This week's challenge from Terrible Minds was about colors. Or, here in Canada, colours.
TM 2012/5/18 - The Paint Color Title Scheme
I love shopping for paint because the paint colors are so bizarrely and uniquely named. And I thought, hey, a challenge based on some of those colors would be kinda rad. So, here’s the deal.
I’m going to list ten paint colors. Choose one. This chosen paint color forms the title to your story. Bonus challenge: try to make color a big part of the story. In imagery, plot, character, whatever.
Here, then, are the colors:
You, as usual, have one thousand words and one week to complete. Due by Friday, the 25th, at noon.
A Study in Colours
Alexa gave the can a few more shakes, tapped the nozzle to clear it, then tried a line on the wall. Nice coverage, no drips - she liked this new one by Montana.
The Queen street alley was relatively quiet at 3 am, just the noise of a few restaurant fans, the hum of traffic, the clang of an occasional streetcar bell, and distant drunken yells as the King Street bars shut down. She'd managed to save some black primer from a contract job, even in the dim light she could see this would be a beautiful colour on it - Fuchsia Kiss. She'd had to buy all new cans after the bulls caught her in the trainyards doing some fr8's - she'd lost her backpack climbing a fence but saved her ass. She loved these new colors and their names - Grasshopper Green, Mermaid Song, Timeless Lilac. All would blend beautifully in this new piece.
She jumped as a door banged open next to her, but it was just someone from the cafe putting out the night's garbage. She caught a whiff of it, then another familiar smell, as the dishwasher stayed outside for a break.
"Want a toke?" he asked, extending his hand. She smiled and went over. they'd shared a joint before.
"Coming along good," he said. "The owner will be glad to see a new piece of art - and for free."
"Better than tags," she said. "Glad we can do this stuff along here." She knew many of the store owners, and appreciated that they tolerated mural work back here.
She handed the joint back, "Thanks, back to work now, want to be done before dawn."
She worked quickly, checking her sketch, adding layers of colours, filling in some gaps. She'd come a long way since her days writing tags in here with cans and markers, with practice she'd developed good can control and a unique style. Her former mentors were now her peers, and accepted her as an equal, sharing walls like this with her. She knew her art would stay as is, untouched by others, even taggers, until someone else needed some space to express themselves.
As the sky lightened with pre-dawn light she could see her work even better. A few people wandered past, checking the trash for bottles or something to sell, heading for a favorite spot for spare change - they nodded and she smiled back. She'd been here before, usually with friends, but even on her own she felt safer than she might in the suburbs. She'd even stashed some paint here at times, knowing it would be safe. This was a community where people actually spoke to each other and cared about - and cared for - each other.
She was almost done. She grabbed a can of white, slipped a skinny cap on it for a fine line, and added a bit of detail. She signed the corner - Pres - and stepped back.
"Nailed it," she said. The face she had done looked good, well shaded, the lettering around it was crisp. She took a few photos with her phone then packed up. She'd come back after work for more photos, and to see if her friends were there. She was heading down the alley when she heard a voice from the shadows.
"So, you're Pres," it said. "Nice to put a face to the tags I've seen over the years."
She turned, ready to run, as a cop stepped out of the shadows.
"Don't run yet," he said. "I'm a fan of your mural work - nice stuff. My name's Steve.
"I'm not a tagger," she said, "I just do art like this, and we're allowed in here."
"I know you were a tagger," he said. "But haven't seen any new tags this year, so lets start off fresh here. Nice art - are you getting any paid murals so far?"
"A couple," she said. "What's it to you - why are you here?"
"This is sort of a project of mine," he said. "I'm trying to get good artists like you hooked up with people in communities to do some work to revitalize an area. Rather than just issue tickets and have the city buff over the walls every month."
"Let me guess, you want me to work for free, with my paint" she said.
"Nope, I'll supply the paint," said Steve. "Good stuff. Just give me a list."
"None of that Tremclad crap," she said.
"Trust me," he said. "And we can add in some cash for you too. And promote you as an available artist - local papers, YouTube, wherever. Come on, Timmie's is open, I'll buy you a coffee and tell you a bit more."
"Make it a breakfast wrap and we've a deal," she said.