Grayscale Part One
Grayscale is a series of short stories that look into the lives of others, seeing the world as they do, peering through the windows of their lives. Is it black and white?
The sky was unusually bright today. As she stepped off the curb, she saw the parking spaces, a new shade of red. Walking down the street, and avoiding the one with the cars that traveled way too fast, she made her way to work, in that building, with that coworker, just like she did yesterday, the day before, and the day before that. “Damn,” she thought, “that sun sure is...” DOG. Barking, screaming, like a miniature bear, it gnashed its ugly teeth. She felt it coming on, flushed cheeks? Check. Racing heart? Check. Sweaty palms? Check. God, I’m going to pass out this time. She reached for the fence post. “Hey there, you okay?” said the neighbor with the bear. The dog sniffed her dress before walking over to the hydrant. “Yeah, fine.” Oh god, he’s probably thinking I’m crazy. “This was the second time this week, wonder what her problem is?” he thought to himself. This was the second time this week, she needed to remember to avoid this road too, now. She could take Delaware, but it was out of the way, adding an extra 5 minutes. But no bear, no cars, just an alley. She made the mental note to time herself on the walk back home, taking the safer route this time.
We’re here, walking in the front door. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. It will only keep racing if you don’t breathe. “Hi Karen!” Don’t let her see your panic. If she asks, just tell her it’s hot outside. No! It’s only 62 degrees, she’ll be suspicious. She nods, half in the direction of the assailant, the other half turning towards the security guard at the door, the white of his badge shining into her eyes. Her ID! Where is it? It was always so hard to find it in her bag, the red blended in too well. Found it! Remember to ask about the beach, he looks red like a lobster. “How was the beach James? It looks like you got sunburnt!” “Oh yeah, it was great,” he nervously replies. “It’s okay, she’s a nice person, everyone has those days,” he thinks, as flashblacks fall into his memory. His last time on the beach, 15 years ago. It must just be a rough day.
It’s been a rough day. “How was your day munshkin?! Mommy is so glad to see you, too! And you too, Kayden, and you too, Elizabeth. “No, I’ve told you a couple times, I don’t know when daddy is coming back. “No, I don’t think you’ll see him for a while. “Where? He’s probably on a really long vacation. “Now please eat that broccoli, Mommy paid good money to give you those vitamins.” For the first time today, her head hits the pillow, and the world fades to black.