It seemed to be always raining ash lately, it blanketed the earth with a thick grey sludge that stained clothes and skin. Even though the weatherman said it would warm up the temperature remained its constant -50 the same temperature for the past 30 years. The only way to go anywhere was to bundle up in layers upon layers, your face had to be covered at all times and a mask to filter the toxic fumes was recommended. Where normal clothing stores used to stand now stood ash clothing. The thicker the better, you could choose between the latest styles of box or triangle cut overthrows. All under clothing was standard coarse wool and cotton with a layer of fleece sown underneath both shirt and pants.
30 years ago the sky was a bright blue with cotton clouds in various warm hues, one could tell what the weather would be like by judging the sky. And when the sun set, it was a marvelous thing. Splashes of reds, purples, creams, oranges, and yellows and sometimes pink would paint the sky ‘it was almost like glimpsing heaven above’ some mothers tell their children in bed. But how would you explain such colors to a child who only sees in grey. Parents try to grow colorful plants inside their safe houses but they wither and die without the nourishing life of the sun. Crayons and colored pencils were long ago used for kindle or candles that now have been burned down to bare wick. Children never want to hear about the night sky ‘why would you like something so dark and dull?’ Parents try to explain that the night sky was beautiful too maybe even more. Kids don’t want to hear about twinkling lights or the moon ‘its just white and blak, we see that every day’. Parents mourn the colors that children will never get to see, the beauty of the world is now washed in tones of grey, dark blues and black.
Once in a while their will be a story about a splashes of colors out west, where the ash fall isn’t so thick, but these are just rumors some say. Sometimes people wonder what life would be like if the world hasn’t ended in explosive ball of chemicals.
Life goes on.
One day something occurs that is abnormal. A mother walks her child down a cleared path, both of them wearing thick woolen layers head to toe. The only thing visible are their eyes, fine flecks of the fallen grey as layered upon their lashes. Some as gotten into the child’s eye, the mother acts quickly dropping to her knees in the packed ash she gently wipes away the girls streaming tears. A flash of something catches her attention, she lowers her gloved hand the child is now sniffing quietly because she too noticed something strange. There across the street something odd is there. A girl no older than 12 stands there, her hair is not wrapped up is the first thing the mother notes, the second is color. Red, crimson, scarlet, and the color of flames graced this girls head. The mother knows if she would see the girls eyes they too would be a rainbow of colors. Colored red.
‘Mama?’ her daughters voice beckings her too look away from the colored red, her daughters dull brown eyes are still glossy with tears. ‘Not now little one,’ The mom looks back up to see if the girl colored red is still there. She’s not. ‘Mama?’ ‘That was red dear, and most breath-taking color of life. Don’t you ever forget such a color.’ ‘M’kay’. The days continue on from then normally. Where the red girl once stood now grows flowers, their petals open up to reveal colors of red. No ash touched those flowers and still none today. Though no one can see their color, its a dull grey to them. To see colors is to know colors.
There are rumors of splashes of colors out there where the ash doesn’t fall so heavily. Greens, blues, reds, yellows, and every color in between are known to be spotted out in the west weaving in between stones of different sizes and heights. . Such a beauty to be seen, is what people tell others.
Some say the colors will come back, some say not. Some wonder where the colored ones come from and where they go. It’s all a mystery really.
Days after the red sighting, the mother wakes up as one would one day. She rolls over and spots something different, blue, iris, zaffre, cyan and azure hairs are gathered in her hand. It curls under her chin and tickles her nose. And she knows if she would to see past the gentle face of her daughter into her eyes she would see an endless blue. She mustn’t look away she knows this, but something compels her. She glances away just for a second, but a second is just enough.
Some people wonder where the colors come from, some question if they’re really seeing colors. But others know. They know the truth. Colors are innocent and delicate things, they come and go like the cold wind. It would make sense that a child’s soul would bring forth the colors once again. But is it worth it?
They say out west there are endless colors, all swaying in the wind. Petals drift softly on the currents, and branches hang low with sweet fruits. Its truly a beautiful sight. But so are the are the forget-me-nots that grow along a stone beside the house that is coated in ash. Everyday the mother glances at them, and stares and cries.
Some say the colors are a gift, other say a curse. But those that know can’t help be cry at the sight of colors; beautiful colors grace the lands far to the west. Where the ash doesn’t fall so heavy and stones that stand are graced with colors till the end.