Capri

capri blue – A vivid, greenish blue; turquoise

Chase knows exactly what the air feels like every morning.  Quiet and still. Cold and bland.  He knows exactly how many steps it takes to reach his door, how long it would take.  He doesn’t even think about the house outside his room, because it’s exactly the same.  Same color, same air, same feel.

Chase doesn’t like to leave the room, because there is no reason to.  He cannot leave the house because there are no windows, and the doors only lead to more blank rooms.  Chase knows that if he stays in his room long enough, that Tall Man will bring him food.  So he has no idea why today of all days he wants to leave his room.

Everything simply feels the same as it does every day.  His room is bland and white.  The air still heavy and silent.  Yet Chase opens the door, and walks outside.  And for a while, everything seems the same as ever.

Then, Chase hears footsteps.  The soft sound echoing down the hall, and as they grow louder, a warmth floods through him.  It muffles his world and the air around him lightens.  But as soon as it comes, it is gone once more.  But it was there long enough, long enough for Chase to realize just how cold he is, and for his soul to feel like it might actually be alive.

Chase flees back to his room and shuts the door behind him.  Looking at his window, the sky’s gray mood and rain creating vivid stripe of colors, he remembers why he hates this room and this house so much.

His mood dark as the sky when it cries, Chase ignores the rainbow, ignores how the vivid colors seem to hold his soul in their shades.  Ignores how he wants to run outside and down the halls, searching for that warmth.  The warmth that in his heart reminds him of the bright red color on top of a rainbow.

And so Chase lays in bed, and pulls the covers over his head.  And he ignores the fact that for even just a second, a flame had grown in his heart.  A flame, ever so small, appearing at the idea that there might be something else in the house.  Something full of color and life, to cover the blank walls that surround him.  The darkness that is slowly seeping into his mind as well.  Chase might as well sleep, at least there is color in his dreams.

The golden brown leaves fluttered gently in the wind, swaying slowly as if to tease Chase as he leapt for them.   His hands only grasping at empty air.  A soft chuckle sounded quietly behind him, and he spun around, only to see someone watching him.

“I wanna leaf.”  His mouth was forming a small but noticeable pout, his warm brown eyes gazing up at her.  The woman shook her head slowly, sighing in mock exasperation.

“Chase, there’s plenty on the ground, why don’t you get one there?”

“But I wan’ one from thewe.”  His eyes were still fixed on her, wide and pleading, his small hand pointing upwards.

“Well than you should jump a little higher.”  This was not answer Chase wanted.  He was trying his best, but the leaves still flew out of his hand.  

“Please get me wone, I only wan’ wone.”  The wind was beginning to pick up speed, the leaves being blown farther and farther from the ground.  She sighed, and reached up to grab a leaf, much to Chase’s delight.

“Here you go.”  Chase held the leaf gently, and held his arms up, reaching up to her.  She picked him up, and set him on her hip.  Clutching her shirt, and burying his face in her hair, Chase dozed off to sleep, leaf held tight in his fist.

Then there was a loud noise, and screams.  His eyes flew open to complete darkness, and he started to cry.  A hand covered his mouth, but Chase only grew more distressed.  He began to scream, thrashing because he couldn’t see her.  And then she was there, holding him, and he quieted almost immediately.

“I heard something in there.”  A muffled voice cut the silence, and she tensed.

“Why don’t you check it out then?”  This voice was deeper, and much closer.  Light suddenly flooded into the small room, and Chase was grabbed away from her.  He started to scream once more.  Only this time, she joined him.

Chase woke up, a foreign word on his lips. Mom. He thought he might have read it once in a book, but he wasn’t sure.  Closing his eyes and burrowing  into the blankets, he tries to to warm himself futily.  He desperately wants to go back to sleep.  To go see the bright colors and warmth.  It always seemed to always be present.   Chase can almost picture it in his head.  It reminds him of the open fields that he once dreamed of.

Then, as if on cue, the footsteps return.  The embers grow into a flame once more, filling him with warmth and more happiness than the sky ever did.  He opens his door, and steps outside.

Peering around cautiously, Chase walks toward the footsteps.  He can hardly hear them over his heartbeat.  But the fire is raging now, deep in his soul.  There is someone standing in front of him.  A boy, about his age.  Chase freezes, his eyes widening slightly.

“Hey, I didn’t know anyone else was here.”  It seemed to more a question than a statement.  Chase stared at the boy, blinking in slight amazement.  Was he waiting for an answer?  Or an explanation?

“I didn’t know either.”  He’d never seen anyone besides Tall Man.

“How long have you been here?”

“I always have.”  The boy was staring at him now, an unreadable expression on his face.

“You don’t ever leave this house?  Do you not go outside?”  Shock coursed through Chase, as he took in the words.

“Outside the house?”   He stumbled over the question.  He had always tried not to ask too many.

“Well, there’s not much outside anyway I guess.  Just a bunch of trees and grass.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been outside.”  With a mind a million miles away, Chase thought of his dreams.

“You haven’t?” Chase looked back at the boy, who was staring at him again. “I mean, I could tell you about it, if you wanted.” The fire was leaping now.  Higher and higher, fueled on those words.

Chase gazed behind him.  Gazed back into the room he had left behind.  The room that was secure and constant.  The room with the window.  Chase could see that the dark sky was illuminated only by a bright stripe of color.  A rainbow whose light today was vivid.  Now, under the pale moon it seems distant and aloof.  Dull and uncaring.  Chase ignores the cold chills running down his spine.

He turned away from the window.  Left it behind like he did on those quiet days.  Those silent days when he stayed in his room.  When he closed the door and knew that this was his fate.  Only this time, he was not staying in his room.  This time, it was going to be different.

“Oh, and I’m Preston.”

“Chase”

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