It all started with Cassandra Khaw’s tweet:
I thought I would play, so I invited people to tell me their favorite crayon color and I would write them a smol fiction. The results were delightfully fun and wide-ranging, and I had a blast!
All the fics are below, orginized by color in alphabetical order. Some colors were popular and have multiple fics, which are seperated by asterisks. I hope you enjoy!
(And if you want more wonderful threads, check the end of this post for links to others who wrote things for Cass’s birthday!)
Colors are lies. That’s the first rule.
The colors tell you they speak true, especially apple green. It’s the sneakiest one of all. Don’t listen.
“Just a taste,” whispers apple green. “One taste and you’ll know everything.”
Move on, ever on. Believe the shadows. Colors lie.
Day 13: we’ve struck gold! praise be!
Day 14: something’s odd bout this vein. light keeps twisting off it, turning aquamarine at the corner of yer eye
day 15: we done mined that vein til only rock’s left behind. we’re rich!
day: aw damn, there’s a dragon lying behind the gold.
The ship prowls among stars and probabilities. Each jump burns its hull, depletes its fuel. The crew huddles together. No pleas or hacks or offerings calm the ship. Only black void awaits the end of this pattern.
What do you seek, the crew wails.
The ship will not answer.
BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES
Elbow-deep in viscera, she digs for the lost soul. Around her, the twitching corpses of her enemies drench the city red.
This body is empty. She scowls and moves to the next.
In one of these once-living shells, she will find the stolen soul, the only one taken from her.
Never touch unknown fungus. Really, you ought to know better. But you can’t help yourself, can you? That rich, deep blue-green velvet blossoming over the abandoned couch calls to you. So soft, so heady with fragrance.
The fungus covers you now. You have all you could ever want.
The mud settled chill around her ankles. She grimaced but took another step. It crawled to her knees, thick and blue-green with iridescent snails.
“Keep going,” she told herself. Mud to her hips; a brilliant teal centipede slithered across her jeans.
She hated nature hikes.
Starfields unfold in languid blue-violet ripples, dotted with points of light a billion-years distant. I peer from the ship’s faded prow, aching.
It’s that need that drives me to become a captain, steering my own deep into the stars. One day, I will touch the universe’s heart.
The bowl glistens under the sun: a burnt sienna sheen matching the cracked ground and the broken sky.
High above, the last of the worldships vanish like fading stars into the deeps. All that remains is the bowl and the last drops of water offered as forgiveness for what we did.
When she wakes from her thousand year dream, the world has changed. Buildings rear into the sky, burnt sienna roads scar the meadows, the air a haze of foul smoke.
She angers. What have her subjects done to her temple? She pulls from her sleep nightmares to cleanse this world.
Ashes matted the trees, drooping bows and staining leaves into unwholesome grays.
The only variation in the landscape was a burnt sienna pine: brittle, proud, standing alone. Cones dropped from its limbs, and in the ash, there sparked the tiniest hope of green from within.
Cannons thundered. I ducked low, scrabbling among the wreckage, all splinters and cracked stones. Iron smashed into flesh and fortress alike, and both men and wood screamed.
Where was it? I’d hidden our salvation under a patch of burnt umber earth, terrified of its power.
A cannonball whirred so close I felt its heat, its malice. It struck the clock tower, exploding time and bells into shrapnel.
There! Under a fallen bayonet. I grabbed the blade, used it as a shovel. Digging, digging.
The god’s eye remained closed as I scooped out dirt.
I slashed open my palm on the bayonet. Prayed through fear-dried teeth.
“Rise, Mother. Rise and aid us.”
She opened Her eye, red as the newborn world, and beneath us all, the land trembled at Her first new breaths.
The jar label said “BUTTERCUP YELLOW.” Oddly, when he opened the rusted lid, there was only red paint inside. He scowled. His grandmother never organized things properly.
The red oozed from the jar when his back was turned. After it ate him, it turned a luxurious yellow.
Boot prints spread across the dusty floorboards. Size 8? It’s hard to tell because they kept moving closer. A cerulean flicker hovers in the air.
You watch as the ghost takes form: a cascade of incandescence, filling up the unseen shoes.
You don’t see the teeth yet. You will.
As my hopper ship Cerulean Blue drops from orbit, I get the weirdest sense I’ve been here before. Ain’t possible, of course. This is uncharted territory! The world stretches out in green-gray patchwork.
A glint of silver. Another ship? How? I magnify the scanners…
In my viewscreen, I see my ship. Cerulean Blue lies crashed inside the pincers of a rocky cliff.
Shit. I bank, but something nullifies the controls and I’m falling, gonna crash—
As my hopper ship drops out of orbit, I get the weirdest sense I’ve been here before…
It’s hard to picture the sky anymore. He recites the remembered colors:
Gray with ivory-pink freckles in pre-dawn; flushed peach-lavender over the lake; cerulean swaths of twilight; bloody meat-red before the smoke.
Now black, lightless. Is it even the sky he looks to anymore?
Dip a toe into the pool first. Aye, you’ll lose the toe, but it’s a small sacrifice. Wait until the cerulean waters smooth from bloody ripples.
She’ll rise, all teeth and wildbright scales, eyes like diamonds, and grant your wish.
“Take me with you,” is all you need to say.
Thick, yellow-green liqueur dribbles into the glass. The scent of old dreams and lost promises wafts up from the bottle. He inhales, lifts the glass to his lips.
“Your final warning,” the alchemist says. “Once you sip Chartreuse’s blood, you never die.”
“I know.” He drinks.
There’s a saying among the sky-wranglers: Never touch the cobalt clouds.
Not with dawn-forged gloves or wind-braided lassos. You touch ’em and you ain’t seen again.
Those cobalt spheres, drifting among cumulus, they go somewhere elsewise.
Me? I’m a cat. ‘Course I’m curious.
She paints the house deep teal despite complaints. She sets her caldron out in the front yard even with fines from the homeowner’s association.
She posts flyers on all the telephone poles: SCARED? HURT? CAN’T GO HOME? COME TO THE TEAL HOUSE. THE WITCH WILL KEEP YOU SAFE.
3F313A, Threef for short, scuttled along the corridor, its CPU filled with nervous static.
Would the new purples like it? Would it be welcomed into the Shades? So often, no one saw it.
It paused by the creche door. Tapped a hesitant tentacle on steel.
The door opened and a huge banner hung from the ceiling.
WELCOME TO THE SHADES, 3F313A!
All the purples swarmed around Threef and welcomed it home.
Never summon a demon on an empty stomach. It sucks and the results are questionable.
Instead of a raging, blood-red horror from the pit of hell, ready to unleash havoc upon my enemies, the thing on my carpet was more like dried-blood-red, grouchy, and the size of my fist.
“Are you Anger?” I asked. “Here to decimate those who’ve wronged me?”
“Nope, I’m Hangry,” it responded. “Got anything to eat around here?” Then it broke my favorite lamp and trundled into the kitchen.
I sighed and made us lunch. Next time I’d plan better.
Scrape, scrabble, scratch.
You huddle in the corner, your flesh cold, as the things snick and slither above.
If you’re silent, the sounds won’t find you. But you need to go, or you’ll be trapped. You edge towards the door.
Scuff, shamble. Sniff.
You freeze. Too late, snack.
Dark were the boughs of the forest; green were the needles of pines; red was the cloak of the hunter; and quiet was the tread of the mime.
The prophecy foretold of forest-green skies and waters turned to fog. Of monsters and abominations roaming the lands hungry for bloody marrow.
What it didn’t mention were what would become of us.
“Two stalks of goldenrod, one sprig of pine. Three wilted graveyard fronds to hold the dead divine.”
She hums the incantation as she weaves the plants and the sepulcher wrappings into a noose.
When the god comes for her sister, clamoring it’s owed the damned, she’ll be ready.
GRANNY SMITH APPLE
“It’s bitter,” said Snow White, curling her lip at the apple.
“It’s a Granny Smith,” the witch said in exasperation. “It’s sweet!”
“I dunno, tastes bad to me. Plus it’s green. Is it even ripe?”
“Fine,” the witch snapped, and took out a juicy red fruit. “Try this one.”
At first she thought the birds had knives: indigo feathers bristling with silver.
Then she realized two things: they weren’t knives but talons. Those raptors weren’t regular birds.
And the dinosaurs were hungry.
Dip your quill in softly, never making a ripple nor sound. Do not let the ink know of your intent. The indigo balances on the steel nib, a droplet of potential, of chaos, of pain.
Draw the letters swiftly, smoothly, and watch as vengeance blooms from the page and dons your will.
Thing about goo is that it gets fricking everywhere. In your socks, on your skin, between your eyebrow hairs. That jungle green slime spreads and oozes and bubbles and you just can’t get rid of it!
This is the last time you’re ever ordering “never-ending goo!” from a catalog.
“Really?” asked God. “You want to be…green.”
“Lime green!” chirruped the tiny monster. “So I darkened and grow over time, rich with algae and rot, and rise from the ocean bogs in radioactive terror to spew vengeance upon my enemies!”
“…done,” said God, and Godzilla beamed.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
It’s always the same question. “If you’re Mac, then where’s your cheese?” like you’re the first rando to pop that joke, ha ha ha.
Finally, I’d had enough. I made Cheese: three meters high, made from yellowed steel, all teeth and no patience. Next dude to ask will get answered.
Magenta wanted to go to the moon. She watched all the vids and sims; she saved for passage; she won the lottery spot for a ticket off-world.
And then the meteor arrived. It would drive the moon into the earth. No stopping it.
It’s ok, she thought. Now the moon will come to her.
The homeowner scowled. “This isn’t what I ordered.”
The designed glared back over the rows of corn. “You said you wanted a garden of maize. I got it for you!”
“I said I wanted a garden *maze*!”
“Oh…well, we can fix that. Corn mazes are popular this time of year.”
Their god’s words echo in their head as they light a match. The fuse trails into the Ministry of Mercy.
The manatee might have been imprisoned in glass, but they know its words are right.
They set match to fuse, whispering the mantra like a prayer. Set it all on fire, child.
There’s no waveship faster than Maximum Purple. It’s won fifteen thousand consecutive races through the Andromeda belt.
Everyone knows how—lightdry engines, reality boosters, algorithmic shields—but not why.
It races to forget what it left behind…what will find it in time.
The clerk lied to me. When I said I wanted “ocean blue lipstick”, to match my hair, I just accepted the little tube painted with foam-capped waves and went home.
I opened the lipstick and out poured an ocean, blue as can be. Now I’m stuck on a raft waiting for rescue. Dammit.
“Oceans are blue, the Deep Ones sing true.”
Wretched whispers to herself as she picks shells from the glass-grit sand, tangled weeds, broken bones.
“Skies are gray and clouds are lies.”
She jumps as a gull cackles overhead. She doesn’t look up. Never up.
One day she’ll find the final verse. One day, she’ll learn how to go home.
My cat was the first to spot the alien craft, probably because cats can see octarine. She yowled and swatted at mid-air.
Its cloaking disabled, the tiny UFO crashed to the carpet. The aliens, unfortunately for them, looked like mice.
It was the one and only envoy sent to earth.
“Oxblood!” Red yells, diving sideways. “It’s me!”
The minotaur snorts, trident a blur as he twirls it.
Red holds up their hands, this time signing. *I’m your friend, remember?*
Hesitation. It’s all they need.
Red launches themself forward. They leap, soar, and tumble between Oxblood’s horns. They snatch the MadGlass visor from his brow, ripping wires and sensors free. Red tumbles down the minotaur’s back and crushes the MadGlass under their boot.
The crowd gasps.
Slowly, Oxblood turns. *Red?* he lows.
They grin, relieved. “Hey, buddy. Wanna bust out of here?”
Oxblood bellows and hurls his trident into the hover cam. It’s time they were both free.
She’s done. Done with the dungeons, the rescuing, the 8-bit dialogue balloons with inane script. Done with that fool in the red hat and the spiked turtle-thing.
Peach deletes the mainframe, and storms out of the system. She’s her own princess. She’ll find another line of work.
The stranger swept into the masquerade swathed in a gown of peacock blue, her mask a brilliant green-gold crown of feathers and jewels. She moved like wine, like sunlight. She ignored the prince; she ignored her sisters.
She offered me, the servant, her card. “Care to dance?”
Everything is made from teeth.
The chairs, the walls, your eyes. Teeth. Pearlescent, shiny, tartared! Pearly whites shining in the lights!
The moon is teeth; so is the sun.
When do they stop? Where do they begin? Your thoughts are teeth. Only teeth.
Teeth. Teeth. Teeth…
The flowers are hungry. Water no longer suffices; sunlight isn’t enough.
They crave more. Music enrages them; blood is useless.
The periwinkles are only sated on dreams. You sleep amidst them, let them suck the nightmares whole.
What will they do when you have no dreams left?
The shawl was a rich, velvet-smooth puce, fringed in glass beads that sighed with each movement.
“It’s beautiful,” he said, “like you.”
“Would you like to try it on?”
The Shawl of Revealed Intent showed her all she needed to know.
She took it off his corpse and carried on.
All the best monsters are purple, says the blobby purple sphere.
Not true, replies the squiggly orb. Some are green.
No! shouts the blustering square. They are blue!
In the corner, the tiny pink monster drooped and shriveled. No one ever picked its color as the best.
Suddenly, a child crawled under the bed. All the monsters froze, waiting to see who would be picked to be the One.
The blue monster swelled. The purple monster puffed. The green monster undulated.
“Pink is my favorite color!” the child said, and the little monster beamed.
It’s hard to craft reality from scratch. A dab of purple dreamscape, a pinch of suspicion, a tsp of regret. Knead together with fresh compassion, a drop of endless need, and a sprinkle of wonder. Let stand for a billion years. As reality rises, heat the universe, ready to bake.
PURPLE MOUNTAIN MAJESTY
Cold are the waters, ice is the sky; the purple mountain’s majesty is all a lie.
I huddle in the rocky lee, scared enough of the dark I’ve lit a fire. Doesn’t have any warmth. The mountain stole all the world’s heat when it rose.
I’m still climbing, though. Gonna get it back.
It was an honest mistake. The label of the razzmatazz crayon was torn in places; the child was learning how to read.
When Ra’mat’as rose from the deeps, summoned by the human’s toddler song, it was greeted with a bright purple-pink drawing of itself, offered with grape juice.
The bus was almost empty when she stepped aboard, her red jacket soaked and her hood damp.
“Forgot your umbrella, sweet?” leered the only other passenger, a graying man.
She flashed her teeth, so many teeth, all slicked with fresh blood. “This isn’t rain on my clothes.”
ROBIN’S EGG BLUE
The robot was robin’s egg blue, tiny, and didn’t work.
Darcy bit her lip. What had she done wrong? She’d followed all the instructions: built it exactly right.
“Please be ok,” she said, and a tear dripped onto the robot’s head.
It turned on. “I am,” it said. Darcy smiled.
Grease crusts my hands, stings my eyes. I push onward, crawling through the silver wired guts of the Machine. Naked from the sensor-suit and the needles in my skull, it can’t see me.
Its core is vulnerable. I will crush it. No more loss, no more deaths. Soon the Machine ends.
When you think about the sky—that blue-reflected screen between you and the void—it’s hard to hold it all in your head.
It’s so BIG. You’ve never liked big problems.
You construct a vacuum. Compress the sky.
Now there’s only void and that sky is the least of your problems.
She unspooled the ultraviolet tendrils from her hands into the basement’s still-damp concrete. The ethereal vines wriggled and churned, burrowing into calcium and silicon, rooting themselves below the hardening gray floor. This house would be haunted soon, fear feeding her seeds.
It’s such a rich, thoughtful red—vermilion, isn’t that the word?—that she trails her fingers in the spilled liquid longer than necessary. Tastes the iron and vitality under her nails. Mmm. Yes.
Revenge may best be cold, but justice is delicious when hot and freshly bled.
“I don’t understand,” the dragon wailed. “I used the polish just like you said! I’m supposed to be a terror of the skies! I’m pink!”
“Show me the label.” The witch sighed. “Oh, honey, this is to color your scales violet-red. Violent Red is the brand you were looking for.”
The queen wore yellow. The court balked, garbed in stately black. Such defiance of tradition!
“How dares’t thou?” hissed the regent.
The queen hummed. Buzzed, even.
The regent stepped back, too late.
The queen unfolded herself, a swarm of bees, yellow for the court’s black.
Other participents I know who are doing twitter fics: Sarah Pinsker, Jordan, Dread Singles, Jordan Kurella, Iori Kusano, L Chan, Beth Cato, Hester J. Rook, Toby MacNutt, Altered Instinct, Barbara Kransoff, Internet Dragon Cat , Carrie Cuinn, Laura Pearlman, Mina Li, NS Dolkart, Karen Osborne, Erin Roberts, Effie Seiberg, Jasmine Stairs and many more! So many brilliant little stories, recipes, spells, histories, lore—it’s all amazing and I encourage you to check out the other threads floating around! Enjoy!