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The first time she heard the word, Helen was just a kid who knew nothing about fancy color names, but she knew pink, and she knew that she loved it. She specifically loved this one strong shade that seemed to her like the purest pink ever that, now she found out, grown-ups called magenta.

Since then, it became her favorite color.

And her favorite word too.

Her bedroom walls were magenta, so was the carpet, and it took some time but she convinced her parents to paint the ceiling as well.

It would take some years for her to find how impossible of a color the pink spectrum was.

In retrospect, the moment everything turned hot bubblegum in those infinite corridors were a sign she should have paid more attention to.

Magenta simply does not exist. It’s just a comforting lie your brain tells itself in order not to lose the mind when it can’t understand or make sense of what is in front of your eyes.

Things like endless corridors, giant bulbous hands and whatever else could be hiding in that maze.

She saw the whole place turn magenta for the first time just moments before she jumped out of hell, in the same instant her eyes fell on that mirror-painting free of any shadow.

A well told lie.

And then there she was, telling her story to someone she didn’t know, for reasons she was not sure of, while the world became more saturated as it spun.

So, of course, she went through the wrong door.

And walked in a horrified haze forever until she was not sure of anything anymore. She was not Helen, or at least she was not supposed to be, but somehow she was, and it wasn’t right, and all the was, and the carpet, and the ceiling were a dizzying, pulsing magenta that she could only hate.

All stayed that way for so long she couldn’t remember any other color.

But then, then she understood.

Every color is a lie.

She was the distortion.

She was human.

And she was Helen

even though she wasn’t.

And that was right.