Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Krishnarjun Bhattacharya would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Pink

By Krishnarjun Bhattacharya All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Horror

Pink

We’re colors, all of us. They call me Pink. I don’t look pink, not in any way you would perceive; but then, if you and I were to meet by any twist of fate, you wouldn't be looking upon my face. The hood, the mask, the oxygen breather within, it all hides me, my nose, my eyes, my mouth. The air is too dangerous, you see. Can’t let any of it in. Not that it’s toxic. No, the air has eggs. Eggs that you can’t see, eggs that plant themselves in your lungs.

I saw a Hatching once. I was small, still thinking I had a chance, a way out of this place. The old men told me he wasn't related to me, but I think he might have been. He was nice to me. Might have been my brother, I don’t know. I was stupefied when it happened, what with all the blood and the pus, pieces of bone. The other children busied themselves stamping on the little bastards, squirming all over the floor, and I remember just standing there, waiting for the wound to close.

I live in a dark place. A little boy cries in the room next to me every night, every single night, and I know the room is empty. It’s been empty for years. I've never tried talking to him, making him see reason, asking him who the hell he even is. It’s not my place. I live in my room, a small, dusty place with a few odds and ends. The walls are lined with blue microfilm, and the vents have three layers of home-made filters, so it’s about the only place where I can take my mask off. There’s a bed, an old one. It’s had some kind of brush with radiation in the past, and my Geiger counter keeps freaking out near it. It’s the most comfortable thing you’ll find in the entire Area though. A small drum, empty, overturned, made into a table. It’s where I clean my guns. And the telephone on the wall. Of course, the telephone.

Not much else. I go out sometimes, to see the sun rise. There’s this lake, this giant, giant calm spread of green, doesn't have a name like everything else. I go there sometimes to sit by the side and watch a green sunrise. At times I get so lost in my thoughts, thoughts of nothingness, really, that I stay there until dusk, and then I have to run back before the Creepers come out. I used to think the Area was blue in color for a full four years until one of my eyepieces broke; and I realized the glass had an azure tint to it. Now I see the place in all its glory, and it’s a shithole. Don’t get me wrong, the romantic would find a kind of love for this desolation, but I assure you, there is none, really.

There are no baths, for starters. Your skin gets pastier and pastier, yellows, and then becomes used to the condition. You treat the boils with a razor, don’t want them to affect your run. We run a lot. On most days White and I take the long road at a run. We go over the bridge, down the broken highway and through the stone college grounds. We avoid the underpass, and on bad days take a breather near the gas station. Then onward, cutting a long curve with the forested pathway, back to the place near the motels, and onto the broken highway again, making it back home before dusk. We laugh about it in the mess hall, looking at the old men in wonder and ridicule as they shove food into their gas masks. The Colors don’t need to eat. We used to drink, and now it’s a syringe. Can’t imagine how messy it must be, having to chew, move your tongue around the food and everything. They say they had food that used to smell good, made you want to eat it; but then the old men say just about anything if somebody’s listening.

Like how it used to be safer. Maroon was taken by the Creepers last month, and that got the old men murmuring like they do. We hate them, the damned Creepers, we wanted war, but of course we don’t have enough ammunition. They never send us enough, in their airdrops. Sometimes I think they have it calculated right down to the bullet, how much we’ll need. I had never seen Maroon’s face, of course, but I liked her. She had a way with jokes, made you think of better things, better places. We had cheated death before; once the pack had chased us down near the gas station. We weren't prepared for it, but we improvised. No bullets were fired, and yet all three of us had survived, all thanks to some abandoned tires, a chemical flare, a rag and a strong arm. It was incredible, the rush; and the Colors missed her, me more so. But we knew, as did the old men, that there was no other way, such was the rule.

The Creepers sent the body back, and it was put on display in our hall. Everyone looked away, everyone but me. I looked at her face for the first time, at what was left of it. And right there, in the Hall of Silence, where another half-eaten body had come to join the rest of the old skeletons, I trembled with rage, with seething promises of revenge and gory fantasies of murder.  I shook with silent fury as I saw that she had once been beautiful.

The Creepers are as untouchable as ever. Since Maroon’s murder I’ve often felt the need to stay back after dark, wait for them to crawl out, wait with a machine gun and all the ammunition I can steal. It’s been three years. Stolen seventy-four rounds. Not nearly enough. I keep at it.

The boy keeps crying, even when I prance my flashlight around the bare walls. A luxury. Our electricity is dying. The old men are making wax, but goodness knows we’ll never have enough. We won’t be safe without our lights and we know it; the beam wall is all that stand between home and the Creepers. The airdrops are rarer now, and sometimes they joke around; send down a crate filled with newspapers or empty plastic bottles. Sick sense of humor, unloading more trash when we’ve already got mountains, endless hills of plastic bottles, broken computers, all the things the earth won’t take in. There’s also been talk of trying to shoot an aircraft down, but we all know we’re not that bold. The Creepers are there because they’re meant to be our enemies, we shouldn't be making any more.

The days keep passing. White and I keep running, trying to outrun this place, this dark place where old men have fathered me, a place slowly dipping into darkness once more. There are rumors of some kind of God beast on the loose, sightings of a misshapen slithering monstrosity; we’ve been urged to be careful. Another old man died today. I’m bleeding again, and am stealing bandages along with the bullets. The little boy cries all the time now, and if he was real I would waste a bullet just to shut him up. The electricity is flickering on most days now. The lamps are being distributed. Oil and wax. On our last night of electricity, the phone rings.

I have been prepared for this call. I know what it means. And I have waiting for it all my life.

I pick up the phone and talk to my parents for the first time. They cry and apologize again and again, they tell me they’re sorry so many times. They didn't mean this life for me. This place. I try to talk, but the words well up. I can’t, simply can’t. The tears fall, and freely. They tell me there will be no more airplanes, nothing. They tell me again that they love me. They tell me not to give up. The call disconnects as the lights go out.

Silence, a dull tremor as people talk in hushed voices. An old man, trying to rally everyone. And then the distant cries, the howls of the Creepers, travelling, echoing over us, through our corridors and rooms. The Colors don’t need rallying. Everyone has talked on the phone, our purpose, it’s done. We’re just soldiers now, and the Creepers are coming. White and Red wait for me outside my room. I nod, grab my gun, all the bullets, all of them, and head out into the darkest place in the world.


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Krishnarjun Bhattacharya
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

lopezmariana97: I loved everything about this book. I read it in a weekend because it was so hard to put down. I real liked that it wasn't a typical demon story and that It didn't involve vampires. I pictured the cast for this book if it ever becomes a movie. 100% love

C J Lawson: Nicely done. Good story with good characters, as well. I was very entertained by the story line, from beginning to end. I would definitely read more of this author's work.

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

Remini UDA: I would like to firstly admit I do not like the romance genre, it's not something I tend to read and as such I did not complete the whole story and only made it to chapter 15. Whether that affects this review is for you to consider.The Unknown Variant is a very well written book, as a reader I wa...

More Recommendations

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...

Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra - Preview

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."