A horn blared. Outside the window over the sink, four floors below, Branwen stared down at London. Red buses, thick crowds, and the city’s iconic orange taxis bustled. They teemed around the diversions, detours, and delays of construction sites. “ALWAYS TIMELESS. ALWAYS LONDON!” beamed the bright, colorful signs all over the city. The colorful traffic swarmed around the black, as if momentum could help them ignore it. The blackened rocks, the blackened patches of ground, the black moods that still could take the city when they stared too long at what was black. What was black had once been burning.
There was a long time when black had been all that was left of London.
But not anymore. The morning man on the radio had reminded Branwen of that. A cloud dimmed the early sun, and Branwen stared out the window at the city below. People in brilliant colors walked on the wide sidewalks. Taxis swerved around lumbering red buses and the riots of purples, oranges, pinks, and greens of small delivery trucks and large lorries. Buildings grew like trees. And in London, no one wore black and nothing was colored black. Down below, the city was all whites and brights. Up above, Branwen looked at her purple shirt, white leggings, and purple cowboy boots. Including me.
But something about the city had shifted. Maybe it was the clouds settling over the sky. Maybe it was the lack of smiles on the people walking by. Or maybe it’s just that I got about two hours of sleep, Branwen thought.
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