Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dream of a Black and White World

A fresh soap bubble is iridescent, many-colored, vivid. Then it fades. Watch closely as the membrane thins; patches of dark transparency appear in the moment before the bubble pops.

That’s how the world was. God blew it into existence fully colored and bright with every hue. But as time went on, it... didn’t fade, exactly—the colors were used up.

It was a physical law, like entropy. Every expenditure of energy used up color. Some creatures actually fed on color energy to live. The world swung relentlessly towards black and white.

Don’t think it was a grey, drab, place, though. Brilliant whites and hard-edged shadows filled the world as the softening colors drained away. Outlines were uncompromising. People appeared as crisp silhouettes. There was nothing vague about the colorless world.

As the world aged, the people began to converge and consolidate. By now, they were all either black or white. But not like black people you’ve seen, who are really brown; not like white people you’ve seen, who are really pink. These people were as black as ink and as white as paper. They looked very much alike, and this made it easier for separate individuals to merge into one.

The men merged into Kings. The women merged into Queens.

At last the world was reduced to a black and white checkerboard. And on it, the last few people waited in rows for the chess game to start.

If you like poetry, check out the weekly prompt site at Totally Optional Prompts

No comments: