As you walk down the street that splits the small town in two, you realize that something is wrong. There is no color. The leaves on the trees are not green as they should be, the flowers that have finally bloomed after a long and cold winter lack their brightness. The signs in the windows of the stores that line the street do not catch your eye as they are supposed to.
Everything is lacking any sort of color. Everything around you is black and white or gray, nothing more. You know that there is such thing as color, but you cannot remember what such a thing looks like. You remember the names; red, purple, green, orange, and many more, however any memories of seeing these colors have left your mind. It is almost as if someone has erased those memories. You know that you have them, however you cannot remember. You reach for them, strain for them, but you cannot grasp them. They are out of your reach.
You take notice of something else that replaces any thought of trying to retrieve any memories. Everything is still. Nothing moves. The trees don not sway, nor do any flags flap in the wind. Everything is dead still. That is because there is no wind. There is also no smell. The pleasant, intoxicating scent of blooming flowers is absent along with everything else.
You sigh and keep walking. One of the store doors down the road opens, and a young woman and a boy who must be her son step out and start walking towards you. Their clothes, as with everything else around you, lack any type of color. As they get closer, you say hello, but they do not answer, and walk past you without any sort of acknowledgement. Then you notice something strange. Their faces had been blank. Both the woman’s and her son’s faces showed not even the slightest hint of emotion. You look over your shoulder and see the two turn the corner of the building at the end of the street. And then you see more people. Men, women, girls, and boys appear, walking down the street. Every one of them void of any clothing with color, just as the woman and boy you had just seen seconds ago. You keep walking down the street.
Everyone you pass go about their business, yet no one makes a sound. It is silent. Every face on this street shows no emotion. No anger, no frustration, no laughter, no joy. Then you notice that none of them notice you or answer you when you greet them. They walk past you as if you were never there or as if you were some ghost that cannot be seen, felt, or heard.
You stop walking and just stand where you are. You look around at everyone and everything around you. It all lacks one thing. Life. As you watch, tears begin to emerge. Grief enters you as if it were a spear that someone ran you through with and then twisted it. You sink to your knees and scream, but no sound emerges from your lips. You scream again, and again, but nothing happens. Tears stream down your face. You cannot live like this! You cannot live in a world that is void of life! True life! You cannot live in a world where everyone is too busy to look around and see the beauty that is around them! You won’t! You continue to scream.
When you are finished, you look up, hoping that something has changed, but nothing has. No one who passes you takes any notice of the person on the ground who is in agony. Everything is gray, there is no sound, no movement except for the straight-faced people walking down the street, looking ahead as if there was neither anything nor anyone around them.
Something inside of you begins to swell. You pull yourself off the ground, and stand up. You feel a renewed sense of determination to remember what color looked like, what the wind felt like, what flowers smelt like. As you look at the people around you, you begin to realize that you not only want to remember these things yourself, but to show these people what being truly alive was like. What beauty really is. So you walk up to a man who is about to open the door to a bakery and grab his arm. He does not make any audible sound of resistance, but he does try to get away from your grip. You do not let go. You can’t. You need to show him. You must.
You grip each of his shoulders with one hand after you spin him around to face you. His face is still void of any expression. The thing you felt in your stomach while you were on the ground begins to bubble and then begins to boil. You stare into the man’s eyes, and you do not look away. Neither does he. Both of you stand there for what could have been a few minutes or even a few hours, but eventually, something does change.
At the edge of the man’s irises, a deep ocean blue begins to creep towards his pupils. It takes less than ten seconds for his irises to be completely blue. Yes! you say. It’s working! But then nothing else happens. The man’s eyes are still blue, but nothing else about him changes.
You begin to cry once more. There has to be a way! And then that feeling inside the pit of your stomach arises once again. You grasp the sides of the man’s head, tilt it back, and then begin to scream in his face. Suddenly something inside of your bursts, and a jet of light shoots out of your mouth and engulfs the man’s face. He begins to shake, but you keep on screaming. Once the shaking stops, you cease screaming. You feel tired, but you also feel more energized than ever because of what you see in front of you.
The man has changed. The shirt he wears is red, and the shorts he wears, gray. His thinning hair is blonde. He is smiling. When you see this, you smile, because you know that you are now not alone. He sees the beauty that you see. You ask him if he is ready, and he nods. With this, you both begin to show everyone on the street the beauty that surrounds them every day.