Sunday, 29 November 2009

My heart was once a Ruby Red

My lover gave me a vial the day he left with the rest to find the colours of the world.
In it lay the fragile frame of a hummingbird that had fallen victim to the Great Monochrome Sleep.

It had been a few years since the GMS. Many had died. Most in fact.
Who knew humans could not cope with no colour?
The few that had survived had already been drained of some colour by life. They were ill, or sad, or just simply pale in complexion.

The few that remained were now the Rainbow Warriors. They had now awoken to the tragedy of a bleached and blackened existence, and seeing their surrounding being consumed by the dark and the white, they decided to reform, reshape, and resist.

He had left me 24 white suns ago, and I had sat by the shore of the grey sea, watching sunset turn the sky gradually from white to black sun after sun after sun, waiting for a shout, for a cheer from far off, a sign that they had come back, that the colours would come back, that they had found the solution.

We had begun to lose hope once again. Our bravest, strongest, smartest had gone, and come back, and gone again, and come back empty handed. Our tomatoes were still grey, our bread still pasty, our appetites bland.
The GMS had claimed the red blush in the cheeks of young girls winked at by doting boys, the blue in the face of the old man who coughed and coughed, the green envy in the eyes of the wife of the two-timing husband.

The days were black, white and every shade and shape and form of grey in between, but after all that time, the grey was just one.

The Rainbow Warriors were our continuous hope. Our only colour.

And then that day came. I opened my eyes, head still resting on the soft pillow that I usually shared with the crown of my heart's prince. And I saw it.

The hummingbird. In it's clear glass vial, colour spreading slowly but unfaltering through the plumes, like blood in vessels. Blue, green, turquoise, teal, red. They flooded its being, and with every colour that appeared, the words that accompany them flowed through my head like a gushing river that broke a tenacious damn. Ruby red, emerald green, Sea blue, grass green... My eyes began to sparkle, and my now pink lips stretched into a smile. The lifeless bird glowed with colour and verve, like a brand new sun rising from the sea.

I straightened up hastily, and quickly my head turned toward my window, where I heard people shouting and laughing and cheering with glee at the orchestra of hues and shades.

The Great Monochrome Sleep was over.

And I waited, day after day, grapefruit sunset, after grapefruit sunset, by the sparkling sapphire sea. But my love was no where in sight.

And while the rest enjoyed the red of a freshly picked ripe apple, the purple of the wild irises, and the indigo of dusk, slowly but unfaltering, my world started to drain of its tints till my heart bled its last red drop, and turned to cold grey stone.

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