purple and orange and black

purple and orange and black

Eunice Leung

TW: death, murder, mild gore, implied torture and suicidal thoughts, mentions of guns, spiders, friendly ghosts, plus some other spooky stuff 🙂 Happy Halloween folks!


The spirits trail behind me, jealous of my still-beating heart.

I stroll past countless trees, their branches looming above, intertwined, like abstract art.

A teddy bear hangs off a branch, in shreds torn and ripped apart.

Its head is barely attached.

She was here.

The cat’s ochre eyes gleam directly at me, two captured suns in those glowing orbs.

Missing posters, all washed out, decorate the tree trunks.

Why do we celebrate autumn if it is the season of death?

When I shut my own eyes, I usually still see flashing color and the movement of pulsing patterns. 

Not now.

They’re wide open, and it’s very nearly pitch black. 

Spooky scary specters will send shivers down your spine.

This trio of once tortured souls whispers around me, warnings and confused cautions nonstop.

I know, I know.

Purple and orange and black.

I’ve planned this, in fact.

He who fed off their fear devoured the delicious meal of tri-colored rotini pasta: each with soft, twisted meat. 

One is a lost child. She keeps asking what she ever did wrong, over and over again. No words will soothe her poor, disturbed heart. 

She bled and bled and screamed and begged but no savior came to rescue her. 

She continues to bleed and bleed and cry now, and I hear her this time, her two friends and I are right here listening, but her ghostly wounds are in a place we cannot put a bandaid atop.

“I didn’t… I never saw it coming…”

Her body hasn’t been found yet.

And they won’t find it whole.

She’s only six years old.

The second brought brightness to everyone around them. To trust too much is dangerous. To live an isolated life would be desolate.

So she chose the former.

Then the Grim Reaper took her.

Her gorgeous smile did not waver.

She laughs at her stupidity, her blindness; she grins with insides that have been ripped apart. 

Both figuratively and literally.

Number three just existed and merely that, but it is plenty enough. They had expended endless energy to get through day by day.

They’re numb now, uncertain where they stand in this universe; this universe of grey, grey shades.

Amethyst and saffron and charcoal.

Three victims brought together from the same villain.

They are no more than only a fraction of the perpetrator’s total body count.

An innocent flower who didn’t get to finish blooming; a blazing flare who refuses to be put out; a lone raven that was murdered with unkindness, left weakly blinking until its final crow.

I stand as their bridge between undeath and the other side, a single living soul determined to get revenge.

No, not quite that.

I just cannot take their tortured wails anymore.

I can’t stand to lose another.

I want us to be able to cross over, the four of us, together.

I should not have done those foolish summoning rituals at 2AM as a kid – I’m finally getting haunted years later.

Foggy wisps of cloud shroud the moon tonight, concealing its luminosity.

The King of Hearts lurks very close to me, they warn. A soft chant rises, growing in urgency: he is coming, he is coming, he’s coming he’s coming he’s coming HE’S COMING HE IS COMING…

What nice harmonies.

Oh yeah, now I’m scared.

The crimes occurred in this very forest. However, I do not know who committed the violence – they haven’t been able to describe his face to me yet. 


The little girl that failed to be protected.

The woman hurt by the only person she was closest to, the singular one she had left.

The one who struggled everyday yet treasured life, who wasn’t ready to let go. They fought relentlessly for another chance, praying for just one more day, swearing they’d do better, they’d be a kinder person, they’d value the little things around them so much deeper, they’d treasure each breath no matter how difficult it was to exhale, they’d say “I love you” more often, they would even go outside more if only they could make it through the evening…

Those were their thoughts when desperately sprinting away from the assassin who had released them from his chokehold at gunpoint. 

It was so he could take pleasure in shooting his game from afar.

An owl hoots in the distance.

I picture the horrid mess of flesh and bones and blood staining the ground. 

The bullet had gone straight through their chest, and they had fallen, a shower spray, clutching at the cavity, a hopeless attempt to stop the flow.

He shot them once more in the skull to confirm, as a pool formed around their head, moistening the dried leaves.

What a sick, sick world we live in.

“Turn back now, you idiot! Hurry up!”

You inspired me to keep going, to always get back up.


You’re my source of joy. You shine so bright it hurts my eyes, yet my gaze never leaves your vibrant light.


This last high-pitched voice cuts into me. Her mulberry-tinted aura pulses into vivid scarlet. 

I’m really sorry, tater tot.

You matter so much to me.

No apology will ever be sufficient. 

I almost consider booking it in the opposite direction.

In my mind, my legs are pumping as I bolt away. 

In reality, my shoes are stuck to the earth, my muscles petrified.

A low-frequency sound rings in my ears and does not stop. 

I hear a twig snap next, then the crunch of leaves, then chirping crickets. 

A door slams, a bell twinkles, floorboards creak – wait. I am no longer trapped inside the cabin. 

And suddenly I cannot recall how I ended up here, in the middle of the woods.

Not again.

“YOU’RE GOING TO DIE!” My trance gets broken.

It’s too late now. I’m too far in. Let me see who didn’t let you wake. Let me go out the same way you all did.


I want to see what it’s like. The voices are not so different from yours.

My Spidey senses tell me that the presence is awfully near. The ghosts surge in circles around me, acting as a tornado shield. If we were unsuccessful in defending ourselves, let us at least guard our dear companion, they recite frantically.

Laying on the stomach, feet kicking the air whilst scribbling in pages with a crayon the last color of the rainbow; the smell of paint on a beautiful canvas that portrays the detailed texture and fluorescence of a sun as the focal point. Oh, how a juicy new ballpoint pen that one knows will smudge all over their hand glides across the crisp paper!

I hear footsteps behind me and quickly spin 180 degrees. The fuzzy outline of a figure creeps closer towards the spot where I stand.

I freeze up.





Amusing minions turned evil violet and pumpkin pie loaded with spices and night skies speckled with stars.

Their screeches and shrieks rattle my eardrums.


Waterfalls pour down my cheeks.


The gale swirls around me, harsh and wild. “You walk on two functional feet for us!” They yell.


“We came back to make sure you were going to be okay! We stayed so you wouldn’t have to suffer the same way we did!”


The words merge together with emotion so intense it physically aches. 


I’m swaying, no longer able to feel my soles in contact with the ground. My limited vision blurs in and out.

Plums warm from the sun, just picked, that drip juice down one’s chin, its sweetness unmatched and incomparable to the plasticky no-taste stone fruit from supermarkets!

Reminders of those two oranges in his pocket: the first in lieu of a nickel and the other shared between lovers on a cold winter day, what warmth human compassion and connection brings! 

A freshly brewed pot of coffee releasing aromatic steam to wake people up from all over the world. The latte art sends the message, “I hope you have a nice day.” Gulping the rich, creamy drink down pleases the taste buds and mists up the eyeglasses lens.

They’re gone, they’re gone. I won’t be getting them back.

I’ve noticed myself screaming awake from nightmarish daydreams more than once daily.


The murderer is taking his sweet time getting to me.


I spot an object crawling up my sleeve.

I let out a squawk that shakes the plants around me.

The trio watches me jump around like a crazed animal with rabies, tripping into a drop and roll breakdance move, all while my vocal cords get stretched to the limit.

It’s a giant spider on my jacket. Furry and long-legged and absolutely terrifying.

I remember when I crushed one in the shack with a thrown shoe.

Tiny revolting spiders scattered everywhere.

I have trouble sleeping, although that incident is hardly the reason why.

When I finally shake the nasty creature off and crawl back as far and fast as my body will allow me, I become aware of my current situation.

How close he is, hovering above me.

So familiar – I know this silhouette.

I realize

No no no no no

It is

Yes yes yes yes, they chorus back