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.


4. To Feel Teal


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Their first stop was a library. Of course it didn’t look like a library at first. It was a building that was just tall enough to register over the water. Flynn could see the fire escape that led to the roof and a short chimney that had been blocked up. Nothing else. Everything else was lost to the water.

“This is it?” he had enquired because he was dubious. Andrew echoed his words and tied the boat up to a protruding hook that just poked out of the water.

Andrew got out like there were people watching, meaning that he had to be a diva about it and look all poised and elegant. That only made Flynn paranoid and nearly slip out of the boat stepping up to the roof.

“Careful,” Andrew murmured as he steadied Flynn, placing an arm on his bicep. Flynn tried to instantly forget that he nearly just capsized into the water without even being fully on a boat. How humiliating.

They made their way across the concrete roof to a hatch. Andrew pulled out a ring of keys from his pocket and unlocked the padlock that sat there. Flynn didn’t know where these came from but they certainly signalled that he had been there before.

How many times had a Dot like him been taken there for the first stop that they had?

He tried not to dwell on that as a quiet part of himself doubted the very character that Andrew depicted. He had to knock down the monstrous feeling to push his companion into the water below because where would that get him? The world jittered as he steered that thought away, cracking in teal. Teal was the colour of doubt Flynn reminded himself as he jerked awake to register the creek of the old hatch opening.

Andrew clicked on a torch and looked at the rusting steps that led down from the roof. “Let’s go,” his voice echoed and made the water tint lilac, certainty. Flynn briefly remembered his training on what all the colours meant, sitting in a stale, white and sterile room while the government looked at his wrist with a bored expression and told him about the Colour Spectrum.

Teal washed over the lilac like a drag queen and Flynn was left to remember that doubt tested you on your faith. Teal existed for a purpose and so Flynn blinked twice and the world righted jokingly into normality, well as normal as normal could get.

The torch light flickered on dust particles as they both descended into the library. This was a place where only the darkness swam in between the shelves and the water didn’t creep in here. They were underwater now and yet oxygen flooded through the building as if it had the right to.

“What are we doing here?” Flynn muttered and his voice echoed back in twenty different shards of his voice, god he hated the sound of the echo, bouncing off wood and darkness and parasitic, abnormal oxygen.

“We’re getting what we need,” Andrew clearly rang through the air, winding down the remaining steps so that his feet planted firmly onto the wooden linoleum.

The torch light transformed alleyways of books and knowledge into a cemetery and the duo of human’s time travelled back to the day where water and emotionless people didn’t invade the streets of London. A library was the place of studious mental downs and childish bewilderment over learning something new, it was somewhere cruder where a pair of teenagers snogged in a darkened corner shying away from the strict librarian, who would tell them off for charging the building with sexual tension.

It was disconcerting, the colour of clay and it felt just as wet on Flynn’s skin. He didn’t like it but it was perhaps the feeling like he felt more at home in this old world than he did in the present one that made him feel that strange.

Andrew navigated the library like he had done it many, many times before as his feet remained in the yellow strip of light. He made his way to the third farthest away book shelf, the torch illuminating a mural on the back of the walls; a dinner table with countless people in various poses of politeness. Andrew turned and the mural dipped into blackness, smiles turning into inky blotches as the torch shifted to the wooden shelves. He removed a book, green covered from the light, fading at the edges and pages halfway hanging from its threads.

It was a brief second, a miniscule of a scientific second, that Flynn grabbed a glance at initials engraved into the wood where the book had been.

FL, AH, FL, AH, FL, AH. Written ten or so times. Blink and the wood was clear and Andrew was snapping the torch into Flynn’s hand directing him to hold it in his light.

The FL would count for his own name; Flynn Littlewood. Blink and the thought disintegrated. The colour of clay twisted the light into murkiness before Flynn could get a hold of it and turn the torch just the right way so that words and pages were lit.

The scowl on Andrew’s face realigned itself and the book held ID cards with Andrews face and a name that wasn’t Andrew’s. It held a QR code that was on every government official and another code that had been issued on every television screen when the government called for lab rats. “These are our tickets into the government, these are our tickets to the wall.”

The wall was built around London and the Governments Skyscraper was built directly in front of the South curve of the wall.

The world felt jagged, more than it did usually, as Andrew looped the ID card around Flynn’s neck and smiled something crooked. Andrew was a scarecrow illuminated in yellow light, and Flynn grew into the colour of teal and he hated it.

His feet took him back up the stairs and his heart asked the question of why his brain just couldn’t remember something.

What couldn’t he remember?

He emerged back up in the blue world of the endless water and Andrew crowed into the sky that they were finally going to see what was wrong with the world.

When had Flynn noticed that something didn’t add up in London? When a girl threw herself out of a window and the very next day Flynn was kicked out because he had tried to save her. The day after that when his mother had surrendered herself to the government and tried to get him to become a lab rat, and when he had said no, promised him that the government would bother him no longer.

His mother had had a cold voice, something different and black to what it normally would’ve been. His father remained a ghost even though Flynn remembered him to be a warm and ever present man. Maybe he had died, drowned in the rising waters. Maybe he hadn’t.

It was when they were back on the boat and Andrew was telling the tale of when he had been rescued from the rising waters by the Organization he worked for, and he was saying; they are the good guys I promise Flynn, we are doing something good here, we are getting the answers we should have been served on a silver freaking platter.

Flynn wanted to cross his heart and hope that this was right but something didn’t fit right in the narrative never mind the whole world.

FL, AH. Flynn Littlewood. Andrew Hart. Blink and it was gone. 


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