Chapter 1.3: Less colorful

Everywhere I went I saw colors, colors and some more colors. Even though I had lived my entire life in this town, it still amazed me to see that there was pretty much nothing that was allowed to be colorless. They had even started forbidding vanilla ice-cream because it lacked color. What was the most fascinating was that no-one complained, everybody just bought the lie as it was. Everybody silently agreed to the standing norms through their non-actions.

This was before Flax told me about their rebellious little circle of friends, of course. I started seeing the colorless berries more and more. Some used white details in their otherwise colorful outfits while others were more brave and dressed completely colorless. If you knew to look for it, you could see that white was sneaking its way in to our colorful world little by little. The realization made me smile.

I noticed how these colorless colored berries exchanged looks, subtle so that no one would notice unless they were actually looking for it. Small nods in each others direction, innocent smiles and the like. I soon started as well, everytime I saw someone wearing white I nodded in their direction or smiled as though they were distant friends of mine. It was as though we had a little family on our own. It felt good.

Now that feeling, of course, did not follow me to work. There I was still being treated as something infected that needed quarantine. In all honesty, I don’t think I would want those people to be my friends, they were all too narrow-minded. Speaking with Flax made me realize that there actually were people that didn’t think I was disgusting or a shame for our world. Now, I had of course always known this myself, but just knowing there were others who agreed with me was a fantastic thing.

Working as a firefighter can be dramatic, stressful and exciting but most of the time it’s quite dull. There is a lot of downtime between the calls, where all we do is work in our own physical perfection, hang out with each other or make sure trucks and alarms are functioning properly. Now, these two last tasks are probably the most dull and the least attractive tasks we have. For some reason, I found myself doing this a lot. And I mean a lot.

I got better and better at it, though, so I suppose it did bring something good with it. It also helped my boss in deciding I had deserved the promotion when there was an opening. Which, of course irritated my co-workers to no end.

“You don’t deserve it. Stupid vanilla!” they said.

Now, I’m not exactly known to remain silent so I took a deep breath before I went in to protection mode. “Maybe I’m just better than you, Bubble. Guess you’ll have to work harder.” His final delivering blow was low. Something about the boss feeling pity for my lack of color, father, looks and class. And of course, topping it all of with: “You’ll never be as good as him”. Him, obviously referring to my father.

Some things are just hard to take. Talking bad about my father, for instance. Or telling me there are things I can’t do. I just couldn’t take it. I didn’t even find the energy or will to reflect his words, they just sank right in under my skin. I could feel how the tip of my mouth went from widely smiling to vibrating. I had to turn around to not cry. That would have been an embarrasment worth remembering. I wouldn’t let them have that to relish.

It took me some days to get back on track after that, but when I did, I was stronger and more determined than ever. I would show them. I would succeed. They would soon learn that I was already better than my father. That I would be willing to sacrifice just as much as he had done. They would see.

Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to prove myself just a couple of days later. (What are the odds, huh?) The alarm sounded and the call sounded BIG FIRE. I knew what it meant when a fire was classified as big. It meant lives were in danger, that there were berries trapped in the burning building and that we would have to really push ourselves to the limits to succeed in the task ahead.

Our group leader, Minsk, waved his hand, motioning for us to get dressed quicker. To get on the road quicker. “Go, go, go! Big fire! Big fire! You can do this, go, go, go!”

I knew that seconds could mean the difference between life or death so I got dressed quicker than I had ever before and were in my truck, on my way before anyone else. Adrenaline pumped in my body as I drove there and I could feel my heart beating in the same rythm as the sirenes of my truck. This was the greatest adventure of my life, so far. Right then, it didn’t matter at all what color I was or that the world flashing by my windows shined with bright, vivid colors while I didn’t. All that mattered was the lives we would soon save.

I was the first to arrive at the scene and I had never seen anything like it. Big, hungry flames threw themselves out of the windows of the house and from inside I could hear berries screaming in fear of their lives. The fire crackled and sound of wood falling and breaking turned the scene in to a real emergency.

Without hesitation I pulled out the hose and started to put out the fires in the windows, knowing this would most likely be the best way for those berries inside to get out. It felt like an eternity before the water from the hose started to ease the flames. I pushed it to its limits, still trying to push it even more. I knew I wouldn’t let them die in there, I would make sure.

Sweat was dripping from my temples, running down my cheeks and my body was working beyond its limits. I knew I pushed myself hard, possibly harder than would have been possible if I hadn’t been so empowered by adrenaline. I had already managed to secure two of the windows when the rest of my group arrived at the scene.

“Check the back, I’m going in!” I yelled towards them and it didn’t matter that I was the colorless one, they obeyed and rushed towards the back of the house while I myself ran towards the door. I pulled the handle down, only to find that it was locked from the inside. I knew the seconds were ticking and as fast as I possibly could I got back to my truck, pulled out the fire axe and went back to the door.

Two powerful chops at the lock later the door gave in and I could finally make my way inside the house. Judging by the amount of smoke in the house I could once again tell we were working with tiny marginals here. I needed to do everything right. I put my hand in front of my mouth to breathe through it and moved crouched and fast through the house. It was hard to see with all the smoke blurring my vision and causing my eyes to tear up but there was no time to think about it.

“We’re coming to get you!” I yelled and listened careful after a reply. Any hint to where in the house they were would help a bunch.

“In here!” A man called and I figured he had locked himself in one of the rooms next to the one I was in. I didn’t know if there was anyone else in the house and I knew I had to make a quick decision in where to go. I decided to get the man who answered my call to safety. With a quick kick the door budged and swung open. The man was literally jumping from one foot to the other in panic with his hands waving above his head. “Help! HELP ME!” he cried out.

After getting the man out my team-leader gave me a well-deserved pat on my shoulder. “Well done Mallow” he said and smiled. “Now take some rest.” It was already dark, which meant I must have worked here for many hours. I could feel that my body was exhausted but as I looked at the house, which was still in massive flames I knew there was no time for rest. I looked around and saw that the rest of the team had also gathered around us, everybody looking after the man I had just rescued, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“What are you all doing here?” I wondered angry. “The house is still on fire!”

Minsk shook his head “It’s too late.”

I sighed. We had done all we could and it hadn’t been enough. The failure was devastating and as I watched the house shining in bright yellow, red and orange flames I thought to myself that Bubble had been right. I would never be as good as my father. “My brother is in there” the rescued man suddenly whispered. His voice was weak and worn out but his eyes were looking straight at me, begging me to do something. “You have to save him” he said and fell back in to silence.

I didn’t even wait a second to move but instantly felt an arm around me. “No Mallow. It’s too late. We can’t do anything.”

“WE CAN! Let go of me!” I yelled in a fierce voice. Minsk was strong when he held me but I was empowered with something beyond berries and managed to break free.

“I’M NOT LETTING HIM DIE!” I called out as I ran away. It was impossible for them to stop me but I heard them screaming after me, asking me to turn around. But I couldn’t just leave him. I had to at least try and save him. That’s what my father would have done.

AN: I’m sorry Marshmallow suddenly has different firefighter clothes, please don’t think about it. I couldn’t change them to what she was wearing at the actual emergency scene when I needed to take the last pic for the chapter. 😦

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  1. Exciting chapter. I wonder what will happen? I hope she saves the man.

  2. I hope she saves him, so she can show the other firemen where they can stick it when they talk to her like that.

  3. Oh plumbob! O.O Don’t die in there, Mallow! You can save him, I know you can! Show those stupid collegues what you’re really made of! O.O

  4. Hi Fru Im back to reading your story. I love her, she is brave!!

  5. Marshmallow sure is brave! I hope she’s able to save him.
    She has a lot to live up to, with her hero of a father.

  6. Oh god! Mallow! Be careful!


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