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Abby Gemechu

Grade: 10

Hathaway Brown School

Instructor: Scott Parsons

virescence

Flash Fiction

virescence

When you wake up under a sky seeping navy and stars, it is the color of the willowy strands of grass, coated with droplets of dew, their soft blades brushing against the side of your head. Next to you, she gently traces your palm, ever so light-fingered, drawing constellations along the lines of your hand, and it is the color blooming beneath her touch, flowering into something new and impossible within your veins.

Hours later, when the sun begins to peek above the horizon, it is the color of your synchronized breaths as you lay beneath a sky streaked with color and scattered with clouds, pressing your back into the grass and feeling as if you were reborn in the dewy dawn. Perhaps one day you will forget her, and she you, but this moment feels somewhat eternal- like if you don't move, it might stretch on and on into the vacuum of time, refusing to come to a stop.

Until then, however, this shade will color your world, and in it, you will see something inexplicably vibrant, coming to life between pixels on screen and patterns in cloth. Sometimes, you note, it feels as if the whole world is becoming green- the obscenely conspicuous neon lime of the traffic light on your daily commute at dawn, or the vibrant foliage curling in the periphery of your vision, or flecks of fern and basil and coriander in the eyes of strangers, wrinkled with crows' feet and age- right before your eyes. You remember that, at a certain point, she once told you a word for this peculiar feeling, but for some reason, you can't bring yourself to recall the term, and so it sits on the tip of your tongue for the rest of the day, just barely out of reach.

It is only later that something in your head clicks, and you remember the phrase: viriscence. Green was her favorite color- she told you once that it was the color of life- it is this you will never forget.