Color is a short story set about 8 generations after The King's Sword. It's about 9950 words. In it, a little girl finds her talent.
I always loved color. The blue of the sky before sunrise, so deep it felt like falling in. The fresh green of new young grass. Goldenrod. Leaves in fall, scarlet, orange, yellow. The red and pink roses at the gate of the Sendoa estate that I passed on the way to market.
It was only one street out of my way, and sometimes I’d pick a rose petal from the ground and take it with me, rub the softness between my dirty fingers. Even without looking, it felt blush-pink, and it left my fingers smelling sweet. Once I thought the guard wouldn’t see me and I started to pick a rose, but he called out, “What are you doing?” and I fled, my fingers damp with green juice.
Eight years old. Ma got sick and Da took to ale. My older brother Eliaso was apprenticed to a saddlemaker and Da said I needed to find something useful to do, to bring home something other than lice. Ma said he was being cruel, and he yelled at us both.
I stole a bit from the market, but I was always afraid. Eliaso was the scamp. He’d steal a piece of fruit and tell you he didn’t while his mouth was still full. He wasn’t afraid, or at least I never saw him show it. I tried to steal a neatly wrapped sausage from Ceto the butcher and he saw me. He picked up his knife. I dropped the meat and ran, my heart in my throat, so terrified I couldn’t even cry.
Da hit me for coming home empty-handed. Ma protested and he hit her too, then spent the next hour sobbing into his ale. I was mad that he’d bought it, since of course we didn’t have the money, but I knew enough not to say that!
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