This is a story I never really finished. It had a second volume but I didn’t write it.
Purple for the speed.
Red for the ticker.
Yellow for the mortality.
Black for the road.
Pink. I never found out what pink did, purple gives you a thrill. Red makes your heart race. Yellow makes you feel close to God. Black is for last.
What is pink?
“Dad, what are you doing”
Surprised to find his daughter down stairs, his head swished around surprised. He gathered all the pills in a pile, put them close to the edge of the table to put them all back in a brown bag. “Get to bed Ave”, he said to me, “you aren’t suppose to be up”
“Those are pills. Why? Aren’t you just suppose to sort them?” My voice quivered as I started to worry. “Are you addicted!?”
He shook his head and bit his lip. His eyes, they were so red, what pill did he take? There were several pills of the rainbow, I’ve never seen pink. He picked me up and took me back to my room, kissed me on the forehead and said goodnight.
He stated he wasn’t addicted just …. sleepy, from working. He didn’t hit his quota so he brought work home with him. You don’t lick, you don’t taste, you separate them. Sort them out one by one. Red in the red pile and blue in the other. Don’t try out the pills; just sort them out or addiction will kick in
I was still worried when i woke up in the morning. My father’s brown skin looked glossy, a reaction to the pills, I thought. I walked into the kitchen just in time to see him throw a pill back in his mouth. I felt my heart drop, he turned around fast by surprise, then he smiled at me. “Don’t frighten me like that Ave”, he enunciated with a heavy breath.
“Red makes your heart race….” i averred, he walks over to pick me up. I touched his nose, “what were you doing?”
“What do you want for breakfast?” He tried to change the topic.
“Don’t lie”, i lightly pinched his nose. “It’ll grow”
He moved my hands off and put me in the dining room. “Pancakes sound ok?” He was putting off the question. My face twisted just knowing he was. I sat at the table with my head down as he cooked in the kitchen. “Ave, do you want chocolate chip pancakes?” He called from the kitchen.
“Yes!” I answered. He sat the plate down in front of me. “Dad, can you cut them for me?”
Everything seemed ok that morning. We had pancakes, we joked and watched a movie together then he sent me to bed. Before he left my room, “Dad…”
“Yes?” He turned his head around before he shut the door.
“How was I born if… I have no mother?”
He sighed again, more deeply this time. He didn’t like that question, i imagine it was difficult for him to explain to his daughter. “Dad?”
“Did you have any kids before me?”
He came back into the room and sat on the edge of my bed, “Probably”, he had to think about that before he actually responded, “I probably had one and didn’t know”
“Why wouldn’t you know your own kids?”
He avoided my stare and looked at the picture on the wall. “Did i buy that for you?”
“Didn’t think so. Kinda ugly”
“It’s art Dad” i giggled.
He turned to me and smiled. “Your birthday is arriving soon, anything you want?”
“Do we have the money”, i asked.
He scoffed. “Don’t worry about money, I’ll get whatever my little girl likes. Even if i have to steal it”
“I want”, I hesitated and looked him square in the face. “I wish you wouldn’t lie to me…”
His face furrowed, “Ave…”
He sighed again and threw his head back in thought. “Go to bed… now”
“NO, Why are you using pills!? Why won’t you tell me!”
He shut off the lights. “Dad loves you. Goodnight”, he shut the door just like that. I threw a fit and threw everything in my room.
“TELL ME! TELL ME!” I cried at the top of my lungs. I jumped up and down in my bed just yelling. He swung open the door and stared me down. “What the hell is your problem!”
I slumped down in the bed. “Tell me…”
“Get to bed! You don’t need to be asking about pills!”
I felt my eyes begin to water as he slammed the door shut and locked it. I put my head in my pillow. I was scared… the thought of my father on drugs was unbearable. He’s sneaking pills from work and bringing them home, if he did it at work he’d be terminated.
My head began to hurt and my pillow wet. The headache put me to sleep by the time I woke up. It was the heart of the night. There was a light shining down the crevice of my door, the hall light was on so I went to turn it off. I started to grab the knob but then i remembered that dad locked me in. I turned back to the bed to try and sleep again, maybe he’d come back and unlock it.
I heard something loud, like a pop. I jumped up but tried my best to fall asleep again but then i heard what sounded like a struggle. My heart raced inside my chest. I could hear a voice and footsteps. I turned my light off and put the covers above my head.
“—there’s a girl here—grab her—” I could hear them say.
I started to hear a faint beeping noise from outside my door. It seemed to fade in and out as they moved back and forth from room to room. I could hear it beep louder as it came very close to my door and I heard them say, “In here! It’s in here!”
My door was kicked open, I flipped the cover over and headed to my open window. I tried to climb out but the guard grabbed my leg and pulled me from the window.
“An artificial…” he pulled out the scanner and hovered the device over my body. I shook and stared with wide eyes. “Amazing”, he said looking at the device. “She’s pink!”
“The other one was a rainbow… a scientist from one of the pill labs” said another guard.
No, No… I’m not on drugs… I’m clean. I have to be!
“Grab them both, lock the rainbow up. He’s aggres—”
It was just a flash and the officers were on the ground. Dad picked me up, his lip was bleeding. “Dad”, my voice broke in fear.
“It’s ok… Don’t be scared”, he smiled and grabbed the gun from the officer. “Your going to stay with a friend for a while, ok?”
“No, ” I was against it completely, I knew who he was going to send me to. The rebellion… the boycott.
“Don’t argue with your father” he demanded. “Just… do this. Your smart enough to go on your own”
“Dad I’m 6…”
“Your mind is ahead of your body. You know where it is, you know the shortcuts to get there”
“I don’t like Riot… he scares me”
“Ave … listen”, he put me on the bed. “You know i love you right?”
“I’m sorry for everything… your father drugged you. Now I’ll watch your back so you can slip into the tunnel”
“Don’t but me… Riot is going to take care of you”
You meant smuggle me right? You never mentioned that i would be moving across the city away from you. Sneaking through underground tunnels so I don’t get sent to rehab? I’ve seen Riot before, he has long black wavy hair, a muscular built and he’s tall and brown like dad. He has bruises on his arms and legs from supposed drug abuse while using pills, the first time he saw me he acted as if he knew me all his life
“Avenue…” i looked up at him shivering. My face was covered in dirt and mud. “Where’s your father?”
“he stayed…”, I answered
He rolled his eyes and picked me up. “Your brain is faster than your body… how old do you think you are?”
“I’m not stupid”
He smirked. “I know, Niecy”
I waited. I kept thinking dad was coming as soon as it was all clear. Riot was on top of the storage house with some other members, he saw one of the bomber planes fly over. It was hovering over town. I climbed up there with them and stood by Riot. I looked up at the black sky and Riot patted my head, i moved his hand away. I could barely see the plane in the smoke but what i could see was how the bomb dropped and made an explosion in the distance.
I immediately thought. What about dad? Then Riot said the unthinkable.
“I’m a little surprised that you would feel emotion for him”
My eyebrows narrowed. I just looked at him shocked, hurt. “Why wouldn’t i?”
“Well…”, he scratched the back of his head. “You aren’t real… You weren’t born human, your artificial”
I could feel myself about to cry. “I can feel. Just like you. I can talk… i breathe air, like you!”
“But do you know how you were born, Niecy?” His face was stone, not an emotion to read off. He tried to pick me up, i swatted his hand away. “DON’T TOUCH ME!”, i screamed at him.
I backed away from him. I am real… I have a heart that beats, lungs that take in air, a brain that functions. Why does it matter how I was born? I’m me.
“Come on, Niecy” he tried to pick me up again. I hopped backwards, a bit too close to the edge. “Avenue!”
“Don’t… come near me, I’ll jump If i have to”
“Ave … Don’t”, Riot reached for me. My heel was right on the edge.
“I’ll do it…”
I leaned back. His eyes went wide and I felt something hard beneath me… something broke. I cried. Riot jumped down from the roof, I heard him run towards me. He carried me in his arms. “Don’t move… you broke your arm”, he said as he cradled me.
I broke my arm, it twisted when i fell. Riot put my arm in a cast. He made a place for me in the attic of the storehouse. “Cotton will go out and buy you some new clothes, so you don’t wear a nightgown all the time”
He scratched the back of his leg with his left foot. “Where’s dad?”
“Niecy…” he took a breath in, “I don’t think Frey is coming””Your birthday is soon. Do you want anything?”
Immediately when i hear it, i begin to wonder why do artificials have birthdays? Riot was wearing a black tuxedo, and his hair combed back. For a grown man I questioned why he wore braces when his teeth were perfect.
“I don’t want anything”, I stated.
“I’m sure you want something. Look… I know your a little emotional, that’s how your brain developed but you can’t walk around sad”
“I will do what i want when I please”, i said darkly.
“Ave …” he smirked and looked at me sweetly. “I will get you something… for your 7th birthday. For what it’s worth… I’m sorry about Frey–”
“Get out!” I cried. “All you do is upset me!”
I just want to be alone. I sat on the matress in the attic and counted the dust in the gentle current of air. Eighteen. Eighteen pieces of dust, I felt lonesome. I worried about losing my father to drugs and didn’t expect this. I wondered about, where people go when they pass away. Where do normal people go when they pass away? I ran to ask Cotton.
Cotton was also a dark-skinned woman. She had big hair that was curly and blue. She wore pierced dimples and combat boots. She was in the rear of the storage house searching for something with the radio turned up on a jazz song.
“Cotton?” I hollered out to her, she looked up and turned the radio off. She shoved a pill in her mouth. “You want something, hun?”
“Where do normal people go when they die?” I asked.
She looked around as if giving thought before she addressed. “Wellll”, she looked upward towards the ceiling. “Do you believe in God?”
“I’ve never taken yellow before”, i answered.
She just laughed. “True. True. Some believe in the concept of heaven so, when someone dies. They assume they get there”
“Do artificials go to heaven?”
“No, They melt… “, she responded bluntly. I was offended, not by her lack of emotion but by the fact that artificials melt when their body gives out.
“So… I’ll just be a puddle of blood?”
She shook her head no, “you’ll be a type of liquid they used to make you, you don’t have real blood. At least I don’t remember”, she tilted her head in question like a confused dog.
I didn’t notice that Riot was behind me. “Don’t tell her that, show some compassion”, he said with his hand on my head.
“You were calling her a fake of you-know-who just yesterday!”, said Cotton
His eyes darted toward me. “You called me fake?”, I slapped his hand off me and ran. I could hear him call for me but i didn’t bother looking back.
I stumbled and fell on my knees. I sniffed. I felt his presents behind me and i gazed at him. “Why keep me if your just going to talk crap behind my back!?”
“Don’t!”, i screamed. “Don’t you dare call me your niece! I don’t care if you are my father’s brother, I never liked you. You make me feel bad”
He took in a deep breath. “When your father talks about me–”
“Stop switching the subject!”, I shouted. “Your just like him, you ignore everything i say!”
“Your mind is ahead of you…. you act older than you actually are”
He sighed heavily. His top lip twitched, “When he talks about me, does he say his brother or his friend?”
“Your a friend”, i stated.
“I suppose he died hating me… “, he chuckled and walked back to the storage house.
I sat aside the water all day with my thoughts. Repating the little rhyme in my mind.
Purple for the speed.
Red for the ticker.
Yellow for the mortality.
Black for the road.
I recalled to myself as i said, what about the other colors? Blue, white, pink, and green. What did they do and what’s so bad about pink. I wanted to know what they did. Did dad drug me… with the pink pill? Pink was for me?
“Have you ever heard of the Blue Tempest?” Asked Cotton while she played cards with the boys. They were all nakedIand i merely rolled my eyes. Adults are weird.
“What’s the Blue Tempest?”, I asked.
“Blue tempest is banned in 45 States and 8 countries”, she smirked as she put a card down. “I’ve always wanted to try a blue pill… I wonder if it’s better than purple. Purple makethemu happy, it makes time feel slow. Makes you aware… did you know that air has texture?” She said, she handed her hand out and wiggled her fingers. “The cold feels like tiny slices of paper slapping against your skin and taste like metal. It’s not wet or dry either”
“How high are you right now?”, i asked as her eyes drifted to the back of her head. “I suppose that’s why Riot loves you… you’re crazy just like him”
She smiled and leaned back in her chair, “Purple and red make sex even better, a little thought for when your older” she said in a whisper.
I climbed back up to the attic to my little mattress. I don’t feel safe here… I feel in peril all the time as if something or someone will attack me at any time.
When Riot came back, he took off his black tie and change into a suit that was jet black with a blue tie. He called me from down the attic, “Ave, I know you’re still mad, but please come down stairs”. Looking at Riot from above is scary to me, he looks like a raccoon with his eyes clouded by the shadows but has a nice, calm expression when looking from the front.
“What do you want?”, I said bitterly.
“I’m going to take you somewhere”, he stated.
“A drug trip?”, I asked sarcastically.
“Actually, Yes”, he answered. I couldn’t watch him smile but I know he was doing it. I reluctantly climbed down and he passed me a pink dress and black shoes to wear. “Look decent”, he averred.
I snatched the clothes from him and mumbled under my breath “Don’t tell me what to do”
Riot looked at me with confusion. “How… ?” He wondered. “How, am i possibly telling you what to do? Ya know what, go ahead and look like a rag doll if you desire”
“Is that a pun at me? Because I’m fake!?”
He frowned deeply. “Take it as you want it, I don’t feel guilty”, he said.