Fiction Friday: Colors

flash-colors

“To your left you will see what is called a painting – an ancient form of art, utilized by humans from pre-history through the late 23rd Earth century. The artist is unknown, but it clearly depicts the first hail of the Alcorian Empire in 2384. The messenger stands with his arms held high, welcoming his kin to their new home. Many believe that this event marked the end of humanity, while Alcorian historians deem it the most important event in our people’s history…”

Tasha stared at the vivid swirl of colors before her as the robotic guide’s voice continued down the hallway. “Daddy, how did they do that?” she asked, pulling on her father’s arm and planting her feet.

His whiskers stirred at the question, and he looked down at his inquisitive daughter’s wide black eyes. “They made the colors soft, and then they transferred them onto something hard.” He wrapped a tentacle around her wrist and yanked her forward.

“I’ve never seen those colors.” She tilted her head to one side as one of her own tentacles whipped out and coiled about the railing. “Why not?”

“Those are colors from above the surface,” he answered gruffly. “Come on.”

“Above the surface?” Tasha wondered aloud. Her grip on the railing slipped, and she trudged behind him.

“When our people first settled here, the humans lived above, on the ground.”

“What happened to the humans that lived on the ground?” she pursued.

His whiskers bristled in annoyance, and he quickened his strides to catch up with the tour. “The ones that did not move underwater with the Alcorians died.”

“Will I ever see those colors?” Tasha asked, looking back over her shoulder at the painting, now burned into her memory, pasted to the back of her double-eyelids.

Her father stopped and knelt down in front of her. “No, sweetheart, you won’t. Those colors don’t exist anymore. The planet has changed.” He clicked his tongue and lifted her chin when she looked down at the floor between them. “But it’s better this way, don’t you think? We have an endless supply of water. Our people will go on forever, and even the humans have a place to live, here with us.”

Tasha looked down again and nodded. She remained silent for the rest of the tour. Even though she was very young, she knew that there was more her father wasn’t telling her. She would solve the mystery on her own, she decided. Because she didn’t think it was better at all.

Those colors were too beautiful not to be missed.

–427 Words

Fiction Friday: Ferreted Away

FerretThe clacking of Charlene’s high heels echoed down the narrow cement hallway as she followed behind the burly institution guard. He kept glancing over his lump of a shoulder to ogle her. She gave him a saccharine smile every time and put an extra flutter in her lashes, which almost had him tripping over his own feet. Distracted was good.

When they’d reached the halfway point, he hunched over and fumbled with the jangling loop of keys on his belt, leering at her.

Charlene pulled a small compact mirror out of her pink shoulder bag and pretended to check her hair and make-up. The guard didn’t notice the tiny red light on the camera at the end of the hall behind them going out. Just as planned, she thought, snapping the compact closed.

“You’ll have ten minutes, darlin’,” he said as he pushed the heavy metal door open for her. “Give ‘im a good one.”

“Oh, don’t worry.” Charlene winked and tapped her fingers on his chest three times, as if she were brushing away crumbs. “I will.”

Samuel, as his nametag said, gave Charlene a crooked, cross-eyed grin as his eyes glassed over with the haze of her dream spell. He was present, but already lightyears away. Too easy. She slipped into the visitation room, and the door closed behind her. Another intrusive camera watched from the corner, and the scent of pine cleaner assaulted her as she locked eyes with Harold for the first time in months. With a flick of her wrist, that camera too, went out.

The love of her life blinked up at her in bewilderment, sallow and scruffy, wrapped in a pristine white straightjacket. “Harold, it’s me!” she said, her voice breaking. A look of shock, and then understanding dawned on his features.

She lunged into his lap, squeezing him tight and covering his face and neck with kisses. As she ran her hands down his back, the buckles and straps restraining him slithered loose.

“You shouldn’t have come here!” Harold finally choked out before wrapping his arms around Charlene and smothering her with a heated mash of lips.

“Did you really think I would leave you to rot in a drab dump like this?” Charlene scoffed, then stood up.

“No,” he chuckled. “So, what’s the plan?”

“We walk out,” Charlene answered, grinning. “Simple as that?”

“Well, not precisely,” she admitted, drawing a small purple vial from her bag. Before Harold could utter a word in protest, she threw it onto the white laminate floor at his feet. It burst, emitting a green vapid cloud that swirled around the figure of Harold, sparkled, and then cleared.

“I’m sorry, darling.” Charlene sighed as she scooped up the small ferret that lay curled where Harold had been. “It really was the easiest solution.” She dropped the squirming bundle into her bag. “You can change back in the car.”

–481 Words