Chapter 2.1: Where it all began

You should never start a story with the words ‘It all began when…’. It may be a common way to start a story but it’s never true. Nothing ever starts somewhere. Every event always evolves from previous events and therefore it’s impossible to say that all started anywhere. Yet, every story has to start somewhere so you have to make that choice anyway. Mine starts when Affair dies:

It was one of the normal saturday evenings. I was at The Blank Slate along with Sweet Corn, Mithos and their friends. Quince and Affair were the ones manning the bar that night. As usual, it was a nice atmosphere. People were happy at The Blank Slate and ever since the grand opening on my birthday it had been the perfect place for us colorless and our supporters. It had always worked just as it was intended.

We had a great time until Sweets had one too many juices (Quince thought it was hilarious to serve her drinks despite her young age) and I had to take my responsibility as a brother to get her back home safe. I didn’t mind that much to be honest, she was quite fun to watch and I thought a night at home could be just as entertaining as a night at the pub. So, I didn’t complain, I just brought her home. Without telling mom and dad anything about her state, might I add.

After putting her to sleep, I enjoyed myself with some reading. It was calm and relaxing laying in my bed just getting lost in the book’s world. Sweets snoring functioned as a quite nice sound effect.

I fell asleep before Quince came home so I could never see him (nor hear him) as he sat on the edge of the bed crying.

In fact, I didn’t notice his crying until I woke up the next day by him spinning back and forth in bed, whimpering. It took me a moment to realize the whimpering was in fact crying. When I did realize, I went to wake him up, thinking he must have had a nightmare.

The look in his eyes as he opened them is something I will never forget. They say the eyes are a reflection to a berry’s soul and if that’s so, I’m really worried about my elder brother. “What is it, Quincie?” I wondered, already knowing that something was terribly wrong.

“He’s dead” Quince sobbed and started crying hysterically.

I didn’t even ask who it was or what it was, instead I ran in to my parents bedroom to wake them up. “Quince needs you. NOW!” I yelled and they both jumped out of bed, realizing I would never wake them in such a manner unless it was an emergency. I followed them as they hurried in to our bedroom.

“What’s the matter Quince?” mom asked, fear and worry filling her voice.

“He’s dead” Quince sobbed. “Thee-eey ki-ii-ii-lled hi-iim.”

“Who’s dead and who killed him?” Dad asked, managing to stay calm.

Quince kept sobbing but managed to get out that it was Affair who had been killed. That two antagonists had managed to get to The Blank Slate just an hour before closing time the previous night and that they had shot Affair in the back, with the words, “This is how much colorless are worth!” It obviously triggered panic among all the guests at the pub and Quince himself had just managed to duck behind the bar when the second bullet pierced one of the bottles behind him. The two antagonists then disappeared from the scene.

I never had a personal relation to Affair but my family was hurting after his death. Especially Quince, who had been the one to watch Affair take his final breath and the one to hear his final words. I knew them all too well because Quince kept whispering them uneasy as he spun back and forth in nightmares. “Never give up, Quincie. Keep fighting.”

I didn’t hurt that much. But I did feel something else. A feeling that was well-known to me, it was probably the feeling I knew best. Guilt. District 0 was my fault and District 0 fueled the grudge against colorless and their supporters and that was what killed Affair. Alas, Affair died because of me.

I had learned to live with the guilt from District 0 on my shoulders, but it would be impossible to also carry the guilt of a young man’s death. Yet, that was what expected from me.

Some say that a ‘bow will never have to go through more than he or she actually can and that the stronger ‘bows will have more to carry. I don’t know who or what force does the calculations for that, but I knew there had been a miscalculation when it came to me. I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t carry all of this.

Affair’s death became big news and the fact that it was a political murder raised a question Fondant Fields had been struggling with for decades. Was it really that bad wanting rights for colorless? 

Despite that, the killers were never found. In fact, no one officially seemed to look for them. At least, neither me or my siblings were ever questioned by the police. And out of our friends and supporters, no one else had been either.

The fact was that even when Quince called the police and gave a signalment, nothing happened. It should have been easy to catch them since the murder happened in front of many witnesses. But, since it was a supporter of colorless who died, no one cared enough. Or rather, no one was allowed to care enough.

The Blank Slate was never shut down even though it had been revealed. I guess it was because if they would have decided to shut it down, they would also have admitted that something happened there, and since there seemed to be no plans of solving the crime, they couldn’t close the pub either.

So, things kept going on as they had been, only that the difference was that Affair had been killed because of his political opinions. And even though Mayor Bloom tried to keep the whole event a secret, words started to spread.

The number of new members to Flax’s party shot through the roof as a consequence and the general public started to question Mayor Bloom and his restrictions against colorless. Despite the sad event it was, it became a much-needed fuel in the fight.

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