They made pride illegal.
We laughed, at first. Of course there was the initial panic, as there is about anything being made illegal. How can you make something so natural to humanity illegal? It seemed ludicrous. But the new government flexed its muscles and threw a few people into the camps-- good people, people who stood up for the rights of others. We never saw them again. The movements went underground.
It was an attempt to turn us into grey people, the new revolutionists whispered. Take away the things that make us distinct, and you take away who we are. And it worked, this attempt. The unimportant people stopped wearing symbols of things they loved. Orientation, race, religion. A bit of color seeped from the streets and shops. The people were frightened, and most simply wanted to be allowed to live and see those they loved every day.
But there was another, more insidious reason, the revolutionists said. Such a vague edict gave the law too much wiggle room. And they were right there too: people were pulled in for questioning, grilled for the things they loved. Fiancés put away for their beaming smiles. Mothers taken for delight in their young. And it seemed so random that the colors drained from the streets completely. Anger was the color in vogue now, and sadness its mate.
The noise followed the colors. Without our pride to discuss, without the delights of life to display, even the legal chatter became dull and monotone. Fear choked every sentence, monitored every expression. We feared the camps, where they took even more of life's color and left nothing but pale husks. The day-to-day was to say little, blend in and go home to pray that the government's black-clad arm wouldn't come to raid your gray life. Pray that they wouldn't find the color in your notebooks, or the smile you kept secreted under your pillow at night.
We are still colors, trapped in these gray husks. But the revolution fell last week, and the pallor is spreading to the rest of the world. Heaven help the gray people.