A short one-shot story I wrote some years ago. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Beams of light, streaming in through the prism by the window. They danced of the floor and Amie reached out eager hands to catch them. She loved colour and light and there were always colours on the floor of her father's laboratory. He was there too, tall in a great coat, handsome, with dark hair, but so sad. His eyes grieved, even while his hands moved. Amie, five years old, thin and small, knew why.
His wife was dead.
So many years had gone since she had walked and breathed. Amie knew her picture, but she didn't know the smell of her hair, the sound of her footfall, or the music of her voice.
Looking across at his daughter David was thinking of the pressing bills in his postbox, of the broken tiles on the roof, of the solid, desperate need for income.
His father had always told him that money was scarce, people owed more than existed, he said. And scientists were poor, so, very poor. Like painters, like the man he had been in his younger days. Always poor. Unable to afford the medicine that would have cured his wife. Unable to pay to cure his daughter.
The slow fever that had consumed the mother, was consuming the child. Her eyes were big and blue, her hair dark and curling, but her skin was too pale and her body too thin. Death's long clawed hands were reaching out for her and they'd surely take her and before many more weeks had passed.
David tried to shut these thoughts from his mind and turn his attention on the work before him. The long tube, the charged static of electricity running across a wire. This idea was the last he had toward gaining an income and saving his daughter. Bend light into his own eyes and widen the colour wheel. Increase the world known to men and sell his knowledge.
To save her.
He crossed the room and, taking Amie up in his arms, he moved her away from the experiment and set her in her play pen, out of harms reach.
Carefully he pulled on his gloves and turned to face the two laser beams of light. He turned their angles, making them face him and look him straight in the eyes. Then he flicked on the charger. It rain down the wires, crackly and causing Amie to cry out in alarm. The beams became wrapped in light, then relaxed into darkness, although he could still feel them working. Their pulse pounding in his eyes, no pain, just pressure.
Moment's later it all stopped and he blinked, feeling sick and dizzy. About him the prism sparkled and it seemed more colourful. He turned to face his daughter and saw for the first time... that new colour. It glittered in the eyes that had seemed blue, the colour having been once replaced with one the human eye could see. He walked toward her and stared down at the huge eyes, looking up at him, the assured sign that his experiment had worked.
And yet, it was only the beginning, for more colours must now be available. So many shades to mix with this fourth primary colour.
'Amie,' he murmured.
'Dad,' the child stared up at him.
'Amie,' he repeated,' I shall call this colour Amie.'
The girl stared up at him,' what colour?' she asked.
He took her up in his arms,' come and see,' he said gently.
He carried her across the room, his lips pressed to her curls, they were dark still. He drew a long breath.
'The battle is over my darling,' he promised the child as he set her down,' soon I will see a very great scientist and then you will see a very great doctor.'
'And after that?' she asked.
He ruffled her hair, a smile, so long alien to him, finally once again upon his lips,' I'll take up painting again,' he said,' there will be so much room for improvement.'