This month’s challenge is to write a story beginning with “My favorite color tastes like…” Today’s story comes to us from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers mystery series and the supernatural chiller Faulkner’s Apprentice. The story below is written in the voice of a rebellious protagonist riling up the crowd in one of her works-in-progress, The Salt Rebellion.
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By Val Muller
My favorite color tastes like salt. White is the color of salt, after all. But my favorite color, the white I’m thinking of, isn’t the color of innocence or purity, if that’s what you’re thinking. Brides and baptized babies and all that. No. That is not my favorite color. Brides and babies are white by default. White by inaction.
Inaction can never be my favorite color.
My favorite color is the color of salt. Salt as in sweat and tears.
Think of what power salt has. It renders the ocean habitable to countless creatures. It balances our metabolisms, aiding water in its vital purpose. Salt aids our palate, taking the plain and ordinary and bringing out flavors inertly buried.
We all contain flavors inertly buried. Dreams, goals, desires, thoughts. We all have a purpose, something we were made for, and yet in a place as bland as this, we wander about unsalted. We grow complacent and look beyond ourselves for the spice that makes life worth living. But true joy cannot come from without. That is not the place for greatness.
True joy—the ingredient of greatness—must come from within, and we must be allowed to draw it out. May salt leave its streaky white trails on our cheeks, but we must be allowed to draw ourselves out from within our shells.
Perhaps this is why salt is not allowed here.
Perhaps there are those who do not want us to find happiness from within. Perhaps there are those who already live without and wish for us to seek joy in the externalities they can deliver. Perhaps there are those who have only power to gain from our unhappiness, from our weakness.
From our inaction.
Salt is the color of action. Its whiteness is the color of diligence, of work. A white piece of cloth will only remain so through diligence and care. So, too, our freedoms. Ignored and neglected, our freedoms will turn a dirty white, then a dingy dung, a soiled soot until no trace of its whiteness is left as a testament to its former glory.
So I say hold out for salt. Hold out for joy. Hold out for greatness. Don’t let our whiteness be sullied by the gentle agony of inaction. Fight back and persevere until you taste the salt of tears and sweat and action.
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The Spot Writers- our members:
Catherine A. MacKenzie