Blue and Green

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about community.... view prompt

1 comment

Fantasy Science Fiction

I choke back tears as I watch the downpour hammer against the hospital window. A cyclone of burning rage spirals through me, my thoughts ravaging my brain. I want to forget the tragedy, but the horrible memory will never stop haunting me. 

The scene plays out in my head over and over again—the flames, the charred figure, the smoke filling my lungs. How can anything be the same? I’ve lost so much in such little time, and it started from a string of avoidable events. 

It all began with a murder, but I’ll get to that later. First, I should explain my unique society. I live within the walls of Traigran city, a safe enclosure of peace and harmony—at least that’s how it used to be. I came here years ago with my family as weary travellers lost in the desert terrain of this planet. It offered me protection from the burning elements and ushered in a simple life. Hovels dotted the dusty ground within the walls, children laughed and played in the streets, and adults worked in the fields.

One day, it all changed for good. A petty disagreement spurred an outbreak of hate and dominance. This rift between the two people groups ended peace as we knew it. We all look the same, two ears jutting from the top of our heads, four toes, four eyes, four arms, and two legs. Color is the only difference, some blue and some green. I am a mix of both—my right side blue and my left green.

The murder happened at midday. A green Traigranian, named Oragon, stole a loaf of bread from the marketplace. The blue Traigranian Protector in that section, named Seriolumin, was furious. He chased after the thief and cornered him in a back alley. That’s where the murder took place. Townspeople say the Protectors found Oragon with a knife sticking out of his back while others say Seriolumin choked him to death. Either way, the blue Traigranian murdered him in cold blood. 

Half of the council voted to banish Seriolumin for his heinous crime, but the other half voted for community service. Chaos raged through the whole city. It began with peaceful protests, arguing the injustice of favoritism toward blue color. If Seriolumin was green, he would have been cast out of society immediately. Some argued his role as a Protector should grant him more mercy than he deserved. 

I remember the first protest well. I was so overcome with hatred and fury that day. I held up my sign, kneeling in the crowds of people. My best blue friend, Kamara, kneeled faithfully beside me. She turned to me. 

“Nevaeh, I know you're mad at the Protectors, but just know, they aren’t all bad. The actions of one shouldn’t label the whole.”

“You just don’t get it, do you? This wasn’t an attack against one person. It was an attack against my heritage—half of it anyways—and against who I am! I can’t believe my best friend is defending the people who did this.” Hatred dripped from every word as I glared at the line of Protectors trying to calm the crowds. 

The midday sky faded into night—the beginning of the next event in the string of terrors. Several people had left by this point, but many still kneeled in compact groups. That’s when the riots began. Items flew through the air, yelling and shouting drowned out all other noise, and fear pounded through me. 

I stood there in the commotion. Part of me wanted to join in and the other part wanted to avoid conflict. Kamara pulled me out of the crowds to safety before the arson began. I returned to my hovel that night, finding my eight-year-old brother watching the fires from his window. By the time I crawled into bed, I tossed and turned beneath my thin sheets. Sleep never came. 

My memory is disturbed as a doctor enters the room and scribbles on the whiteboard hanging on the door. I’ve been here for weeks and still the doctors say my release is months away. The blue nurse unwraps the thick bandages obscuring my entire body except for my four eyes and mouth. The sight of my mangled flesh sickens me, bile rising in my throat. I suppress the feeling and continue my story. 

Days passed after the first riot. Every night, more riots devastated the town. Hovel after hovel burned to the ground along with fields of harvestable food. I thought there would be an end to the madness before the riots neared my hovel. Wrong. A week into the riots, I traveled to the market place to bring home food. Most teenagers go to school and the adults purchase food in the marketplace. I am an exception. My blue mom and green dad died in a terrible sand storm that rocked the city a year ago. My brother is the only family I have left. 

I remember seeing the smoke first and the acrid smell eating at my lungs. The billowing gray cloud was far away. I thought I was safe and everything was okay. Wrong. I finished my market place run and returned home to check on my brother, Daraven. I gasped at the sight of my hovel. Flames lapped up against the side of the white dome-shaped house. Everything screamed at me. Angry tears streamed down my face as I watched the fire demolish my home. In that moment, it all clicked into place, a horrifying thought dragging me into the flames. Daraven.

I tore through the wall of fire, ignoring the searing pain ripping at my arms and legs. I had to save my brother. He was all I had left, the only family in this world. The smoke consumed me. I ignored it, pushing through, searching. 

“Daraven!” I rasped. No response came. My foot caught against a heap on the floor. I looked down and screamed. The disfigured body of Daraven, stared back at me, his eyes still open. The blackened crispy remains of his body slowly melted in the flames. It was at that moment the realization hit me. He wasn't the only one burning away. The adrenaline spiking through my body subsided and the horrifying pain ripped, tore, stretched, and mangled my entire body. 

The smoke stole away my breath and I collapsed next to my brother. As I did, my eyes hovered over a face emerging in the fire—the face of a protector. The world blurred away in a single flash. I woke up in the hospital a few days later.

I focus on the present again as my best friend, Kamara, enters the room and sits down beside me.

“How do you feel?”

“Like crap.” I say.

“Been doing much thinking?”

“Yeah, actually. I hate being wrong... but you’ve been right all along”

“About what?”

“Even though one protector is bad, not all are. I lost everything, my home, my brother, and everything I own. I was so angry at the Protectors after what happened, but honestly, the riots did more damage than anything. It will take years to fix all of the destruction.”

“Speaking of that, the riots stopped a couple days ago. The community is working together to rebuild,” she says.


“And… I know you won’t be released for a while, but my mom says you can stay with us since your house burned down.”

“Thanks.” Tears well up in my eyes again. Memories of my brother cloud my brain. I’ll never see him again thanks to the riots. He had a bright future ahead of him, an athlete hoping to invent a new sport when he grew up. A string of avoidable events ripped it all away from him. All I have left is a best friend and an uncertain future.

June 12, 2020 22:43

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1 comment

Joanne X
14:34 Jun 18, 2020

Hi E S, I'm in your critique circle! Wow. What a powerful story. Although you set the story in a dystopian fantasy, the basis of the events that occurred still happen in our reality and that breaks my heart. Many people are like your main character who have lost so much, but you showed how it's always important to have people who support you in your life.


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