Color-less World

We didn’t notice at first. She’d misplace keys. Or forget to call.

Once the diagnosis came, I used to take her in the back yard with a coloring book and a box of sixty-four crayons emptied into a bowl. She used the crayons gaily. To color and for digging in the dirt. Always the brightest colors. Lines were immaterial. She colored with sheer exhuberance.

Slowly, the colors changed. Two-fisted brown sharp edged lines filled page after page. And then I found her, staring straight ahead. Coloring book upon a rock, no sign of her upon its pages. And I knew.


Flash Fiction (100 words) written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Photo prompt from Kent Bonham. For a recent poem I’ve written on the subject, read Dementia.

30 thoughts on “Color-less World

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) April 16, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    So sad, the days color die and it’s all just black and white. I feel the slowly withering of a mind once bright… So well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you so much, Bjorn! Good to be back to the flash fiction now 🙂


  2. rochellewisoff April 16, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    Dear Lillian,

    Such a poignant piece. Lots of not so hidden meaning. Very well done.



    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2016 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you, Rochelle. Good to be back! 🙂


  3. Dale April 16, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    Ohhh… I got goosebumps… This was beautifully written though oh so sad…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 17, 2016 / 1:26 am

      Thank you, Dale. Yes — sad it was meant to be. The encroachment of dementia on the mind and the world is quite disturbing. It robs the one with the disease and the family and those around that person as well. The recent movie that Glenn Campbell did with his family was an amazing window on what it’s like. As was the movie that Julianne Moore received an academy award for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale April 17, 2016 / 10:46 am

        Both on my “to-watch” list…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. April 16, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    I’m glad I stopped by back by FF tonight. Very good piece. An interesting description of dementia: the absence of color and the loss of self.
    Welcome back,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 17, 2016 / 1:32 am

      Thank you Tracey. Some months back I attended a program on dementia and the author of the book – adapted to the movie for which Julianne Moore won an academy award – was the featured speaker. She is a neurobiologist, I believe. She’d always wanted to be a writer. Her background gave her entry to many places for research and she was fascinating to listen to. It is such a devastating disease for the one afflicted and for those around the patient. The recent movie with Glenn Campbell and his family, following his final tour while he was in the throes of advancing Alzheimers was quite something to watch. I did a poem about Alzheimers some time back. I’d be please to have you take a look at it: Dementia. And again, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack April 17, 2016 / 7:04 am

    Oh, Lillian-
    how you captured the tragic robbing of the human mind
    I saw the fingers holding those crayons slowly lose their grip – your words created then stole a life in the most beautiful and expressive way possible

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) April 17, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Can very much relate to this, Lilian! My late MIL was afflicted and we were at a loss initially on how to respond. We treated her just like before giving due respect but it was not quite the way. They would have to be treated in a diffrrent way because they could not explain why they were different.We finally learnt and it was less stressful after that.


    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 17, 2016 / 9:47 am

      Thank you for your words here, Hank. For sharing and responding.


  7. Amy Reese April 17, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    I really enjoyed this, Lillian. I felt the spark, the sadness and then the letting go, which is so much to accomplish in this short space. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 18, 2016 / 6:27 am

      Thank you, Amy. Smiling I am to read your response here. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 18, 2016 / 6:28 am

      Dementia and Alzheimers — both heartbreaking to watch progress.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 18, 2016 / 6:28 am

      Ah….yes it could. Had not seen it that way. You are exactly, and sadly, correct.


  8. Mike April 18, 2016 / 9:40 am

    The way you illustrate this terrible disease? Says so much, very well written

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 18, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      It is indeed a terrible terrible disease. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and compliment, Mike.


  9. Dreamer of Dreams April 18, 2016 / 3:02 pm

    Oh, such a terribly sad story! I wrote a couple of FF stories, with characters losing their memories, as well. It’s always a tragedy to witness.
    I love how you’ve used the coloring book as a metaphor for her fading mind – very creatively done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 18, 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you so much. Sometimes the FF photos get a quick visceral response from me — and this was one.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. JoHanna Massey April 26, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    Oh this is quite a powerful 100 words. Well done, Lillian. 🌍

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 26, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      Smiling I am! So nice to see you this evening — am tipping my glass of chardonnay to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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