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Strange Was He

He was a strange sight; a blot of dazzling color wrapped around a beanpole of a man, skipping without a care in the world, through a land of black and greys and browns. Strange, almost embarrassing with his blatant display of joy and childish wonder, but not unwelcome.

No, he was far from unwelcome to the dull, drained eyes of the townsfolk. Men and woman and youths, marching, shoulders drawn down with unseen weights, the color bled from their skin and hair. Clothes uniform with their similar dark and plain shades, the same wrinkles and worn holes.

But him. This strange youthful man, with his blinding smile, his energetic movements, his brilliant eyes, gaze pointed forward, undisturbed by the swinging of his head. He was so different, so full of life, as if the world wasn’t broken and drained and muddied by the menacing unfeeling structures and machines that took and took and took. Things built by humanities own hands. Things they had thought they wanted, but in the end had taken what they now missed. Things they hadn’t realized they’d needed and loved, until they were gone.

He was so full of hope, unnaturally cheerful, regardless of the disgust and disregard thrown his way. He brushed all the hateful and pessimistic comments, all the curses and attempts to bring him down to their level, like they were nothing but bits of dust.

He responded with warmth, with patience, with a gentle love the people had forgotten could exist without a price, without feeling fake. There was nothing artificial in this man, this kind and colorful man.

And with his coming, came a spring that would regrow this small bleak town.


His first were a pair of half-siblings; who loved each other as if they had been born from the same parents, who held tight to a bond that had only grown stronger as the years passed. They’d chased him down, for reasons they couldn’t recall, and found a small little bookstore. Tucked in the corner next to an overgrown tree, its branches curling across the rooftop, half-formed into the building itself. The siblings told stories, taught children, and rekindled the gentle warmth of the soul. Their eyes shinning a green as vibrant as their tree.

Second were the working men, the ones whose feet were always covered in the dust and blackened earth of the mines. The bright man came down during their breaks, and sang them songs, offered simple home-cooked meals that returned their strength. Simple kindnesses, that the men paid forward, and soon the echoing rock halls were filled with whistling and humming. They were shown where to dig, and did so with gladness, carrying a weary joy, passing out acts of kindness, no matter how small, to their friends, neighbors, and families. They walked with their heads held high, painted in blues and golds and cheerful reds.

After that, the rest of the townspeople were drawn in by dazzling colors, and fell, one by one. Falling, joyfully, into the warmth, succumbing to a curiosity and boundless energy they had not felt since the early days of their youth.

Reds, blues, bright greens and yellows and pinks. The people gained a new lease in life, and dared not think of returning to their dulls greys.


And as the color, the life returned to the small town, the man left. Whistling the miners tunes as he skipped down the road towards the next town. No less joyful, no less colorful.

One man, youthful and eternal, answering a quiet call; bring back our joy, our missing colors, our life.

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