Oranges In The Snow
I wake to see something glowing.
I feel fear tremble, as I am unsure.
I am suddenly guided by light to show where I should be going. It is snowing, but why am I suddenly in a white sundress?
I suddenly see orange peels by my feet, what a mess. I follow the peels in the ice-cold snow, not knowing anything, but where to go. The peels lead me to the tree, but I ask, “why?”
Suddenly, the light is back and there are no more peels and the light shines suddenly on an orange tree, and I run on my barefoot heels. Oranges in the snow, I ask the tree.
The light appears and responds, when you are asleep, anything is possible, and the light finishes gleaming. This opens my emerald, green eyes, which are now the color of ginger and I see them and end up screaming. Oranges in the snow, what a frightening sight, especially if it changes your eye color in the middle of the night. As my bright orange eyes doze me back to sleep, not even a whimper, not even a peep. What happened next, I will never know, thanks to those dreadful oranges in the snow. When I woke up, I looked in the mirror, my eyes still orange, hair still red. I walked into the kitchen, my parents looked at me, jaws on the floor, nothing to be said. “Clementine, what happened to you?” my mother asked in a panicky tone. “I have no idea; I woke up and my eyes were traffic cone orange.” I groaned. My father, an eye doctor, examined the now salamander-colored irises and he asked, “honey, have you been playing by the orange tree in Jefferson Park, it is said to be haunted, and then he mocked me with ghost sounds. His question made me wonder, “how did dad know about the orange tree, and why is he mocking me about my eye color, he is just the same shade of rust?”
I then had an epiphany and ran up to my room, I looked up Jefferson Park orange tree. The articles that came up on Google all had to do with mysterious eye color changes to people with red hair and green eyes. Only people with red hair and green eyes. I looked up the directions to the park, got in my powder blue Volkswagen bug with a caseate of the movie Chicago stuck in the caseate department, and went down the road. When I arrived at the park, I saw the orange tree, I thought it was only in my subconscious. And then, the glowing light was back. It summoned me and the world turned pitch black, all except the snow-covered path leading to the tree. I was back, white sundress and bare feet, this time the path moved towards me as I tried to run away from it. As I ran out of the white sheet to run on, the tree was right in front of me. I wondered what it wanted and then it spoke.
“Clementine, you are our chosen ginger to take my place when I am gone, green eyes are going extinct in the world and we must preserve the green color with our citrus to save the green-eyed population, and with someone of your coloring, red hair, snow-white skin and neon green eyes, you can save the population by bringing all the people with red hair and green eyes together and make sure that this population is saved. I was in shock, this orange tree is telling me to save a whole population that is surprisingly going extinct. I am a person, not a magical tree. Maybe dad was right, maybe this tree is cursed. I then turned back to the tree, I told the tree about my family and how we all had red hair, white skin, and neon green eyes, the tree was intrigued, “Hmm, interesting, all of you have green eyes, except you and your father, who has now visited the tree, once in a dream and once in real life, at the same age of 13. Dad was right he had visited the tree, I only thought it was something that I had seen in my dream.
As I started to walk away from the tree on the single path of snow-white paper, the orange tree reached his long, maple bark arm towards me and handed me a golden tangerine. “What is this for?” I questioned what the tangerine was meant to represent. The tree then responded, “It is to signal the crimson-haired beings of the world, we are going extinct, and we need your help.” We? How can a tree have red hair? Then I asked, “Hey, could you speak again please?” His loud, yet soft bellowing voice said, “Certainly, why do you ask?” and then it hit me that the tree was my father. He was always speaking up for ginger extinction and was a part of the redhead society to save the apparent dying breed of people. He also was the only other person who had visited the tree beside me, but now I have realized that he was the tree. “Dad?” I asked shyly. “Cough, cough, cough, yes I am your father, how did you know, Clementine?”
“Dad, I knew it was you because I can tell by your soft bellowing voice that you used to read me to sleep with every night.” “Clementine, yes I have summoned you here because our race is going extinct, and we need you to summon the red-haired humans of the world to form a whole army to help save us.” “Dad, I will not help form an army, but I can spread awareness of the mutation that is the red hair gene.” His patience grew thinner. His voice turned as cold as ice. “You will sound the alarm, you will lead our mutation to make sure people with hair of crimson overpower the population of the earth, you will do this, or I will disown you as a daughter, Clementine!” he scolded. I was taken aback, how can a man who is half of who I am made me take over the world, over something such as simple as the color of our hair, he is very dictator-like, and I am lost for words, if I cannot talk myself out of this, I will walk, no run myself out, but he will be at home, I will go to Aunt Martha’s house, she will not let him in due to his constant rants on how people with hair like cranberry juice, will one day take over the earth and our defect will no longer be a defect.
I turned the other way, still in the white sundress, still barefoot, and toes as cold as ice from the white snow crystals covering the hard cement ground. I got a running start and never looked back. I ran and ran until my knees buckled and my knees touched the freezing earth, which made my knees sting. As a cry from the pain of my knees made it to the back of the park where dad was waiting for me to sound the alarm for a full crimson-haired population, the arm once again grabbed me back and this time would not let go. My thirteen-year-old upper body strength was not strong enough to fight back. The hand of the man that I knew as my father was as now stubborn as oak, it had a forever grasping force that would never let me retreat from this dream-turned nightmare scenario. An orange perfume bottle came forward, right at face value. The left hand squirted me with a perfume that smelled of Valencia oranges and Dreamsicles. I then was put into what felt like an endless slumber.
As my now tangerine eyes opened, I was in a room. Not my room, but a room made of buttons and medical supplies on the dark charcoal walls. As this room seemed creepy enough, I saw a shard across from me. In it was me looking at myself, my reflection showed that I was strapped in an electric chair, my father put me in an electric chair. The room went pitch black again. A screen with the 50s like a movie turned on and it read “Gingers: us against the world and why we need to take it over.” It started, as did the electrical surges from the electric chair. The only voice I could hear from now on was my father’s echoing. As the surges started to die down, my brain began to die. When I woke up, I could not speak or hear, the man must have given me a lobotomy.
As I turned around, my father or the man who I thought was my father was sitting right next to me. Without the power of speech or movement, my father reached over and took my arm and took my now immobile left hand and pressed the button, the one to have all of the crimson-haired humans take over the world. I was his Igor, his assistant to all the crimes, I was his slave. As I turned over to the tv after my father left the room, my father’s plan seemed to have worked, all of the ginger-haired zombies have turned this genetic mutation into a holocaust-like scenario. No originality, no variation, no life, just red, all red, and this was all because of me and that damn orange tree in the snow.