Hello, all you Wacky Waving Arm-Flailing Inflatable Tube People!
Do you have any favourite pranks and gags? Any go-to goofs and jokes? Do you sometimes make yourself laugh so hard you get light-headed? Then you’ve come to the right place, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Describe the Colour Purple
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
For this upcoming April Fool’s Day, we decided to go with a more silly prompt! One that is so vague it could literally be anything your goofy mind wants it to be!
You can describe what purple would taste like, for example. Is it crispy? Is it sweet and chewy? Dense? Maybe it’s even spicy? Maybe it tastes so good that you can’t stop eating it. Or maybe it tastes like all normal foods because you just like to put purple food colouring on everything you consume. Step aside, green eggs and ham! Purple pancakes and bacon are on the rise!
What about what it smells or feels like? It could be a gentle lavender scent on freshly pressed bedsheets! Or it could be a fluffy feeling as you whip your purple yams into mash! Grape scented shampoos, Catmint scented candles, or even just Amethyst Deceiver mushrooms on their own, there’s all kinds of scents and textures purple can have!
Purple can even sound like anything! Play a purple kazoo, or listen to a purple slinky folding on and on down a set of stairs! Smack some PlayDough, throw a rubber Sticky Hand against the wall, or shake your head with your Spring-Eyed Glasses on and listen to the weird sounds they make! Anything is possible!
So get out there and show us your silly side! If you want to write about the one time you were sure you actually met the One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying Purple People Eater and lived to tell the tale, by all means do it! If you want to write about the kaleidoscope toy you had that was all blues and purples and silvers and made you dizzy, go ahead!
*Silly glasses, playdough, slinkys, sticky hands, and kazoos not included
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
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What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
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Excerpt of a navigators story, Chapter 3: the colours between.
Beyond the usefulness of our addiction leading us through the stars, the politics, the endless needles and tending, it all fell away, sloughing of like dead skin once we were strapped by nervous eyes into the pilots seat.
Weightless, you feel little, but as the accelaration builds beyond acceptable limits you are pressed into the cushioned material by physics of the cosmos, that last vestiges of a reality bound by rules that make sense.
It chokes you, your breathe means something for a split second as the world splits apart, the colours of the universe lick your eyes with a lingering tongue, lapping at the edges of your conciousness.
Colours stretch across you before their teeth dig in, behind the ocipital cavity, where electrical input becomes something your brain understands, it skips the middleman of your pupils and begins to taste like danger, sound like freedom, feel like relief.
At this point the foaming vestiges of my breathe mean nothing, all you are slips between the spectrum of understanding, Purple means danger, a taste of prickly fruits and sumptious delight, like a poisoned wine it splashes through your rib cage and drips from your tongue.
But there are spaces between the purple, the gold of god, hiding amongst the darkness of the brain like a carefully scrawled painters mark, you can’t reach it, you shouldn’t reach for it.
You need to dance.
Slip along the floor of taste until you are bathed the warming rays, spinning and twirling to the sounds a thousand heartbeats thundering in anticpitation and fear set to the fireworks of colours with no name.
As the dance subsides you are left exhausted and sweaty, dropped into your harness as if thrown by god into the chair as your eyes makes sense again, the lingering touch of purple on the tongue rapidly fading from your heart.
We all have that knowing, shackled to our posts we are never freer.
And I have never met a navigator since in my travels that didn’t share that eye, the knowing eye of need, to escape to that lovers embrace again.
As Long As That Space Was Hopeful By TheCatPiano
What can i say about the colour purple? I could rant and say its the colour of royalty and magic but for me it is the shade of vomit mixed in with red wine and blood. its the colour of the daze of days of hangovers, the auras of the judgement of others.
Its a dear friends favourite colour and that shows why I don’t talk to him anymore.
Because he liked a purple a purple tint in his glasses as he watched us full our glasses.
In time I hope I think better of the man and less of this violet haze because the colour purple is the bad look Dionysus gives you when you’ve had too much, its the cutting feeling of knowing you can hurt others
Although its also the colour of midnight and goth girls, for other friends and Cheshire cats. The kind of blood a smoker bleeds rich with tar.
If space were a colour it would be purple as long as that space was hopeful.
The Ultra Violet lights of illegal raves illuminating all the mad hatters and pills Alice used to grow and shrink. In morning mass on a Sunday its the colour of the priests sash.
Blue Salvia By Spec
A sweet breeze flew through the field, carrying the gentle aroma of the flowers below. As it went on, two persons were standing in the middle of it, enjoying themselves with their baskets, collecting some of the blooms.
As time passed they seemed to have filled their hampers. Deciding to rest a little bit below the shadows of a magnificent tree. Once resting, one of the two decided to get closer, the girl appeared curious on what the other was doing, as for them, he was just saving one of the flowers on his blue journal. Once finished, she decided to ask the skeleton.
“Are you really just taking one? With the interest you were showing before I guessed you were some kind of merchant?” Asked the girl curiously looking at his book.
“I just needed one, there’s no reason to be greedy. Besides, your village can make better use of them than me. It’s not like I need medicine anymore.” Said the skeleton chuckling, very proud of his attempted joke, while the girl looked in disgust for a little bit.
“I see… and why do you need it? Are you a collector, perhaps?”
“You can say that, but I don’t collect flowers, I get their meanings.”
“Meanings?” Asked the girl with a confused look.
“In some cultures people used plants to convey feelings, they’re really important for them, and so they are for me.” His voice sounded more serious this time, and as he spoke, he looked fondly at the Salvia.
“Then, what does that one mean? Is it health perhaps?” She said proudly.
“For you it is, and it is as valid as the one I carry”, took a time to continue “For me it means I Think if You… Not you of course. But someone I care about”, He got embarrassed along the way.
“You’re cute.” She said laughing, “Common we gotta go back”.
“You’re right Lilac. I hope dinner’s ready, or not, I forgot that I can’t eat”.
“Again with that”. Said the annoyed Lilac as she picked up her basket.
There was a flash by that wrought iron fence, darkness mixed into light, lavish like royalty. I saw her pass beside me. She walked with such an air of authority that I felt drawn in like a whirlpool had me caught within its reaching grasp. But it wasn’t just confidence, that cloak she wore, as smooth as night skies, the outside a dripping black as if ink and tenebrosity had mixed into one void. On the inside, a tantalizing color pulled at my eyes, hungry for such shine. It was as if the heavens above, cold and distant, had wrapped themselves in that silk. The color sang as if the very sight of it might claim her authority.
I was only a child. Still, that flash tears through my dreams. It cuts the monochromatic mirages of horrors and hate into ribbons. Those that, so often, plague me in my sleep without rest. Yes, such a vivid glow of beauty that I found myself searching to know as if it was a duty.
I checked in the markets, shady dealers ushering me in. I looked in the mirror, my pale visage telling nothing. I looked at this earth; the firm ground small comfort to my sole. I asked those around me, the gentle child and the one who stole. I searched within my lifetime, finding images of a kiss. Behind my dreams of madness, they did not give away. I asked a god but heard nothing, to my dismay. Great monsters and the little ones had not seen at all. Even the warm glow of the heavens’ light could hardly shine light upon that fall. I couldn’t bear the struggle and didn’t want the hate, so I sat down at that darkened gate.
And then, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw her face. Such cold eyes matched that cloaked color. Those eyes were violet; those eyes shone like no other.
The Taste of Purple
By MasaCur (Reposted from the Private Group)
Miki wandered around Sakurami’s fourth floor, made up of labs for the science classes. She hadn’t spent much time up there.
One of the rooms had a bunch of students in it. In the far corner, a pink-haired girl was looking at a violet fluid in a test tube, a thermometer suspended in it.
Miki walked up to her. “Hi! Whatcha doing? I’m Miki, by the way.”
The girl glanced up at her, then grabbed a pair of folding safety goggles, and passed them to Miki.
“Oh, uh, thanks. But they don’t go with my hair,” Miki replied. She placed the goggles on the lab bench.
The girl narrowed her eyes, then grabbed the white board, and wrote furiously on it.
I’m recording the temperature of this solution, she wrote. It displays an amazing endothermic reaction to oxygen. .
“Oh! You poor dear. You must be deaf!” Miki exclaimed.
The girl frowned and wiped the board clean, then wrote on it again.
I’m not deaf. I have social mutism.
Miki gasped in surprise. “You’re a mutant? What’s your power?”
The girl glared at Miki. She was only drawn away when her phone beeped. She glanced at it, then wrote the temperature displayed on the thermometer.
Miki got bored. She saw a flask with more of the violet liquid in it.
“Making a new flavor of soft drink?” Miki asked. “Can I try?”
Without waiting, Miki popped the flask open, and took a sip of it. Then a swallow.
“What are you doing?” the girl screamed.
Everyone looked over at them.
“Oh my gosh! Me drinking this gave you the ability to speak!” Miki said with glee.
“You don’t know what’s in that!” the girl shouted. “It could have been poisonous!”
“It tastes like purple.”
The girl stared at Miki in disbelief.
“Purple isn’t a flavor; it’s a color!”
“No, it tastes like how purple looks.” Miki shook her head. “I thought you science types were smart.”
The girl clenched her jaw and glared at Miki. On the white board, in large letters, she wrote, Get out!
Birth of a Colour.
Anua crouched nearby cautiously, an intense fear in her wide eyes. I felt the same fear in myself, the deep and resounding beat of my heart. We should have never came so close to the end of the world, so close to the tower that we could make out on the horizon. Yet, we continued to crawl up on our haunches to the ominous thing, wary of its presence. It was like nothing I had ever seen before; it was impossible not to see, impossible not to make out….it was different.
Against the everlasting grey and white foliage and ground, the deathly dark sky, the object glowed a new colour, a colour which didn’t belong in this world of ours. For as long as anyone could remember the everything had been shades of grey, black, or white, no exceptions. There had been stories though, pasted down by grandmothers, stories of the colours of the Goblin Priest, for it was he who had owned them.
For centuries the Goblin had allowed his colours to run wild in the world, filling all with bright and beautiful sights and radiance. These colours were stored in ceramic jars at night, in a tower at the end of the world. The Goblin let the world be lit during day, and let his tower be lit by night. The tribes of the land had worshipped him as a god, a deity who gave their world meaning.
Then came the day that the colours were withdrawn, when someone had tried to steal them from the Goblin. That someone had been a young warlock, and in punishment their soul had been turned into a new colour, a colour to be locked away in that tower at the end of the world.
I knew all the stories, the tales, and that knowledge made what lay before us even more frightening, it was a colour, and not just any colour…it was the colour purple. It was said the colour of purple was the colour of the warlock’s soul, the colour that had never seen the light.
Anua beckoned to me to come closer, and I fought a battle inside, we shouldn’t have been so close to the end of the world, so close to the tower. But my curiosity won out, and soon we were so near the colour that we could feel it’s presence, the presence of the Goblin Priest’s power. In the dark alcove of foliage, we found the colour purple, and in that same alcove the Goblin found us…and two new colours were added to his collection.
“The color purple? Really?!” I complain out loud. How am I supposed to make a story out of that?!
I sit on this prompt. “Maybe I could write about a purple flower that will give a color-blind girl the ability to see colors?”
The next thing I know, I find a story on the tale foundry about a colorblind girl contemplating the color purple. Grand.
I know! I could write about a girl who has synesthesia-
Again, someone beats me to it.
What does it take? This guy cannot be serious about this prompt. Maybe I’m only mad because I can’t think of an original idea.
Time to return to the scene of the prompt!
The person who gave me this prompt said something about April fools day?! Alright, let’s do this!
I will write about this dang color, even though it’s my least favorite color. I’m going to take this anecdote and joke even harder!
I write about how I came to this conclusion. I fight for this story, Fighting for a story that doesn’t feel like a generic copy of someone else’s work. I stop for the night, dinner waiting for me upstairs.
A few days later, I think about whether or not I want to post this ”purple story.” This anecdote features me more than purple. I love my stories and want to give them more character.
“I think I can settle for this,” the voice in my head begs me to redo it; I can’t abandon the deadline, however.
“I kinda made it!” Take that, Tale Foundry! I wrote something that has no monotony and probably makes no sense. I don’t like how this story ends. Maybe next time I can provide my story with more attentiveness.
By Karl Aegnor
“And I tells ya, it tore through the wall of the frigate like a tin can. Mind you, this was no mining ship, this was seven inches of bona-fide Runzarian steel, reinforced and armored to boot.”
It was a late night in the depot, and the old-timer was at it again. Ernest let the geezer talk on, it was something of a rite of passage for the new guys. Some of the story was even true. Old Phil had been in the service before turning his talents to asteroid-mining. A less hazardous profession, but not by much.
“I reckon I didn’t see the half of whatever it was, but all the same I’ll never forget the sight…” Phil seemed to grow taller where he sat, his gesticulations growing exaggerated to match. He was in rare form tonight. Ernest stood up, preparing the drinks behind the ramshackle bar.
“An immense shape, the limbs that tore through jutting out at impossible angles, but most of all I remember color of its strange, sinewy flesh… A purplish-blue, but it had a bite to it, if you take my meaning.” Ernest chuckled as he wiped a sooty glass, they never did ‘take his meaning’, and therein lay the rub.
“I’m afraid I couldn’t tell it any better. Not with a dry mouth, at least.” He added mischievously. There was usually one who would humor him, either through curiosity or simple bemusement. Sure enough, one of the lads called for a pour.
“Don’t know, Earnie.” Phil shook his head. “Thought I had me a captive audience there.”
Ernest smiled as he corked the bottle. “Indeed. It’s a sad night when you can only swindle one of the youngsters.”
Phil did not return the expression “Nights like this, it’s not quite worth the nightmares.” The old man always said things like that, and sometimes Ernest half believed him. He sent the man off, and prepared to welcome the next ship.
Having heard the all the war stories countless times, he had to admit. The space-beast always stuck with him. Something about how he described the not-quite-purple.
So blue was sitting there, right? And then there was red, okay? And then they combined, you see? And then, this is the craziest part, they became purple. Cool right?
I saw the prompt’s title and had a great idea for a “Color Out of Space” tribute (the only Lovecraft story I’ve ever liked), and then I saw it was an April Fool’s Day prompt, so I’ve got nothing.
A Summer’s Breeze
by Joris Lemoine
A frosty nip shook the trees and rattled the fruit-laden branches together.
“Excuse you!” said Peach, blushing with indignation.
“What?” huffed Plum.
“I happen to bruise easily, you know. No need to get rough.”
“Rough? That was the wind, you windbag. And I can imagine that you would bruise easily with skin like that, all fuzzy and pale, all sunset and no sun, all lustre and no muster.”
“You… you…” spluttered Peach. “You should talk! You’re nought but a bruise, the sight of a late night in the rough part of town, a stain on your own honour! I won’t be impeached by a lout like you!”
“Bah, you’re full of guff. All that spit and venom, feeling better’n the likes of me.” Plum pulled in its gut. “I’ve got some complexion, at least: I’ve got a full head of steam in me, I’m night and day, I’m king and pauper. I taste like sin on Saturday nights and cranberries in the morning. I’m not some fusty old mealworm like you!”
“Well, I never!” Peach was trembling on his stem, stumped into stillness. “All that gaudy peacock strutting will do you no good, you plump rascal. We’ll see who gets bitten first.”
As Plum and Peach harangued each other the wind picked up. It was an unseasonal nor’wester and it plucked Plum plumb from his perch.
“Hah!” Peach yelled after him, “serves you right, you overripe troglodyte!”
In among the verdant grass and sage-green moss, Plum leaked out to the delight of passing ants.
“Oooh, Gus, look’it!”
“Wha’?” said the pheromone scent marker of the second ant with a whiff of mycelia and wood-rot.
“Nah, Gus, iz crestfallen termites-attacking-th’anthill.”
Things were looking bleak for Plum. In his final moments, he remembered the softening of flesh, the scarlet overtaking the chartreuse, the sappy loneliness and the longing to dance free on the breeze as sunbeams brought out the dignity in him. It all leaked out onto the chestnut soil, and a chitinous army swarmed his body redolent with pithy notes.
By The Missing Link
Purple was the color of her eyeliner the day I met her, and the color of the flowers I gave her. They say you don’t need love in a marriage, but I always thought it’d help.
Purple was the color of her jewels on the day of our wedding, comparing almost to the beauty in her eyes.
Purple was the color of the veil on father’s casket and the crowns my wife and I wore the same day, a beautiful spiral of red and blue to symbolize the union of our kingdoms.
Purple was the color of my son’s first shirt on the happiest day of my life. When I held him in my arms, I felt truly connected to my wife. This wasn’t just some political alliance. It was real.
Purple was the color that littered the ground the day the war began, washed in black and red, and my dear son had made himself a hero and a killer. As the fighting raged on, the purple in the town fell away, and I feared my son would fall with them.
Purple circled my wife’s eyes, but she wouldn’t say what was wrong. She seemed to avoid me a lot more those days, and I was always tired. I wanted to fix things for her, but how could I if she wouldn’t let me.
Purple was the color of the wine that stained the floor, stained the walls… stained her dress. Purple was the color of her face when I came to, and so too would be mine when my son was through.
In the Possession of Crystals
By Matthew R. Wright
Amethyst. It had started out as a joke, something stupid to be discarded. An idea birthed from nights of excess drink and deficient thought. It should had stayed a bad piece of wordplay.
The joke had been along the lines of a shower-thought, something about the potentiality of snorting crystals the same way you’d snort crystal meth, if crushed down into fine powder.
You can see how the word-association could allow for such middle-of-the-road comedy, but the idea itself stuck. With his impulsive nature, it was only a matter of time.
In the multimedia player of his mind, Rohan played the scenario out uncompressed and unfiltered: mortar and pestle – a single amethyst crystal – eminence quartz ground against pestle and polished bowl – shades of scarlet and azure mix and blend over a lengthy timelapse – excruciatingly manual –
broken down fine – lined straight with razor-blades – rolled up twenties – polymer over paper.
Drunk from the pre-drink, he assumed the high would be similar to any stimulant; amphetamine; MDMA; coke; ket. Too much of a coward to try anything real. Ruled by the fear of being caught in possession.
“No-one’s ever gone to prison for a bag of crystals.”
Prepped, all had gone as intended. Rohan completed his first and only line of amethyst. 8.5cm long by 0.3cm wide. Deep inhale – Irritated cartilage – coughing fit. He’d lined up some tourmaline, kunzite and rose quartz to try, should the kick…lack. They wouldn’t see use. Rohan, laid back on his couch, eyes lids heavy, tongue dry. He necked the remainder of his Coors light and stared off to the ceiling waiting for the rush.
Hot. Light-headed. Rohan passed out. It would take three hours for him to die.
Razor-sharp magenta dust penetrated his lungs – it coated the linings – cut the flesh of the throat – closed up the airways. His respiratory system failing to asphyxia.
Crystals can do many things; release blocked energy, transform auras, heal supposedly. What they can’t do is get you high. Rohan didn’t know this. Rohan used Google.
Rohan’s dead now.
Don’t be like Rohan.
On the Topic of Aliens
By ThatWeirdFish, reviewed by Alex
Sarah felt sorry for Subject 5. All he did was sit in his containment cell while researchers fussed over his more intriguing… brother? They called themselves brothers. She shook herself from the linguistic rabbit hole and walked up to the cell on her lunch break.
“Hey, fiver, wanna talk?” She asked with a casual smile, garnering a look from her co-worker cleaning the control panel on a nearby table. “What? He’s probably bored.”
“How can you tell?” He said back with a frown. “No, wait, don’t tell me… his word choice.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “His body language and the fact everyone is focused on Subject 4. I bet he’s lonely too.”
“Do you have to make friends with everything?” He grumbled, scrubbing a bit harder than necessary.
“Since I’m training to become an ambassador and translator, yes.” Sarah crossed her arms. “Gotta problem with that?”
“They’re not human. They’re just animals that can talk.”
“And pilot a spaceship, Jerrod!” Sarah exclaimed, throwing her arms out. “Don’t tell me that isn’t the greatest discovery of all time. New life, new civilizations, new… everything!”
Jerrod scowled as he roughly gathered up his cleaning supplies, leaving his job half-finished. “You visionaries are going to doom us all.” He left the room with heavy footsteps.
“Or save us!” She called after him before turning back to Subject 5. “Sorry about that. People are so stuck-”
“What… is purple?” The alien shifted, his back still to her.
“I’m sorry?” Sarah blinked.
“Purple. I hear it used to describe me frequently. What is it?”
Sarah’s eyes widened. He is more fluent than she thought! And recognizes himself! Sentience! This is a great discovery! She hastily pulled out her notepad and began jotting down notes.
“It’s a color. One that the spots on your skin glow in. How do you do that anyway? Is it a choice, or do you just do it without thinking?”
“… Color?” Subject 5 asked and slowly turned to face her.
“It’s an attribute that distinguishes different objects that… we…” Her voice trailed off as she met his blank eyes. “… can see.”
Mandy’s Interview (The Minds)
by Lee Strangely
The woman raised up yet another card, its face pointed away from Mandy. Mandy closed her eyes with a wince as she put thought into her response.
“The wavy lines?”
The woman put the card down and pretended to jot something down on a sheet of paper. She then looked at the wall behind her. From behind the one-way glass the other two men debated.
“She’s a dud,” Mover declared.
“She’s just latent,” Thinker argued, “we need another test.”
“Reader has been testing her for hours. If she can’t find anything in her, then there isn’t anything there.”
“Do you think I just make these things up? Have I ever been wrong?”
“So what makes now any different?”
Thinker fidgeted constantly as his eyes darted around the room. He planned his next move. To Mover’s shock he then bolted out of the room…
He then entered the other room, motioning for Reader to leave. She promptly, and begrudgingly, did.
“Um, hi.” she responded, a little confused.
“If you’ll allow, I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
“Fine, I guess…”
“Alright, what does air feel like?”
“What does air feel like?”
“I don’t know.”
“How long is soon?”
“W-what do you mean?” she asked while starting to get a little flustered.
Thinker lobbed pointless question after pointless question at Mandy, and she became more irritated with each one.
As Reader entered the other room, Mover pondered, “What the heck is he trying to accomplish?”
“He’s trying to provoke her.”
Back in the other room Mandy was boiling over.
“Describe the color purple,” Thinker demanded.
“How!?” Mandy shouted. Suddenly, just as she replied, Thinker and his chair flew backward and into the glass with a hard THUD.
With a brief sigh of pain, he then looked toward his colleagues behind him with a grin, “She’s a mover.”
Thought Experiment (Chronicles of The Dragon)
Jostica sat in their headquarters’ living room, studying her spell book.
With a FOOMPH Blaise was leaning over the back of the couch to look at what she was reading. “I don’t know how you can understand this stuff.”
“I studied really hard for several years” she said, as she flipped to another page.
Blaise made a face like her lemonade was just lemon. “I still can’t believe you basically put yourself through school while you were ALREADY in school.”
“Well I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t, so leave me alone.”
Blaise hopped over the back of the couch and plopped down next to Jostica. “What are you doing anyway?”
Jostica sighed. “I’m trying to fix these in my mind so I can cast them easier.”
“How’s it going?”
Blaise sat next to her in silence, kicking her feet, for almost a full minute this time. “Is magic that hard to learn?”
Jostica dropped her hands into her lap and stared through the opposite wall.
She took a deep breath. “Magic is complicated. Memorizing the symbols is hard, but if that was all it was more people could do it. But you have to keep what you want to happen in mind at the same time. You have to be able to see reality a different way and then make it that way.”
Blaise thought hard about that for a moment. “Are you saying I need to have a good imagination?”
“That’s one way to put it, yes.”
“I have that!”
“Okay. Describe the color purple.”
“What? How do you describe a color?”
“Use your imagination.”
“Purple is fire and ice.” They both jumped and turned to see Thomas leaning against the wall. “It’s Temperance. Nobility. Its opposition coming together.” He paused. “Why are we describing colors?”
Jostica, grinning broadly, said, “Just an experiment.”
Purple Squad (Color Guard)
By Danny Gilhooley
The barracks door opened, and a kid walked in. Everyone in the Color Guard was young, but the person standing in the doorway carrying the small duffel bag with his new assigned color uniform looked almost a decade younger.
“See what I mean?” Plum said. “If this is the calvary, then we’re done for.”
“Umm…” the kid in the doorway stuttered.
A woman gave Plum a dirty look before facing the kid. “Don’t listen to him,” she said. “I’m guessing you’re Fuchsia?”
“That’s me,” the kid said.
The woman smirked. “Nice to meet you. I’m Violet. The rude one is Plum.”
“Not being rude,” Plum said. “Just being honest.”
“Not even!” Violet said. “We beat the Ink in the last battle with just our squad. And they’re nowhere close to getting rid of all color in the world.”
“And how many people did we lose doing that?” Plum said.
Violet’s nostrils flared. Plum just laid on the bed staring at the ceiling. He and Violet wore plain black uniforms with a bright stripe, indicating the colors they represented.
Fuchsia said, “I’m supposed to meet the commander in the barracks. Do you mind if I get ready?”
“Do what you need to do,” Violet said. “You’ll like Purple. He’s a good leader.”
“Why do you have to keep lying to him?” Plum said.
“Because he is a good leader! And I’m not lying!” Violet said. She turned back to Fuchsia. “Times aren’t easy for us right now. We lost a few colors in the last battle. Lilac, Lavender, and the…old Fuchsia, and we need new people to fill their shoes.”
“Did Purple make a mistake?” Fuchsia asked.
Violet shook her head. “No, he made all the right calls. We saved a lot of color from getting wiped out in the last battle thanks to him. And he’s been fighting a long time. I can’t imagine the people he lost. But he perseveres.”
Plum looked up from the bed.
“That’s what I heard,” Fuchsia said. “That’s what our color does.”
“A Vision in Amethyst” (Aethryn Setting)
Elric gazed into the fist sized amethyst he’d stolen. He thought excitedly of the wealth he would gain for it.
“I’d wager that’s worth a good sum of money, Tarn,” said Elric.
“More than you realize. This isn’t just a big gemstone. It’s an Aethian memory crystal! Just concentrate on it while you’re holding it there,” said Tarn the Fence.
Elric did as Tarn suggested, closing his eyes and focusing his mind. His vision flooded with soft purple light which faded into a scene of Wisteria flowers. There an old man in a red wizard robe lay resting beneath a willow tree. The scene was so vivid. Elric could smell the flowers and the feeling of soft earth beneath his feet. He could feel the cool breeze flow over him as it rustled amidst the Wisteria flowers. Suddenly the man beneath the tree woke up. The man spoke to him in a strange language that Elric somehow still understood.
“You! I have seen you in my visions of the future, young man. Beware, your friend betrays you!” the old man warned.
Why had Tarn, who he’d been selling the gem to, gone through the trouble of telling him it was worth more than he had thought. Couldn’t Tarn have just bought it and made a big profit off of it?
Suddenly Elric felt a sharp pain in his side. He touched it, and his hand was stained deep red against the purple Wisterias. The old man looked sadly at him. The vision shattered and Elric collapsed to the ground, grasping at the knife Tarn had stabbed him with. He saw Tarn turning away, carrying the amethyst with him. Tarn laughed at Elric’s folly for trusting him as he walked away.
By Lantis Armstrong
Black cloth was wrapped tight around Anastasia’s diminutive snow white porcelain figure so that she could meld into the shadows and stay hidden from the hulking grunts stomping heavily across the dungeon.
The filthy dungeon, reeking of rot and offal, was lit by sparsely placed torches which she could avoid by slinking from one moldy stone pillar to the next.
She froze behind a pillar as the grunts guarding the last cell on the left began to walk past her. Trying and failing to stay perfectly still, she shivered in the dank, humid air as though she were cold. Beneath the cloth wrappings, she bit down hard on her bottom lip, praying her teeth wouldn’t clack.
“The king should have ordered that tramp dead long ago,” one grunt spoke as they passed by her. “Better late than never. But that was too close. It went on for too long.”
“Could you imagine his disgusting genes mixing with our fair blue blooded princess?” The other replied.
“That’s so gross, don’t even put that image in my head.”
Anastasia’s eyes began to water at their words, her heart pounding in her chest now. She tried to move after the grunts were gone, but her body felt so heavy. Her movements were stiff and stilted as she emerged from the shadows and approached the open cell door.
She clasped a hand over her mouth to muffle a sobbing scream which caught in her throat and choked her briefly.
A body was flayed open before her, the sickening instruments used by the grunts still laid all around it.
Pulling a long rusted knife out of the body’s side, she stuck it to her own neck. She only hesitated for a moment.
She wrapped herself around his body and laid her head on his chest, watching her blue blood pour across his body and mix with his commoner’s red blood. The mixture turned purple, and she smiled.
“It’s so beautiful,” Anastasia murmured her last thought before the end.
It was the most wonderful color she had ever seen.
Two Totally Normal Humans
“HELLO FELLOW HUMANS!” Hue Min (secretly known as Zerg) said to the art gallery.
“HELLO FELLOW HUMAN!” Erl Ling (secretly known as Caskirf) said.
“Ah, if it isn’t my human friend – who I trust and is NOT an alien – Erl.”
“Yes Hue — my human friend who I trust and is also NOT an alien — it is me, Erl.”
“What is it you are currently doing good friend Erl?”
“Me and Christine here were just observing this fine specimen of what we humans call, a painting.” Erl/Caskirf said gesturing to an artwork depicting a purple landscape.
“Ah yes,” Christine said, “I find this piece quite interesting in how it—”
“This picture made of pigments and binders shows quite the detailed scene!” Hue/Zerg said. “I especially appreciate how it shows the many tones of the color, flub.”
“Zerg!” Erl/Caskirf whispered. “Humans can’t see the color flub!”
“What are you talking about!?” Hue/Zerg whispered back. “The entire picture is made out of it!”
“No, it’s showing what the humans call ‘purple’.”
“I do not see this ‘purple’.” Hue/Zerg whispered. “Describe what it looks like to me.”
“Are you aware of the color ‘red’?”
“Are you aware of the color ‘blue’?”
“Of course I am!”
“Purple is a combination of the two.”
“That makes no sense!” Hue/Zerg whispered, furiously undulating their hidden antenna. “When ‘red’ and ‘blue’ are combined they’re supposed to make the color flub!”
“Zerg, red and blue don’t create flub.” Erl/Caskirf said. “Perhaps you are color blind to purple, and that’s okay.”
“Umm, what are you guys talking about?” Christine said.
Memories From Before The Fog (Mary’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis
“Have you seen many purple things?” Daisy had asked her once, during a long evening by the fire.
“…What?” Mary had replied, turning stiffly to face her goblin friend.
Daisy winced, aware of the subject’s delicate nature. “Sorry, I know that’s maybe a strange thing to ask you, but – well, I haven’t seen much of it. Any dye like that is extremely expensive, and my hometown didn’t have that kind of money…”
Mary relaxed a little, waiting for her friend to finish.
“…So I thought, Mary might have seen more, right? The purple dye is hard to find in the wild, but you lived there all your life, so – I was wondering.” Her hands were clenched tightly together, but her eyes remained hopefully curious.
She thought for a moment. Grey memories flowed through her, falling back into older visions of fading colour. Visions of a younger forest, full of flowers and trees and animals, before she was taken away from them. “I’ve seen a few, yes.”
“Oh?” Her friend’s face brightened. “What were they?”
The visions became clearer. “Flowers, mostly. Thistle, Lavender, Catmint…Foxglove, Wisteria…” As she spoke their names, a shimmering image of each flower formed within her hand, shining for a moment before fading into the next.
Daisy’s eyes went wide, a smile breaking across her face as she looked upon flowers she’d never had the chance to see before.
Mary looked upon those same illusionary flowers, and all she saw was grey.
She knew they were purple. She knew from Daisy’s reaction that their colour was right. She knew, because they had been conjured from her memories of colour, when her sight was bright and living.
But no matter how beautiful, how vivid those memories may be, she simply couldn’t make her darkened dead eyes see them in anything but blacks and greys. For her, colour was now secluded within her dreams.
Or they would be, if she could dream…
“Mary? You okay?” Daisy’s voice, worried once again.
Mary opened her eyes. “No. Not really.” She attempted a smile. “But you do make my days a little brighter.”
As Indigo Rayleigh woke that night from troubled dreams, she found herself transported to a liminal spacetime between what was and what could be.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. And confusingly poetic. Let’s start it again.
Call me Indy.
I woke up. My shift observing the apparatus and measurements wouldn’t start for another hour, but sleep was robbed of me. Scarlet was passionately fiddling with the lenses. Truth be told, me being here had more to do with the effect of her intense curiosity than with our “mission”. Scarlet radiated purpose.
You see, we were in the Haunts. Somewhere in the Purpure Boundaries, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, right at the edge of Chroma City, in search of purples. We were hunting ghosts.
“You talk in your sleep, you know? Once or twice I thought there was some message escaping through the barrier, only to find out you were mumbling.”
“I hope I didn’t say anything too embarrassing.”
“Don’t worry about that. Most of it sounded like gibberish, but at times you got all academic and professorial. Sounded a bit like Dr. Veridian.”
“Please, don’t make this comparison. If I was him, I’d die. What was my sleeping self lecturing about?”
“That’s the funny bit. You were saying something about the other side. As if you were describing the place the purples inhabit.”
She got me. I was surprised, and she wasn’t joking. She illuminated, as if on the brink of a fascinating discovery. “Do you remember what you were dreaming about, Indy?”
“Now that you say it… yes, it is coming back. I wasn’t me. I was… I believe I was a lost sailor, trying to find my ship and crew. But I was here, in the Haunts. Miles away from the sea. And you were there, but I couldn’t communicate with you. Damn, Scarlet…”
Then reality hit me hard. A whole new hue of reality dawned on my world.
“Yeah, Indy. That was not a dream. It was their experiences, filtered through your sleeping brain. You were channeling a purple. Still skeptical?”
Easy For Me (Amalgam Universe)
C. M. Weller
Human Kosp glared at the grouchy ship’s medic until she realised that this was pointless. Her Chyropt shipmates didn’t have eyes worth much. “Excuse me what? Aren’t you always telling me that light is pure mystic horseshit?”
The batlike crewmate twitched his ears a little and grumbled, “You wanted me to open my mind. So tell me about your favourite colour. It’s what you weird mystic balding apes call small talk.”
Ah, there it was. Senob was so used to casually insulting Kosp that the absence of some slight was a sure sign something was wrong. Kosp smiled at it. “Yeah it is small talk. For children.” She decided to humour him anyway. “The problem is my favourite colour is purple.”
“So what’s purple?”
Oh sweet Powers That Be. “That’s the problem. It’s hard to nail down into a sensation you can understand. It tests the limits of synesthesia. I could say red is hot and blue is cold, but if you mix red and blue you get purple… BUT… temperature wise? It’s not the same. You mix hot and cold and you get TEPID. And tepid is just beige.”
“You’re saying words, but the meaning has gone,” complained Senob.
“Yeah, it’s a bitch. I can describe green with the taste of mint or the smell of pine. I could say the smell of rain is like a particular shade of white. I could talk about electromagnetic wavelengths but they wouldn’t mean a thing to you.” A deep sigh. “I could also mention Hex Codes, but that’s another dead end.”
“When you’re DONE tossing this verbal salad,” Senob prompted.
“You gave me a task that isn’t easy to solve, okay? It’s going to take me a while. I can see it but I can’t explain it. Just like you can’t explain the echolocation you get off of sandwall.”
“It’s a simple softness of stubble, what’s to explain?” raged Senob.
“You’re saying words, but the meaning has gone,” said Kosp.
“Flakk you back.”
Just round three thousand, four hundred and seventy-two of their friendly personal battle with each other.
The Flower (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)
“Was this always here?” Janeah asked, as she pointed at a terrifyingly tall flower, throwing its shade onto her.
“Technically, yes,” Soren said, looking up into the space between the gaping petals. “If by ‘here’ you mean in the Exile.”
The giant plant loomed over them both, its petals like a titanic jaw about to clamp down on them both. Neither Janeah nor Soren really wanted to look at it.
“What is it?”
“A really, really big, purple flower.”
“Thank you so much my scholarly friend,” Janeah teased. “But that is not purple. It’s blue.”
“What? No way. It’s purple.”
Soren turned to her, hands on his hips.
“I have fought with royalty in the past and I am telling you, that is purple.”
“I have lived with royalty in the past and I am telling you, that is blue.”
“Oh, come on. Look at that flower and tell me it’s blue.”
“You look at it,” she shifted slightly away from the blue/purple petals, trying not to stay too close.
“I don’t want to…” Soren inched away as well.
For a moment they were both silent.
“Why is that blue flower there?” Janeah asked, silently.
“It’s purple,” Soren replied. “And it probably just sprung up.”
“It happens sometimes, Janeah.”
They inched away even further. They flinched as the massive petals began to sway in the wind. Janeah tried not to run away. Who knew what that flower was capable of.
“Why are we so scared of some purple flower?” Soren asked, after another moment of silence.
“It’s blue,” Janeah hissed. “And I don’t know. You’re the one acting tense.”
“Well, just… look at it. It could swallow us whole.”
“There’s your answer then. It could swallow us whole.”
The petals rustled again. Both Janeah and Soren gripped their swords. They eyed each other. For a moment, there was silence.
“What are you doing?”
They both jumped, before recognizing the speaker.
“Naerahine!” Janeah exclaimed. “Don’t scare us like that.”
“Where have you been?” Soren asked.
“Looking for you. Why are you all staring at that red flower?”
Blame It On The Alcohol
“Yurrrr sho prettyyyyy….”
Laila glared over to Matt, continuing the appearance of struggling to hold up his weight as she helped him home. “And you’re drunk. Matt… I’m so disappointed in you… You’re better than this.”
“…’ma teenager… ‘shupposed tah-du shtoopid tingsh…”
Laila’s eyes narrowed further as she saw that Matt had an aura of erratic swirling energy around him, and his own eyes were flashing between normal and solid black. “Everyone else gets to be stupid. You don’t.”
“Why…? Cuz… ‘m… speshul…?”
“Yes!” Laila growled back in frustration. Matt shouldn’t even have been able to get drunk in the first place. And even if he did, his powers had been mostly healing in nature to this point. He was like this because he WANTED to be. And she couldn’t stop the reckless, inadvertent spell without raising Heaven’s alarm, which would be very bad. “You have no idea the danger you’re in right now.”
“Speshul… heh… Just meens… everbuddy thnksh’m weird… und ‘m… lone all th’ time… I hate being special.”
Laila felt herself being overcome with emotion as her eyes began to well up. She knew this was partially because of Matt’s magic chaotically responding to his own emotions, but she also knew it was because she hated seeing him in pain. “…I’M here for you. You… know that, right?”
Matt let out an awkwardly slurred laugh. “Course y’are… ‘my besshfrenn…”
“Which is why you need to listen to m-”
“…ven if yuu don’ like me… th’way I like yuu..”
Laila’s eyes shot wide, unable to stop the tears slowly falling down her cheeks. “Don’t you dare! I… Matt, I CAN’T. It’s not that I don’t-… We-… Dammit, Matt, this is too complicated a situation to explain to you while you’re like this!”
“…not compulcatered… I… like yuu… yuu dunn feel tha same… But… got… jealous… uff Caitlyn…”
“Caitlyn was a DEMON! She-” Laila came this close to punching Matt in the face. But she decided instead to be the adult here. He wasn’t ready for an explanation yet. And even if he was, it surely wasn’t happening tonight.
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake) (Repost from Private)
“Father, why does Vienas wear different colors than us?” Baby asked.
She was knee-deep in the surf, her tattered shift waterlogged and stained. Padas didn’t think much of the past, but today, his daughter deeper in the sea than she’d ever been, her questions turned his mind to the before-time. How to explain the castes to a child who had only ever experienced the freedom of animals?
“Her clothes were dyed. You’ll have some like hers one day, when you’re old enough.”
“What is dying?”
“It changes the colors of clothes. It makes them pretty, no?”
She nodded. “Too pretty for work.”
He chuckled, “You can’t run around naked.”
“He got sunburned, remember?”
“Is that how you dye clothes?”
“Part of it. The sun bleaches clothes, then you boil ingredients like a soup and throw cloth into it.”
“Nasty soup, made of piss and snails.” She laughed while he fished around in the surf for a snail. It was the wrong kind. “You remember the red-mouthed snails?”
She nodded, “They live on the big rocks.”
They live by Juru’s temple, Padas thought.
“In the dye, they make the best purple,” he said.
“The color on Vienas’ shroud.”
“Raimundos taught us to use the snails. They almost died out until Juru taught us their seasons.”
“Who are they?”
“Raimundos was a great man. He made the Everflame.” The little lie was easier than the truth, just as Vienas had said.
“Where does he live?”
“He lived here, in the city.”
“In our house?”
“No, in another house. One of the big ones.”
“Can I meet him?”
Padas regarded her, shaking his head. His gaze drifted to the sea. “He’s dead.”
In a solemn whisper, Baby asked, “Did the snails get him?”
Padas’ laughter echoed on the waves. “No, no, a much bigger fish did. That’s why we have to be careful with the sea. No more boats for us, the big fish might get us.”
They worked quietly, gathering clams and fish in tide pools.
“Did he know Klajonas?”
Rubber nuggets and tar
By Tamela Redfin
And lo, Mica was indeed human, so to calm his nerves, we all decided to go down and eat.
“So, what do cyphas eat?” I asked Cecilia.
“Root, some small animals and dirt.” Cecilia shrugged.
“You eat dirt. And I kissed you.” I playfully brushed my hand over my tongue.
“Cam, that’s so dramatic.” Cecilia laughed. “And what do humans eat?”
“Why don’t I cook up some human meals? Including a favorite from my childhood: chicken nuggets and grape punch.”
“Boring, but very well.” Sapphira nodded.
But like maybe I shouldn’t have started with deep frying. “Cameron, it’s on fire!” Cecilia shouted.
“Don’t we just throw water on it?” Mica asked, getting a cup ready.
“What no!” I gasped, smothering the fire. I looked at the smoke filled room. “Geez guys! I almost saw Redfin!”
“Who’s Redfin?” Cecilia tilted her head.
“I don’t know, but I almost saw her.” I admitted, hearing the clicking of keys in my head. “Anyway, I think we can safely eat.”
“You sure?” Sapphira asked. I nodded and got the least charred ones out.
“You’ll like them.” I promised. We all took a bite and quickly Sapphira and Mica spit them out.
“They taste like rubber.” She complained.
“Okay, they are a bit singed, but not to worry. We have the punch.” We all took a sip and did a four way spit take.
“That just tastes like tar!” Mica spat.
“How do you know what tar tastes like?” Cecilia asked, “Tastes more like if you licked a purple scent marker.”
“Okay, moving on.” I shrugged. “Sorry about that, y’all. If you need me I’ll be eating dirt.”