• Published 28th Oct 2012
  • 390 Views, 6 Comments

Monochrome - SilverQuilled

Is there really anything wrong with a lack of color?

  • ...


The first thing Grayscale did the next morning was take a lengthy shower. He did it more because he needed to think, not because he needed to get clean. What was he going to do with the triangular prism that sat on his dining room table? Sell it? No- that would probably be unwise. The rainbow mare almost certainly wanted it back. Maybe he should take it to an expert; that way he could at least find out what it was for.

His thoughts idly flickered about. Maybe the crystal was a magical amplifier and the mysterious mare was a scientist who was working on it. No; he knew several scientists, and none of them acted like her, especially not running haphazardly without a care. She really should have been more careful. In fact-

"Get a grip on yourself." Grayscale said to himself. "You're getting too much like your Grandfather Persnickety."

I, as the narrator, can say with absolute certainty that being like Grandfather Persnickety is not something you want to do.

Grayscale dried himself off with a clean white towel and went to eat breakfast. To his disgust, he realized the only morning food he had was oatmeal. He decided it was better than nothing, but resolved to put Grocery Shopping on a mental list, along with taking the crystal to an expert. This day was going to be per- well, more likely interesting.

Before heading out the door, Grayscale checked around the apartment to see if there was anything else he needed. Furniture Shopping, Clothes Shopping, and A Fresh Coat of Paint soon joined his imaginary list of errands. Excellent. Now he had something to keep him busy all day; if he stayed idle too long, he always felt like he would go crazy and start making cupcakes or something.

Grayscale trotted down the cobblestone road, his saddlebags slung over his back. He felt optimistic today. He was going to get answers for the complexly confounding crystal- he loved alliterations- and he was going to finally get some well-needed change in his life.

His fist stop was Floss' Fine Fabrics. He never really could get why a pony called Floss could run a clothing store. (In truth, her actual name was Embroidery Floss.) He needed a couple new ties and possibly a sweater.

He approached the register with his purchases in tow. Grayscale dumped them on the counter, and the cashier began to ring them up. She paused for a moment. "You do realize this is a scarf, right?" She asked, holding up the offending article of clothing.

"Umm..." Was his only reply. Truly, his fashion sense was enough to make Rarity herself weep. But then again, it didn't take much to do that.

The cashier rolled her eyes. "Stallions..."

Three hours of stressful shopping later, and it was well past Grayscale's lunch time. He stopped at a restaurant called Sesame Seed's. Supposedly, it was a really famous chain of restaurants, but, unsurprisingly, Grayscale had never heard of them. That stallion really had to get out more...

"Whaddya want, hon?" A older mare with a towering beehive mane-do asked him.

Grayscale studied the menu cautiously. Everything on there was like another language to him; he really wasn't used to this. "Uh... um... I dunno... How about a..." He frantically chose something at random. "A... corn... dog?"

"Okie dokie, sweetheart, anything to drink?" The waitress asked him.

"J-just water, please." Grayscale needed to brush up on his social skills. There were rocks that could carry better conversations than him.

"Alright, hon, I'll be right out with your food." The waitress moved off, her towering column of hair wobbling dangerously. It was anpony's guess as to how it stayed upright.

Grayscale was a patient pony, luckily for him. Sesame Seed's was nothing short of jam-packed full, and there were only so many ponies to wait on them. He saw some of the wealthier patrons, tourists from big cities like Canterlot and Manehattan, flounce away in a huff, displeased at not being served sooner than the plebeians around them.

Silly them, Grayscale thought. It wouldn't hurt them to wait a bit.

The unmemorable stallion's ability to wait was awarded in due time. The corn dog, an ear of corn wrapped in delicious buttery bread-batter, was simply heavenly. Grayscale was sad he hadn't decided to eat out sooner. The slightly dry batter contrasted perfectly with the creamy corn. In short, it was delicious.

Unfortunately, his delay had cost him. The afternoon was already slipping on, leaving him behind. The crystal in his saddlebag poked into his side, as if reminding him that he still had one more task to complete. It was time to find an expert.

The first clue that Grayscale had reached his destination was the wooden sign with a bright crystal like his on it. It sparkled in the late afternoon rays, catching the light and shining in a brilliant halo. There was a simple message printed on the sign: Prism's Prisms.

A small bell tinkled as he pushed the dark wood door open. There were a few other customers in the shop, but not enough to fill it up, or to blemish the enchanting sight of thousands of crystals shedding their splendor. They hung everywhere, some on ornate metal bases, some on long, slender chains, and some suspended in mid-air by mysterious unicorn magic. Grayscale even noticed a few stung up as wind-catchers, silver bells creating a gentle melody whenever a breeze stirred them.

He approached the desk in the back, rummaging around in his saddlebags for his found prism. "Excuse me? Can somepony help me please?"

"I'll be there in just a moment!" A voice said from a back room.

Grayscale settled back on his haunches. This shop really was beautiful. He could see the allure of working at a place like this: surrounded by beauty and light constantly. It would certainly beat sitting in a tiny cubicle every day. But still, he could count on his job. These things seemed... fragile. A shudder of horror ran through him as he though how horrible it would be if something happened to these marvelous treasures. It would break his heart, and his livelihood didn't even depend on the prisms.

"You!" The voice from the back, now quite close, said in surprise.

He whirled around and came snout-to-snout with the colorful mare he had bumped into yesterday morning. "Oh," Grayscale managed to squeak out. "You actually remembered me!"

The mare (a unicorn, he noticed) nodded, rainbow-hued mane shimmering around her. "Of course. I'm pretty good with faces. Oh, I never got your name. I'm Prism Hue."

"I'm Grayscale," He responded. He was shocked. Nopony ever remembered him. "Hey, I have your crystal thingy."

She beamed. "You got my prism? Thanks so much!"

He paused before hoofing it over to her. "What does it even do?"

She grinned, happy to be in her element. "Oh, it's a Rainbow Prism!" She held it up to the fading sunlight, and the beams of light that passed through it transformed into a rainbow.

Grayscale's jaw nearly hit the floor. "How does it do that? Is it magic?" He had never heard of a Rainbow Prism before.

Prism Hue shook her head. "Nope! It's just the way the light goes through it. See? Like my cutie mark!" She pointed to the triangle on her flank, where rays of each color of the rainbow shot out. "Cool, isn't it?"

Grayscale had to agree with that. "Anything else you sell here?" He asked. "I assume you're the one who owns this shop."

Prism turned tail and beckoned with her hoof. "I also make lenses for telescopes and microscopes and such. I even made these cool goggles for some filly. They reflect purple light. Here, I'll show you some of my lenses."

The back room Prism Hue took him to was lined with slabs and circles of glass. A delicate mobile of lenses of varying sizes hung suspended by thin copper wire.

"What does that do?" Grayscale asked, pointing at the contraption.

"Oh," she responded casually, "It magnifies the sun's power to an incredible degree. It's even cooler if the lenses are colored. The patterns are so neat!"

The vibrant unicorn showed Grayscale many more intricate inventions, pleased that somepony was interested in her work. This carried on for some time.

There was a crash and then a tinkle from the main shop.

"What was that?!" Grayscale asked in alarm.

"We need to get going," Prism replied, slinging a satchel over her back and stuffing the Rainbow Prism into it. "We need to get going now."

Without another word, she bolted out the back door.