The Color of Madness (short fiction)

“Stop messing with your blindfold,” I told him.

“How do you know?”

“I know because you’re always messing with it.”

“That’s because I hate it.”

This wasn’t news to me. He’d hated it since first putting it on

The color yellow was driving people crazy. About one in 10,000 would become dangerous. A man in France had poisoned an office building because of the color. A woman had chopped her family up with an axe. There were thousands of such terrible reports, but after the first few months, all the dangerous cases were found.

Now, people were far more likely to be pushed into catatonia. They’d be discovered, staring at something yellow. There was always something yellow. Flowers. Birds. Paint swatches that were smuggled in the underground by people who found something satisfying about holding onto something forbidden.

It’d all started a few weeks before the accident that cost me my sight. An accident I’d first seen as a tragedy. Then good fortune. Now, I wasn’t so sure. Now, I thought it was just a thing.

“Stop messing with it,” I said.

“It makes my face itch, Mom.”

“I know. But you have to wear it. For your own good.”

“How much longer?”

“Not much longer,” I said.

“And after, can we go visit Dad?”

I imagined the look of hope in his smile. He still believed his father would come back to us. I didn’t want to lie to him, but I didn’t want to rob him of that hope. But his father was one of those people who couldn’t wear his blindfold. Not wouldn’t.


It’d taken him away from us, and nothing I’d done or said had been enough to lure him away from the color. He wasn’t coming back.
The nurse came in. It was a minor procedure, really. They’d done it enough at this point. For people like my son, who had always taken after his father.

“I don’t want to do this, Mom,” he said.

I leaned down and kissed his forehead. “I know, son. I know.”

They led him to the preparation room, and I sat there, waiting for my son to join me in the darkness.

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