Blood Thieves

By Collette Harrison

In a time before the golden glow of the human’s steel monsters obscured the stars, before the neverending sky was blue, and before the introduction of pigment, the world was black and white. The world had no golden lights, no blue skies, and no pigment different from black or white, that is besides blood. In this time, people, plants, animals, and things overall were either black or white, there wasn’t even any grey, but the blood of people was a different story. The blood of these people was a glorious triumphant red that shone crimson even under the boring pure white sun.
The painters of this world were not normal. Without any color people’s art was limited; the only thing that could sustain the people’s creative flow was blood. These artists were known by the public as blood thieves. The blood thieves rarely obtained the blood themselves, instead paying others to collect it for them.
But later in court came a case of one peculiar blood thief who was caught painting a rose with blood. At first the case seems simple: a person painting with blood when it is forbidden is guilty. But this case was different, for the man convicted used his own blood to paint his picture. It was already known that he did paint with his blood, that it was certain. Now all the jury had to decide was if it was wrong or right. He went against the law but did not do any harm to anyone but himself, so is he innocent or guilty? In the end the man was guilty for he violated the law and was sentenced to five years in prison.
After five years, a man was released. His name was Gale and he was a grandfather. He returned to his home shakily, and entered the room that was defined as a studio. The door was closed behind him. Later that day, when the white sun met the black ground, the man’s grandson came to see him. The boy stepped to his grandfather’s door and knocked. No answer. He then opened the door and stepped into the house and called for his grandfather. No answer. As he stepped through the house the floorboards creaked, it smelled of dust, the colors as dull as they had always been. The boy turned the corner of the hall and stopped at a door. The door was marked with a sign. It read studio. The boy opened and found a fulfilling finished painting of a red rose. It was beautiful, colorful, the most amazing show of art that the boy had ever known. But as he glanced down his wonder turned to a horror as he looked upon his grandfather. He was lying in a puddle of red on the floor, a long cut on his side, a stained paint brush in his hand. The boy knelt down to the man, his hand shaking, and lightly touched his cold cheek. The boy vomited next to the corpse, salty tears streaming down his face. The boy looked at the painting once more, the thing that cost him his grandfather, when he noticed a small sheet of paper. He was curious. He looked closer. It was a bill that read: “The law that forbids blood thieves of painting, with the pass of this bill, will only apply when one person uses another’s blood to paint, not their own.”

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