“The Color House” | Novella | Written by Scott Moore | 4 - Mishmashers Mishmashers

“The Color House” | Novella | Written by Scott Moore | 4

The Yellow Room

Flynn was in his childhood home, except something wasn’t right. The items in the room were the same, but the color was different. The yellow brushing every surface told him he had not left the house.

“Pancakes?” The long dead voice of his mother asked.

She looked pleasant this morning in her yellow sun dress. The food she held in her hands was yellow pancakes on a yellow plate and yellow juice. Flynn held his hands before his face. They were his hands, but hands he had not seen for decades. These were the hands he had long before the war and long before sorrow.

“Sit down,” his mother insisted.

She was his loving mother in every detail except one -the yellow eyes. They were not alarming and would have seemed normal, if it had not been the fact Flynn knew his mother’s eyes had been brown.

“Come on, boy.” She pushed him gently on the shoulder to get him moving.

Flynn let her guide him to the yellow table and pulled out a yellow chair. As he sat, she placed the plate before him.

“Syrup?” she asked, pouring before he answered.

Flynn felt the overwhelming sense of youthful ease. Everything was provided for him and there were no worries. He could eat breakfast and then do his chores. After, he would have the full day to play outside or visit his friends in town. He got caught up in it. His pancakes were gone before he even realized he started eating. Syrup ran down his chin.

His mother laughed and came over with her wet washcloth, “let me get that for you, darling,” she said.

Flynn let her take the sticky liquid from his chin. She gave him a smile, showing her motherly love.

“I am glad you are here,” she said.

That made Flynn pause a moment. He remembered this was not his childhood home; no matter how much it appeared to be. This was still the house. The house took the most important thing in his life and now, he was here to get it back.

“Why am I here?” Flynn asked.

His mother’s expression changed to one of sorrow and hurt. “What do you mean?” she said.

Flynn hated to see his mother’s face that way. After so long of not seeing it at all; he only wanted joy to be there between them, but this was not his mother.

“I have struggled against my past in the last two rooms. Here, what is the struggle? I don’t remember anything bad from my childhood,” Flynn said.

His mother’s face changed back to a smile. “Well, that is because your father and I would never allow anything bad to happen to you,” she said.

Flynn knew that was true. His mother and father made sure he wanted for nothing. They had not been rich or fancy, but they provided him with a good life.

“So, why am I here?” Flynn asked again.

He did not want to offend his mother, even if she was not his real mother. He wanted the answer. He still had something he needed to do and being here was stopping him from achieving that goal.

“You lived a hard life, son.” Her hand roamed over his head, pushing her fingers through his short hair. “There is no reason for anyone to live such a life. It is unfair that a burden so large was put on your shoulders. This time will be different for you. This time you can make different choices and things will be better for you.” She stopped rubbing his head and grabbed her towel, spinning toward the yellow stove.

Flynn patted his hair back down to his head. He was being given a second chance? Is that what his mother was insinuating? He was being allowed to start from the beginning? This was before the war. This was before the country even dreamed war would be a necessity.

Flynn’s mother started to wash the yellow plate his pancakes had been on moments before. She looked back over her shoulder toward him. “Go out and play,” she said.

Flynn looked out the window toward the yellow world beyond. There was the old barn that had once been red. Inside, he supposed his father would be tending the horses. Beyond the barn would be a dirt road winding into the town. In town, he would find his friends already playing jacks or ready to go into the woods.

Flynn wanted nothing more than to join them there. He could forget every worry. He could let his biggest problem be the dirt upon his shirt and his mother’s scorn at having to clean it.

Every night he could go to bed without the dreams. Flynn paused for a moment. What had those dreams been about? He could remember nightmares, but no longer recall their cause.

“Hurry before the sun starts to fall,” his mother encouraged him.

Flynn pushed himself away from the table. There would be plenty of time to worry about dreams later. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to ride his bike into town. Flynn pushed through the swinging door to the outside. He turned and saw his yellow bike leaning against the yellow house. He stopped for a moment. That wasn’t right. His house had not been yellow, and neither had his bike. He tried to remember what he had been doing before he got here. Where had he been before his mother served him pancakes? Flynn closed his eyes and strained to recall, but his memories were fleeting. He remembered a house that he entered looking for something. What was it he had been looking for? For some reason, he forgot.

“Could you help me with something before you run off?” his father’s voice called.

Flynn looked up, letting his thoughts ride off on the wind. He ran over to his father.

“What?” he asked.

Flynn’s father turned away from what he had been doing. Like his mother, Flynn’s father’s eyes were a bright yellow. They scanned over Flynn and then turned back to the project.

“Need a little help to lift this hay into the cart. Need to take it down to the sheep pens before the weather turns,” Flynn’s father said.

Flynn helped his father with tasks like these almost every day. Or he had helped him. There was an odd sensation that he was not supposed to be here. There was something else he was supposed to be doing; something important.

“You still with me, partner?”

Flynn shook his head again. Something was strange here. He walked toward the hay, ready to help his father.

“Won’t it be nice to get into town and play with your friends?” his father asked.

Flynn was half-way to the hay when he paused again. His father had always been a decent man. He never hit Flynn or pushed him too hard. There was one thing Flynn’s father had never done though, and that was encourage him to play in town. Flynn’s father always needed an extra hand and wanted Flynn to learn the farm.

“What was that?” Flynn said.

Flynn’s dad’s face contorted a bit, the yellow eyes roaming around.

“This isn’t my house. This isn’t my farm. You’re not my father,” Flynn said.

He stood back upright.

“What are you saying? What would your mother think?” his father asked.

Flynn looked toward the house. He remembered those yellow eyes. His mother did not have yellow eyes. His mother was dead. So was his father. This farm had been plowed to the ground decades ago.

“I love you and mother, at least the real you and mother. There is something I have to do though,” Flynn said.

He could not quite remember what that something was, but it was important.

“I want out of here,” he demanded.

His father or the man who looked like his father, was panicked. His mother’s look alike ran out from the house. She was coming at him quick. Flynn remembered her words from the table.

“You can start over,” she had said.

Flynn did not want to start over. Flynn wanted to get back what was taken. Then, he remembered what he came for. His mother was within arm’s reach when he recalled the most important thing in the world to him. With the realization, the yellow world melted, and Flynn found the green door.

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