Color Me Normal

Crayons“Don’t color outside the lines,” I said. “And make the eyes blue.”

“I like to do it my way. Use different colors. Change the shapes a little,” replied Opal as she chewed the inside of her cheek. Coloring took a lot of concentration.

Exasperated, I said, “Are you using orange for the eyes? And blue for the skin? Giant blue ears are scary. You made them almost as big as the head.” It was a horrifying representation of a young girl with her dog. Who ever heard of a girl with giant blue ears and orange eyes walking a green dog with yellow polka dots?

“Can you at least make the hair normal?” I asked.

“Whatever,” she said with a crooked smirk.

Opal frantically colored the girl’s hair, swirling and scratching with violet and indigo until she created what looked like a bruised and battered Medusa head. Satisfied with her work, she leaned back in her chair and flashed a dazzling smile at me. Her sizzling red, coiled tresses and protruding ears eerily resembled her drawing.

“I’m all done. What do you think?” Opal asked.

“I think I’m a little worried.”

“I’m gonna sign my name now. Ready?”

With hesitation, I said, “Ready.”

Using the black crayon, Opal scrawled her name in big, wobbly letters. As she trailed off at the end of the L, the room seemed to spin. I felt as if I were caught in a vacuum, the air sucked upward. Then, in the next instant, I became real, a real girl plucked from the pages of a child’s coloring book.

I stood in front of Opal with my Dumbo ears, feral hair and carroty eyes, and tried to look happy. She covered her mouth with her tiny hands as a giggle escaped. I looked down at my grassy green dog and cringed. I mumbled a wish to be normal, pretty.

Opal said proudly, “You are normal and pretty. I made you look just like me.”

This fantastical story was written for Trifecta. This week’s challenge was to write a story or poem between 33 and 333 words containing the third definition of the word: WHATEVER (adverb) Used to show that something is not important.

I also incorporated The Daily Post’s daily writing prompt to use Roy G. Big – that is, all seven colors of the rainbow — Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet — somewhere in the story.

24 thoughts on “Color Me Normal

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  6. I have vivid memories of my brother chiding me when we were young, about coloring my women with purple hair. I’m sure your Opal, with her “Dumbo ears, feral hair and carroty eyes,’ is beautiful.

  7. I absolutely love your use of vivid detail – this sentence stands out for me: Her sizzling red, coiled tresses and protruding ears eerily resembled her drawing. Great story – Opal is quite a character!

  8. Ka-pow!!!!!!! Homerun ending to a perfectly constructed story! As father and teacher, I appreciate the wisdom it contains.
    You should send this off to Teacher Training schools (we call them Teacher’s Colleges, here in Canada) or to some of the many play-based child care sites out there. May I suggest one? My daughters have been lucky enough to have, as their daycare provider, a lady who, among many things, is a paid contributor to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Kids website
    ( She has a blog called Happy Hooligans: Kids Discovering Their World Through Play. Your post is bang-on perfect for that type of audience. Brilliant work. Deserves a wider audience; especially of people who believe in children and the power of imagination.

    • Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so glad you liked my story. Thanks for the information about the CBCKids and Happy Hooligans. I’ll take a look into both and do a little research. I typically don’t write kid friendly stories. This one just developed into one. Maybe I should think about writing more of these in the future. 😀

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