Blue Is Not The Only Fruit

This was something for Writers HQ Flash Face Off about a month ago when the theme was Blue vs Orange.


We always started the day with a glass of blue juice, freshly squeezed from fresh blues, which we piled up in the fruit bowl so they became the bountiful centre point of the kitchen.

First thing in the morning, we would chop the blues in half and throw them into the juicer which would whir and shake and pulp those blues until we could pour ourselves out a beautiful glass of blue. We were lucky that out here, with our days and days of endless sunshine, the blue grew full and fat, you could grow your own or buy them by the boxful for only a few pounds.

“Do you ever think,” she said, as we toasted the morning – another dazzling, sun-drenched morning – with our blue juice, “do you ever wonder, which came first, the colour or the fruit?”

“What do you mean?”

“Are they called blues because they’re blue or is blue named after the colour of blues.”

I didn’t have an answer to this. But it felt like I had a lot of time to think about it because it was a brand new morning and here we were living out our lives in a town which sparkled with such luminosity it felt like we were actually somewhere outside reality, somewhere too good to be true.

“If blues were orange,” I said, eventually, “what colour would be the sky?”

She repeated my words, slowly. “If blues… were orange… what colour… would be the sky?”

When she had finished she just stopped completely, her gaze caught by something on the horizon or her mind snagged on something she had just remembered, some doubt she had dug up.

Then she collapsed in uncontrollable laughter. “If blues!” Her body heaved and shook like it was going to burst. “What colour orange!”

But I was still looking to see whatever she had seen on the horizon, and as I searched in vain I had a feeling like we were stick figures in a child’s painting and whether our bodies were green or pink was only an idea; blues might become orange; the sky would be any colour the child decided on a whim; the sun might be extinguished; we might be stuck on the side of a fridge or rolled up and put away in a cupboard.

She was still laughing or it might have been crying.

I knocked my glass of blue juice over and it spilled upon the worktop, a slick of deep, rich blue of which I didn’t know the meaning.

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