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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Dignity Blue”


Fiery Red.  That’s me.  Sitting atop my throne, glaring at my sister across from me.  I hate what I’m wearing.  I’d prefer something more comfortable, something I could move in.  But no.  Yellow says I need to be dressed like a ruler.  A Queen.  An Empress.  A Tyrant.  Of course Royal Yellow preaches of monarchy.  But that’s not what I want.  And she knows it.  

I want things to go back to how they used to be.  Back when I could cut my hair as short as I wanted, when I could wear a big t and loose jeans.  Back then, I didn’t have all these responsibilities, all these rules and duties and restrictions.  I could be me.  Fiery Red.  But no, not anymore.  Not since what happened to Blue.  Now I wear this stupid tight outfit that restricts my movement.  It doesn’t need to be like that, there’s so much fluff and poof that it could be loose, that I could breath and walk and dance with ease, and no one would be the wiser.  Yellow made it like this on purpose, I’m sure.  I wish it could be like when we were kids, when Yellow and Blue would tell me to be studying or practicing tradition, and I would just laugh and flick mud at them.  Yellow would always get so mad, and Blue had to calm her down.  Now there’s no one to calm her.

The room around me is massive, high vaulted ceilings with stained glass windows that are missing a third of their color.  Light streams into the room from seemingly everywhere, no corner is granted even the smallest bit of shade.  Then there’s the mirrors.  Jagged crystals cover almost every surface, reflective and shiny, glistening in the endless light.  They come from our thrones, the ceiling, the windows.  Some of them show me, an image that makes me scowl whenever I see it.  Others show Yellow, and others still show an empty throne.  

I don’t recognize a single face in any of the jagged crystal.

Just a gray throne devoid of the wonderful blue that shined from it like sunlight on the ocean waves.  Just a mess of a fancy red dress and hair down to my waist.  Just Royal Yellow.

Royal Yellow is taller than I am, by a lot.  She was taller than Blue was too.  She wears an elegant yellow dress adorned with the fanciest designs Money Green could buy.  Ornate earrings dangle from her long ears, and her makeup is perfectly done by someone other than herself.  Her lipstick does nothing to hide her frown.  She taps her long, thin fingers methodically on the arm of her throne.  She stares not at me or our reflections gleaming all around the room, no, she stares only at the largest crystal, dangling from the ceiling and glowing a soft blue, the last remnants of color we had from her.  The last remnant of Dignity Blue.

“It doesn’t have to be like this, Yellow.”  My voice comes out with just a little too much of a tremble to be as fierce as I had hoped.  “It’s not too late to fix this.”

Yellow sighed, and turned her gaze towards me.  I flinched.  It almost hurt when she looked at you, like the heat of a thousand suns bore from her eyes.  

“First, of all, Fiery Red. . .”  She spoke slowly, like she was calculating each word before she said it.  “You will address me, by my name, Royal, Yellow, or you will not address me at all.”  She emphasized Royal the way you’d tell a disobedient dog to sit.  I roll my eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.  My point still stands, you can fix this, you can free her, I know you can!”

“I can do no such thing.”  She hissed.

“Can’t, or won’t?”  I sit forward on the edge of my set, straightening my back to seem a little taller.  Yellow sighs again, that stupid little drawn out sigh she does when she’s getting irritated.  I hate that sigh.  

“Look around you, Fiery Red.  Look at what the two of us have built, together.  We are strong now, stronger than ever before.  Us Warm Colors work much better together when there is nothing Cool in the way.”

I shake my head.  “It doesn’t matter that we’re stronger, power isn’t what matters here!  There’s a balance, Yellow, and we screwed it up.  It’s time to let her go.”

Her voice raises, I can tell I’m making her angry.  Something about that makes me smile.  “It is time, to do no. Such. Thing!”  She slams her fist on the arm of her throne, and a shake echoes through the castle.  We both freeze, our eyes darting to the massive crystal above our heads. 

The crystal trembles and rocks back and forth, but after a moment it goes still.  My sigh is disappointed, but Yellow’s is one of relief.  For the first time in a while, I take a moment to look at the crystal, really look into it.  Past the blue glow, and into the eyes of its prisoner.

She floats there in the crystal, her eyes closed and the corners of her mouth tucked down.  Her hair floats up around her, like she was frozen in time while sinking into the ocean.  Her dress ruffled out, and if I zoned out a little it almost seemed like it was flowing in a nonexistent wind.  It was all so surreal.  Blue had never been the most energetic, but seeing her frozen like that was just. . . I’m not sure I have a different word for it.   Surreal captured it nicely enough, anyways.

Something starts to burn inside me.  Anger, perhaps?  Impatience? Whatever it was, it made me clench my fists.  I needed to hit something, to break something, to feel it shatter under the force of my fists.

And I knew exactly what needed to break.  I stood up from my throne suddenly.  

“Sit back down, Fiery Red.”  I didn’t move.  Yellow’s glare intensified.  “I said, sit. Back. Down.  NOW.”  Her voice washed over me like a tidal wave, and I felt my left foot slip backwards.  No.  Not this time.  I took a step forward.  Royal Yellow stood.  “What do you think you’re doing, Fiery Red?”

My voice still trembled, but a different force shook it now.  “You know EXACTLY, what I’m doing, Yellow.”

Yellow snarled.  “That’s not my name.”

I shook my head.  “Maybe not anymore,”  I took another step forward.  “But it was once, sister.”

“Not one more step, Red.”

I stopped.  She hadn’t called me that since we. . . Since what we did to Blue.  I felt my legs freeze in place, and no matter how hard I tried they refused to move.  Realization hit me like a truck.  I stared at Yellow in disbelief.  

“You. . .  You used your scepter, didn’t you?”  She frowned, and pulled her hands from behind her back.  In her right hand, a golden rod extended to touch the ground, the top opening up into a sphere of golden lace surrounding an ornament of a crown within.  I felt that heat growing inside me.  It was spreading through my whole body now, into my frozen legs, and into my arms and hands.  I felt my palms grow hot.  “I. . . I can’t believe it.  Your own sister, Yellow.  Your own GODDAMN SISTER!”  My fists ignited, crimson flames surrounding them as they burned bright like twin suns. I felt the paralysis around my legs shatter like ice.  

“Don’t be surprised, Red.  You used your power on Blue, as did I.  She was no less our sister than you, no?’

My face grew hot, but not with the anger that burned on my hands.  “T-that was different! You tricked me!”

She sneered.  “Wrong again, Red.  Why would I trick you? Why would I need to?  You were so desperate to be stronger, so desperate for power, so desperate to prove yourself, I bet you would have killed her if I had told you too!”

I snapped.  I screamed and ran forward, swinging my fist towards Yellow’s head.  She ducked under the flaming blow, and stuck out her scepter, causing me to trip and fall face first to the ground.  “Calm yourself, Fiery Red.  There’s no need for violence.”

How DARE she say that?  After everything she’s done, how DARE she tell me to calm down?!  I roared and sprang back up, taking another shot at Royal Yellow.  This time, my fist connects with her gut, and she goes skidding backward, grabbing her chest as she coughs and tries to stabilize herself.  When she takes her hand away, her outfit is burnt where I hit it, ash ruining the fine silk.  That shouldn’t make me as happy as it does.  I smirk.

“Fine then!”  Yellow’s voice ups an octave, her voice shrill and indignant.  “If you wish for violence, then violence is what you shall get!”  I let out another cry, and charge her.  As I ran at her, she spun her scepter around and pointed it at me.  When she spoke, her voice came out in a wave that sent a shock through my entire body. 

“PLUMMET!”  Suddenly I was ripped downward, my body slamming into the ground as if stomped on by some giant.  The floor cracks beneath me and the room once again shakes.  Pain fills my body, my vision blurs, and when I cough blood splatters the ground.  She runs forward and slams the butt of her scepter down to where I laid, but I roll out of the way and lunge towards her, my open hands reigniting.  

“MISS!”  Her voice once again washed over me, and I jerked to the side, missing her by a long shot.  She spins her scepter again, this time catching my stomach and throwing me a few feet away.  I hit the ground with a gasp as my lungs struggle to breathe.  I see her start to walk towards me, but the pain keeps me still.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Fiery Red.  When will you learn to stop picking fights you can’t win?”  She leers over me, her twisted smile taunting me.  When she gets close enough, I take my chance and launch forwards, wrapping my burning hands around her ankle.  She cries out in pain and flails wildly, trying to kick me off.  I hold tight, trying to keep my bearings as the scent of burning flesh fills the air.  Finally, Yellow lets out a panicked “RELEASE!!” and I’m forced to let go.  She staggers backwards, and with a sickening CRACK she screams and falls to one knee, her newly exposed ankle bone breaking under her weight.  She lets out a weak gasp and tears fill her eyes as I slowly start to stand.  As she’s sputtering, I take a few steps forward, nervously, then start to move a little more confidently towards her.  Soon I’m standing over, my hands closed and held above my head, their burning flames coming together as one.  She looks up to me, struggling to get out words.  This is it.  This is my chance.  I take a deep breath. . .  And slam my fists downwards.  

‘S-SKYROCKET!”  She barely chokes out the word as my fists careen towards her, but it’s enough.  I feel myself launch upwards, my feet leaving the ground as what was meant to be the finishing strike misses completely.  I yell out as pain spikes through my back and extinguishes the flames on my hand as I smash into Dignity Blue’s crystal.  As I fall back to the ground I see fear alight in Yellow’s eyes, but the pain stops my smile as I realize what’s happened.  When I hit the ground, the oof as air is forced from my lungs is hidden by a much, much louder sound.  

The boom of glass shattering fills my ears and I curl up to protect myself as crystal shards rain down from above and hammer against my torn dress.  There’s a soft thump next to me, and I look over as the glass rain stops.  Lying there, propped up on her elbow and panting, is a newly freed Dignity Blue.  

Looking up from her, back in front of me, I see Royal Yellow, hobbling as quickly as she can with her snapped ankle over to the window.  I start to stand, to try and stop her, but fall back down before I can even start to take a step.  Yellow looks back and scans the room, and when her eyes land on me her lips curl and I see her mouth, “This isn’t over,” before shattering the window with her scepter and disappearing in the falling glass.  

Next to me, I hear a weak voice croak out.  “R. . .R-Red?”  I look over to see blue, rubbing her temple as she sits up and tries to get her bearings.  I quickly rush over to her, trying to see if she has any injuries.  

“Blue! Blue, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean too, well, I did, but I shouldn’t have! It was stupid, so stupid, it wasn’t fair to you, I just, it was just, Yellow just kept-”  

Blue stops me by raising a finger to her lips.  She shakes her head slowly, before lowering her hand and pointing it slowly to her empty throne.  

“O-oh, yeah, of course! Yeah, I can get you to your throne, just, uh, just lean on me, I’ve got you,”  I put my arm around her and put her arm over my shoulder.  I start to stand, and stop.  It hurts.  A lot.  I got hit hard in the fight with Royal Yellow, and the pain is starting to catch up with me now that the adrenaline is wearing off.  But after a few more moments, I manage to get up, holding Blue with me.  And I begin to walk.  Each step takes a tremendous amount of effort, and the pain is nearly unbearable.  But I keep going.  

It was probably only a few minutes, but it feels like it takes hours before I finally reach the throne, and collapse to the ground as Blue leaves my arms and falls into her seat.  As she does, a sound like a church bell rings through the room.  I hear Blue let out a sigh of relief, and I see color start to leak from her throne.  I look around and let out a small laugh as I see the blue return to our stained glass windows, the proper color of the sky shining again.  I look back to my sister, and let out a sigh. I have a lot to be forgiven for.  But that’s ok.  Because I have my sister back, and the world has its color back.

Dignity Blue is free from her prison, once and for all.

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