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Flash Fiction: Tint by David Batteiger


by David Batteiger

Red, pure Red, gets your heart racing.  The blood flows more quickly, everything sharpens.  Kind of like that old cocaine stuff, but not nearly as crude.  

One part white and it dulls down to Pink, gets you feeling good.  You know, ‘in ‘da mood’.  Real popular around V-day, anniversaries and those pool parties where everyone’s wearing almost nothing anyways. 

But you add just a dash of black and now you’ve got Crimson.  Cage fighters and washed up athletes go nuts for a good supply of the Crimson.  Muscles flare, reflexes kick into overdrive and the pain, well, you won’t feel until you’re done beating the living hell out of your opponent.  

A little Blue can take that pain away once the crimson blush wears off.  Like water washing away the blood.  Put some white in and the Sky will float you away, you won’t care that your wife left you or that your boss is a dick.  

Gotta watch out when you add black to Blue.  Get too deep into Cobalt and you’ll forget your own name.  It won’t matter, you won’t care that you’ve forgotten.  Back in the day, they used to say heroin consumed everything about a person, but you dance with Cobalt long enough and there won’t be anything left to consume. 

Need a pick-me-up when you’re dragging?  The Yellow will keep you burning, just like the sun.  Long-haul freighter pilots usually have a dose or two on them.  Gotta stay frosty on those mind-numbing missions. Yellow won’t make your teeth fall out or your skin itch like they used to say about ‘meth’ back in the day. Bring it down a little with the white and Lemon will wake you up in the morning and spike your zest all day long.  

You have to be careful if you get into the Honey pot though.  Blacken up your Yellow and I promise you, the experience will be anything but sweet.  Once saw a kid in college brew up some dark Honey – poor fool studied for six days straight and aced all of his finals before he bit it.  They found him stiff as a board in the library, eyes wide open, hadn’t slept a wink for an entire week.  

Now Green, that one’s the trip to the forest no one expects.  If you want to spend the day having leprechauns dance around your room, a good dose of Green will get you there.  Lighten it up to make Mint and that little Irish gremlin will probably only sit around and watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island with you.

There used to be this stuff called ‘acid’ a long time ago, and if you got a bad batch, well, let’s just say the leprechaun might peel the flesh off your face in that scenario.  That’s what happens if you go too dark with Hunter.  Sprinkle too much black into the mix with Hunter and it will chase you down through the forest, pound your brain into a bloody pulp, and leave you in a quivering mess on a bed of pine needles.  Not literally but take a stroll through Midvale Asylum sometime and you’ll get to see all of Hunter’s trophies.  

Sure, you can mix some of the colors, but the effects start to get a little… unpredictable.  A few of my fellow providers tried to make Violet.  It was a deep, beautiful color, but the test subject went into a violent rage, killed everyone in the room, then dropped comatose.  We don’t mix the colors anymore, bad for business ya know.  

So, what’s your pleasure tonight? What shade of chromaticity can I deliver for you? 

Black?  Black by itself is poison.  It’ll chew through your veins like shiny midnight spiders, eating you from the inside out.  Scary stuff, like oily, liquid nightmares.  

Gray?  I don’t know.  They say that Slate will let you walk with the dead.  A dance with the reaper, but he won’t take you home.  I could try it, but why would you want to party in the colorless fog when there’s a rainbow of other rushes for you to sample?  

About the author

David Batteiger lives in central Ohio with his wife, daughters, turtles and a precocious Australian Shepherd named Echo. He works in the IT field, but has always had a passion for literature and fiction.  Some of his flash fiction and short stories can be found at Flash Fiction Magazine, Altered Reality Magazine, Every Day Fiction and 101 Words.  Additional works can be found at www.davidbatteiger.com

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Created in 2014, Flashes is a privately owned literary website. We publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots.
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