Flash Fiction 365 @ tumblr. But if nothing else, it features the same character that Red Scare, Pt II includes, soooo that's something, right?
Also, we're time-warping back to 1979.
(Over 1k words, written in about an hour.)
Amongst anything else - flowers, dresses, plastic jewelry, Crayons in a box
- the color yellow was nothing special. It was a nice enough accent color, but
the era had taken it to ridiculous extremes via paint pallets and upholstery. It also reminded one of dinner soup come back
to haunt in the middle of the night.
But that day…
That day yellow was beautiful.
At six years old Miranda had no real opinion about most colors – not like
her peers at the kindergarten, who rolled around in blues and pinks and fought
over red glitter and purple crayons. Of course, she had her supposed favorite
of the day, a deep orange so thick in its own hue that it turned sienna in the
summer light. She wore it on her jumper and in the ribbons in her hair, against
her mother’s better judgment (“Why do you like such boring colors? Boring colors
for a boring girl. You look like a street dog in that color.”) and her teacher’s
frustration since it made little Miranda blend in too well with the paint on
But yellow was beautiful.
Her classmates were all like her:
either a mix of Caucasian or not all. The local Asian population was at
its thickest in that area, and a mixture of Mandarin, Laotian, Vietnamese and
some Korean babbled in the air during drop-off and pickup times. There was one
other child who was part Japanese like Miranda, a boy whose parents forbade him
from speaking their natural language. Her mother had futilely arranged play dates
between the two children in the morbid hope that they would get engaged before
Little George was currently stuffing another boy’s face in the sandbox while
Miranda clung to the wall, alone. Her eyes flitted between her supposed fiancé and
the new girl who brought with her the color yellow.
Susie was also part Asian, but the genetic randomizer had bestowed upon her
a happy head of blond from her white father’s side. The color pouring from her
scalp was so vibrant that it was the definition of the color yellow.
It was beautiful.
Somebody chided Miranda for staring at the new girl. When she denied it, the
child went and told Susie. Miranda turned and shoved her face in the corner before
her cheeks could pinken.
“Hey, are you Miranda?” Susie’s voice sounded like sharpened chalk on metal.
Miranda flinched and craned her head over her shoulder – she forgave Susie for
the vocal oversight the moment she saw the lovely blond hair.
Susie kicked her feet and grinned. “They said you were staring at me.”
“No I wasn’t!”
“Why are you staring at me? Are you
Miranda bowed her head. “You’re pretty.”
“Thanks! You’re pretty too!”
Susie could say that so candidly – why was Miranda so shy to admit it
herself? “Do you wanna play?”
They took off for another corner where a pile of blocks were abandoned.
Together they built themselves a nice colorful castle and decorated the
ramparts with tiny plastic soldiers. Miranda babbled about defensive tactics
while Susie gaped at how it all flew over her own head. While Miranda put all
the soldiers into formation, Susie took a blue ribbon out of her hair and strung
it around the base of the castle as a makeshift moat.
It was a decent castle by any other kindergarten’s standards, and other children
stopped by to admire it…or threaten it as the kingdom dragon, as it were. One
particularly young girl took a soldier out of Miranda’s hands and sucked on it
before giving it back. Miranda sneered and threw it at the back of the girl’s
“Miranda!” chided the nearest teacher. “Don’t throw things!”
Miranda hunkered down near her and Susie’s castle. From that moment the
teacher hovered near them, although her attention was constantly taken by
George’s bullying of the other boys.
“All right. That’s it. Playtime’s over,” she finally announced. “Clean up!”
Susie slammed a hand against the castle and watched it fall with delight.
Miranda merely stared at the colors falling around her, each block crushing a
tiny soldier against the brown carpet. Something lurched inside her stomach in
Susie’s hair brushing against her forehead made her stomach lurch in
“Where’s my ribbon?” Susie’s voice snapped Miranda out of her sickening
“Here it is.” She reached out and picked up the ribbon from the pile of
“Thanks. Can you tie it for me? My mom always does it for me.”
Susie gathered her hair on the side of her head and gestured for Miranda to
approach with the ribbon. With the rabble of a scrambled clean up going on around
them, Miranda took the ribbon and began to tie it in an acceptable loop around
Susie’s yellow locks. A tear emerged at the edge of her eye as she felt each
thick strand between her fingers.
“Oh! Are you okay? Why are you crying?” Susie pulled herself away and
finished her hair on her own.
“I’m not crying…”
“You’re crying! You are weird!”
“It’s just…your hair is so pretty.”
“Yes. I like the color a lot.”
“It’s just hair…you’ve seen yellow hair before, right?”
“You’re so weird.”
They stared at each other, Miranda’s eyes watering while Susie’s blinked in
bemusement. Miranda reached out and took her new friend’s hand.
“You’ll be my friend?”
Susie shrugged. “I guess so. But you are weird.”
“Don’t say thanks to that!” Susie yanked her hand away. “Weirdo.”
“Can I kiss you?”
Miranda pointed her chin down and pretended she couldn’t see anything. “My
cousin says you should kiss people you think are pretty.”
“But girls don’t kiss other girls!”
“I…I don’t know why…they just don’t!”
“Why can’t I kiss you?”
“Because it’s weird, you weirdo!”
“Would you kiss me if I were a boy?”
“Ew! No way! That’s gross!”
“Then why not kiss me?”
Susie finally relented. Besides, she later said, she needed the practice.
And since boys were so gross, why not kiss a girl instead? And thus she let
Miranda lean in and peck her on the lips while the kindergarten cleaned itself
For centuries artists have tried to capture the innocence of a child’s kiss;
for centuries adults have had heart attacks over them.
“Miranda!” The teacher swept in
and pulled them apart. “Susie! What are you doing?!”
She addressed both of them, but it was Miranda she had her firm hands
clasped upon. “We were kissing…”
“I could see that! That’s disgusting!”
“No it’s not!”
“Come here!” The teacher yanked Miranda away and towards the telephone in
the back office.
When Miranda’s mother arrived, it was more of the same she always heard. “Unnatural
child!” “Has no morals!” “What kind of family do you keep at home?” “This is
the second time!”
“My daughter is quite sick,” Miranda’s mother responded via her
sister-in-law’s translation. “I’ve disciplined her several times about this.” “I
was hoping it was just a tainted American phase but she can’t get rid of it.” “I
will punish her again.” “This is unacceptable, I agree.” “I’m so sorry.” She
even bowed at the end.
And when Susie’s mother came, nothing changed. “What?!” “What kind of place
is this?!” “Is this what goes on here?!” “Do not make my daughter a homosexual!”
“I can’t stand a place like this!” “We’re leaving!”
She took Susie with her, and the little blond girl never returned. When
Miranda went home that night, she was quite righteously punished by her disgusted
and enraged mother. The shrieking was the same as always, and the spanking didn’t
even hurt after a while. The worst part was when she went to the phone and
called George’s mother, insisting on another play date.
But George would never do. No boy would ever do. The feelings inside Miranda
– that she would have no words to describe until she was of age – were there,
steadfast in her heart, and imprinted on her memory. No girl would be as pretty
as Susie, the little girl with yellow hair.
Until she met the next one.
And the next one.
And finally the last one.
Because the color yellow was so beautiful.