Pearl grey light filtered through the venetian blinds, pooling in clouds
of dust to drift gently downward. The scattered streaks of light lent a
curious quality to the room, an overlay of color in certain patches like
puddles of soymilk floating in tea, feathering at the edges, moving
outward of their own accord.
Her skin bore a similar design, spots and stripes of color floating across
it, tattoos and scars. Gentle pink like the inside of a mouse's ear. Angry
purple lightning striking outward. Luminous white tracery showing off the
many shades belying her supposedly white arms. Light shone through it all,
somehow; a remarkably glowing woman she was. Vibrant.
She liked to pool colors around her like light, kinetic painting, pouring
paint into a surface or reaching fingertips into gathering jars of rainbow
ink to stain a surface. The rose windows had been her doing, painted
across with waves and waves of pinks until translucency had won. The
landlady would not mind, as long as the color was drained properly some
day before they left. Rose was often edged with purple and orange, lemon
palms and aqua eyelashes, a rising tide, as if she wandered daily across
some child's tremendous coloring-book. She was never quite within the
lines, but got full marks for effort.
It was something within her fingers that did it. They seemed like matches,
like knives, but where another would raise images of the guillotine's
blade or the arsonist's burnt weapon, Rose's touch evoked the warm glow
before a lit clove, the knife sliding, curvetting through butter. One
glides along and a line of color wells up behind it, bright life-force
leaping to meet her. She often thought it appropriate that blood was a
vivid scarlet, that we should be powered by pure color. A watery grey
could never sustain and charge life, nor a pale beige. Were Rose's blood
that color, in some alternate Earth or strange new twilight dimension, she
would die of ink poisoning trying to alter it. As it is, she merely tries
to let it through, paint herself in it, sing paeans to it, and perhaps one
day she will let it all be free. The tragedy, she thinks, is not in the
loss of her life, her body, but in the inevitable dulling and stillness of
the rogue rouge.