• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 03

moments of Many Colours

The first one he spoke to was Number 2. He had met her in the corridor, when we were leaving the Lunch Hall for the Telecast Hall with Father, whom we heard first thing after breakfast every morning. His voice was calm, it soothed us. Most of us would forget the dreams that had troubled us the night before. His whispers, slick and sweet, would quiet our brief hauntings, the unrest that broke our sleep.

Everything was beautiful after the White Coats gave us the Magic Pink, elixir they shot in our arms. Then our eyes got used to the white all around. The white of the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the white of the coats, the white that would drown you as you sought to trace the lines, start to wonder where they met each other, ran into each other, traced a plane.

Once that search, that trouble was over, the day was quiet until Waiting. Numbers one to twenty went together to the white beds. Sometimes, as our white-slippered feet rested before lifting up to the bed, a memory shot up in our muscles. A memory of a time when this gesture was not habit yet, still felt new and strange. But when we creased our brows to think, the white would make our thoughts swim once again, and we would float.

Number 2 had told us there was someone who was Not White. He had come out from The Vault with a bag in his hand. The Vault was where the White coats worked all day. The New One had told her he would meet her again in the Once More, but he had called it Tomorrow. He had handed her the pills. “Take them for two nights”, he had said. “You’ll be stronger if you’re two.”


moments of Many Colours

I was the only one out of the twenties who had agreed. Because I had wondered about the lines in the whiteness, the creases in the formless cloud that made sense, then made angles, then those angles formed road that led Beyond the White. The other twenties said they liked the sweet fog in the mind because it drank their troubles, gave them Sweet Mind.

Something changed with the pills. Angles became visible in the white. Some stirrings of memory returned to us. Something from the Time Before. It was easier to distance ourselves from the unthinking habits. Easier to steady our feet a little longer on the ground when everyone else closed their eyes for Waiting.

Slowly, we found our way to the end of the room, we saw the lines that led to the door. Just beyond, before our eyes, was just what the Not White had promised. Some moments of Many Colours and a tower, a shape he had drawn for us and pressed into our palms.

A portal, an opening.