Once his mind had been full of colours. It had even been a little irritating at times; so many colours, all there, even when he was so far away, so completely estranged from those they represented. But more often it was a gentle comfort, a subtle reminder.
Some colours were a constant, a faint but steady link to his heritage; others came only briefly but burned more brightly in his mind. When they were gone it took a while to readjust; even where the colours had clashed, they were missed. Often, if they stayed long enough, even those that seemed in contrast began to fit, finding their own place in his personal kaleidoscope.
But then it shattered.
The colours disappeared; they vanished into darkness in one terrible moment. Grey reigned in his mind and there was nothing left.
Pink. A subtle shade of pink. Just on the edge of the dark whirlpool that is his mind, there is colour, and it is slowly becoming stronger, painting over some of the grey. Just one, a strangely bright, beautiful colour.
But gently, irresistibly, it is pulling other colours with it. There is a brilliant shade of fuchsia, glaringly bright and a little overwhelming. A dark green. Clashing in his mind, and yet somehow both blending with the gentle pink that brings them. Other colours begin to come into his mind, some only briefly; there is a dark blue which clings to the pink and fuchsia but which fades too fast, and a mauve which he reacts to instinctively.
And then there is another, a dark red. It seems to blend with the pink and together they swallow up even more of the darkness. For a while his mind teems with colours, the red and the pink at the heart of it. His mind lightens and its true silver begins to shine through the darkness once more, mixing with the pink and the red.
But then the colours seem to fade and the darkness creeps back. The pink is gone. And then the red is gone forever. And he succumbs to the darkness completely.
The pink returns, but it is not only pink. It is mixed with a river of gold and it is dazzling. He feels the red burn once more, brighter than it ever was before. And the pink-gold seems to bring back light to the world.
The red is still there, in the back of his mind, but no longer fused with the pink and the silver, and no longer bright enough to help burn away the darkness. But the pink-gold is stronger now, and it pulls the silver in. Colours dance in his mind, some soon forgotten, others ingrained forever.
The fuchsia and the dark green have returned, and they no longer clash so violently. The dark green is becoming brighter; the fuchsia perhaps a little less overwhelming. There is an orange which he has known before, which seems a little less bright than it once was, but which burns on determinedly. There is a creamy white which fills his mind; the silver resists, then is irresistibly pulled toward it; he tries to hold on to it but it is lost. The blue returns briefly, the same and yet different.
The colours dance, they fade and change, but the pink-gold is always there.
And then it is gone.
The darkness threatens to overwhelm him once more.
One last time, he feels the pink-gold in his mind; it too is now tinged with a darkness which he cannot prevent, but while it is there, it burns away as much of the grey as it can. And when it is gone, there is not only grey. A touch of silver remains. Edged with gold.
Quite suddenly there is a glaring yellow. It does not so much light up the darkness as pull his mind away from it. It is soon gone though, and he looks for another source of
colour, another distraction from the grey depths that form his mind.
The purple takes him by surprise. At first it is only a peripheral colour, but it becomes stronger and slowly takes some of the darkness away. It brings some other colours with it, but only briefly. And then, for a while, there are no colours at all, not even the darkness; there is simply nothing there. But after that, the red returns, bright and brilliant; and it is the same red that helped to bring him out of the darkness, and yet it is darker, and it does not seem quite right. The silver retreats from it, and the red seems to fade a little. Without the pink-gold to pull them together they do not seem to fit so well as they once did; but the memory of the pink-gold helps.
And then something awakens in his mind, and the silver burns more brightly than it has in a very long time; but then it dies a little, as the new colour reveals itself - a dark and menacing black. Not the lonely grey of nothingness, but a black which he recognises from long ago, a black which was once bright but which became dark. A black with which it was long entwined.
And although the pain of its presence is torturous, when the black is gone once more, extinguished, the grey of his mind threatens to descend. But the purple and the red burn determinedly, and pull the silver back. And then they are both gone, but he holds on to the broken shards of the kaleidoscope, and remembers the colours that he has known not with despair but with hope.