I stood on the brass metal platform staring out at the dark ugly grey landscape. Coal smoke billowed from hundreds of factory chimneys, entwining into one huge demonic plume and twisting up and up into the slate grey sky.
I shook my head, where was the colour I had been promised?
This world; as a boy I was told so many times, once I worked my way from Oil-lacky to Lever Master I'd see the sapphire blue sky and fresh emerald green grass. I'd smell fresh air and taste sweet rain water. But that day never came. I'd worked so hard, slaved even, breaking my back for men who knew nothing but money. I sighed and rain my hand over the cold brass railing, even though I had made it to the towers, I did not have enough power to break through the dark cloud barrier. This world was still as dark and blank as the day I was born.
I looked behind me; the cold metal door was stained black with soot. I remember when I looked at that door for the first time, it was red. I stepped towards it slowly, my feet echoing loudly on the brass platform and I slowly swiped away soot with my hand; the black dust crunching and falling down between the gaps in the flooring, swirling like black snowflakes. I glanced at the dirty red still half covered in soot.
Suddenly clear drop whizzed my face and landed onto the platform I gasped as it hissed and ate quickly through the metal.
Rain.
I stared back up at the vast monochrome sky as grey drops began to fall, hitting the already half-eaten brass with a sizzle. An acrid smell filled my nose as panic rose inside me for a heartbeat. I waved my hand in an arch over my head and sighed as drops of acid began to hit the enchantment shield, each drop causing it to flash a brilliant electric blue. I smiled a little. At least some colour existed in this horrible and colourless world.
I waited for a noise, something to show life was still continuing but all I could hear was the groaning of enormous gears and a coughing sound, as chimes poured out more foul smoke.
Years ago life had bloomed, trees- that word still unfamiliar- bore fruit and flowers- another alien word- thrived in fields. But once the Plant opened, everything changed. The rain turned sour, acidic burning through the trees and destroying habitats of animals, flower fields and the all of colour the ground once bore. And once the decaying remains were cleared, the Plant dug its roots in and extended outwards taking up almost all that was once wild and farmlands. Families moved or began to work, the sky turned black and life changed forever.
I smirked at the hiss of the rain and crackle of my shield. I usually stayed out here when the smoke was too much too bear.
I thought back on all the things I'd been told about my life, being promoted, I stared at the main bodies of the plant the four tall towers piercing their way through the grey veil of clouds.
Was it all lies? There to make us work harder. I don't know anymore.
I lent lightly against the railing and peered over the edge. I didn't want to fall, but the thought of death didn't seem too bad, after all what is worse than a world without colour? Where laugher was as hollow as the brass railing preventing my death?
I looked out more, losing my thoughts in the rhythmic sounds of the rain and entrancing patterns of smoke plumes when I caught sight of a green light in the distance.
I blinked and squinted, hoping my eyes were not playing tricks on me. I stared out seeing the green blur become more tangible and realised all too late it was coming nearer to me.
The light roared in front of my face and then shot straight up above me; the force of the air almost pushed me over and I clung onto the railing for dear life as it shook to.
It whizzed over my head and I spun around quickly watching as it weaved through the tower climbing higher until it reached the thin metal spire. It stopped there, its tail coiled around the spire and perched on its front legs and stared with a stare I knew all too well. It was looking for something.
My eyes devoured him. I looked him over saving all of his beauty. The way his sleek body glistened in the rain, the way his breath plumed white against the darker sky, the way his eyes seemed to stare through the clouds, to a place I couldn't even imagine. He had look that showed he has seen a lot and lived for a long time, yet it was clear he wasn't old.
I stared at him not wanting to look away just in case he vanished. I did not want to let this piece of colour escape.
I glanced away for a second as a drop of rain flashed too close to my eyes and when I looked back the dragon's face was now completely focused on me; his eyes bored into my head, I gasped and took a tantalizing step closer.
In one flowing he uncoiled himself from the spire and slithered down onto the platform.
The platform shook once more with his impact and I gaped in awe as he stood with immense pride looking out onto the distant skies. His body was even more magnificent closer up.
His body was sleek and sinewy and dark emerald fur lined down his back ending in a flame like tail which snapped from side to side.
His face was canine shaped with two huge eyes that were a brilliant blue that shone with intelligence. I noticed he had thin white whiskers that sparkled lightly as the rain dripped off them.
He looked quickly back at me and a word seemed to slither into my thoughts without being heard. I shivered at the strange feeling.
"No."
I looked at the dragon who grunted loudly with an anger I felt more than heard and lept over the edge of the platform, shaking it so violently I feel to my knees as his tail whipped over the railing and vanished.
I crawled quickly to the edge and peered down just in time to see a glowing green line flash away under the platform and out of sight.
I stayed frozen like that for some while hoping that he'd fly back past at least just so
I could gaze longingly at his sleek body once again.
Time ticked on and he did not return. I felt a hot tear trickle down my face and fall through the gaps in the platform. My body froze looking down hoping so hard I wouldn't have to face this blank world alone.
At some point the rain had stopped and my shield has faded. I looked up at the sky which appeared to be less grey than before and had hints of purple and blue in its clouds.
I smiled as it pulled at the soot crusted black door, this world, it was dark only if you didn't look for its colour.