Red, stark amidst the swarms of grey. Colossal white walls. A deluge of indistinct faces. And then—red.

It shouldn’t have been there; grey was the only color allowed within this white immensity. I still wonder how she managed to keep it on, that little girl with a red ribbon in her hair. Did the clothing officers fail to notice it? Or did they let it pass, granting her a miserable last jot of luxury? 

It was this red that woke me up, pointing out the monstrosity that reigned within me. When it was all grey, it was easy. It was normal. It was a mere cleansing of the dirt from all the white, producing it anew and shimmering—purified.

But now, how can I destroy this red ribbon? This innocent, fiery, and zestful color.

And then my hands were red. Their faces were red. Their clothes were red. I only saw red. At the back of my eyes, it was flashing red. My ears were blaring, ‘RED’. The confines of my mind were swamped with red. My heart seeped in red. I was bathing in red. Despite all the blood that I’ve shed, I’ve never seen this red. 

Ten . . . Nine . . . Eight . . . Seven . . . Six . . . Five . . . Four . . . Three . . . Two . . . One. 
I pressed the button—red. I heard the screams—red. 
And then I saw no red. Wiped. Cleaned. Gone.