“The Color House” | Novella | Written by Scott Moore | 6 - Mishmashers Mishmashers

“The Color House” | Novella | Written by Scott Moore | 6

The Blue Room

The blue room was small. It had barely enough room for Flynn to reach his hands out before him without touching the walls. In the center of the small area was a blue table and on the table was a blue handgun with one blue bullet sitting next to it. Flynn studied the gun and then, tried to find a path to a bigger portion of the blue room, but there was nothing else. Flynn stood there for several minutes trying to figure out what the test was but failing to do so.

“What do I do?”

There was no one there to answer his question. Another person would not have even fit inside the room. However, a moment after the question, a picture showed on the wall. It was Flynn and his small family. In the middle, he stood in his soldier attire. He had his left arm around his beautiful wife and, in the middle of them both, was his young daughter. All of them wore blue and all of them looked happy. Flynn could not remember ever taking this picture and he doubted it was real, but the house wanted him to see it for some reason.

Flynn did not get long to study the photo before it melted down the wall, being replaced by one of only him and his wife. In this photo, they were still dressed in the same blue outfits, but their daughter was missing. His lovely wife was also turned away from him, looking down. He was left alone, even though she was there standing beside him. Flynn watched the photo melt away again. This time, it was replaced with a gravestone of his daughter. His wife knelt beside it and he was off in the distance holding a bottle in his hand. This was not a real picture, but it stung. The gravestone read the dates that would have been transcribed on that piece of stone. Flynn’s nails bit into his palm.

The photo faded away and was replaced by one of his daughter’s dead body in her bed. This, he saw in real life the night before. He had held her in his arms as she coughed the last breaths from her tiny lungs. She contracted consumption and there was no cure. He prayed to every god, but no one listened to him.

When he had cried himself to sleep, he awoke to her missing. At first, he had been elated to think he had been mistaken about her death. She would surely be at the kitchen table now with her mother, but that had not been the case. Only a note found him at the table; a note telling him of the house and what it took from him.

The tears streaked down Flynn’s cheeks. His eyes flickered to the gun. Would he ever get her back? Would it matter? He came for a corpse. His daughter was dead. His wife left the home in the middle of the night. He had no idea where she was now. Both left him and he was alone. What was he fighting for?

The photo melted away to his daughter playing with her toys. This was a photo that had to have been taken many years ago. A photo taken during the times Flynn forgot. He had not been drinking, but he was gone all the same. His wife sat in her chair watching his girl. She complained many times about his absences, but he never grasped what it did to them. He was not drinking anymore, and he thought that was all that mattered.

The photo faded and showed his wife with Piper. This was a photo of what was to come. She would leave him now. There was nothing to hold her to him. He let the one good thing about them die and there was nothing to do about it.

Flynn ran his hand over his face. He cried his tears on the battlefield and had none left to give. He looked back down toward the gun. It was blue, and he imagined it would still feel like real cold metal. He guessed the bullet would cause him real death too.

“I don’t know what you want from me,” Flynn said.

There was no one there with him. In each of the other rooms, there had been someone there to guide him, or talk with him. Here, he was alone, like he would be for the rest of his life. Flynn swallowed past a lump in his throat. What was the point of living? Even if he did make it through this house, what would it gain him? Could getting back his daughter’s body bring her back to him? Would that mean his wife would love him again? Had she ever loved him?

Flynn backed up a few steps, his back hitting the wall he slid down. Level with the gun, he saw there was a small engraving next to it on the table. It was a simple saying: a single shot can end it all.

It was a true saying. A single shot could indeed end everything. It could end the dreams, the hate, the regret, and the pain welled inside of Flynn’s body. It was an easy way out of it all.

His hand shook with the thought of death. No matter what he had done in his life, he was never a coward. He never ran from anything in his life. Would he start now? Would the house beat him? Flynn took a deep breath. He closed his eyes, not looking at the gun. There was nothing else in this blue room. It was him, the gun, and the temptation it brought with it. Everything else was sliding out of his mind like a distant memory.

Flynn tilted his head back and rested it on the wall. He did not need the pictures on the wall to see all the trouble and pain he caused during his life. He destroyed his father’s dream of continuing the family farm by running away at sixteen. He ruined families while in the army. He ruined his own family after the war with his drinking habits. After that, he ruined his marriage to his loving wife. Now, he was ruining the one thing he thought would fix it all. He was failing at the last goal he set for himself. His hand reached out, grabbing the lip of the table. There was one viable option. It was what the house left him with. He grabbed the bullet and fumbled with it, dropping it to the ground.

He moved his head from the wall and looked for the bullet on the floor. It was a small room, and the bullet was right beneath his curled leg. He grabbed it, holding it before his face. It was blue all around the shell. Even the engravings on the bottom were a different shade of blue. Flynn rolled the bullet around in his fingers for a few moments. This was his way out.

Flynn reached forward toward the table and grabbed the gun. It was much heavier than he would have assumed by its size, or maybe that was the weight of his memories and sorrows weighing it down. He flipped the gun, looking at it from a different angle. He shot a handgun only once before. His wife claimed that having one protected the house from robbers and unsavory people. The only time he discharged it was when a pesky raccoon wouldn’t stay out of his trash cans and he grew tired of picking up the waste bins.

Flynn brought the gun closer to his face. Biting his lip, he undid the catch, letting the clip fall into his hand. He placed the gun into his lap and held the bullet in one hand and the clip in the other. This would work and he would be okay. He pressed the bullet into the clip and then, pulled the gun from his lap. He shoved the clip back into the handgun. It felt no different, but now, it was deadly. Now, it would be able to do the job it had been made to do. Flynn pointed the gun toward the wall and his hand shook. He knew what the blue room wanted him to do. The house wanted him to end everything and give up on his goal. The house was probably right. What was the point? He put his free hand onto the handle of the gun. The house could go fuck itself, Flynn thought.

He unloaded the single bullet into the blue room’s wall. The deafening roar of the gun made his ears ring. His hand still shook, and he squeezed his eyes shut. The room did not fight back. The house accepted it failed to complete the task. When Flynn opened his eyes, the room was no longer blue.

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