Podcastle Miniature 43: In Order to Conserve

by Cat Rambo

Read by Mur Lafferty

Originally Published in Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight

In order to conserve color, the governments first banned newspaper inserts, the ones where dresses and dishwashers and plastic toys and figurines of gnomes with wary smiles tumbled across glossy surfaces.  Readers faced columns of type interspersed with dour black and white line drawings, no slick sheets cascading on their laps as they unfolded the newsprint to gaze at the reports of latest developments in The Color Crisis. Others turned to the Internet, monochromatic monitors scrolled by blogs denouncing the Administration, the liberals, the conservatives, the capitalists, alien spiders, and a previously obscure cult known as the Advanced Altar of the Rainbow Serpent.

The change had been almost imperceptible at first.  Only artists, fashion designers and gardeners noticed the dimming of shades, the shadows of reds, blues, purples that blossomed from less verdant stems.  They brought the shift to the attention of white-coated scientists, who measured the changes in angstroms, then announced that laboratory results proved it true.  Somewhere, somehow, color, once thought an inexhaustible natural resource, was running out, and doing so quickly.

Rated PG: For Bleeding Colors