Feeling blue: A short story

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Indigo walked alone.

The world around him was empty and barren. He couldn’t see much from where he stood, but he had never been able to see much of anything anyway. Everything from what seemed to be the floor to the limitless void above him was unpigmented and desolate. Every word he uttered would disappear into blank nothingness, and no replies would come. 

So instead, Indigo focused on the way the ground felt against his feet. It wasn’t hard or soft, but grainy, and when he looked hard enough, seemed to have tiny particles ingrained. They were bumpy but interesting to touch — the only thing to touch.

Then there was him.

Indigo was the only thing that stood out from his location. He was long and had four limbs, wore what seemed like an intricate shirt that was attached to his pants with buckles, and on his head, an object of some sort that often cast a shadow when he wasn’t paying attention.

He didn’t know what the stuff on his body was, why he was the only thing that could move and why he was alone. Or more importantly, why he had color.

Those were all words familiar yet alien to him. He knew how they sounded, and if someone ever asked, which no one did because he was alone, he would have known what to answer. But he didn’t know how to say them. He didn’t even know if he could say them.

Slowly, he felt himself thinking about her again. Wondering. Hoping. 

There had been a time when Indigo had not been alone, when the world around him was different. He often let his mind drift to what he could hold on to, words he had heard her say: rich reds, creamy oranges, dusty browns … A hazy sky full of dotted birds, a fierce river crashing atop the blush pink lilies, overgrown and hiding secrets.

When the landscape had been new and fresh, he loved to feel with his hands, watch as the colors seeped onto his own body and turn a blended blue. The feeling would make him feel full, it made him feel like there was purpose. But back then, he wasn’t entirely free either.

When the landscape had been new and fresh, he loved to feel with his hands, watch as the colors seeped onto his own body and turn a blended blue.

Indigo only had his upper half and could only move his torso to pluck at the lilies and skim the waters. Endless grass had grown about where his lower half was meant to be, but thinking about it now, it had been better than wandering with nothing to see.

Sometimes, he felt like he was different. He would open his eyes, and a part of him had changed. The hat was the most obvious difference: It often disappeared and then came back. So during one occurrence, he decided to test his fate. And that’s when he met her.

He didn’t know what she looked like, but he had started to hear her voice, to feel her touching him. Her skin was soft and created the colors all around him. Her laugh gave light to the rainbow parting at the skies and tilted his hat back in place when it had fallen. She gave him the ability to roam, changing his surroundings every once in a while and guiding him along. Whether it was a mountainous road with gray and obsidian stones or a frozen river where he gained what she called “skates,” Indigo was never alone.

It seemed that the more he thought about her, the more he could understand. One day he heard her calling out his name, there were other voices around too. He wanted to reach out, he wanted to call them. …

And then he heard a new name, one that he couldn’t help but think must be hers.

Lina.

But it had been a long time since Indigo had heard Lina’s voice, felt her touch against his skin.

Stop torturing yourself Indigo, she isn’t coming back. Just accept it, you’re alone. He scolded himself and then sat down on the floor. This was his home. This was all he knew. He just wished he could hear her speak one more time, just once more, so he could seep into the background with ease, find out who he was, what he was. Melt into the many colors that made up his vacant lifestyle, trying to see and feel something other than the empty white void.

At first, he had been fixated on finding her identity, but once he knew her name, he craved to know more. He desired to seek answers for why he was the only one who looked like him, why it seemed like he had moved when he lost focus for a moment, why he couldn’t see her, why everything had gone blank.

But there had also been moments when he wished he hadn’t become so self-aware. Moments when he felt a part of him dripping away, watching as the scene around him, the pretty colors, all faded. It was a pandemonium of images being blurred, his own vision clouded by large droplets that made him stumble backward. The color sangria crashed into him and forever stained the back of his neck, as he stumbled into an abundance of chartreuse and gold. He had been left armless for days, watching as all the other colors faded off the page. He too had dimmed, but a part of him somehow remained. For what reason, he did not know. Indigo assumed he was fated to disappear, just like the world, just like her. He didn’t even know what happened, he just knew that he was now more lost than ever.

It was a pandemonium of images being blurred, his own vision clouded by large droplets that made him stumble backward.

As Indigo wondered all these things, he came across a mysterious interruption in the usual bleak canvas around him, something he had never seen. There seemed to be no dimension to the object in front of him. Actually, upon closer inspection, Indigo realized it had more dimension than he had ever seen. Unlike himself, who was just pressed onto the void, this, this thing seemed to come out. It was black, blacker than a crow’s wing, and deep –– Indigo didn’t know where it ended.

At first, he was wary of it. There came no voice when it appeared, so he wondered if this had anything to do with Lina, but then it got bigger.

Indigo had made himself stay away, but now the object had changed form: It was no longer just an endless hole of ebony, it was like an eye staring back at him, with a tiny little dot of light. Indigo had been investigating it for what seemed like an eternity, debating its existence and what he should do with it. But now, as he watched the object move and begin to expose the light more and more, he couldn’t look away.

And as the object grew in size, it seemed to mimic the size of his own form. Normally, Indigo would have stayed back –– sure he complained about being alone a lot, but this was too risky. But it all changed when he heard her laugh.

There, in the subtle ringing, was a cacophony of colors that held the truth. Indigo’s truth. And Lina. Lina, whoever she was and wherever she had come from. Indigo wanted to know her, he wanted to seek out the person that had let him appear where he was. 

So he took one step and then another, and when nothing pounced out at him from the hole, he jumped in.

 

Indigo already existed, he did that every day. Now, though, now he wanted to live.

Contact Pamela Hasbun at [email protected].

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