By: S. McManus
That’s what the world was.
This world, the one with greens and blues and that other one that looked a bit like pink, was twisted and molding, everywhere, despite its vibrancy.
So much potential, so much color, life, in its purest form; malnourished and manipulated to its worst possible outcome. And it had never been so apparent as it was now. Her garden peeled away, dropping from seemingly random objects. The benches, a waterpipe, a stranger; as if it had suddenly turned 1000 degrees hotter, and cement would wash away like flour.
She watched a lamppost bend, aching, as greys weighed down on its stem and saw it shrivel into itself. Its light was cracked and dry.
The same happened to a patch of grass no bigger than her forearm. The smell of its rot was faint, but enough to leave her itching at her joints, scratching at the outermost deadening skin, circling raw and rosy bands around her elbows.
Her stroll shot to a sprint as she made her way through the park, steps heavy and a match to the pounding in her chest.
Her room – the source – the solution. It would all be alright again, wouldn’t it?
The path to her house was lit in blue, sinking from the sky above. She found that while all the turns and roads were the same, she hadn’t seen the places she passed by in months. The shops looked stranger than she remembered, the doorways darker and bolts more tightly shut. A pair of eyes she vaguely recalled seemed as shocked as she was to reunite.
But at last, she made her way home and it wasn’t all that different as she feared it to be. Home was home after all.
And her garden was waiting.
The familiar decorations embraced her as she stepped inside (shades a little more to her mother’s liking than hers but not that she minded much) and it was hardly like anything had happened to her glasses in the first place. Padding into the living room, she could still see the book she had read just yesterday sitting snugly on the shelf and her favorite mug for hot chocolate peeking between the pillows. Other little petals of her garden were strewn across the room, collecting in mini piles that were pressed plush against the corner of couches and chaises. They became more frequent and naturally led the way to her room, carpeting the floor by the time she could see the door.
And just like the first time, she had trouble spotting the blurry figure.
It was him, definitely him, the one at the park and she nearly growled at the realization, blocking the way to her room in an instant.
The itch was back and suddenly spreading into her lungs and constricting, her nails clutching at the door frame in response.
He wasn’t as fuzzy as he had appeared to her before, a probable side effect of the damage he had done to her glasses, and beneath the still lingering pink tint she could see a smattering of freckles and strawberry locks and oh.
“Rosetta, I see you’ve met your cousin.”