I look out of the window on to a black and white world. Where did all the colour go? I used to think sepia tones were dull and morose, hearkening back to a time before, tainted with nostalgia, that required the wearing of rose-tinted glasses. Now I long for those insipid hues…

The shadows outside lengthen as the sun dips lower and lower in the sky. The black and white world is now more dark than light as day slowly fades into night. The cracks in the ground, of which there are many – when was the last time it rained? – are shown in stark relief. Nothing grows here any more.

My mother has a painting of a dandelion over the mantelpiece, its bright yellow head an affront to the greyscale space it inhabits. I wonder how, when everything else has lost its colour, that one painting of a weed is as bright and as vibrant as when it was first painted…

Mum says, if she could, she would pick the seed head from the painting – it’s there lurking to the side of the bright flower. Thinking me still a child, she says she’d ask me to make a wish and then together we’d blow really hard and disperse all the seeds. Of course, my wish would be granted, she says. It’s magic. I’m not convinced, but I know I would do it any way.

And I know what I’d wish for: a secret doorway that would appear in our living room, one that could take us back in time to when the world was still gleaming and awash with all the shades and colours of an artist’s palette.

I hate the plainness here. It stifles hope.

Written for Weekend Writing Prompt #35 – End of Year Challenge

10 thoughts on “Colourless

  1. Gush, this raises questions. Is it truly a world devoid of colour? In which case, why? Or is it the colourless existence born of lack of hope, or of grieve? I would think the narrator has lost his/her colour vision, except for that painting of a dandelion. And why, amongst the greyness of the world, does that retain colour? Because her mother painted it? Then I wonder if the narrator mourns the death of her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it does leave much unanswered. In the first draft of the story there was an element of grief in it, but I decided to remove it because I thought it was too depressing combined with the rest of the story. Thanks for reading and commenting, Crispina 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Namaste Sammi 🙂

    This feels balanced somewhere between light and shade, hope and misfortune, but whether grief, disquiet, or darkness enfolds her thoughts, it’s a strong piece of writing: reflection on the painted dandelion is poignant and a great device to use.

    I am left asking questions of her circumstance and situation and hoping she finds good fortune, happiness, or colour 🙂

    Have a great week. Take care.

    Namaste 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

      I’m glad the piece reads as balanced; I was worried that it might fall too heavily on the darker side of the character’s thoughts, hence, as I mentioned in the above comment, I felt compelled to remove a reference to grief. I think she has latched on to this lack of colour in her world and believes if she can find the colour again, all good things will follow. I too hope she finds it 🙂

      Hope you’re having a great week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Namaste Sammi 🙂

        Perhaps it is because I am not certain of the reasons for her colourless state – but remain curious to know why – that I merely accept her mood as given whilst I wait to know more. However, I wish the maudlin maiden respite from her melancholy musing: yellow is a good starting point for her colourful adventure to unfold.

        Thank you for asking, my week has been pretty good thus far. I hope yours has been better than that. Have a pleasant evening.

        Namaste 🙂


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Namaste Sammi 🙂

    It is 🙂 Of course I may have been a little presumptuous in imagining her to actually be a maiden but the phrase sounded better than ‘I wish the woebegone woman respite from her wretched woefulness’, which despite her dolorous demeanour seemed far to despairing and doleful 🙂

    Enjoy your afternoon and the forthcoming weekend. Take care.

    Namaste 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this – you have an amazing way with words, Dewin, but I think I’ve probably told you that before 🙂 “I wish the woebegone woman respite from her wretched woefulness” – I think there might be a maiden-mother-crone thing going on here…And as for, “which despite her dolorous demeanour seemed far to despairing and doleful” – I’m chuckling away as I read this 🙂 Fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Excavating the Archives: Colourless | Sammi Cox

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