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by Richard Tornello


by Richard Tornello



I Once Met a Chrosis


By RdotTornello © 2013

The Village Idiot Press



The early morning fog, gradually burning off from the emerging sun, gave the park entrance an ethereal glow. The filmy dress of clouds appeared to Brad and Betty as a sign of something special. But their awed appreciation of the view was quickly grounded by the sight of a pink-white albino man pushing a cart holding his belongings.


“That poor man,” Betty Erasmus murmured. “Will he always be lonely?”


“ Yes he will be. It’s a defect that can’t be corrected,” whispered Bradley Christensen.


Both of them turned shades of white-gray that hid them from sight, matching the background color of the clouded park.


Breaking the spell Brad said, “Come on let’s get some breakfast. I need to eat first and get my blood sugar to its proper level, especially if I’m supposed to meet Them today.” Brad brightened up as he thought about the upcoming event. He would be asking for Betty’s hand in marriage. It was a bit old fashioned, but Betty’s folks were from the old school and formality was of the utmost importance. Proper ritual was a sign of good breeding.


Betty stopped, and pulling on Brad’s arm said, “I almost forgot. We’re supposed to bring some food and wine, you know, like a picnic. Dad likes those things and today should be just fine weather wise. And regarding the wedding, we can pick the colors we want as the time approaches.”


“After he approves, that is,” stated Brad in a matter-of-fact, it’s a done deal manner. But in truth, he was worried. His face began to pale, so Betty gave him a kiss. He turned red. In public of all places, PDA! Brad was a bit of a prude and somewhat like Betty’s father in that manner.


They headed for the restaurant. ‘Shoes, Shirts, and Colors, Otherwise NO Service’ read the sign in the window. They paid it no attention. It was from the old days. Now nobody gave it a second glance. They both ordered green eggs and ham.  “Scrambled well please and see what you can do about the ham. White-Pink just doesn’t make it for me today,” said Betty remembering the albino.


“Red?” asked the waiter.


“Extra red number 40 will be just fine,” answered Betty


“I’ll have the same, thanks,” Brad added.



After breakfast they strolled to the food store. There they picked out a nice rose wine with a cooling wrap, some cheese and crackers and headed back to the park. Brad was always on time or early. “Being late was an insult only excused by death,” he would quip. They strolled about for a while and headed to the band shell where they were to meet her folks.


This wasn’t the first time he’d met them, but this was a formal meeting. Brad was dressed in a white sport coat and slacks. They went with anything. And in the summer it was a cool color.  Betty was wearing a blouse in deep ultramarine blue, her favorite color and jeans. She had a hint of purple-pink about her. She saw no need to get dressed up. They were her parents, not his.


“Young man?” a voice boomed from a bench.


“Oh my, are we late?” Brad whispered to himself. He was turning green. Betty thought it looked nice against his sport coat but quickly realized that he was panicking. She grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze. Color came back to his cheeks only bright red. She laughed to herself, silly boy.


“Young man,” the voice said again, “It’s good to see you’re early. I like that in a person.” Betty’s father had his hand out. It was large and had a purple-black complexion today. His suit was light gray and face was a gun metal gray and sported a white handlebar mustache. An ebony walking stick was by his side and a leather bag  hung across his shoulder.


Betty’s mother was a lovely shade of mauve. Her suite was deep lavender that complemented her color rather well. Her parents looked dapper.


Her dad smiled and patted Brad on the shoulders. “Relax Bradley. Let’s have a drink and we can sit and talk. The girls will get to the other things. Ladies, you will excuse us for a bit we have some business to discuss.” His big hands guided Brad to a set of benches on the other side of the band shell. “So what is it you wanted to ask me?”


Brad stuttered “ssssir,” for a second. His face went from green to red, then to ashen white and from that to gray. He breathed deeply took control of his heart beat, brought it down and then settled on a nice red. “Sir, Mr. Erasmus, sir, I would like to marry your daughter if I may have your permission.”


Mr. Erasmus looked Bradley straight on. He didn’t say a thing for a while. He wanted to see what Bradley would do. Bradley just stood there returning the look. Mr. Erasmus smiled and said, “by all means you have my best wishes. Now let’s have that drink.


Brad was about head back to the others when Mr. Erasmus said, “hang on.” And from that fine black leather bag, he pulled out a flask, and two silver cups. He poured out the whiskey, handed a cup to Brad and said, “A man’s drink. To your health; to both of you, and a long and fruitful life. You may call me Fred or dad. You’re now, or soon will be, family.”


Fred was smiling, glowing black with happiness.


Bradley matched his color, said, “Salute,” and drank it down.




In the distance an old pink-white man, the one Brad and Betty noticed earlier, watched the whole proceeding. He had no chromatophores and lacked their metachrosis ability.

He was an outcast. The signs that Betty, Brad and everyone ignored were for those like him, people of no color. They were invisible, ignored and when possible, forgotten. He was one of the last.



2013-04-06 05:19:04

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