Incrementally, the world around her seemed duller. It had seemed a little washed out when she’d woken up that morning. A little faded around the edges, but the sun was behind a cloud so she hadn't really worried. She was on top of the situation, cloudy days happened in everyone's life right? There were no reason to freak out.
It had gotten worse with her shower; her fingers not getting that boiled red look she hated so much. To be honestly thought, that had gotten a smile out of her. It had been her retort time and time again while she argued with her mother, that eventually her body would get used to the blistering temperature of her water. It had never worked. Possibly something to do with her lack of a credible response to why the paint near the roof had risen off the discolored wall. Why steam ironing a shirt in there left it soaked.
It was easy to lie to herself, the world was the same as it was every other day, every other morning the sun rose up. The lie almost worked for the kitchen too. Kitchens were supposed to have white appliances, everyone knew that. At some point in the night one of her housemates must have come home drunk and pulled the colored magnets of the fridge. She’d find a pile of the papers that had been hanging plastered across the fridge door somewhere along the bench in the lounge room if she could only be bothered looking.
The lounge room was where the signs were unmistakable though. The bright surrealist paintings left by her landlord, a cacophony of colors, had become shades of grey, boring and impossible to focus on. The couch against the wall seemed darker, even more rundown, more temperamental than usual. The TV joined the rest of the room in a pallor of grey. It must be broken she decided, watching the tiny characters compete on screen to the dull laugh of a studio audience.
She walked outside, desperate for some color to prove she wasn't crazy. It hadn't all faded outside; no matter how badly she’d infected the house, there were still colors in the world. It was patchy outside though, they weren't as bright as they usually were. The grass was faded and more yellow; more dead than she remembered the courtyard being. Unimportant really. There were patches of color on the leaves, even if the trunks were all but grey by now.
She gnawed at her lip, unable to deny it to herself. Turning, she sprinted back through the doors of the house; slamming them shut to keep out the blankness that had seeped into the world while she slept. Her face scrunched up as she stared at it in the mirror. Her mind ran through every emotion of angst she had, wincing as they played across the face of a wax doll staring back at her. She was as faded as the rest of the world; as dull, as blank.
Desperately, she dragged her nails across her skin, unhindered by a sense of pain. It had dulled when the rest of the world did. Her blood was still bright, flaming scarlet roses beading up where she’s scratched too hard, and then they were dull too. She pressed her bleeding forearm tightly against her chest, eyes fixed on her hand as it shook uncontrollably.
The pain seared through her then, though whether it was a result of the roses on her arm or the empty vacuum inside her heart. Tears spilled from her unseeing eyes, locked firming on the uncaring glass orbs reflected by the mirror. They painted a rainbow of colors across her cheeks - the only relief from the dullness, the only color in the world and then they too fell to the floor, blending with the thousand other shades of grey.
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Short Story / Humor
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