We Are Not All Made Of Colour is a book written by Cameron Day and it totally belongs to him. Copyright & stuff. Everything is fictitious except the things that aren’t.
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“Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.”
—“Dover Beach”, Matthew Arnold
It's ten o'clock on a Saturday morning and Gwynedd Averill Quirke—although he prefers to be called Gwynn—has been awake for almost an hour now. He is 21 years old, has wild messy hair that he regularly dyes blue, and lives in the centre of Reading, less than five minutes away from The Oracle. He works long hours at a local independent coffeehouse on weekdays, and often plays at card game tournaments, goes to the gym, or spends time with his dog, Chubs, on weekends. But tonight's tournament won't start—obviously—until the evening, the gym isn't open yet, and his dog seems to have disappeared during the night. So, to pass the time, Gwynn has turned to online gaming, and is currently losing a deathmatch on Call of Duty—a game that he isn't at all good at—to a cocky, prepubescent American boy, who has an infuriating habit of laughing loudly into his headset each time he kills Gwynn, which happens quite a lot.
Gwynn isn't a very good loser. The first time he died and heard the kid laugh, he got a little bit angry. Every time he's died since, he's gotten a little bit angrier. The angrier he gets, the worse he plays, so he dies more often as the match runs on, and the cycle continues in that way. As Gwynn dies for the fiftieth time, ending the match, the boy he's fighting screeches, 'You're just a stupid noob! Why don't you go back to Recruit Training and learn how to use your controller?'
'I'm not a noob, you little waste-cadet!' says Gwynn. 'I've been playing these games longer than you've been alive!'
'Why did you lose then?' the child replies smartly. 'If you've been playing this game for so long, why can't you beat a ten year old?'
'I'm not sure,' he says slowly, feeling defeated, 'I guess I'm just tired.'
He pauses again.
'I have a job, unlike you,' he adds weakly.
Gwynn hears the child's loud, distorted laugh and winces.
'I do have a job, actually,' the child says.
Gwynn quirks a brow.
'Oh, really? Doing what?'
'Doing your mooooooooooooooom.'
A few seconds pass in silence.
Gwynn twitches again.
Gwynn tears his headset off.
Swearing at the top of his lungs, he throws the headset on the ground and stomps it to pieces. He punches a hole straight through the computer monitor and finishes up by lifting his computer from the desk, waddling over to the bedroom window and throwing the thing out.
He smiles as the computer hits the ground with a loud, explosive crash.
Mr Crashmebikelateron, Gwynn's neighbour, is coming home from a quick cycling trip to the local corner shop when Gwynn's computer lands right in front of him. He jumps in his bicycle seat out of shock and, his mouth quivering and his eyes wide, looks up at Gwynn's window. Gwynn is still leaning out and admiring the destruction he's caused, apparently not noticing Mr Crashmebikelateron's presence at all.
Mr Crashmebikelateron's wrinkled, moustachioed face reddens.
'GWYNN QUIRKE!' he roars, 'YOU'VE THROWN YOUR COMPUTER OUT THE WINDOW AGAIN? THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME YOU'VE DONE IT, AND THE FIFTH TIME YOU'VE ALMOST HIT ME!'
Gwynn quickly counts up to four on his fingers, then slowly raises his thumb. He shakes his head, shrugs his shoulders, and gives a flat and audibly empty, 'Sorry.'
'Sorry?' repeats Mr Crashmebikelateron, 'you'll be sorry when you get a letter from my blinking solicitor.'
'Oh yeah? On what basis?'
'On the basis that you endangered a member of the public by throwing your blinking computer out the blinking window for the third blinking time!'
Before Gwynn can respond, Mr Crashmebikelateron scurries around the remains of the computer and cycles into his front garden. Dismounting his bike, Mr Crashmebikelateron takes the house key out of his pocket and fumbles it into the lock.
'I wish he'd never moved here,' says Mr Crashmebikelateron, stepping into the house and slamming the door. He stands to the side to let Ingles pass though the cat flap, then takes his backpack off and unloads its contents onto the dining room table. The contents of the bag are a carton of UHT milk, a box of unbranded cereal, and a copy of the bestselling novel, ‘It's So Lonely Being Me: Confessions of a Homicidal Maniac.'
'Time to unwind,' Mr Crashmebikelateron says to himself. He flops down on the sofa and turns the TV on, switches over to H2, and is happy to see that his favourite show, Ancient Aliens, is airing right now. Giorgio Tsoukalos is on the screen, smiling confidently as he explains that human technological advances are the result of alien intervention, and that proof can be seen in drawings created in Ancient Egypt, in which humans always point towards the sky.
'That's what I always noticed,' mutters Mr Crashmebikelateron. 'I just wish people would wake up and smell the aliens.'
Interestingly enough, Mr Crashmebikelateron has never smelled the alien living in his attic. It sits in there all day making horrible noises and spewing out noxious, odious, poisonous gas, which killed off the entire insect population that once lived in Mr Crashmebikelateron's attic and the old squatter who had been living in there for a decade. I still remember the expression on Mr Crashmebikelateron's face when he went up into the attic to retrieve Monopoly and saw the squatter's body draped over the board game pile. That was a tough one to explain to the bin men, I'll tell you that.
Gwynn is currently pulling his coat on to go out to the town centre. It seems while we were watching Mr Crashmebikelateron that he calmed down and realised that throwing his computer out the window was a bad idea. Now he's going to buy a new one.
He remembers the child from earlier that angered him in the first place and starts to swear under his breath. He leaves the house, turns to lock the door, then turns back around. With a start, Gwynn notices that Mr Crashmebikelateron's cat is sat on the mat in front of him and has heard every naughty word he's uttered.
'Sorry,' says Gwynn. He then steps over the feline, wondering why he bothered to apologise to it when it obviously hadn't understood a word he'd said.
As he walks up the pavement, Gwynn turns back to look at the shattered remains of his computer and shakes his head.
Despite what Gwynn thinks, Ingles actually can understand humans. She scowls at Gwynn as he walks away, waits until he is out of sight, then trots off along the pavement towards the Berkshire Feline Society's base of operations.
The Berkshire Feline Society's base of operations is a large complex that lies underneath the lion statue in Forbury Gardens, which is a lovely green park complete with a bandstand and plenty of pretty pebbles. The complex was built between 1963 and 1977 by a team of over 500 cats.
Ingles checks to make sure nobody is looking when she reaches the statue. To compromise over 50 years of privacy would be unforgivable. There aren't many humans in her line of sight, and none of them seem to have noticed Ingles, so she swiftly turns and jumps through the secret cat flap built into the lion statue's stomach.
Ingles quickly navigates the tunnel that leads to the complex itself and enters the main room. As she comes into view, the Society's members erupt into thunderous applause and ear-splitting cheers. An ash-coloured cat paces towards Ingles and bumps his forehead against hers.
'Ingles! Comrade!' he says excitedly, 'we haven't seen you in months! Where have you been?'
The remaining members, who total around 20 at this point (Feline Anarchism has declined in popularity since the 70s) gather round, eager to hear Ingles' story.
With a slight frown, Ingles answers them: 'I've been keeping my paws on a young man who lives next door. Likes to call himself Gwynn.'
'He sounds despicable,' says a ginger cat named Ears.
'All humans are,' says a chubby, grumpy cat named Fat Bob.
'Lets not judge him yet,' says a dark cat named Reggie. 'We can't know his true character until we know the answer to this question. Does he spell his name with two Ns or one, Ingles?'
Ingles pauses. Her eyes slowly scan the room. She waits a few seconds longer to savour the tension, then, almost inaudibly, she whispers:
At once the society explodes into frenzied chaos. Jars and vases fly across the room and shatter against the walls; tables and chairs are overturned and kicked to pieces on the floor; a couple of cats are torn limb from limb and burned alive. One cat lifts his phone to take a selfie in the middle of the room and quickly loses his hand, and also his head. Ten minutes pass before the surviving cats are calm enough for Ingles to continue.
'Yes, comrades, this man is dangerous,' Ingles says heavily. 'You can tell just by looking at him. He keeps himself to himself. Always wears a big black coat—'
'Even in this weather?' shouts Ears.
'Especially in this weather. And I hate to be the one to tell you this, comrades, but I think he's planning something.'
'Planning what?' asks Carter.
Ingles literally jumps out of her fur. Carter, the society's leader and strongest member, rarely ever speaks. He usually just sits and surveys the meetings from his throne, which is actually just an old chair they salvaged from a skip a few years ago. Other than Ingles, Carter had been the only cat who didn't join the violent frenzy. Ingles has never even heard his voice before. None of the current members of the society have. But upon hearing it, Ingles is immediately struck with fear. She had heard that Carter was descended from lions, that he took the lives of 28 children during the first revolution, and that he was responsible for every disappearance that has ever occurred in the Bermuda Triangle.
Obviously, not a single one of these things is true in any way.
Trembling and furless, Ingles looks up at Carter.
'Well,' she croaks, 'I saw him leave in the direction of the town centre today. I think he's planning to attack the Society.'