A Splash of color
The dream lingers on my lips like sugar crystals from lemon drops. It lingers on the tip of tongue, daring me to try to remember. If I was to focus too hard the taste vanishes. It's only when I let it sit and melt on my lips do I remember dreaming of bats and ghosts. Some days my dreams haunt me like the dust and sand in my eyes today. I wonder for a moment if the sand had gotten into my clock but then I dismissed it as a silly thought.
Why would my clock have sand?
My bed was made of iron bars for a second until I rubbed the last of the sand out of my eyes. It melted into wood and it should have been strange but I only gave it a passing thought. The light was no longer gently kissing but strongly embracing and that's how I knew that it was time to awaken.
There's a bag of watermelon jellybeans on my bed-stand. They have a hard green sugar coat and a red jelly interior. They are my pick-me-up, my own caffeine pills. Next to the bag lies a whale-bone carved into the shape of a fishing hook wrapped in string. This is my traveling amulet, a thin bridge between the gray world and a splash of color. One is my prison, the other the key to a way out.
I have three clocks in my room and none of them have the time right. They're always too fast or too slow; either hurrying off to somewhere too fast or overstaying their welcome. My gray trench-coat has been painted a deep forest green now, the gloves black, and my shoes and laces white. The sunshine is a great artist.
The weather report told me to wear the coat but the sun disagreed. She whispered in my ear that she knew I was a traveler but I could wear a bright blue sports jacket for today. Today even the ghosts were being painted.
I gave my gray dreams one last look before heading outside. She was waiting for me, the girl in the yellow dress.
She was sugar spun, made from pure sunshine. I knew she couldn't be from this world because she danced to her own tune without wearing any headphones. She mouthed off to a song that only she could hear in her head and although I couldn't hear her voice, she set my heart on fire. I greeted her like I've always done, with a tap to my temple. She replies like she always does, with a smile that could thaw a lonely soul before dancing away.
Our roads are filled with creatures made of glass and metal. The creatures shimmer as they zoom past. They are filled with people and the people believe they are in control because they are holding the reins. But control is only an illusion and the creatures laughed as they race past.
Safely on the other side, the leaves begin to sing a sad sad song. They can't hang on forever and become even more beautiful as they part from their familiar branches. They are crimson red and canary yellow. Can something be both beautiful and sad?
I'm starting to believe in paradoxes.
Street lamps stand guard like silent green soldiers along the walkway. They drift off into an uneasy sleep and wait for the night, waiting for when they are needed for guidance. They groggily point me down a familiar path, one of stones and cracks. These cracks are reaching out like the lonesome tree, praying for contact but terrified nonetheless.
The wind now accompanies me toward the collection stone towers reaching for the sky. She dresses in earthly brown and dances the Tarantella. She wears a matching set of earrings, bracelet, and necklace made from the crimson reds and canary yellows. She stops short of the door and smiles sadly before turning away. This is my sanctuary, my own personal hell.
A hand touches my shoulder pulling me back to solid ground. A concerned face looms in front of my fractured vision and disjointed smile. A set of deep blue eyes dispel the gray spaces in-between. She smells strongly of fruit, no doubt a creature of this world. Her perfume lingers and settles like an invisible scarf, but I am very aware of the invisible world.
She's a scientist, a woman with a white lab coat ready to solve all the riddles of the world until she stumbled upon me. She reaches across the gray only to discover a dark curtain. I stare back steadily into the deep blue knowing my secrets were locked within a Rubik's Cube; knowing her secrets were not.
"Good morning Sarah. What are you searching for?"
His name is Leon Zachary. Leon was referred to me by the local police department. His assignment was highly classified and remains tightly concealed even after his mental break. The only things I know is that he lost someone important and it seems that he is not the only one who is playing detective. He is highly skilled and I know that if I were to administer any kind of test he would pass with flying colors. Yet I know that he's an actor who has created another world in his mind to escape this one. Where do we draw the line between long distance flights of fancy and mental illness? I cannot be certain.
Leon has been expressing his desire to return to the force and I know he feels some desire to save the world. But I also know that he feels thirst for vengeance. I am still uncertain about the arrangement. However pressures from a lack able bodies and a downturn in the economy coupled with Leon's ability to fly past any psychological evaluation has left me without much alternative.
Our current arrangement has sorted out in this fashion. Leon is to return to the force as a temporary consultant. I am to be temporarily employed in the force as well as a psychological evaluator assistant. My job in a nutshell is to keep an eye on Leon; a professional baby-sitter for the police department.
I decide to reply to Leon's inquiry in the usual way. "I'm searching for the bridge to the gray world." The reply makes him smile.
"But to get to the bridge you need a key. And to get the key you need an anchor."
"I know I know Leon. And to get the anchor I need a rope." I sighed because it was our usual greeting but I still did not understand what it meant. "C'mon Leon. Today is the first day you're back on the force."
"Well... only as a consultant. It's not like I get a gun or anything." He stuck out his tongue at me and my heart skipped a beat. Could he read my mind? Or did he just read my body language? I prayed for the latter.
He then gave that strange smirk of his as if to say: "Why yes of course I can read your mind. Can't you read mine?" He was, from what I've heard, "Damn good at his job."
The walkie talkie that I had recently received crackled to life and startled both of us. "Hey Crazy and Crazier hurry your asses to the station! Homicide! Pool of Blood; let's go!" A strong breeze picked up at that moment as if the help us along the way. It stripped the blood-red leaves and threw them in the air like confetti. And I knew we were thinking the same thing because he whispered it under his breath.
Crimson Skies in the morning. What a beautiful day for murder.