by William L. J. Galaini
In a field of wheat lies a forgotten and weathered tin, probably left there by a child whom had lost interest in its contents. Under the persistent sun it warmed and glimmered, constantly being touched by bending wheat or tugged on by the swift wind. The lid upon this faceless and rusted tin was slightly ajar, allowing a thin slice of midday sun to enter and illuminate the five objects that dwelled inside. The objects were a rubber band, a thimble, a toy soldier, a ring, and a pencil.
The light that entered was white in color, making it all the more intense. Yet, despite the color, the pencil still had an inquiry.
“What color do you suppose the sky is?” The pencil addressed the others. All stirred about and appeared confused.
“Why do you ask such questions?” The old, scratchy thimble responded sharply. “What difference does it make?”
“None, I guess. I was just wondering.” The pencil replied. Its body was short and the yellow paint on its sides were worn from usage.
“Questions like that are foolish. But if you wish to know, you simply need to ask me.” The thimble spoke, gaining the pencil’s firm attention. “It’s blue,' of course.”
A long and unsettling silence fell upon all within the tin. It was violently broken by the die-cast soldier.
“It is not blue, you old piece of garbage! Skies aren’t meant to be blue, they should be red!” The soldier’s gruff voice echoed off of the dented tin’s walls.
“All I’m doing is telling the truth and trying to set things straight, and here you are insulting me!” The thimble coarsely retorted. “What makes you think that the sky is red, hmm?”
“Well, I…I know it! That’s enough! It must be red!”
“Ha! You’re a brute!”
“But at least I’m not a nagging pest like you!” The pencil listened to both of them argue, then turned to the rubber band and politely whispered for its opinion. The rubber band replied shakily.
“I th-think that it could be blue. The thimble is the oldest of us. Yeah, it’s b-blue.”
The soldier overheard the rubber band. “It is not blue! Don’t listen to that old thing! I know it’s red! I say it’s red! It is red!”
“Or it could be red too…” The rubber band conceded to the pencil with an open mind. The thimble and the soldier continued to argue and rage, the rubber band paying close attention and fully accepting both of their opinions. The pencil remained silent and expressed no thought or emotion. After the yelling quieted, the ring spoke. Its perfect emerald stone glimmered in the dimming light.
“Both of you should stop now. I have a very simple solution. Now, we can all agree that the sky must be the prettiest thing of all, right?”
“It could be…”
The pencil remained silent.
“Well, then, since you all agree with me, then the sky must be green because green, as we can see with me, is the prettiest color of all. So, the sky is obviously green.” The tin erupted in a clamor of arguments from the thimble and the soldier. The rubber band muttered an agreement with the ring. Naturally, the ring defended itself.
“You want things your way, don’t you?! Don’t you?! Both of you are so very vain! At least the rubber band agrees with me!” The ring shrilled.
“Vain? Someone should teach both of you manners! The sky has always been blue and that’s the way it will always be! I’m the wisest of all of you! I should know!”
“Don’t you mean the oldest, thimble?” The soldier retorted. “You with your ridged thoughts and oppressive ways! And you, you worthless ring! You’ve never been good for anything except to look pretty!”
“H-hey. M-maybe it’s red, or green, or blue, or…or…” The rubber band looked confused throughout all of this, trying to calm everyone down.
Then something odd and sudden happened. A strong gust of air breezed over the tin, peeling off its decrepit lid and revealing the dusk sky. The sun hung low near the horizon, its shape melting as it touched the distant ground. The sky was an explosion of color. Yellow. Gold. Blue. Purple. Green. Pink. White. Nearly every color that there was a name for appeared, splashed upon the canvas sky above them.
“See, I told you! There’s red!”
“Perhaps, but there’s far more blue than red. That should teach you not to be so rude.”
“Ah, but the green is far more pretty then your colors combined.”
“Yes, t-they’re all there. All very pretty. You’re all right.”
The pencil said nothing.
© 2004 William L. J. Galaini