Issue No.2: Color
Shades of Us
By: Michal White
His sadness was green. I knew because I watched him every day as he walked into class. It first started off as a pale green--or maybe a mint green, no,
more like a pastel green--barely visible around his feet. I remember that day vividly, because we had a pop quiz, and I failed horribly. The next day the green had spread to his knees. The days after it stayed the same, but the next week it had spread all the way up to his waist.I asked my friend who sat next to me if she saw the green as well, but she said no, and looked at me strangely. So I just shrugged and went back to our assignment and left it be. But I couldn't leave it be for long, I just wasn't that kind of person.
The day he wore a red shirt, the green had spread to his chest. It was a soft shirt, I know because I grabbed at the back of it to get his attention. He
turned around awkwardly between the desks, trying to prevent his bag from hitting something, and just looked at me. I asked if he was okay, that I saw the green, and wanted to make sure he was okay. He got angry at me. Told me to mind my own business. The whole class stared, and the green turned into a raging purple. I had angered him, and I felt so bad. So, when the next week came around, and the green had grown to cover his whole self, and was a shade darker, I didn't say anything. I bit my lip and watched as more time passed and the green got darker and darker, staying silent and doing nothing even though I knew something was wrong. Until one day he didn't come to school.
I waited. Staring at the door as the class went on around me. Ten minutes went by. Twenty minutes went by. He had never missed a day of school.
Thirty minutes went by. Maybe he was sick? The bell rang for the end of the period. My heart sank into my stomach, and it started to become hard to breathe. I went to my next class, trying to stay calm and reason with myself. Maybe he went on a trip with his family. Maybe he was sick. Those thoughts didn't help at all. When I got to lunch, and I didn't see him in his usual seat in the corner, I left my friends in line, ignoring their protests and ran out of school.
I ran and ran, past houses, and almost got hit by a silver car as I raced with my own fear. I had to pause for a breath, and to check to make sure I knew
exactly where to go, before I was walking up white porch steps, and knocking on the red door using its golden knocker.
I heard shuffling behind the door, and saw a flash of dark blue before the door opened and tears, and brown hair, and chapped lips met me. We just stared at each other for a moment before I collapsed and the dark blue of mourning surrounded my own hands as I just stared at them, and the hands that had wrapped around my own in my shock. And then our tears fell together.
By: Seela Langer (Excerpt from her work in progress)
A little background: Jason has been kidnapped by the psychopath White who has Jason in a submersive virtual reality. Grayson is Jason’s dead brother, Dani is a woman he killed, and Georgia, Reece and Gen are friends of his he thinks are dead.
There was something about the white, Jason realized, that really unsettled him. It never ended and was always staring back at him. The white light reflected off the white walls, bouncing off each other - never ending.
Everything was bland. Everything melted into everything else. Nothing ever changed.
It was not the white of innocence or happiness, though his captor claimed it was the white of purity. I am cleansing you, Wick, you need this.
To Jason it was the white one sees in death and longing and hopelessness. It was always staring back at him.
His room was always pristine white. He watched his memories on replay, all his worst moments on loop. When there was blood involved, red came out of the screen - the blood would stain there, stark against the backdrop. It would glisten from the harsh light, and then it would disappear and fade from view as if it was never there.
And Jason would feel guilty for missing it just a tad.
Then one day a purple light turned on, the room turned indigo and everywhere there were fluorescent spots. Especially on Jason’s hands. The color was liquid and it pooled, dripping off his hands- splattering on the floor. He tried to wipe it off- on his pants, the floor, anything. It wasn’t coming off, he couldn’t- it wasn’t working.
No, no, no. He couldn’t, he wasn’t thinking. It was Gray’s blood on the floor, it was his mother’s blood on his face, it was Dani’s blood on his hands. Georgia, Reece and Gen. It was all of them, and it was all his fault.
“Out, out damn spot.” White’s sing-song voice echoed off the walls, “Out, out. A little blood soaked, aren’t we? They’re all your fault.” Then the ultraviolet went off and the room was dark red, almost brown, everywhere. Splattered on the walls, pooled in his hands still.
Then white again.
“Bloodstains are always there - thicker than water, Jason Wick, even when you can't see them.”
By: Abigail Chachkes
Her eyes opened swiftly, dilating her bright green irises. For a moment she allowed herself to exist in the blissfully ignorant space of betweenness that only occurs when the mind first awakens from sleep. That benevolent space of time was blue to her. The kind, soft blue that made up the fresh morning sky, unperverted by the events of the day. The shades of blue that made up her childhood bedroom, the last bit of innocence still intact. The hues of blue that sparkled in his eyes…
The peaceful period was over, and a shock sped through her. Her hands clenched tightly in the bed she was in, but the stark white sheets were too stiff to her touch. She was fully brought to the present when the beeping of silver machines began to permeate her consciousness. She only had to glance around a few times to have it register that she was in a hospital bed, hooked up to invasive wires. The initial recognition, however, did nothing to help her truly understand why she was there.
Her eyes fluttered softly, almost luring herself back into sleep. Her mind was trying to ignore the situation with sleep as a defense mechanism, but her body would not comply. Golden sunlight flooded the room, and all of the reflecting light gave her a bit of warmth, externally. The warmth did nothing to aid her unease with the lack of memories to explain her current situation.
She ran a hand through her red hair, but felt her stomach drop when she realized her hand was grasping at nothingness. She felt around half the hair she normally had on her head now missing as if it had been shaved off. The ends of her hair felt damaged and brittle.. Her eyes then examined the rest of her, noticing the bandages that seemed to cover her all over. Then, as if a door had been forced open, memories filled her mind and she closed her eyes in agony as her brain forced her to relive recent events. The images and feelings came in bursts and played out sporadically in her head.
At first, her mind settled on the dark gray. The debris crawled through every available space and began to suffocate her. The gray she had experienced was a dense darkness that had surrounded her and momentarily halted all other senses besides sight. It skipped around her, never fully taking over her space, but decided instead to toy with its helpless victim. It had no qualms about leaving her gasping for air.
The next feeling that came to mind was heat coupled with vibrant reds and oranges. Not the comforting warmth associated with her happiest memories, but unbearable heat that engulfed her. The blazing flames had left her with a dreaded sense of mortal peril. Her mind distinctly remembered the odor of burning flesh and singed hair. The fire had come with urgency and haste. The entity had stolen her breath and instead breathed and thought on its own. It was alive and seemed unquenchable.
The last and most prominent thought that ran through her mind, however, was him. Through the fire and destruction around her, she still had managed to center her scattering thoughts on him and where he could be. And as if her thoughts dictated reality, he appeared. He broke the wall of terror around her, urging her to follow him. He seemed invincible, a cure to her pain. She felt gratitude and love unmatched by anything she had felt before, even the heat.
The two of them had almost made it. The outside was in her line of sight. Sirens rang through the air, symbols of her eventual savior. But much like her sanity was crumbling, the house they were in crumbled too. Soon enough the destruction caught up with them and it didn’t matter how close the sirens were, he was gone. The moment was etched permanently in her mind. She could have sworn she saw his soul leave his now lifeless blue eyes. She was numb when her rescuers came to save her. What they didn’t know, however, was that they couldn’t save her. She had died with him.
Her reverie was broken by a sudden noise outside of her hospital room. She studied her surroundings cautiously, fighting off the tears that stung the backs of her eyes. She managed to divert her attention to the random objects that filled the impersonal setting around her.
She wondered where she would go from here. She looked at her hands, imagining crimson blood on them as she realized with a sickening feeling that his death was her fault. She wished she had died in his place. A black pain took hold of her insides, starting at her heart and threatened her existence. She was gone. That was when she saw what should have been a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the nightstand beside her.
The flowers were blue. The same shade of blue as the morning sky. The same shade of blue as her old room that now lay as a pile of black ash. The same shade of blue of his eyes. But the sight no longer brought her joy. No, instead, she started to cry.
The Sky's Blood
By: Michal White
The sky is bleeding today. Spilling blue blood onto the heads of the rushing people. I guess none of them checked the weather report, because while they splash towards their sleek cars, covering their fancy hair with newspapers and bags, I stand here in a bright red raincoat, yellow boots, and a grape lollipop swirling in my mouth. I pull the lollipop out, and a drop of purple saliva strings out with it, dangling for half a second before dropping alongside the sky’s blood, and shattering into a dozen purple droplets that are quickly overwhelmed by rain.
I wonder why the sky is bleeding today. It has been so nice and golden these past few days, and the sky has seemed happy. Maybe another flying machine chopped through her beautiful white clouds, and she is bleeding from the cuts. I put the lollipop back in my mouth, and it tastes bitter, but I keep it in, and stuff my hands in the pockets of my cherry coat. The plastic shakes and creaks as I try and get my pale, cold hands comfortable.
The sky is bleeding a lot. More so than she has before. This small town doesn’t view much of her pain, but today seems different. I had walked all the way home, I want to understand her anguish. I am sitting by my window now, the glass cold and fogged up. I wipe away the cold and stare up through the sheets of grayed blue at the sky.
Maybe the sky isn’t bleeding. Maybe this blood is actually tears. Are they sad tears? Or are they angry? Angry from the human's mutilation of her beauty. Of the grey we allow to leak into her, covering up her beautiful white clouds. It makes me sad to know that she is hurting, that she is so lonely. Because of her sadness she has pushed her beautiful singing friends out of the sky in search of shelter. The sky does not want to be comforted today, but I desperately wish she would allow a friend in.
A boom, and a flash of silver-blue light makes me jump and tumble off my seat by the window. The cold wooden floor is merciless as I smack my head against it. I sit up quickly, a dizziness coming over me, and I move my hand to the back of my head. Warm and wet. I pull my hand back and see red. I guess the sky and I shall bleed together.
By: Rachel Halpern
Why do sad eyes
Always look like they are crying
A sea of tears peaking and foaming and rushing beneath and I know he’s still lying.
A deep blue, endless and free
It angers me.
Why do tired eyes
Always look like they are breaking
Red running through the cracks of sharp white and I can feel that I’m faking
Eyes scarlet and bloody and on the attack
Sleepless nights awash in black
What you say you can never take back.
Why do lying eyes always seem so full of sorrow
As if they know there’s no tomorrow
Yellow and sickly and on the verge of collapse
Now I know not to be trapped.
I stand here quaking
Body red and aching
Eyes green with envy of those who don’t know this bruising purple pain
That doesn’t dare speak its name
Clothed in normalcy and so full of shame.
By: Jake Nussbaum
is what I see above me
a wash of black sea
tall, round, green swaths along with
some misty grey clouds
which hover about
mostly I notice the bulbs
white scars shining from
millions of miles
away, but they appear here
like I can snatch them
lying on my back
surrounded by green and brown
earth, sky, not much else
hey, the fresh air feels great
By: Elana Felig
The only light coming from the bulbs in the lampposts
Busy streets so quiet as if no one ever took a breathe there
Most people are enclosed in the four walls of their rooms
Except for her
Midnight is when she is awake
It is when she can forget her reputation
because no one is there to see who she is
She does not have to remember what the people say
That is when she is running on the concrete
People always ask why she is tired
Her parents cry it is the middle of the night
But the only thing she replies
I was where the sky is black and the stars are as bright as my smile
The smile she has as she runs through the streets of midnight
By: Michal White
Lightning crackled in her hands,
blue and white bolts of fiery death
snapping around her like snakes ready to bite.
She just stood there,
her silver hair swaying in the breeze
as a growl ripped through her bared teeth.
She looked the perfect part.
Fiery angel of fury, ready to exact her revenge.
Her anger was
And I was sure she would succeed.