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Harold is surprised by how quickly he begins to really miss colors.

Oh, there are some colors, obviously, even in the scant light of the lone 25 watt bulb.

The apples he gets sometimes are brown, inside and out.

There is the gray cement floor. Gray-brown dust and dirt. Gray cinder-block walls, with bits of a slightly-lighter gray peeking through where the paint was peeling.

The sink had probably been off-white at some point in the distant past. It might be off-white again with a good cleaning. But for now it remains stained with the dark residue of thousands of uses, where dirty water was dumped and mop heads were rinsed.

The bucket is dark gray plastic, and filthy.


As Harold’s skin becomes more pale, he starts to appreciate the purples and blues that result from the sessions with his captor. Eventually those hues change to green and yellow. And then they are made dark purple all over again.

Red had never been a particular favorite of Harold's. And yet, when a particularly bad session is over, Harold can't help but stare at the bright red that dries and oxidizes into a deep maroon.


Hunger is gray.

The ache in his belly has long ago ceased. He is in the advanced stages.

Desperation for food is a constant, miserable hum in his mind, drowning out any attempt to think or daydream.

Harold often keeps his eyes closed while he is awake.

Black can be a perfectly welcoming color, in the right circumstances.


Black is a strange dream of urgent voices. Black is being enveloped in warmth, and then feeling ice-cold air on his feet.

Black is being carried in strong arms.


White is lying in a soft place, somewhere with a warm breeze. White is gentle hands tending to his wounds. White is fresh, rich air that makes his breathing feel so much more worthwhile.


Light is a rainbow of colors, blurry and twinkling. It's the most beautiful thing he’s seen in so very long.

Light is John’s presence, holding his hand.

Light is familiar music and the smell of home.

Light is life. 

Harold seizes it, and he will not let go.