A short flash inspired by the folks at The Angry Hourglass, based on a photo supplied by the irrepressible creative force that is TheShakes72. I was trying for something different, the concept being a virus that is going to turn humanities perception monochromatic and an MC plagued by the loss of her youth. Sadly the tale didn’t quite work as I had hoped, but as always an interesting prompt and flexing of the creative muscles.



Emma ripped at the ivy, revealing the arcs of colour concealed on the brickwork beneath. She regretted the deforestation, for the plant had kept their art hidden from some tagger’s inelegant scrawl. Yet time was of the essence.

Finally, hands raw with the effort, Emma slumped down onto the grass, letting her eyes roll across the arcs and contours of the graffiti. A realm that was once vibrant had become a plateau of fading and peeling colours.

Trains rumbled to life in the yard behind her. It had been Marcus who had found the site back then. Somewhere commuters could see, yet taggers would find hard to reach. Emma pulled out the creased artist pad from her backpack. Flicking through the yellowing pages, till she found the original design sketched all those years ago. The three of them had sat in the pub that day. Heads clouded in smoke, as they sketched, argued and collaborated. The ghostly echo of Nob’s pint glass still haunting the page.

Now she was sat where they had once lain, admiring their work whilst the dew sprinkled grass dampened their skin. Listening to the sound of the city awakening whilst they passed a celebratory spliff back and forth. Unaware that six months later Marcus would be killed in a car crash.

They had returned here, after the funeral, etching his name into the wall. Nob had held her, made plaintive promises of always being there, even though they both knew he was lying, that they would inevitably drift apart. Last she had heard he now called himself Nicholas. Wore a suit, did coke, traded currency in the city.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket. A twitter update from the NHS, retweeted from the WHO. Just a hashtag, no more was needed.


She turned off her phone, lighting up a cigarette, staring at the wall that had meant so much then, still did now. She needed to remember, to keep the colours inside of her, to not forget how they looked.

Then it began. Emma let the tears flow down her face, as the world around her slowly faded into grey.


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