Shades of Grey

Click the pic for the original Challenge. A follow-up adaptation from Webster’s Kiss, shared for Ermilia’s Picture It & Write.

Somehow running was going to help. It always seems to help. I don’t know how or why, it just does. So I ran. Every time it happens now, I run.

Every time what happens?

I had no idea who I was anymore, or where I was. Gone were the sounds of traffic I heard when I first pushed open the doors. The rushing in my ears came from inside my head, hollow and whooshing, as if my head was an empty shell filled with the sounds of the tide. I knew I wasn’t me, but there were few clues this time. I was completely alone.

A dark grey dress clutched at the grey skin on my legs as they pushed their way across a grey field. The sky was hidden by a grey veil of mist that cloaked the whole world around me. The grass beneath my feet was green nestled in a bath of grey. Grey wisps of melancholy drifted across my grey mood.

Every time what happens?

I ran and ran and ran. Something was following me. I could feel it behind me but it didn’t try to catch up, it just followed. Curiosity began to eat at me, but my actions weren’t my own and I couldn’t stop to look. I just ran.

Every time what happens?

This time the thought separated hers from mine. Her bare feet in the cold grass gave way to the methodical pace of my tennis shoes against pavement. Tall buildings appeared marching in from the fog to stand at attention, becoming the grey. The rushing sound faded and the panting of my breath and the pounding of my heart brought me back into the city and reminded me who I was… but not where I was.

At first, I was lost. Nothing looked familiar at all. I stopped to catch my breath, and then instinctively turned and walked back in the direction I’d come, toward the taller buildings. Gradually, my head cleared, and then I remembered the stupid contract.

Those idiots! You would think with these men being successful publishers, and with all the yakking they did about boats and regattas, somewhere along the line, who had to sign the contract they were negotiating might have come up. I’d spent more than two months writing that story. I’d given it every minute I could find and it was the best thing I’d ever written. I liked it, my agent liked it, my publisher liked it, and it was all for nothing, because those two doughnut holes couldn’t stop conversing long enough to have a conversation.

I walked for several blocks like that, berating them out loud, not really caring who heard me, and then Ms. Williams’ voice was calling my name from the other side of the street. I had completely forgotten about her. I crossed to where she had pulled over and climbed in the car.

“Whatever was going on in your head, Annie?” she immediately questioned. “I can understand your frustration, but not entirely your reaction. You shouldn’t have run off like that. What if I hadn’t been able to find someone who saw which direction you ran?”

“I thought my story… I worked real hard on it.”

There was nothing I could tell her. I couldn’t explain what I really didn’t understand myself. I was numb with rage and frustration. She had to be concerned, but as I said before, people, at least people who don’t know me well, tend to get frightened and confused whenever I get distressed. I’m sure she was a little of both. She likely had a million things she wanted to say.

“I’m sorry,” was all she could find the words for.

“I know.”

I did know. It wasn’t her fault. Ms. Williams hadn’t done anything but help me in every way she knew how, but I wasn’t in any mood to talk. I stared angrily and quietly out the window most of the way back to town. I finally looked at her just before she dropped me off at Jessi’s.

“It was a good story,” I said sullenly.

She seemed incredibly relieved to hear me talk. She smiled and nodded. “Please come see me tomorrow?”

I got out of the car and I stared at her for a long time. “Thank you,” I finally said and I shut the door.

© 2012 Anne Schilde

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About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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6 Responses to Shades of Grey

  1. Ermilia says:

    Great work, Annie. I really loved your use of grey ‘A dark grey dress clutched at the grey skin on my legs as they pushed their way across a grey field. The sky was hidden by a grey veil of mist that cloaked the whole world around me. The grass beneath my feet was green nestled in a bath of grey. Grey wisps of melancholy drifted across my grey mood.’

    I really like how you communicated her distress. Somehow, running does seem to help. Will we get to read more of Webster’s Kiss? Thanks for contributing to Picture it & write this week! 🙂

    – Ermisenda

  2. Anna says:

    I love this, and I so love the use of colour in this one. Grey is just so expressive; most people hardly realise.

    🙂

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