Purple

The first in a new series of stories each inspired by a different colour!


The sun rose in hues of violet that fateful morning. It was likely one of the most beautiful sunsets to ever grace the planet, but no one was watching it. In fact, very few were outside at all, and if they were, their eyes weren’t directed at the sky.

In an old hut underneath the purple sky, a couple named Blix and Lotta stood in their centre room. There was nothing particularly special about these two; like everyone else, there was only one thing on their mind that morning. Even if they had been absolutely determined to ignore the impending doom, the frequent tremors in the ground served as brutal reminders of what was coming. 

Lotta stood for a long while in her husband’s embrace. What else was left to do? All her life she’d had faith in this little hut. It had stood through generations and it had seen storms and battles come and go. But today was different. She could feel it in the stillness of the air. 

Lotta knew it would be so easy to let herself be caught up in the terror of it all, but instead, she let herself think on the one positive thought that she repeated like a mantra in her mind until it finally passed through her lips. 

“At least he won’t be caught up in this.”

Blix nodded. He knew exactly who she was talking about because his mind was also on his son. “That’s what matters,” he said. “As long as he’s alive, we live on.”

He’d hardly finished his words when a violent earthquake shook the ground. As Lotta and Blix both fell to their knees, they heard a great crash from outside. They met each other’s eyes, knowing it was the old tree that had been growing for three generations. 

That last remnant of their life crumbling to dust sent both of their emotions boiling over. Neither Blix nor Lotta wanted to cry in front of the other, and they both knew that, so Blix spoke up and tried his best to smile.

“Remember that old tune I used to sing to you before we were married?” He tried to find the starting note, but couldn’t. Though the rumbling in the ground was now a constant, Blix darted off to the other room. 

“Wait!” Lotta cried out. She considered going after him, but as she took a step, she lost her balance and collapsed with a huff. 

In the other room, Blix was determined. He hadn’t touched his old hollow-string in years, but if ever there was a time to use it again, it was now. He rooted through all the things that had been knocked over by the quakes—there was no sense in putting them back up, now—and finally found what he was looking for. 

Lotta picked herself up off the ground and nearly laughed when Blix reappeared with his hollow-string cradled in his arms. 

“It’ll be out of tune,” Lotta said, her voice choked with both laughter and sobs trying to come forth. 

“My voice always has been,” Blix said. “Now it’ll match.”

He strummed a sour chord, then shifted one finger and tried again. It sounded almost just as bad, but it was close enough for Blix to begin singing a jaunty tune. 

O’er roaring waters, mountains tall
To see you smile, I’d brave it all
I’ll touch the sky and snatch the sun
Just to keep you warm

Oh, give a sign to this aching heart
Be it yea or nay
Or I’ll be standing here until
The waters wash me away

Blix stopped singing for a moment. He knew he sounded no better than the caws that hunted dead meat on the islands, but Lotta was grinning at him all the same. He remembered the first time he’d sung to her outside this very hut. She’d walked right back inside without a word, leaving him to nearly be drowned by the incoming tide.

Blix felt years younger as he played through the memory, and Lotta felt much the same, recalling the way her heart had melted at his sincerity. The thoughts reinvigorated something in Blix and he found himself starting to remember the chord positions better. He strummed a little interlude as he said, ”We’ve gotten through every high tide, even the ones we thought we’d be swept away by. This is no different.”

They both knew he was lying, especially Blix himself, so he picked up the song at the second verse:

My hands will serve you ’til we’re old
And even then oh truth be told
Through ice and wind and sleet and snow
My love will not grow cold

Oh, give a sign to this aching heart
Be it yea or nay
Or I’ll be standing here until
The waters wash me away

As the earthquake grew too violent for Blix to keep his footing, he tumbled forward and heard a sickening snap.

“Blix!” Lotta knelt by his side and touched his shoulders. “Are you all right?”

He got up slowly, placing one hand on top of his wife’s. He gazed sadly at the crushed hollow-string underneath him. Somehow, seeing it broken beyond repair drained the last bit of hope out of him.

“The waters are going to wash us away, Lotta,” he whispered. He wanted to be strong for her, but how could he be? Things had always been hard, but never this bad. They’d never been beyond hope. 

The defeat in Blix’s voice caused the courage inside of Lotta to swell. “We are only a small part of our world’s legacy. Others may try to destroy it, but life will live on no matter what. We non’t give up, just like our world won’t.”

A wave of heat blew into the hut, drying out their skin. Lotta looked straight into her husband’s eyes and ignored the coming apocalypse. “If the waters come, we will be together.”

Blix pushed the broken remains of the hollow-string out of the way and held his wife tightly. He couldn’t speak, but his tears finally flowed. And on that morning when the sky was purple, red, and grey, two people facing the end of the world found that love was the first and the last, the only constant they could depend on. 

And it was the only thing to survive.

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