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Shatter the Sky
Hope loved the outside. Outside, she played with her dogs and her new kindergarten friends. Outside, she saw the soft green of the grass, the ecstatic yellow of those little flowers that her mom hated, and the flaming orange of the Sun. It was so much different than the browns and tans of New Mexico, which was her home only a few months ago.
But most of all, Hope loved the sky. The sky was a solid powder blue that ate up the whole world and filled Hope with wonder and imagination. Was there anything past the Sky? Or did it go on forever? She didn’t care; she just wanted to rise up into the sky and curl up into it. Big Blue, she called the sky sometimes, like it was a close friend.
October arrived, and the colors changed. The greens turned to explosive reds and oily yellows. Hope ran around her neighborhood, pointing at this and that, almost getting run over by cars, and disturbing old people with her energy. She jumped into the colors and frolicked in them.
To Hope’s dismay, some immense, ghastly monsters that were a dark white and roared like a raging lion ate up most of the colors. All the grown-ups seemed happy with the loss of the colors, to the confusion of Hope. Hope looked upward from her browning yard; Big Blue never failed to cheer her up.
On Saturday, Hope woke up in her flat, pink bed, stretched, and let out a mighty yawn that would impress even a pelican. She changed out of her pajamas, and looked forward to the day’s day. Something seemed… off. Hope stood still for a minute. All she could hear was Mama and Papa’s soft breathing in the next room and a faint ringing. There was no movement, except for the dust particles slowly flying around in the white sunlight that came through her window. White sunlight. White sunlight.
Hope pedaled down the stairs as fast as she could. They had to be there. The colors never went away. Never. Hope whipped open her back door with a bang! and rushed forward a few steps.
The world was white. Somebody, some awful villain, some kind of monster had stolen all of the color. She imagined a masked crook in a striped shirt tearing the greens from the grass and the yellows from the flowers and stuffing them in a bag. Then the fiend reached up and plucked the sky out of the sky and put it in his bag, too.
The sky. Big Blue. Hope dropped onto her knees. Big Blue was gone, only replaced by a blank sheet of dirty white that only made everything uglier. It laughed at her as her eyes welled up. Maybe it was the new “sky” that took all of the colors and killed Big Blue. Hope shook her fist at it.
Hope realized that she was standing in the white, and it stung her feet with a bitter cold. Not only did it take away the colors, it also hurt. She retreated inside, where the little color was flat and dull. She watched fake colors on the TV for the rest of the day, but she didn’t enjoy it.
A month later, Hope still crossed her fingers every time she looked outside, which meant she was disappointed every day she left the house.
Hanukkah rolled around. She wished for the colors back; she didn’t get them. On the final day, she wanted to snatch the menorah off of its place and take it outside, where she would use all eight candles to set the white on fire, setting the world ablaze but showing all of the colors that she knew remained underneath the white. Finally, Hope would raise the menorah up and set the imposter sky on fire, filling the world above her with destruction and flames. But out of all of that chaos, Big Blue would emerge. She knew it.
There was a new year. No new sky.
Time ravaged the whole town, beating mercilessly on everybody’s backs, especially Hope’s.
Four months after the initial appearance of the white, Hope ran out of hope. She gave up. Hope dug a small patch in the white and threw all of her markers, crayons, and paints into it, except for a few. She stuck a piece of cardboard as a headstone for them. Hope wrote “R.I.P. the colers” on the cardboard. A single tear ran down her cheek and fell into the snow; it had no effect.
Hope had been dreading the next part. She built another white grave, this one larger and deeper. Hope tossed in a blue marker, a blue crayon, and a small bottle of blue paint. Hope looked solemnly at the tools one last time, and filled it back up. Another piece of cardboard, this time with “R.I.P. big blew” on it. Hope stood and wept. Then she got cold and wept inside.
That morning, Hope woke up with spots on her pillow. She couldn’t tell which was drool and which was tears from the previous night. But other than that, something was different. There was a movement in the air. The particles in the beam of yellow sunlight moved faster now. Yellow sunlight. Hope nearly fell down the stairs and out the back door.
Someone had shattered the white sky. What remained of it streaked the sky, fleeing from the new season. Big Blue was there all along, more brilliant and brighter than ever before. He said hello to Hope. She waved back, jumping up and down and doing cartwheels. A few old people opened their doors and asked her to keep it down, miss.
Big Blue scared off all of the white that took over months ago. The grass revealed itself and the sun had work to do. Her color graves vanished, leaving the wet utensils on the ground and two pieces of soggy cardboard that meant nothing to her anymore.
Hope realized that the colors were never stolen or killed off. They were there all along, just covered up by all the white.