Once upon a time (once upon many different times, different lifetimes) there lived, at the center of a very large and black and ugly town, a young girl with a red cape. The cape made her eyes look even greener, and the city shrunk from the haphazard movements of this little red hurricane. She ran when she walked and spun when she sat and made the earth tremble when she dreamed.

When she dreamed, the city flooded with the most vibrant colors, her colors, colors the great painters of the distant past would have sacrificed one of their eyes to know the existence of, the colors of homesickness and breath. As she slept in monochrome, the city became alive with the purity of her thoughts. Festivals were organized and costumes were designed for the children, the dirt on their faces radiating in shades of hunger while lovers reveled in the unexpected color of blush, watching it spread from their necks to their shoulders and down, ever so slowly down.

When she woke it was like she was the center of the earth, the great whirlpool where the tides hide the waters from the moon. The colors danced and spun around her head, infusing her hair with fire and her lips with cream. She ate them alive, these shades of the night, bottling them as sustenance for her selfishness, before heading out into the back alleys and ash-inflected parks to taunt the frightened with the colors she thought they'd never know.

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