall, quicker now. Almost running.
At the end of the hall, they turned. But then they stopped. This next hall was a purple hall. There were many people bustling around. This was the purple hall, where the market was held. People sold anything here, even some things that weren’t legal. This was where Kavin had been caught.
In fact, Kavin’s crime was only selling the forbidden colors of white and black here. The color white was illegal because only the high class citizens of the castle were allowed to use it. The color black on the other hand…
Larv bent down to adjust something on the back of his shoes and Kavin contemplated escaping from him, but he knew in the back of his mind that there was nowhere to run. It’s just one castle right?
The guard stood up and quickly grabbed Kavin. ‘Hold on tight,’ he said.
Then all of a sudden, Larvs’ steel boots transform into roller skates.
The rockets suddenly fired and they zoomed through the marketplace, nimbly avoiding the passing people.
They didn’t stop at the end of the hall though. They just whizzed around the corner and kept going.
Down through the brown hall. And the red hall. And the orange hall. And then the yellow hall. Until finally they came to the white hall.
Kavin had never been to the white hall before, and neither had Larv, as he could tell by the slack-jawed expression on his face. The white hall was certainly worth a “wow.”
This high class color was almost never witnessed down in the lower halls. Almost rarely in the brown hall, but not in the purple or green hall.
The actual white hall on the other hand was not really a hallway, but more of a huge circular room, with ornate doors around the edge containing the high class citizens. The rest of the room was basically a giant dining area with embroidered white tablecloths on top of white tables. The floor was a bright white. Everything was white.
And occupying the white benches and latticework chairs, were the actual high class people. The men wore blindingly white dress suits with white bow ties and white shoes. The women wore large white dresses that poofed out. They all stared at the odd duo at the door.
Larv looked down at his shoes and cursed loudly. The rocket skates apparently had run out of juice. At the curse, the white people turned back to their conversations.
Larv fumbled with his shoes until the skates disappeared and became normal steel soles. They then strode through the white people to the largest door at the end of the room.
The door was actually a far way off. It was so massive; it appeared as if it was closer than it really was. So it took several minutes to reach them.
It wasn’t much of a door actually; it was more like a gate, with huge double-doors, easily fifteen feet tall. There was a latticework of white vines and branches surrounding the archway over the doors.
But once in front of the gates, they opened up slowly and ominously. Once the opening was wide enough, a booming voice said: ‘Enter.’
They meekly obliged, and stepped into the blinding light.
When the light faded, Larv had disappeared, and Kavin was alone. In a forest. A forest of pine trees. And walking towards him was the king. No, not the king. The King.
The King of Colors.
The King was dressed splendidly in a stereotypical king’s garb, dressed in a red cloak that had a white ermine trim. Under that, he wore a high class classic white suit. But there was something wrong about his garb.
There were black spots on his cloak. He was wearing a black belt. His suit was lined in black. He wore black socks. HIS HAIR WAS BLACK.
Normally, your hair color was the same as the hall you came from. Kavin had green hair.
But there was no black hall.
The color black was forbidden anywhere in the castle. Kavin had found some and was selling it when he got caught.
But the King just laughed. ‘Hello prisoner, you must be tired after the tediously long journey through the castle. Come sit down.’ He gestured at a patch of grass and a white couch rose from the ground. ‘Hungry?’ asked the King.
When Kavin nodded eagerly, the King said: ‘Watch! Attend to my guest. He is hungry and tired.’
At that, a man with a black suit and necktie walked out from behind the tree with a platter of milk and cookies.
Wait a minute… BLACK SUIT!
Despite Kavin’s fatigue, he leapt up off the couch and ran behind a tree. In addition to being forbidden, the color black was said to act as if radioactive. It would kill you.
The King laughed again and said: ‘Oh, don’t worry about Watch. He wears black to protect him. If you look at his face, you will see a pocket clock embedded in his eye. The color black in addition to being fatal, is lifesaving if you have a terrible injury.’
Okay, this is weird, thought Kavin as he warily climbed out from behind the couch.
‘Well anyway, now that we got this out of the way, you are now in the Hall of the King of Colors,’ said the King of Colors. ‘I expect you to act accordingly.
‘Yes your Grace,’ muttered Kavin.
At that word, the scenery began to change. The peaceful forest scene around them dissolved into an empty courthouse. Of course, because they were in the Castle of Colors, everything was multicolored. In addition, the patterns were constantly changing. In essence, it looked like some invisible giant was taking different colored buckets of paint, and was continually flinging them inside the room.
The King walked towards the judge’s chair and sat down. The plain wooden chair turned into a huge resplendent throne that was mostly made of sculpted gold with bright red velvet cushions.
A splintery wooden bench appeared behind the prisoner and a strong force pushed him down to sit onto it. Grey steel manacles materialized on Kavin’s wrists. The color didn’t change. Kavin looked down at the chains, and then up at the King. The King of Colors grinned. An evil grin. A cold grin.
‘You have been summoned here, Kavin Greenhal, to testify for a most heinous crime. You have been caught selling the high class color white, and the forbidden color black. What do you have to say in your defense?’
‘I have nothing to say. I was caught doing something I shouldn’t have done. It was wrong of me. The only thing I can do is beg forgiveness of your Grace,’ replied Kavin.
‘Hm, I will have to confer with the court.’ The King paused for a few seconds with a bored expression on his face. ‘The court finds you guilty on all charges. Now what will your punishment be?’
The King smiled an eerie, hysterical grin. ‘Do you know why I have Watch here? Its not because I like him. It’s because he once sold the color black too. His punishment was to have an injury so bad that it would force him to wear black for the rest of his life. Although the color dulls the pain of the injury, it makes you feel very sick while it prevents you from dying. Or at least Watch tells me. If you don’t feel miserable in at least some way, I will have you executed.’
At that, he said: ‘Watch! Hold our friend down.’
The man in black strode over to Kavin and threw him on the ground. He took out a thick piece of rope from inside his suit, and put it between Kavin’s teeth to prevent him from chewing his own tongue off.
‘It’s going to be okay,’ said Watch. ‘The actual embedding will hurt, but the black suit doesn’t really make you sick. I just told him that.’
The King clambered giddily over the rows of empty desks and chairs which should have contained a jury. ‘Let’s see, what do I have in my pocket today. Aha! Here is a small hand-mirror. Perfect.’
The King of Colors reached the offender and pulled out the mirror. He gazed into it and looked at his reflection. ‘My, my He gazed into it and looked at his reflection. ‘My, my, MY, there is one handsome man. Anyway here, look at my reflection. It’s beautiful.’
Kavin looked at the reflection of the King, but saw no man. In place, was the face of a demon, a monster that had eyes of milky white, jagged white scales making up the face with crooked pointy teeth coming out of a garish grin. The prisoner gasped.
The King laughed. ‘Well, this is going in your eye socket. Hold him still Watch.’
The King of Colors turned towards Kavin, and began to push the mirror into his head.
* * *
The steward waited alone in his cell. Alone in a black stone cell, wearing fine black clothing, gazing down onto a pair of polished black shoes. Although there was a barred window, there was nothing to see but more black. Although in the castle of the King of Colors, the steward’s cells were the darkest places in existence.
The steward had a name. His name was Mirror.