Fred woke up one morning and could see nothing but colour. It wouldn’t have been so bad, it didn’t sound so bad, but it wasn’t just the colour of now he could see. The memory of colour became visible to him also.
Streaks of colour, stripes of shades, swam in front of his confused eyes.
The only way he could get out of bed and make his way to the en suite bathroom was by working out how dense the lines were, hoping that the denser the colour, the more permanent the actual thing behind the colour. His wardrobe formed a relatively solid block of dark blue for him to steer around. The open door to the bathroom was signified by a dark patch, particles of light blurred across the darkness so that even this wasn’t firmly delineated in his sight.
Running water from the shiny grey reflective mass of the cold tap, shards of reflections glittering out across the sink in a bewilderment of rich jewels, reached more by touch and memory than sight, appeared like a fractured stream of individual drops of silvery blue moisture. Pink blurs represented Fred’s hands. He felt the water in the normal way, the shock of the cold subsiding in the growth of familiarity. Pooling the vibrant liquid in the palms of his alien looking hands, Fred splashed his face, hoping for reconciliation with what he expected to be reality.
A blur of stubbled pink in the vague outline of the place where the mirror usually hung reflected what he assumed to be his face.
He tried to peer at himself, screwing his eyes together in an imitation of seeing, but this made no difference. The straggly lines of colour were all around him, surrounding him in movement, drowning him in visual stimulation.
Fred felt okay. He didn’t feel dizzy or disorientated. He didn’t remember banging his head or feeling any different from normal. So what was going on?
In the bedroom, which seemed like another world away, Fred heard his alarm go off with harsh tones. It took him some time to negotiate his way back to the relative safety of his bed and to knock about on the bedside table to find his alarm. On the way he cursed his habit of leaving his worn clothes in haphazard piles across the floor, they were now like traps waiting for his unlucky feet, tripping and trapping his surprised toes.
Fred sat on the bed, sighed, then lay down and closed his eyes tightly. Wanting this to all just go away…