Colour Blind

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 03, 2016

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Submitted: December 03, 2016

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Black and white.

No, not my favourite colours.

That’s how I see the world. A mixture of different black and whites, mixing together to make a sludge of grey.

I’ve grown used to it. I was born colour blind, or at least that’s what they tell me.

I walk down the street, cold tearing at my gloved hands, wind raking through my short dark hair. I don’t actually know what colour my hair it is, it only appears black to me. That’s all I’ve ever known.

At least winter is naturally bleak. Winter is the only season that tells the truth to my eyes.

I continue to walk, past the trees on the road, stores pass by me and lights from them flash hypnotically at me as I keep my head down, away from the cold wind.

It’s early in the morning, around 7. It’s not dark, but the perfect light in this bleak world.

I haven’t seen anyone else out, the only live creatures I’ve seen are the few stray cats that slink slyly around the neighbourhood, twisting themselves through the trees and darting across the wet slick road.

I’ve been looking down at the path for a while now and decide to look up to gauge where I am.

In the distance I see someone walking towards me. I squint at them slightly, my eyes narrowing in the rain and I tilt my head to the side. They look odd. Something about them seems…strange. They continue to move slowly towards me and that’s when my reality is torn into.

I see…I don’t know what it is at first. Then I realise.

I’m seeing colour.

The stranger is the only thing I’ve ever seen in my life that’s cast colour through my eyes.

I can’t begin to describe even what it looks like. I know there of the darker colour palette, I can tell that much.

I know the names of the colours, many colours, knowing the colour names had to be enough for me since I couldn’t see them. I suppose you could call it a little hobby of mine.

I tried to assign the names to the colours I saw.

His long coat, just reaching his knees, I decided to call cinnabar. His heavy sweater under his coat I settled on corbeau.

He was closer to me and I was shaking. My grey world looked like dim shadows now that I had seen colour.

Colour.

The word sounded foreign to me.

I scanned up and down the street frantically, seeing if it was my insane imagination that had somehow done this. There were others, but I could see instantly that they were the same grey as the rest of the world. I looked back at the stranger, he was nearly out of sight, but he was still blinding me with the colour that I saw from him.

I somehow knew that he was the only thing that I’d ever see in colour. I couldn’t just let him go.

I couldn’t.

He was the only colour I could see in my world.

I come behind him and tap him on the shoulder. I don’t know what I’m going to say. He’ll call me insane. I panic slightly, having second thoughts and I back away slowly, but then he turns towards me and I nearly gasp aloud.

His face.

In colour.

His eyes.

Emerald, maybe? I don’t know.

He looks tired, exhausted as if he’d walked thousands of miles. I open my mouth to speak, thinking about how to say this.

He looks wearily at me.

“Yes, I know I’m grey. And the rest of the world is in colour. I don’t know how to fix that, I’m sorry. But I need to – “ then he pauses and looks up at me. I suppose my shocked face made him stop.

“Uh, I think you’re wrong about that.”

“Hold on.”

We speak at the same time, and I let out a small smile. He gives his own wry one and then gestures for me to continue.

“I’ve only ever seen grey. My whole world is grey. You’re the only thing I’ve seen colour. Ever.” I finish softly and I look down at my hands, frozen even under the cover of my gloves and then glance up at him to see his shocked face.

“I don’t believe this.” He mutters in astonishment, and runs his hands through his hand through his hair and then steps closer to me, as if to examine me. As if he doesn’t think I’m real.

“You’re a Colour Shifter?”

I look at him in a stupor, rain falling all around us now, colourless drips of water around my face.

“A what?” I manage to get out, I’m still staring at him, at the colour.

He looks at me intently for a minute, as if he’s considering something and then takes my arm and we start walking down the street.

“You mean no one’s told you?” he whispered, clearly shocked at what I’ve told him, and we move quickly down the grey footpath, and we move into a different part of the neighbourhood, and the colourless houses do nothing for me. All I want to do is keep looking at his colour. I’m still amazed by it.

“Can I at least know where we’re going? I’m not exactly at your disposal.” I say witheringly and then I want to bite my tongue off after the words have left my mouth.

He looks down at me, he looks slightly apologetic and then he looks back up ahead, his hand still on my arm and shakes his head.

“It will take too long to explain, which is why we’re going to a Stopper. They’re only in the better neighbourhoods, I’m afraid. And you don’t look like a resident. You’ll get kicked out real quick if they notice you – and even worse if they find out what you are.” He lowers his voice on that one and my brain is going wild.

I need answers to the swarm of questions that are darting around in my head like rebellious fireflies. I try to keep up with him, but he’s nearly running as we move swiftly down the path lined with towering trees and those strange silver boxes that I see occasionally. I don’t know what they do. I’ve never been close enough to actually see them clearly now.

There’s another question for him. He seems to know more than he should.

I’ve only heard about Stoppers, I’ve never actually gotten close enough to see them. Only the better off places have them. They stop time in their vicinity for specific reasons, and this ends up creating a Time stutter.

Time continues normally in other places, but the place where the stopper is being used, it stops and so causes that place to lag in time. Literally lag in time.

Anyone who steps where the Stopper is working is transported back to where that particular vicinity is in time, this causes their own life to be taken back to that specific moment, essentially rewriting their own history.

It’s tricky business really. But until today, I’ve never been into a Time Stutter.

We’re still walking rather briskly through the neighbourhood and he pulls me abruptly around a corner, towards one of those metal boxes.

It must be a Stopper.

Not what I expected. It wasn’t that impressive to be honest. At least that’s what I thought until he makes his way over to it and flips a lid that was on it.

The outside cover was definitely a ruse. The inside is full of what looks like electric currents and tiny little switches studded over the inner surface of the inside of the box.

He peers into it carefully, brushing his hand over a couple of the switches and shaking his head as he looks in closer.

I anxiously look over his shoulder and watch him work.

Finally, he makes a grunt of satisfaction and an incredible jolt runs through my body and knocks me to the ground. My head slams against the pavement and I cry out in pain, and then I feel an hand grab my hand and haul me up from the pavement.

“Darn it, I forgot you hadn’t been in a Time Stutter before. The power it generates is incredibly powerful, it tends to give quite a jolt, and especially if you’re not prepared for it.” He sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose, and then looks around at the towering houses, stone pavement and cloud cover, as if searching for something.

It’s then I realise that time has frozen. Around us, branches are stopped in mid swing, birds wings upwards in float, still in the air, rain droplets suspended around me, stopped abruptly in their journey to the ground.

“I wouldn’t have had enough time to explain everything before it was too late. That’s why time needs to be frozen for the time being. And then we have to get out of here.” He looks firmly at me, an intense gaze engraved in his irises and I return the gaze.

Evidently I have a lot of questions.

But luckily I’m patient.

 

We continue to look at each other for a moment and then he finally speaks. 


“So, you’ve never seen colour until today?” he asks, still with a touch of shock today as I grip my jacket, and I take a deep breath. 


“Never.” 


I shake my head, trying to understand this. It’s all so confusing, but I’m determined to make sense of it. 


“But why are you in colour and nothing else is? This doesn’t make any sense at all.” I say frantically, running my hands through my hair and I began to pace through the grass, kicking at a stone.

It lands silently on the pavement and I breathe in heavily, looking back at him once more. 


He moves closer to me, a light touch on my arm to calm me and I relax slightly. 


“I’m still struggling to understand that myself. But I know something. A little.” He pauses, his hand still on my arm and he takes it off and stuffs his hand somewhat reluctantly in his jacket pocket and sighs deeply. 


“Usually if you saw someone like me, I’d be black and white. Not colour.” He says, looking hesitantly at me then continuing. 


“But why are you black and white in the first place?” I ask, urging an answer from me and he huffs slightly. 


“I’m getting there, patience please.” He arches his brow and I return the look with a heavy sigh and wait. 


“The reason why is because . . . well . . . I’m not exactly from around here. Well . . . I am, just. . . not at this time.” He finishes slowly, looking down at the ground, staring at his fingers as they drum out a tuneless rhythm on his leg and I stare. 


“What exactly are you implying here?” I manage to stutter, but I have a feeling I already know. 


That’s when he looks straight at me, his eyes boring deep into mine, but I don’t look away. 
“I shouldn’t exist here for another 2,000 years.” 


I nearly fall over from the shock, my body settles on a frantic step backward as my reality starts to crack. 


We’ve developed the ability to freeze time, yes, but travelling through time is a completely different story.

A whole other dimension that we haven’t figured out.

Clearly that’s not the case though.

 

 


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