This post is written in response to a prompt from Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #35 — Bronze.
We all laughed as we watched the episode of a long forgotten television show.
It seemed like such a silly notion, to everyone else at least, that someone would colour themselves that way. But not to me, even back then I knew I wanted, no, needed it, craved it.
I don’t remember a single day when I’ve been happy with my skin. The dull white has always marked me out as different, as something other. All around me were bodies deemed more acceptable, vibrant colours and shades everywhere you looked, yet when I’d walk from the commune to the working fields I could feel their eyes crawling over me, while my own remained cast down as my alabaster feet kicked up dust.
It’s just a colour, my parents told me over and over, everyone has one and this is yours.
White isn’t a colour, I looked it up once. White is the absence of colour, it reflects everything, absorbs nothing.
Was my pale epidermis why I felt so empty, so disconnected from everything, as a child?
When the others have gone to sleep I watch the episode over and over, learning how to count Mississippi-ly, dreaming of being able to change colour so easily, a few quick sprays and no-one would stare anymore; bronzed.
I looked it up too. Bronze was a metal or a medal for third place.
I could be third place, it’s better than no place at all.
I’d be bronze and I’d be anonymous just like everyone else.