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The Color of the Sky

An Anonymous Short Story

Jay had long not cared about the sky. Yet the daily repetitions of the Axioms of Truth were hammered into his very core. 

  • “The sky is green.”
  • “I believe it to be so.”
  • “Those who disagree are ignorant.”

The Axioms of Truth had meant little to him. In his early, formative years, he took them at face value. His parents, his teachers, and his friends all declared that the sky was in fact green. It was just one clear day that Jay happened to look up. The sky was blue.

One morning, his father inquired, “Jay, did you say your daily repetitions yet?”

 “Yes, Father,” Jay replied. 

It had only been a few weeks since his peek at the sky’s truth, but the realization shook his very core. He only felt guilty for lying to his father, not for skipping his daily indoctrination sessions. 

As Jay looked around, he noticed that he was not alone. One day he caught his best friend, Dylan, gazing at the pale blue sky. 

“How long… how long have you seen the blue?” Jay asked. 

“I don’t know,” Dylan said. “I feel like I’ve seen blue my entire life.” 

After talking to other people, Jay realized that he wasn’t alone — there were others,  others who’d looked up. But there were so many more who had kept their eyes planted on the ground and their minds reserved in deception. Despite refusing to believe that the sky was blue, Jay found out most people didn’t agree that the sky was green. Some believed the sky was orange, some believed the sky was magenta, and some believed the sky was rainbow. The weirdest thing was that those who thought the sky was orange called those who thought the sky was magenta crazy. Those who thought the sky was magenta called those rainbow-sky believers nincompoops. Those who believed in a rainbow sky thought it was their duty to disassociate from any other kind of sky believers. 

Jay was confused. Didn’t they realize that if you believed in a green sky you were just as misled as those who thought the sky to be orange? 

Universally, all colored sky believers believed one thing: those who believed in a blue sky were the most mistaken. Jay had no clue what to do. The minute he told his brother about his realization that the sky was blue, his brother changed the subject. When his father finally caught on to his skipping of daily Axioms of Truth, his father became aghast. His father told his mother, and soon it was no secret that Jay had seen the true color of the sky. His whole family had judged him, even though Jay was certain that some of his family had glimpsed the open sky as well, yet chose conformity over truth.

Jay wished he could go back. He wished he’d never seen the sky. He wished he’d blinded his eyes the day he was born, so he’d never have known the sky to be blue. Oh, what a happy life Jay would’ve had, blind in sight and in mind.

Jay faked it in public. In group Axiom repetitions, he’d mumble along. He’d leave the repetition chambers pretending to go to the bathroom. Sometimes he’d enter bathrooms, and just stand there, looking at the gray walls. How gray the wall was. The wall didn’t care about the damn color of the sky. The wall was built into conformity, a gray wall built identically to all the gray walls in the building. How lucky the gray wall was, never learning the color of the sky, never letting his wall parents down, never having to contemplate at what point the color of the sky even mattered. 

Jay’s biggest fear arrived when he had the bleakest realization possible. Had he created his own Axioms of Truth? After all, it was absolute truth that:

  • “The sky is blue.”
  • “I believe it to be so.”
  • “Those who disagree are ignorant.”

Jay had seen the light, or had he? Was the sky blue? Was the light he’d seen real? Maybe the sky was green. Maybe the sky was tricking him. Maybe there was no sky. Maybe he’d been right all along. Jay didn’t care. As Jay grew older, Jay’d say the color of the sky was whatever people wanted. Jay realized that the color of the sky wasn’t green, it wasn’t blue, it wasn’t anything. There had never been a sky, all there had been was Jay.

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