John and the Rainbow Whatever by Christopher DiCicco

John understood the rainbow, which is why he kept his hands on the red. He waited until it hurt, until he felt the colors wash over him and through him. When his toes felt red and his eyes felt green, he let go and gulped down cold, clear air. John searched himself, his hands exploring his face. Nothing felt blue. Not a shoe, not a lash, nothing on him or in him felt it. To prove it, John smiled, his tongue hard against each tooth, accepting the freedom, that his mouth was a red opus, his hair a powerful rainbow to heal others.

It was painful, the brightness. It poured out of him, leaking down his leg, out his eyes. He couldn’t contain it, so John ran hard. He pushed himself not to scream, to run with a trail of colors exploding out of him soaking the grass and the birds. He didn’t want to ruin it. He didn’t want to pound his bright orange fists against the blue soft shit body of Anthony Herot.

He didn’t want to run over the hill and into town yelling, “Fuck you,” so loud that everyone paled to a lifeless white. Anthony didn’t understand, John thought, not the rainbow or where to find it. The other day when John had been talking to Lisa about the rainbow and where it might be, it didn’t seem like a big deal. Not until Anthony showed up covered in blue. He blued everything.

Tim, who’d climbed the big sycamore, didn’t have time to scream. Anthony pointed, aimed, and Tim fell hard from the branches, blue everywhere. It splashed across John’s cheek, and he would have yelled but Lisa exploded in a flash of blue and some of it even got into John’s mouth, so he closed his lips tight and rolled onto the ground.

Mr. Peterson pulled the alarm and everyone ran, but Anthony kept turning them blue, and there was screaming even when no one could open their mouths. But now it was his turn, and John thought about it and a pink tear pooled at the corner of his green eye. It rolled across his yellow cheek and into John’s red mouth where John tasted it, a touch of hope that stung his tongue.

About the author:

Christopher D. DiCicco was born in Pennsylvania during the winter of 1981. It was dark. He is the author of So My Mother, She Lives in the Clouds and other stories (Hypertrophic Press). His stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Net, and Best Indie Lit New England and have appeared in such places as Superstition Review, WhiskeyPaper, and Bartleby Snopes.
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