Rainbows (a short story)

The boy looked at the girl and slowly, seriously, and deliberately said, “I wish I could take all your pain, swallow it, and poop rainbows.”

The girl blinked once, and frowned. She blinked two more times, and stared at him. What he had just said started to filter down into the part of the brain that understood his words, and her frown grew deeper. But there was a smile in her frown, and the contortions her face were attempting made her look as if she were a badly programmed robot.

“You want to poop rainbows?”
“Yes, rainbows. Rainbows made out of pain and suffering.”
“You’re crazy.”
“Colourful little pieces of joy, out of my ass.”

There was a pause. A quiet pause, where the silence was palpably powerful, like the space between the flash of lightning and the tremendous pulse of thunder. There was a pause. And she started giggling and giggling, the utter absurdity of the boy sitting on the toilet bowl with rainbows splashing solidly into the water forming itself into a myriad of ridiculous tableaux in her mind. The boy, twisted in pain while rainbows splashed out of him. The boy, his face a picture of concentration while he systematically dropped perfect rainbow after perfect rainbow. The boy, cleaning up with toilet paper after he finished. Smudged rainbows, solid rainbows, perfect rainbows, toxic oil sludge rainbows.

She giggled out, finally, “no pooping!”
“Constipation, then?”

She cackled, something her mother had told her never to do, and quickly covered her mouth. But the amusement wouldn’t end, and she cackled some more.

“I can’t… can’t breeea-hee-hee-hee-heeth! Shit rainbows! Shit rainbowss-ss-ss-s-s!”

Just like that, a little bit of her suffering melted away. To know that someone would make a poop joke — a scatological joke, her mind corrected her — just to make her feel a bit better was such a comforting thought.

The boy would make little jokes like these, as the years went by. The girl would giggle some more and come back with jokes of her own. In their tender moments, there was always an undercurrent of laughter. And whenever things got too hectic and heated, one would remind the other — rainbows! — and the storm would pass.

(370 words)

This post is a response to this writing challenge, and as an attempt to write more easily-digestible posts. Hope you enjoyed it!

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