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Using Colour In Prose by Rick Haynes

My local writing group held a session on how colour can set a scene, show the mood of the protagonist, give an image to the reader, and even suggest what could happen next.

It was an interesting meeting and the members, including myself, quickly wrote a few lines about their favourite colours.

Here are my two pieces of prose which should prove interesting.

Number 1


I was bold, brash and covered in dark stains. Too many drinks and too many falls into the brown mire and slush as I walked from my shack to meet her had been my downfall. Why I had allowed myself to fall so low was beyond my current level of stupidity. It was her fault; it was always her fault. But how could I hate and detest this woman of my dreams? The red mist of anger had descended but at least it disappeared quickly. Yet, leaving me in a haze of grey despondency was unfair. Maybe, I was going mad?

I can still see her delicate footprints in the melting snow. Clothed in a long white dress and matching shawl, I’m surprised Helen stayed so long. At least I understood why she said her goodbyes to a simple gardener like me. But why did she kiss my cheek?

Her father hated me, her brother wanted to kill me and only her mother tolerated my presence. Her family would protect her from any suitor, especially one so low in the world. Yet, none of their threats had come to fruition for whilst she was their yellow rose, highly scented and in full bloom, Helen had always been strong-willed. She tolerated no interference from her family about whom she spoke to.

No, it was my mistake, my boldness in giving her the first red camellia of the season that caused my downfall. Her family believed, correctly, I was in love with Helen. With her carefree innocence and her generous smile, I hoped my love would overcome her parents' prejudice. Being so nice to me, I was sure she felt the same. Sadly, it wasn’t only her parents tearing us apart.

Hearing her last words before she walked away drove a nail into my throbbing heart. Helen had agreed to wed another, a man much older, a grey haired man. And one very wealthy.

I took one last look at her lithe body as she disappeared through the side gate and put my head in my hands. My eyes were moist and I needed an outlet. The purple mist enveloped my brain, turning rational thought into evil deeds. I threw my pitchfork into the wooden door of the nearby shed and screamed at my fate. My mind was a whirl of colours, the hues overpowering. I put one hand across my throat for my breathing was more ragged than I'd ever known it to be.

After inhaling deeply many times the colours of confusion slowly ebbed away. Instead, I saw myself riding the waves of a crimson sea with a spear in one hand.

"Someone will pay." I was screaming the words over and over.

And as I made my vow, my clarity of purpose slowly emerged from the befuddlement inside my head.

I only had one thought now.

Revenge was best served cold.

The End

Once I finished the piece of flash fiction, I wanted to write another piece, an unusual piece about colours. I’d love to know what you think of this one.

Number 2


Blue is the colour screamed the home fans.

Red is for the devils, retorted the opposition.

White is the programmes yelled the sellers.

Colourless are the heavens, played the band.

Smoky is the meatballs complained the eaters.

Grey is the sky roared the home manager.

Black is his feelings yelled the pundits.

Gold is our desire shouted the winners.

Dark is our hearts whispered the losers.

The End

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