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Lucas was five when he watched the final gate open on television, his father’s grip tightening on his shoulders as an army of suit-clad minions poured forth from hell’s now open door.

“My god, it looks like an invasion of wall street,” said his father.

“Or the IRS,” said his mother.

“Public servants do not wear suits that good.”

Lucas’s shoulders creaked under his father’s grip and though Lucas knew that his father didn’t mean to hurt him, he knew too that he would have bruises. Then the television had faded out never to broadcast again.

Rather than the expected fire and brimstone suffering there had been instead an excising and the world slowly faded, losing color until it was cast in pewter shadow. The army of minions set up ministries for provisions and people stood in lines for identical boxes of identical things. They went to their assigned jobs and back home again, eating for sustenance and sleeping for energy. An endless loop of life without hope or end.

For some time, people reached for pleasure with fading memories of paintings, writing and sculpture, of desire, of food eaten just for taste, until pleasure itself became a rainbow. These thoughts became as elusive as silverfish for nearly everyone except Lucas. For pressed into his skin are the yellows, blues and greens of bruises never healed.  Lucas doesn’t understand how the Ministry of Anomalous Events hasn’t yet brought him in but every day that he gets to live with the marks of his father’s love is one that he cherishes. The yellow edges remind him of sunflowers and the greens of grass that once grew. Lucas tries to remember for them all for when the Ministry comes, and they will, he too will forget and the way back will be lost.


Inspired by Trifecta’s word fo the the week: