A View Over Toronto

A descriptive short story written for my English class.

“Fearing the power of humans’ hate, Aphrodite stole mankind’s “colour”-sight, casting them into a grey world until a worthy love emerges.If such a true love exists, it is possible for the human eye to conceive of something more valuable than depth and tone; something inconceivable to current humanity. Aphrodite tells of a gift for these individuals in love, a gift of something between black and white, something split between the light and dark. If such a perfect love can exist, such a perfect thing can be seen.” -2000 year old scroll buried by time beneath the Manchester Piccadilly Station

Julian led me up the steps onto his bricked balcony. A dew-speckled vine clings to the dark stones. He’s laid a fire out in a chimenea; the beautiful stark light is magic against the foreboding dark sky. Julian sits by the fire and gestures for me to do the same. My heart flutters as he takes hold of my hand. Between the touch of his calloused palm and the sound of his shallow breath, something new erupts into my peripheral. In staring into his grey eyes, I see flashes of new things around his face. Something in his cheeks, something dark, but not just a shadow. Something new. I’m explaining this badly. I have no words for it.

What Katie was seeing, for the first time, was the blush in Julian’s cheeks. But it was not blush, not really; the trundling veins of pillar-box running like a tube map between soft peach and rouge were deeper than blush; stark against his creamy skin. The shadows of his dimples no longer simply dark, but brown and grey cut together until they made a crease. The light freckles beneath the blush were not merely grey specks, but orange and ginger splodges pricked against his skin, a thousand pinpoints flecked together to make a single freckle. She turned away from him, and the scene before her, the view from the rooftops; it had become magnificent.

The old rain falling from the vine that ran over the balcony wall contained a warped dusken rainbow in each droplet; a tiny universe encompassed in the smallest negligible detail of our own world. Berries clinging to the plant shone with opulent hues, and they were flecked with violet. Pecks of birds pierced their skin, and the exposed flesh glint in green and white. Each leaf was veined in more colour than she’d ever seen, the forest, the leaf, the ivy; all harmonised within the millimetre of the dark river than ran through the shoot’s body. And the bricks of the wall itself contained a dappled red, a different pillar-box, scarlet, browns too; sienna, bark, dark and light.

The sky. Oh the sky! It was streaked with orange and peach mare’s tails, golden sun behind it waning. Streaks of violet, lilac, pink; a mackerel sky with more colour than a fish’s scale, more colour than any she’d seen. The clouds erupted and shattered and wrapped shards of themselves around the skyline; they washed over the world like spilt paint. They chased and mimicked each other; they bigged themselves up and lazily lay on the horizon. They swept themselves up into frenzies and fell over each other and created a catastrophic chaos of energy in the sky; the sun looked on like a proud mother.

Cutting into the clouds, the blunt silhouettes of skyscrapers rose. The tall spire of the CN tower reached towards the sky, a single finger extended in coal black to reach the gods. The other buildings, weaving within themselves, were lit up in many shades. Light was no longer a simple brighter point; it was blue, turquoise, lemon, luteous. The girl wondered if the stars shone different colours, and couldn’t wait to see them.

Below the beautiful horizon, the waters of Lake Ontario were not simply blue. The clear waters engulfed the sky and spat it back in a warped version of itself, turning the streetlights of Toronto into splintered debris.

She looked back at him. His brown hair brushing his forehead, messy and unkempt; chestnut tones under mahogany; the shell of a conker caught in another form. His bright grey eyes; green and teal flecks adorning them like fabulous ornaments.

It was, in a word, beautiful.

“Do you see that?” she says, eyes wide open, unable to move them from the sky.

“Yeah, it’s beautiful.” He shrugs.

“What is it?”

He pauses to look at Katie for a moment. “It’s… It’s Toronto? What do you mean?”

She saw then that the perfect thing was broken. She had no one to share her world with; no one to understand her new words. Aphrodite had given her the gift of colour, but perhaps Julian’s love was not true enough.

“You… you don’t see it, do you. The… colour.”

She was alone.

The End

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