Across the Sea By Anton Rose
May 26, 2016 Comments Off on Across the Sea By Anton Rose
Our first colours were blue and yellow. The blue of the sea, buckling with waves, and the yellow of the sun, warmer than ever before. My brother and I sat in the back of the boat, watching the greys and blacks of our homeland recede. I leaned over the side and reached out, wondering what it would feel like to touch the water, but one of the men grabbed hold of my shoulder.
“If you fall in, we won’t be able to save you,” he said.
We didn’t know what to expect, but at the camp on the other side, it was mostly the same as back home, different shades between white and black. One day my brother found an apple, unguarded. It was red and green and yellow, so he took it when no one was looking. It was the first piece of the collection we’d put together, adding more whenever we could: gold pins from notice boards, blue bottles filled with water, red packets of rice.
We kept our collection secret, only bringing it out at night to hold its various pieces up to the light of the stars and the moon. We tried to remember, fixing them all in our minds, so that at night, we could dream in all the colours we had seen.
After a few weeks, a lady came to ask us where our parents were. We said we didn’t know. A few days later she came back again, and this time she wore a gleaming broach. When she saw me staring at it, she took it off and let me hold it. It was deep purple, with flecks of white.
The lady said she would take us away, both of us, to a new home, but I didn’t know what we would do with our collection, all the different colours we had gathered. I looked at my brother, but he didn’t seem scared, didn’t seem worried. “We’ll make a new collection,” he said, like he had read my mind, and then he smiled. For the first time ever I looked at his eyes, really looked at them, and they were a colour I’d never seen.
© 2016 Anton Rose
Anton Rose lives in Durham, U.K., with his wife and their very fluffy dog. He writes fiction and poetry, and his work has appeared in a number of print and online journals. Find him at antonrose.com or @antonjrose