Hard to believe it is all ready Monday morning. And almost halfway through the month of March. Ah, time flies when you’re having fun (YMMV). This entry marks our tenth short-story showcase for CHROMOPHOBIA. If you want to check out previous entries, links to each story are at the bottom of this article.
“The Dyer and The Dressmakers”
by Bindia Persaud
She had been told what to expect when her flowers arrived, and we were on hand with clean rags and cold compresses when the day came. Her mother fussed and made much of her, but she was peevish, almost tearful. “Mama, it hurts,” she mewled.
“It’s natural. It will pass.”
She sat up. “It doesn’t hurt there. It hurts here.”
She raised her arm. Nestled in the tender hollow of her armpit was a translucent polyp the size of an acorn.
I forgot how to breathe for a moment. I wasn’t the only one. Elation, tinged with fear, rendered us immobile. Long minutes passed, and Theodora cried in earnest. Ultimately, Berta had to prod us into action. She bid us fetch a length of unbleached muslin and lay it on the floor. Theodora was directed to stand over it, arm raised. Before she could protest, Berta reached out and pinched the protuberance between her skinny fingers. Theodora gave a whinny as a drop of fluid leaked from the polyp. It was as colorless as water, but when it touched the cloth it spread and bloomed into a rich carnelian red. Theodora was still sniffling, but the sight startled her into laughter. It was contagious, as a child’s mirth can be. Berta flashed her gummy smile while the rest of us collapsed into giggles. When we had collected ourselves, I gathered up the material and set to work.
So, here we have Bindia Persaud’s utterly enchanting and quite novel story, “The Dyer and the Dressmakers.” Taking place out of time, and with a central conceit removed from our own world, we suspect readers will feel altogether transported, as we were. I am not often at a loss for comparison, but here we are. At best, we can point you to the unknowable colors of Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” but there is no well and no meteorite. There is only Theodora and her remarkable gift. Or, perhaps, curse. Readers will have to decide on their own.
We certainly look forward to seeing more from Bindia Persaud in the future.
Want to read the previous CHROMOPHOBIA showcases? Click a title:
“Hei Xian (The Black Thread)” by Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito
“Eat Your Colors” by Sonora Taylor
“Toxic Shock” by Chelsea Pumpkins
“Red Light/Green Light” by EV Knight
“Golden Hour” by Kathryn E. McGee
Pre-order the special hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.
Check out part two of editor Sara Tantlinger’s CHROMOPHOBIA roundtable HERE.