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A World in Blue
He was lost. That was clear enough to Joshua. He was usually adept at finding his way about in unfamiliar places, but today he seemed to have lost that ability. The world was blue, as blue as the eye of a Siamese cat, and it was only blue. To Joshua, this world and the world before it were nothing but vast blue oceans of despair.
Scurring down the navy blue steps, he nearly tripped over a saxophone player, interrupting the melancholy melody that rose from his instrument. As the man huddled on the bottom step he looked up mournfully at Joshua, blue tears trickling down his wrinkled blue cheeks. Like snowflakes, the coins at his side seemed to melt into the blue cement, and the walls began to slide away with them. The tunnel behind Joshua began to crumble too, and the debris that it left behind resembled glossy blue plates, all smashed against the ground. Now it was certain; like the previous world, everything around Joshua seemed to come crashing down.
The subway trains however, did not disappear. They streamed along a blue current like water flowing from a hose. The cool breeze they produced rushed past Joshua’s face and through his once blonde hair, knocking him to the ground. An acute pain sliced into his now fragile leg, and he watched helplessly as blood as blue as an aristocrat’s squirted out of his once impregnable skin. As serious as the wound appeared, the pain was nothing compared to the other pains that he was feeling.
Joshua had been depressed for sometime before he awoke in the world of blue. Life was understandably very dull for him without any friends, family, job, or ambition. All of these things had once been his, but they had fallen away years ago, as had everything else meaningful in his life. Then all that he had wanted to do was dwell on the past. The events that had happened and those that he believed would never happen again haunted him. These thoughts had broken Joshua’s already fragile sanity and his heart, mind, and soul withdrew into an almost impermeable shell. Unfortunately for him, his body was in no condition to fight its way out, so it stayed there, inside its self-imposed prison.
That is how Joshua found himself bolting the lock on his apartment door and casting the entire outside world aside. Now he was alone, hidden from his fears and disappointments. The darkness inside the room hid the misery that he had endured, and the door acted as a shield against any more that he might have to bear. He would sit in a chair and vegetate, devoting his time to deep, rueful thoughts about what might have been. As days turned into nights and those turned into weeks, the room transformed from a space of once empty darkness into a realm of heartless blue. This was the world that Joshua had created for himself, a depressing blue environment. Everything was melancholy for him now,
Somehow this perplexing blue world had led Joshua to a subway station, and now onto a subway train. Confused and slightly panicked, all he could bring himself to do was keep moving forward through each subway car – or perhaps backwards; there was simply no way for him to tell. As he made his way onto the next car, Joshua noticed neon blue lights flashing above his head. These lights revealed the faces of the passengers on the blue seats to his left. These people were different from the people in the previous train car, whose faces, for the most part, were hidden in the shadows. These faces were covered by masks painted with stern, expressionless features. The masks were perfectly smooth and of the purest shade of white that Joshua could ever have imagined. They seemed to express an overall feeling of passiveness, thoughtfulness, and innocence. The masks seemed flawless. The people beneath them bounced from side to side with each turn of the train. They were all perfect, as perfect as Joshua only dreamed he could become.
This thought was too much for him. His reflection in the window filled him with disgust and frustration. The sight of his cobalt blue body had stunned him for a second, but his anger soon returned. He was not perfect, and he knew that he was incapable of becoming so. The white masks seemed to mock him, and he found himself belligerently ripping off the mask of the man to his right. Blue sparks sprung into the air.
The mask splattered as it hit the floor and dissolved into a blue puddle beneath Joshua’s feet. He did not notice this however; he was mesmerized by the sight before his eyes. The man beneath the mask had no face. Instead, a hazy blue fog floated where the face should have been. It was a deep, sad shade of blue, and the drops of mist reminded Joshua of the tears that he had shed in his dark room.
In a state of panic now, Joshua pried the masks from all of the passengers in the subway car. As they came off, blue mist burst from the once solid faces and dissolved into the blue surroundings. Under each mask was a different shade of blue, some dark and deep, but others lighter. Under each mask of supposed perfection, there was only blue fog. Under each mask, they were all as blue as he was.
Joshua gazed out the window. Outside was only a dark blue emptiness, almost strangling the subway car with its purity. As he was about to walk to the next car, something caught his eye in the distance. It was a yellow star, gleaming defiantly in the blue void. Could there be more to this world than dominating blue and misleading white masks? He started pounding on the window now, reaching out to the star, wishing for something better. Suddenly he leapt up, realizing the significance of his discovery. It was the star of hope, the one thing that could keep him moving forward. It was a hope for something more than his miserable life, a hope that he could fight past the challenges before him, and a hope that he could abandon the past. He could finally see beyond the blue.
Screams made their way down the line of train cars, and blasts from explosions shook the subway car back and forth like a pendulum. Joshua knew what this meant; the subway train was coming apart, just as everything else in his life once had. This time, he was going to make sure that he wasn’t going down with it. He started with one blow, then two, then began mercilessly beating against the window. Kicking, screaming, and panting for breath, he attacked the window, desperate for an escape and an opportunity to give the world a second chance. He had lost his sense of fear.
As the window came crashing down, the world around Joshua burst into color. He felt his body collide with something rough and rigid, and he blinked his eyes. Beneath him lay a door, and to his side lay a padlock. He was on the balcony outside his apartment, and all he could do was stare at the city before him. Now the past was no longer important. All that mattered was hope for what lay ahead. As Joshua pulled himself to his feet, he let out a long, deep, and satisfied sigh. It felt as though life had come back to him. His shell was broken.