There was once a boy, who was born by the crashing waves of the sea!
Excuse me, I sometimes have a flair for dramaticism, please don’t misinterpret my meaning, for it is not supposed to sound more fantastical than necessary. Let me try once more, simply put this time.
When the boy came into the world, the sun was setting on the horizon of the sea. And so, his parents named him Ocean. You could say that his name made him unique and maybe even different. But his friends did not tease him more than any other boy named for a star or type of bird. Oh and he was also color blind, just like every other person in the world.
Ocean scraped his nail against the smooth silky skin of the crayon. The scar he left was perfect, save for a small bend halfway down like the wake of a wave. Flicking the shaving off his finger he resumed drawing. He drew a less than perfect circle in the top right corner. “The sun is bright, the color #1.” Ocean confirmed he knew how draw the sun correctly. He prided himself in the drawings he made in art class. His parents even laminated one onto a dinner plate. He examined his box of Crayola 64 crayon set for the #1. Next was the sky. Color #12. He made sure to not make harsh lines, it looked better that way. His picture of his home slowly began to form on his page. The last thing to add was the people. Ocean always hated drawing people. There wasn’t a number that fit. Color #45 was better for the sand and #36 was too much like the trees. Ocean held his artwork at arm’s length, squinted an eye and stuck out his tongue, just like an artist would. And like any normal average boy at his age all he saw was a paper filled with lines of black, white, and grey. To him it was another masterpiece.
Ah, I can remember him walking up to me, that beautifully lit afternoon. I knew immediately he was special. I know this might sound contradictory to what I said before but it is a common mistake to make. I never did fully disclose how he was unlike any boy who came up to me before or after. He had that drawing of his home smothered in his arms. I gleamed in happy curiosity as he approached. But I made sure not to frighten the lad, I mean, what child would not flee after gazing upon me.
Ocean sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve. He looked at the picture he had drawn two months prior. So much had happened since then. It was almost too much for him to understand. The hospital visits to see his mother only frightened him. His father would argue with the tall doctors who would only shake heads and shrug shoulders. It had taken him all those weeks and this morning until he was finally able to have the courage to ask his depressed father what was wrong with her.
He held Ocean tightly and told him in a whisper, “Your mother is sick with something that can’t be fixed.”
“Why can’t they fix her?”
“Because the bad things are hiding in her heart, and their colors are the same number.”
Ocean was smart enough to figure the rest out. So he just cried. His father joined him. When his father could no longer stand crying he left to pick up some dinner. Ocean took the picture that was his gift for Mother’s Day and held it tightly. Outside the sun was starting to set, gleaming in bright color #1, #3, and a little of #6. He looked down at his drawing. His sun looked nothing like the real one.
“Why? They should be the same!” he yelled and rushed outside. The waves came and went with gentle voices along the small secluded beach. No one was around to watch the crying Ocean approach the vast sea. But looking out into the water suddenly, Ocean felt that he was being watched.
I have to stay I was simply amazed that he could see me. Well I think he saw me, I mean he was staring right at me. Even if he had got lucky and just decided to peer in the perfect spot, I didn’t want hide anymore. I hate to see a child sad, even though I feel that all the children on this planet must be sad. Why else would they all be colorblind? I remember sending up bubbles, my excitement stifled by cruel logic. The boy could not possibly see me in a world that to him is without color. No need to scare him, by showing myself. I would just appear as a dark shadow to him instead.
“I see you there, Mr. Dragon.”
What surprise I felt when he had addressed me! Oh and what glee I felt that he called me a dragon! Such a bright young lad, he was. I lifted my head out of the water slowly, dramatic effect was my favorite.
“You are the first to do so young one.” I suppressed the smile. My choice of words was perfect! I looked at him, happy to see that there was not a hint of fright in his eyes. Those eyes, how they sparkled! A shame the world could not recognize them like I could.
“Hmm? Ah-Yes? Young one what is it?” My thoughts have a talent of running away from me. One of my few flaws I must detest.
“Why do you look so funny?”
“What’s this?” Oh how those words stabbed me! You see though it might not be very clear up till now, I am a very proud being. “Funny you say!” I made sure to keep up with my character, “Explain yourself, or I will smite thee, with the fury of the sea and waves!” Ah, my voice rumbled deep in my throat, like that of a great god!
“I don’t have a number for you.”
“A number you say!” As if there was multiple of me! How insulting!
“Yes, sir. I don’t think any of the numbers in my crayon set will fit you.”
“CRAYONS! I WILL NOT BE COMPARED TO SUCH A PUNY OBJECT! HOW DARE Y–you?” The boy had not even flinched upon my furious outburst. Instead he had begun to draw an outline of myself on the backside of his crumpled paper. It was quite good. More remarkable was his statement though. He was finishing up the last of my scales when I had finally pieced it together. He truly could see me. Which meant… he could see colors.“Young lad, would you like me to tell you a secret.” He stopped drawing and looked into my eyes. Oh, how much my heart hoped he would say yes!
I gleamed with pleasure and wondered how I should tell him.“My dear boy, look at me and tell me what you see.”
Ocean looked at the creature in front of him. There was a head, and it sat upon a long elegant neck, which was connected to broad shoulders and a thick chest. There were four limbs, the latter two far larger and more muscular than those in the front. And there was also a tail, long and twisted. But that was not what Ocean had concentrated his eyes on. Instead he was focused on the brightness that shone off of the creatue in front of him. It impacted him, to the point that all he could think of was to touch it, and smell it, and even taste it! Because looking at it wasn’t enough. It was too different. It was too extraordinary. Ocean felt desperate above all things to understand what he was seeing, for the creature was a color that no number could define. It made him feel alive and refreshed. “What are you?” was all he could fathom.
“What am I?” I thought of that question. A question that should be left unanswered. See, that is what you must say when presented with that inquiry. And then you must ask something else in response. I choose to say, “Do not worry about myself, but tell me, what color do you see?”
He responded with, “I don’t know sir.”
I enjoyed the fact to be seen with such distinction as to receive the name “sir”. Such a compliment deserves a reward I decided. “What you see you young one is in fact invisible to every other eye. Because you can see me, it means you have been gifted with the sight of color.”
“I don’t understand.”
I chuckled deeply, “That is because you have yet to understand what it is that you have seen. And you have not heard.”
“Seen what? Heard what? All I know is that you are a dragon colored in magic.”
“My dear boy, the magic you see is the color BLUE!”
Ocean took a step back. He could feel his heart beating faster and faster, his breath coming in short heaves as he watched the world around him begin to blot with the color blue. The sea, waves, and sky exploded with vibrancy. He rubbed his eyes, thinking that some kind of ink had somehow been put into them. But the color remained. Everything in the world that was not blue, remained in its original numbered colors of black, grey, and white.
Oh! The look he had has he viewed the world before him. It
was indescribable. I believe it is how he felt when he first saw me. How fun to think of the role reversal. But I did not want to worry him, so I spoke confidently. “Witness the beginnings of the true world, one of vast hues and tones! One where the imagination runs wild and free!” Maybe a tad too confidently.
“Does this mean there are more?”
“Yes my boy!” I couldn’t imagine how fast and easily he accepted the truth. How wonderful! How glorious!
“Show them all to me, so I can save my mom!”
I must say I felt awful in that moment. But of course I would never let it show. He required something I had only began to collect myself. He was after the same goal as me, to find the names of every color in the world, and have it fill in every last corner of the globe. It was a grueling task, never meant to be accomplished by a child. I looked into his eyes though. Somehow I knew it would be impossible to say no.
Thank you for reading! I hoped you enjoyed this short story and will share it with others who will love it too. Please follow inkandsea.com for more stories and updates by me the author, Hugo E. Werstler.
Please also visit the deviantart page of the artist who’s work, “The little peaks”, is featured in this story. PascalCampion is an incredible artist that has inspired several of my stories.