Saturday, 24 March 2018

The History Of Yellow - Flash Fiction

I was born tinged yellow by jaundice, fortunately I was too unformed for it to mark my emotional temper.

Most of the time the chromatics of my nappy was fulvous.

As a child, I seemed immersed in a yellow period in my crayoning and painting.

Farmers replaced clover with oilseed rape for their allowing their fallow fields to recuperate. Perhaps because I am an urban dweller, I wasn’t one of those Moaning Minnies who complained about the loss of their green and pleasant vistas, nor was I discomfited by the supposed unsightliness of wind turbines.

The teenage me squeezed my spots, fascinated how the pus it coiled and wormed on to my face like oil paint squeezed on to an easel.

After a cheap blonde rinse, I was left hiding flavicomous hair beneath hats in hot weather.

I awoke from a bad dream to be confronted by the yellow eyes of my cat in the darkness right up against my face. In my drowsy state, I couldn’t determine whether she was the devil’s familiar come to wreak mischief on me, or my cuddly pet full of concern having discerned my discomfort. 

They put bloody tomato on my burger. As I pincered it in my fingers to remove it like it was radioactive, I got some mustard on me. Licking it off I was hit by its piquant power. As I shuffled the burger’s components back into its construction, I couldn’t see the mustard, yet I knew I had just tasted it. Then I realised that the mustard was of exactly the same hue as the melted cheese and accordingly camouflaged. The cheese however had no taste at all. 

At training camp they called me coward. With a thick yellow stripe running down (or is it across?) me. That was unfair, I really had ruptured my ankle in that last training exercise, so much so it was enough to have me medically discharged from the upcoming tour of duty in Cambodia. While my TA comrades cleared mines under spectacular blue skies, I watched the changing seasons of my flesh, from black to purple to a queasy yellow. The contaminants and toxins of me, similar to the contaminants and poisons of the Khmer Rouge’s Killing Fields. I fancied the chroma around my ankle was the colour of gamboge, the closest I could get to the Mekong. I returned the unused Khmer Kroma, that I had bought in anticipation or working under the blistering sun, sucking on the fruit of the mangosteen trees. 

The Docs gave me a lidded plastic jar for my urine sample. Decanting the lees of me dowsing for disease. I stared into the cloudy yellow, hoping to discern a medical genie to open sesame me.

I look at the newly blotched liver spots on the canvas of my skin. Seems I am nearing full completion of the circle on how I entered the world. I can’t know for sure what the colour inside my mother’s womb was, but I suspect the last tincture of light I will be afforded in life will be a sunset yellow.  

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