Dead and lifeless; no colour. The lack of colour distressed Emerald.
Her grandma spoke in colour. She told of rainbows, pink-tinged dawns, flowers of every hue, the clearest bluest oceans. But Emerald could not comprehend.
Emerald existed in a colour-devoid world. Emerald was one of the last children born on a broken earth. Man had cruelly exploited Earth, making her oceans toxic, choking the earth with litter and suffocating the air with pollutants. So Emerald only saw in greys and whites.
Grandma reminisced about the beauty of an ocean so breathtakingly blue that it was a wonder to behold.
Rather than peace, Emerald felt anger. Emerald screamed, “Father, I only desire to see the green in a blade of grass.”
A collective ripple of shock gained momentum and volume, until everyone sighed in absolute disbelief, “Emerald!”
“I am Emerald, but I have never seen a green blade of grass, a green apple or even a green-throated bird.”
The uneasiness in the room was tangible, but Emerald sobbed, “I want to see the colour green!”
What Emerald wanted was considered treachery against the Federation of Industry. The almighty Federation had poisoned the waters, burnt a hole in the atmosphere so that radiation from the sun was so powerful everyone was forced to live underground.
Emerald knew that the only way to see green in a blade of grass was to go above ground, but this was considered treason as it would reveal the destruction the Federation of Industry had wrecked on Earth.
“I will take her.” Grandma said, shocking everyone present. “I am old so the radiation will only speed up my dying. Emerald lives in a dying world.”
Later as the Grandma and Emerald donned anti-radiation suits and oxygen-making masks, her father looked questioning at Emerald. She nodded that she understood the risk involved.
To crying, in an off-white and grey world, Emerald accompanied her grandma to the surface.
Emerald gazed lovingly at the green of a lone blade of grass, until the radiation pained her.
“Beautiful!” was her last dying word.