Coloured Errors

"The world is not what you think it is, it's much worse."
Flynn likes how he goes unnoticed by the government. Andrew thinks he's an asset. Together they work out why the world doesn't fit right.
Wait, the world doesn't fit, right? Who told you that? Don't trust a word of whoever told you that.

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5. To Feel Peach

 

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The Government Skyscraper was the first official skyscraper to be built after the First Disaster. It was made of reflective glass instead of proper windows and if it was not for the steel that bounced clouds and silver light back it would’ve melted into the water. It was the most expensive bit of sky available, the only skyscraper that effectively cut off the view of the Wall.

“You really think these ID cards are going to work?” Flynn asked as he shielded his eyes away from the sun. On that day the sun puked down mustard yellow light across them and it could have been more positive if they weren’t going to commit a felony by breaking into a government building. Well, technically it wasn’t breaking in because apparently the ID cards were registered so that Andrew was bringing in a Dot for lab rat testing and Flynn was reduced to nothing but the symbol on his wrist, like always. He blamed Mercury for all of this. Not himself but Mercury curiosity.

“They’ve worked before,” Andrew fired back, starbursts on his tongue as the hazel eyes flickered like lightning strikes.

“When was before?”

“Before.”

And they were back to the unanswered questions even when Flynn had thought that they were finally opening up to one another.

They came up to the gateway where all boats and passengers were screened by the government, if they didn’t have a reason to be there they would either be arrested or sent away. Andrew was drenched in lilac, a confident grin perched on his scarecrow lips.

Flynn allowed himself to remember because it was the only thing that felt right on his shoulders. He remembered the day he was picked up by the government to get his wrist marked, a helmet of electrodes was perched onto his unwilling head and it beeped and read the amount of chemicals in his brain.

The numbers added up to a hundred percent emotional capacity, a rarity, and his own mother tattooed a single dot onto his wrist before giving him a promise and a goodbye. He would never see her again and he wouldn’t want to. He didn’t know why that was but it didn’t worry him. Maybe it should’ve.

Andrew was talking to a man, laughing in all the right places, and his veins showed purple on his skin instead of pale blue. Miss Jackson then moved through the water and further towards the building that was prided to be Man’s Greatest Example of Engineering.

“Here we go,” Andrew smiled and they pushed on.

When Flynn went to get his wrist marked he had his first glimpse of the Wall, a towering structure of brick and mortar and metal and smooth sections and grooves. It was a gigantic dam serenaded with the rushing sound of water as it tried to filter the water out. London was a Reservoir that took the shape of a barrier and they survived on the brink of existence. 

Miss Jackson docked and Andrew turned to him then, “Do not say a word unless they ask you a question, you’ve decided to come forward because you are unsatisfied with your opportunities and you want to offer society more, you got that?”

The hiss only elicited a nod from Flynn and suddenly they were exiting the safety of the boat and entering the Greatest Example of Engineering in glass and monochromatic tones and smiling yet unhappy faces.

Andrew placed a hand on Flynn’s bicep, not helping him out of a boat this time, but leading him into the building. God he hoped they didn’t die here.

They were awash in mint green panic, never wavering but subtle panic, as people turned and faces searched their expressions blankly. The QR codes beeped as they went through the doors and the receptionist warbled up to them with a clipboard that Flynn apparently had to sign.

“We need your details sir, sir,” the woman cleared her throat as she said it and nodded towards Andrew who was currently acting as Richard Art. Flynn wanted to call him Richard Artichoke but he refrained because he saw the way Andrew's mouth creased when the women came up to them.

“No bother,” Flynn smiled and leaned over the clipboard with an offered pen. He filled in his details, even the box that said reason for issue; dissatisfied with life, he put, I can serve my country by being a Dot, he added. The mint green receded just a little.

His smile increased to the edges of his cheeks as he handed the clipboard back to the woman and she warbled away and they progressed onwards once more.

In a lift. Up some stairs. More faces passed. The grip on his bicep tightened and relaxed, tightened and relaxed. Andrew knew where they were going. So did Flynn.

Back here they could see windows and the Wall looked imposing. The plan was to access the South West door to the stairs which would lead them to the Wall Balcony. (He finally knew the plan now, get to the Wall and over it. That was it.) Flynn knew that it was a viewing balcony that allowed people to poke their feet in the water but not jump into it, and look at the Wall.

It was just for smoking. Flynn found this ironic because being a Government Official was apparently stressful enough to smoke.

“Nearly there,” Andrew muttered like it was his mantra and pulled open the service door to the Balcony.

There was one thing that they hadn’t taken into account, or rather that Andrew hadn’t taken account of, and that was the possibility that someone would be standing on the Balcony. This was because it had never happened before in Andrew Hart’s life.

The person standing on the balcony was Flynn’s mother and she was an ice queen standing just above cold water.

“Flynn my dear,” she opened, her face cracking as she saw him for the first time in months.

“Mother,” Flynn gulped, mint green surged and nearly swallowed him whole. Words were stolen from him but they weren’t stolen from Andrew.

“We are here to escort the lab rat to the Rooms,” Andrew opened, “Amanda thought that I would find you.” He was pulling lies from his back teeth and still looking as he had in Sentire, calm and reserved and like something else entirely.

“Amanda?” Flynn’s mother asked inclining her head.

“Amanda Knox, ginger hair, quite small, she thought it would be good that you saw your son before he went under the Electrodes, you know it can be quite amnesiac the first time. I wouldn’t want him to forget you if we can help it.”

“I don’t seem to recall that you ever wanted to become a lab rat Flynn,” his mother came closer and Andrew moved him back by a fraction of an inch. Do not allow their mint green tint to show. They must not let it show.

“Times change,” Flynn shrugged trying to be apathetic like the Sick, “I realised life isn’t what I thought it was.”

His mother hummed. “What was your name again?” she asked Andrew.

“Richard –“ he uttered and one minute Andrew had his hand on Flynn’s bicep and the next his mother was careening into them, knocking them sideways. They both met the concrete ground. 

“I know my boy,” his mother said, “and he would never go back on his word.” It was almost like she was the mother he used to know, someone with total confidence in her son, and he pictured both of his parents praising him for all of his achievements as a broadcast issued over the television that a new government was in office.

The world went green and clear as Flynn blinked.

“And I know no Richard,” his mother went on and pushed Andrew towards the end of the balcony. Andrew had just enough time to grab onto an ankle and both Andrew and his mother were in the water.

For a moment the world froze as the bodies disappeared. Then the key cards forced them back onto the Balcony, water streaming from every orifice and they were fighting, punching and kicking and forcing each other’s key cards off, snapping them with sheer force.

Flynn could only stand there as they went back into the water and they didn’t surface again.

Panic rose like lava and Flynn had to do something, anything. Peach coloured bravery trickled up his left foot and erratically he was throwing his own key card away and plunging into the cold water.

He didn’t know what possessed him to do this but he did it. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe he had done it before.

The water was cold that it made his veins transparent as they drove towards his skin to converse some body heat. His limbs seized for a minute longer than they should of and his lungs inflated as they survived on the one breath of no longer parasitic oxygen. He sunk and he could only watch his mother and his companion fight, their limbs twisting and surging, and desperately and bravely moving.

Red. Peach. Red. Peach. Mint Green. The colours were mermaid’s tails around him and Flynn moved with all of the might he had. He had to move. Anger. Bravery. Anger. Bravery. Panic.

His eyes veiled over as he ripped the two people apart.

The water turned peach as his lungs turned into pebbles and the three people underwater paused for a fraction of a breath.

Then it was as though a shark had attacked as the water spread red and a hand came for a throat and connected with Flynn’s. His mother’s hands wrapped around him and released as she realised who exactly she was choking. Her panic and sadness, blue mixing with mint green and red, became her. Red swamped the very essence of Andrew and she was knocked back, her neck connecting with the stone surface of the balcony.

Flynn choked and watch her slump. He watched as his eyes rolled in their startling emotion, and Andrew became peach and desperate and an arm was around his shoulders and swimming through the cold. Andrew was Flynn's body because Flynn wasn't in the driving seat of his own limbs.

They emerged from the water as sirens echoed overhead and a body floated up to the surface. Flynn allowed himself to breathe even though his mother no longer could.

His body, his mind in fact, were clear of colours as numbness seeped into his soul. Andrew forced them both to the Wall, man handling them to the stones.

“Climb,” he shouted.

The sirens wailed.

His mother floated.

Flynn’s exhausted eyes watched as Andrew started to climb, water dripping from him as confidence became him and peach wrapped around his irises. “Come on and do not give up,” Andrew ushered and Flynn was following him because what else could he do?

He had come this far at least.

Mercury had led him this far and so Peach would lead him on.

He followed Andrew and together they climbed a wall that had always been around London since the First Disaster. Flynn didn’t feel, he couldn’t feel. He became part of the Sick even if that wasn't correct. He just climbed and hoped to god that the world would be right when they got to the top.

But it wasn’t.

Because the narrative was never correct in the first place. (You were indeed warned of that weren't you?)

And it was when they were half way up and Andrew hadn’t looked at him once, when Flynn looked back down towards the water that he only saw an error message printed in mercury on the blue surface.

Error. Error. Error.

Blue. Red. Mercury. Orange. Lilac. Mint green. Peach.

Error. 

 

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