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I am Blue

Faded light filtered through ever-present clouds, their weak rays struggling to coax warmth into the flesh of those huddled below. People, their gray clothes weighing down on bent shoulders, trudged through the gloom. Blank eyes saw no one and no thing as they centered on the sludge soaked ground. Within moments, the crowd had filtered through the plaza, never looking back to see the two dark forms filling the place their feet had just scuffed up.

“I hate them,” one snarled, blue stained teeth closing around a small knob of hardened sugar and dye.

“It’s not their fault,” a soft voice whispered, stroking the dark shadows that gathered at her feet.

“Whatever. They are pathetic,” the young boy snarled. His eyes narrowed as a gray cloaked figure appeared at the mouth of the street down which the crowd had just fled. She took a step towards the two, wet dress holding her back.

“Her eyes,” the boy gasped.

“She has awoken. Let us se whether she can open up to us. If so…” The sentence hung in the air, full of unspoken promises and disappointments.
Ten more steps had the girl within reach of the plaza. Her eyes were glowing with the tint of terror, but they were eyes. They gleamed with the light of a consciousness that was reflected back in the sea glass color of her irises. The horrid color of gray that leeched the life out of everything in this depressing city had not infected her eyes, dragging with it the nothing that blocked all thought from its host.
“Did you give me this?” she croaked, her voice hoarse from years of lying dormant. She held up a ruby red card, a black blade digging into the side of the formless gray mass depicted upon its surface.
“Yes.”
“You have color?”
“Yes.”
“How?”
“Come with us, and you can bask in the color all you want,” the boy grinned, bouncing up and down in his sugar induced fervor. The girl hesitated, taking a step back towards the gray, back towards the familiar, but then her eyes hardened, determined to change.
“Okay.” The two cloaked figures held out their hands, grinned wildly as the girl slid hers into their warm embrace. They squeezed, calming her shaking and warming her from her head to toe.
The girl gasped as the gray was bleached out of the world, replaced by a bustling city, people rushing by with colorful boxes balanced upon coat covered arms. A tree shone in the center of the square where they stood, its lights glowing more brightly then the thousands of signs that blinked on and off in store front windows.
Looking down, the girl’s eyes widened as her once plain dress lit up the color of the sky, of a robin’s egg, of the startling shock of the sea, of the glow behind a sapphire necklace hanging from a lady’s throat.
Another figure emerged from the crowd, gray hair bobbing above a lined face.
“You have brought another?” the woman asked, her green eyes gentle as they took in the girl’s fragile form.
“Yep.” The cloaked boy said with a yawn as he plucked another sugary treat from his pocket. He licked his lips, but didn’t put it in his mouth. Instead he placed it in the girl’s hand. “Your first taste of what real food tastes like.”
The elderly woman rolled her eyes, handing him a bag bulging with the treats that littered his fingers and face. She reached out to the cloaked girl and wrapped her in a hug.
“Be safe, children. You are doing good,” she whispered with a tear.
“We will Mama.” The boy grinned, tugging on the arm of the cloaked girl. “Is it time to go?”
“One last thing,” his older sister shushed his protests, turning to face the other girl, her face still lit with awe. “Soon you will feel the cold, the hunger, the emotions and memories that come with living in this world. But you must remember. You must talk to Mama about these things. You must not shut down, or the gray will take you again. You will never see color again. I hope you do good in your life, girl, but your life is yours. Do what you will with it. Goodbye Mama.”
The veiled girl nodded curtly, whirling on her heel to fade into nothing. The boy followed her with a squeal.
“Do you know your name yet, child?” Mama asked, laying a hand gently on the girl’s arm.
“No,” she whispered, trembling violently. “But I am remembering why I went into the gray. My poppa hurt me. He hurt me bad,” she murmured into the old lady’s shoulder as she was engulfed in the comforting embrace of the woman’s arms.
“I know, I know. Don’t think about that yet, child. The time will come for the past. Until then, let’s get you home, okay? You can warm up and eat something yummy, okay dear?” Mama purred, running a hand threw the girl’s hair. She sniveled, but nodded as the lady tucked the trembling girl into her side.
“I know my name,” the young girl whispered as they walked. “It’s Rhonda.”
“Do you like it?” the lady asked casually, unlocking the door to a brightly painted house. Another woman opened the arms, taking the girl into her arms and carrying her to a soft couch. She was wrapped in blankets, a cup of hot cocoa thrust into her hands as people muttered worriedly about her. She didn’t hear them though, halfway to the world of unconsciousness.
“No,” she whispered, then, saying it loud enough to grant the attention of all those around her, she screamed, “No! I am not Rhonda! I am Blue...” And then she fell onto a bed of pillows, warmth filling her veins, food filling her stomach, contentment filling her heart.
A world away, a man covered in the soaked garbs of the gray world reached into his pocket and pulled out a red card, a black spear piercing the side of a gray mass, as the gray in his eyes was leeched away by the sturdy bark of brown.




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