Shades of Gray
At first Fannie thought she had been brought back into her world in the middle of the night. But then she noticed how light things were. No it wasn’t the light that was missing. It was the color. Everywhere around her there world was full of black, white, and shades of gray. The trees were a dark gray towering into the sky of a pale gray with white clouds. The ground, which had been a dark brown was now nearly black. The flowers were all just shades of gray. The only colors she could see were the undiscovered colors of the four flowers in her hand.
Fannie fell to the ground and started to cry. This was all too much for her. She would have thought it was all a bad dream if she could only open her eyes and see the colors of the leaves and birds and flowers again. But no matter how hard she closed her eyes. Still, when she opened them the entire world was shades of gray.
Fannie cried till her throat hurt and it seemed there were no tears left to fall. Then she picked herself up. She dusted herself off and she started walking toward home. She approached her house with a bit of trepidation. She wondered if her mother would immediately wonder what happened to the colors in the world and would know that it was Fannie’s fault they all turned to gray. She wondered if her mother would be mad at her. How could she explain this fantastical story to her mother.
Still, Fannie knew her mother loved her no matter what she had done so she gathered her courage and opened the door to her home and walked in. She walked straight to the kitchen where she heard her mother cooking dinner. As Fannie walked in her mother turned to look at her. Fannie’s mother stopped as soon as she looked at Fannie and concern flooded into her face.
“Fannie, darling, what is so wrong? Why have you been crying? Did you hurt yourself on your walk today?”
Fannie was surprised. Couldn’t her mother understand how upset she would be by the world being turned to gray? “No, Mama, I wasn’t hurt.”
Fannie remembered the four flowers in her hand. They were the only color she could see anymore and they were brilliant in their Freshuia, Peritwinkle, Magmentum, and Turquette tones. They made her smile and she held them up for her mother to behold and enjoy as well. They were the last bit of color on earth and undiscovered colors to boot.
Her mother looked at the flowers and a sad look came over her face. “Aha!” She said. Now I see, you were crying out of pity for those sad little flowers. I wonder how it happened that they lost all their color that way. What ugly shades of gray they are. Well that is sad indeed.”
Now Fannie was truly befuddled. “Lost all their color? Ugly shades of gray?” she thought. Did her mother not see the fantastical new colors as she did? Could she really see only shades of gray in these flowers? Perhaps then to her mother the world was normal—in color—and not shades of gray. She decided to test her theory.
“Mama, what color is my dress?” Fannie asked her mother. It had been blue this morning. Now it was a medium shade of gray.
“It is cornflower blue silly,” her mother replied. “are you testing me?”
Fannie was shocked. The world was only gray to her. Maybe that meant that if she could find a way for the four flowers to make the rest of their lives more meaningful, and return them in time, she would get the colors of her world back as well.
Fannie headed to her room to think. She needed a plan and she needed it fast. There was one person Fannie knew could help her now. There was just one someone she knew would believe her and help her. On the way to her room she grabbed a telephone. She needed to call her cousin Berk and tell him to come over and quick. Good thing he lived just 4 doors down. Berk was the ultimate plan-hatcher. Together Fannie knew they could finish the mission in time.