A Taste of Yellow
I sat on the bench at edge of the park, near the car lot, waiting for Jo, watching the cars in the sky all around me. With the sun setting behind me and the sky darkening in front of me, it seemed like I could see the blue-white blurs left by each car forever around me. And I wondered what it used to be like for people to look above them and not see anything move. The stars probably seemed like permanent points.
They're world must have been so still. As if nothing would ever change. What would one of them think of the world today? What would one of us think of the world then?
Jo was late, which was her usual time for everything. For a while, I would lie to her about when things started, but she's not stupid and quickly figured out that I told her to show up forty-three minutes early to everything so she'd be there, nearly, on time. She started leaving whenever she wanted, and started to be always late, again.
I scanned the sky for her car, a boxy, orange thing that could hardly stay in the air and was all wind resistance. Its patch was good, though, so it wasn't going to fall unless the battery died, so she kept driving it, much to the horror of her parents. I didn't see her car, but I couldn't see much of anything. The sun had set and the paths started to glow, leaving the park behind me crisscrossed with yellowish white lines. A few patches of luminescent grass also glowed, in blue green, warning people they were too far from the path. It was still too cold for the star beetles to leave their nests in the woods, so the air was still.
I sighed. The concert had probably started. Sure, it was only the warm-ups, but I liked those. They helped me to adjust and prepare for what was coming. Just starting cold always made it harder for me to get into the spirit of the show. Still, showing up after the beginning was better than not going at all.
A car suddenly appeared from below the lip of the lot. It was Jo's. I stood up and started waving my arms at her. She pounded the horn, causing the entire car to flare up, bathing the lot in a bright, orange light.
She hovered over the lot for a minute, looking for a space to land in. I watched her from below and followed along, as best I could, when she started moving toward an open spot.
She landed the car in her usual way, cutting power a few inches above the ground, so it landed hard. It landed so hard this time, my butt ached in sympathy for hers. She popped her door, climbed out, slammed it shut, and thumbed the pad. Then she did a sort of slithering thing with her whole body, probably to straighten out her clothes, before turning toward me and waving in an excited manner.
I waved back and motioned for her to hurry up.
She put one hand on her hip, which she jutted out toward me, as if to remind me that I wasn't in charge of her.
I rolled my eyes, turned around, and started to walk to the nearest path with a black arrow on it.
Just as I was about to step on the path, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and look up into Jo's eyes, doing my best to frown at her. She looked down at me and smiled. I tried to look angry, but she started shake and then laugh and I started to laugh, too, and I put my hand behind her neck where the stiff, cool material of her suit met the soft, warm skin, stood on my toes, and pulled her toward me and we kissed.
She broke off from me, straightening up, and smiled even wider.
I took her hand and we started down the path following the arrows toward the concert. She flashed another smile my direction, gave my hand a tug, and started running. I followed as quickly as I could, but when Jo runs at her full speed, there wasn't going to be any way I could catch her. She turned a corner into a grove of trees, and was gone. I as fast as I could and followed the arrows until I got to the amphitheater entrance where Jo was waiting there, her arms crossed beneath her breasts and a look fixed on her face as if she was trying to tell me she'd been waiting for me for hours.
I just gave her a quick look then headed through the entrance. She put one hand on my shoulder as I passed and followed me in.
The bowl in the ground was mostly dark, the completely black. The seats were lowered so people could dance on the terraced semi-circles surrounding the stage. The air was thick with the smell of all the other people there who had gone through the warm-up. It smelled like real life in there.
Jo tapped my shoulder and when I turned she pointed me to an empty section, halfway down and to our right. She could see better than I could, being as tall as she is, so I followed her lead.
It was a good spot. Not too far back from the stage, but more off center than I'd like. Although it was hard to complain too much since we'd gotten there so late.
The stage lit up in nearly blinding white light and Decon was standing in the center, his wand in hand.
Everyone in the theater froze and watched the stage, waiting for Decon to start.
He raised his arms and the light around him shifted into a deep blue. With a slow wrist movement, he lowered his wand and a tendril of the blue light slowly moved off to his right into the crowd and he lowered his hands a little. With another movement another tendril went more toward the center of the crowd, this one a darker blue, and his hands lower. Another movement sent a deep purple one toward us, his hands lower still. He quickly raised his hands and all the colors became brighter and stopped.
He held his hands and I started to count. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. And on ten, he dropped both his arms and tendrils of all colors shot out from him into the crowd.
We threw our hands up in applause and I noticed that the colors around us started to shift. The purple above me and Jo started turning more red. I tapped Jo on the shoulder and pointed toward the shifting light. She gasped, looked at me, then back at the light, and smiled.
Decon had started dancing, slowly. More dark colors slid off his body in large clumps into the crowd. The front row started moving with him and the colors around them shifted slightly. Decon moved faster. There were more colors, still dark, in smaller clumps. Occasionally he'd flick his wand and a sharp shaft of green or red or blue or purple would lance over the heads of the crowd.
Jo and I started dancing when one of the early clumps of color reached us. It was dark forest green. Like Decon, we started slow, watching the green grow a bit lighter, then more blue until it was totally blue. As we started moving faster, the blue lightened and small bursts of red, yellow, and orange appeared and then faded away into the blue.
On stage Decon was a blur of color. All shades in all intensities were pouring from his body and out onto us. He shifted from green to orange to red to blue to purple to yellow to red on and on in endless combinations.
Jo put her hand on my face and turned it to her. I smiled as a halo of yellow appeared around her head. She started dancing harder, faster. I started dancing harder, too.
The light around us got brighter. It shifted from a light lavender, to sky blue, to sea green, to sunshine yellow. And, as we held on to each other, pulsing to the colors pouring off of Decon, the yellow around us became more intense and shot through our bodies, warming us and driving us closer together before it faded into an orange.
The concert ended with Decon spinning on stage, creating a whirlpool of color around him. All the colors surrounding the audience got caught in the tempest around him and were pulled toward his body. Decon stopped and everything was black.
After a minute, the floors began to radiate their light. The stage was empty. Decon was gone. Everyone in the audience threw up their hands in applause and held it for several minutes before the first started to head toward the exit.
Jo and I were the last to leave.
On our way out, following the same path we followed before, my arm was around her and hers was around me. Our free hands intertwined.
At her car, she pulled me close and I could smell a mix of her sweat and the light perfume her of her clothes.
I looked up at her. She leaned down to me. We kissed.
And she tasted yellow.