Author : Ian Goodall

The days started to grey, that was all the warning we were given. At first, it went unnoticed to most. A few obscure colours became blander, faded. Then I saw it in my wife’s visage. Her sparking blue eyes began to fade. Her hair, fiery as the sun, lost its shine. My own reflection became dim, lifeless.

Outside, trees lost their green, the heavens became a wash of light grey; clouds became barely visible in the seemingly constant overcast sky. There was little panic. It took almost a year for the colour of the world to drain, and no-one, not even the politicians, in their grey suits and matte black hair had much to say on the matter. Scientists shrugged. I wondered.

Then… they came. Not a month after the last yellow ray of light had hit the planet it again ignited in a wondrous golden haze. Ships of numerous shapes and dimensions ripped through the atmosphere. Their colours were varied. Some were green and spire-like, towering into the sky some half a mile. Others were rotund and maroon; they hovered above major settlements oblivious to the panic they were causing below.

I first noticed it in my own eyes. A tine of hazel returned one morning, a week after the ships had arrived. My wife noticed it to, but didn’t comment. Hers remained a deep grey. In a few days my colour had returned, and a new, healthy energy in me stirred. My wife’s had not. Half the population of the Earth remained colourless.

It was then that the ships woke. Figures, obscured by a blurring light, emerged and swiftly entered into negotiations with world leaders. The results were delivered in a live broadcast in full, vibrant colour. The President of the United States, his appearance dishevelled, rough and grey, spoke prepared words. What he said was brief, and to the point. Those who had remained grey after they had landed were to be cleansed.

Sometimes I glance into my only child’s blue eyes and I can still see his mother’s, before the grey days came.

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