This is part of a dream I had last night. While most of my dreams are just nonsense, sometimes I feel like they have something powerful in them. This is one such case. If you think you see a metaphor here, it certainly wasn’t intentional. It is just a dream.
The world was beautiful before they took away the color.
I was at a picnic. Family was there. So were friends. Our table was in the shade because the sun was so bright and warm. We sat around the table laughing and eating. People came and went.
I played in the grass with a boy. The grass was so green, so vibrant. The way it contrasted the blue sky was amazing. Or so I remember.
I didn’t know who the boy was, but I knew that I loved him. We tossed a tennis ball back and forth and for the life of me I could not catch it. At one point I picked the boy up and threw him to the ground. We were both laughing as we rolled in the grass. That wonderfully green grass.
It wasn’t much later when the clouds began to fill the sky. The air began to cool. The people came. The people with their gray coats and their large machines. They wore thick goggles and dust masks. We couldn’t see their faces.
The strangers began issuing orders. We had no idea who they were, but for some reason we listened. There was confusion, but no protest. Concern, but no action.
They crammed us onto lifts. We were moved along conveyor belts like cattle to the slaughter. I began to lose track of my friends and family, but I kept the boy by my side.
“Stay close,” I said to him, holding his hand.
We moved further and further away from the color. The greens and blues turned to grays and grays. I couldn’t feel the sun on me anymore. The warmth was gone.
We finally reached the end of the conveyor belt. We stood at the end of a raised platform nearly a hundred feet in the air. I grasped the single rail as I looked over the land. It was a colorless land filled with rolling piles of ash. It looked like an endlessly dirty winter.
More and more people were loaded onto the platform. Hundreds. So many that I felt I would fall over the ledge.
But with the sound of a hiss the rail retracted into the platform as it tilted 45 degrees, spilling us into the gray ash. I tumbled and tumbled down the hill, my body flailing. I landed softly at the bottom, covered in the filth.
I had lost the boy. Bodies kept falling and piling up around me. I scrambled to find him. I had to avoid getting buried. I didn’t know him but I had to find him.
In my panic I didn’t see him standing there for a good five minutes. There he was, shin deep in ash, just staring up. I waded over to him, got on my knees, and hugged him.
“What’s happening?” he asked me.
I didn’t know. I told him to get on my back. His little arms wrapped around my neck and I began to climb back up toward the platform. The hill gave way beneath me as I tried to get higher. I felt like I was digging a hole as opposed to climbing a hill. I gave up and let the boy off my back. It wasn’t possible.
I looked around at the others. Most were standing, looking around at the hills and valleys of gray. Our skin had no color, our clothes neither. I looked up at the sky and it too was gray. It was all gone.
And so was everyone I knew. I tried talking to the others, but none seemed too interested. They simply wandered out into this barren, gray world. All I had was the boy.
He began toward one of the hills.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
He looked at me, shrugged, and kept walking. I followed him in.