Story from Alma Ryan

Colored Catastrophe

The world was colors. The streets were made of buttons and a fabric sky was raining droplets of paint that splatter on the world. My cheeks turn to a river of yellows and pinks and blues. They swirl down my arms and into my boots, landing with little plinks as they fall from my fingertips. Sequins stick to my eyes and I assume it’s gotten cold enough to snow. Paint dries on my skin and sticks me in place, staring at the sky. Arms outstretched, eyes wide, mouth wide. 

Pom pom’s land on my tongue and dissolves like cotton candy. Dripping sweet, bitter, sour, cold, boiling. Streaming through my body till I break out of my cast. Running, walking, skipping, bouncing upon textiles. A person stands on the corner, stick still. I wave and get nothing back. My feet slow and I circle them only to find the person is entirely flat. 

On an impulse I poke them and they crumple, colors mixing into brown water and swirling down a nearby drain I hadn't noticed before. I freeze before I dismiss the odd moment and keep waking, a strained smile on my face. I walk and walk for what seems like hours and probably is because when I finally reach the once distant city, the fabrics have gone black. 

Entirely, there’s not a single star. Something moves in my peripheral and I spin fast only to see brown water trickling down the slope of the street. Another movement and I catch the last of a paper person sloshing to the ground with a squelch. I stare for a long moment, watching the water swirl down the street. Before walking away hesitantly, heading further into the city. 

The sidewalks are empty as I wander, though occasionally water flips over my boots. I get so lost in thought that I don't notice when I enter a paper filled clearing until a frail hand taps my shoulder. I turn and the person looks me right in the eye for a long moment before promptly splashing downwards onto the pavement. Its friends follow suit and the square floods. It picks me up and takes me winding back through the city, back through the wilderness, all the way back to where a cast made of paint lays limp on the ground. 

A portal similar to the one I arrived through waits there. It’s gray now. Gray like the world I live in. It was colorful before, inciting, inviting. This world is odd and the paper people are dying but it’s beautiful and marvelous. I’m not so sure I want to go back. The water pushes and I stumble into the gray. The blinding light vanishes quickly and I'm standing in my living room, alone. I move my hand to wipe my eyes only to realize, I'm a paper person and my feet are wet.

One thought on “Story from Alma Ryan

  1. Wow! This was a kaleidoscopic, fantastic journey that I enjoyed as much as did the narrator. I could feel her bizarre impressions and illusions and realizations as if I were myself a drop of paint on an infinite canvas. Wonderful story.

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