A World Without Blue

Posted on October 19, 2010


Writing Prompt: A box of crayons missing the blue one

It was the day she saw the world in blues that she picked up a box of crayons at the Longs Drugs on the corner. She went in for a water to help her on her walk home, and as she walked to the back of the aisle towards the refrigerator, she passed by the magazines and paperbacks and coloring books. The thought of a fresh pack of crayons and an empty coloring book was immediately irresistible. She was sure it was the only thing that could bring her out of her dark mood.

She paid at the register, and started the last leg of her trek home. In a cruel way, it made sense that her car didn’t start that morning. She had been waiting for one more thing to go wrong this week, to complete the trifecta of shit that was her due. Billy left her on Sunday. “For good,” he said, with a slam of the door and gunning of the engine. She didn’t much care anymore, except that he hadn’t given her any money this month. It was no surprise, then, when she woke up before dawn on Tuesday, that the lights did not flicker on to greet her. She drank cold coffee from the day before and sat looking out the kitchen window, watching the sky change from a blue-black to gray to pink, wondering if such a transformation could ever happen to her, and when.

She felt giddy on her walk home, her step lighter than it had been all week. It was silly to have spent $5.45 on crayons and a coloring book when she didn’t make enough tips this week to pay the electric bill, but she was tired of worrying. Instead, she quickened her pace, to get home while there were still a few hours of sunlight, so she could better stay within the lines when she cracked open the book.

She laid down on the cinnamon shag carpeting, ignoring the musty odor and crumbs. The 4 o’clock sun came right through the front window to light her pages, and the first picture she opened to was of a girl wearing a bonnet sitting by a pond. She opened the 12 pack of crayons, the cheapest ones in the store, and peered in at the primary colors.

She frowned. There was a tiny gap where the 12th crayon should be, its small absence large in the tightly packed box. The blue crayon was missing.

She looked back at the picture of the girl by the pond, and wondered what it would be like for her to be in a world with no blue. Then she grabbed the yellow, and started filling in the sky with bright light. She made the sun a fiery orange, the girl’s bonnet and dress red, her hair a soft brown, and the pond a vibrant green. She pulled the page from the book, and hung it on the refrigerator. As it darkened outside, she could faintly make out the girl by the pond. She looked out the window at the pink sky, and back to the girl surrounded by yellow, and smiled at the lack of blue.

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