Flash Fiction: A New Color of Sunrise

I’ve been staring at my account for half an hour, but it doesn’t change. No matter how much I will it, no money magically appears.

There’s a new color. They say it is best viewed during sunset, though the sunrise is a close second. Like nothing anyone has seen before, they say.

They said that about the last color too.

And the last smell. The last touch. A few colors before was described as ‘life-changing’ and ‘the greatest discovery of the millennia.’

I’d missed all of them. The last color I’d missed because I got sick and missed several weeks of pay. The new smell before that I’d missed when my brother had broken his arm and needed a cast. Before that, it was a leaky roof, before that my bike needed repairs.

I blink three times in quick succession to close my account window, pull the NuSight glasses from my face, set them on the table.

No point in dreaming today.

I forget about the new color for the next several hours, isolated at my shop. It’s a hot day, hotter still near the furnace. The sweat creeps down my face, my neck. I’m sure I’m covered in soot and dirt by the time the sun sets.

I allow myself to watch it, cooling myself off in the now frigid air. I watch my normal sunset with normal colors and try to not feel bitter.

New color or no, it’s still beautiful.

I feel wrung out and sore when my alarm goes off the next morning, the sound grating. I’m brushing my teeth, still in a daze when I hear the high pitched beeping of the glasses. I figure it may be a new client. I spit out the foamy toothpaste, go back to the bedroom where I’d left them.

It’s from an address I don’t recognize, but takes up the whole screen. The message is one line, a sans serif font in red: “See What They See.”

My head tells me to swipe it away, but my gut tells me to click on it.

I notice nothing new at first until I turn towards where the curtains block the window. There is a sliver of color, a halo around the reds and oranges peeking through the curtains.

I move quickly, nearly tripping over last nights’ clothes in my hurry. I pull the curtains back. The sun is just making its way into the sky, surrounded by pinks, oranges—and whatever it was they called the new color.

For a moment I only breathe. My thoughts become dim, muted in the sight. There are no words to describe it.

They said the sunrise was a close second?

I can’t imagine a more beautiful sight than this.

When the hack is finally caught by the manufacturers, long after the sun has risen, the color leaves my sight. There is still a smile on my face.

The memory of the color will fade. But for a moment, I owned the world.

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