I belong to a writers’ group that meets every Friday. A theme is set for the week and we see what we can come up up with. This week’s theme is “Shades of Blue”, and this is my response …
Blue Shade Views
God was in a bit of a stroppy mood. This was not unusual for God – his strops came at fairly regular intervals and the consequences could be distinctly uncomfortable for anyone within range of his thunderbolts.
He had been having quite a good time designing the planets round his latest star. Mercury had been OK for starters, and he quite liked Mars, although he had a sneaking feeling that all those lovely rivers and seas might not last as long as he had originally intended.
But the real problem was Venus. He had had all the right surveys done and had listed all the chemicals that were to comprise its atmosphere, but made the unforgivable mistake of leaving the actual ordering and supply of the materials to a useless bunch of underling angels who couldn’t count. As a result, his lovely new planet didn’t stand a hope in Heaven (this was in the days before Hell had been invented) of it ever supporting what God wanted to call Life.
God knew precisely how much methane and carbon dioxide there should have been for a planet in the position it occupied in a solar system, but those clowns had managed to order vastly more volcanoes than they should have done, and these had been spewing so much in the way of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that Venus was doomed from the outset with the surface temperature rising far too high for any surface water or anything that could remotely be described as living.
Hence God’s extreme annoyance, coupled with the wish to start again and not get it wrong a second time.
He decided that his next project should be a planet between Venus and Mars. This time there would be no mistakes, nothing like as many volcanoes, and lots of water. Once he got life established it would continue for ever afterwards, and there was not the slightest chance of global warming getting out of hand, however long one looked ahead. How could it? It was impossible!
For one thing, he had had the notion, after he had played around with dinosaurs for a hundred million years or so, of developing creatures that walked on two legs and had proper brains. These would be so intelligent that there was no way they could possibly allow the planet to get too warm, or be led by people who had less than half the average brain power. That just had to be God’s brightest idea yet.
Once God got creative there was no stopping him, and he soon had lots of clever thoughts about the new planet. He had not yet decided on a name – perhaps he might hold a competition among the angels and pick the best suggestion? That would be fine, just as long as it didn’t end up as Planet McPlanetface.
He was very happy with the red colour he had given Mars and thought that this would suit the latest creation as well. He had a word with Bert, the angel in charge of the warehouse, about ordering lots more red, but was disappointed to learn that this wouldn’t be possible.
“We can do some of it in red”, Bert told him, “but we used so much on Mars that there isn’t much left. There are some bits down the bottom that we can do in red, the bits that nobody would actually want to settle in if their ancestors had not been forced to go there, but that’s about it”.
“What else have you got?” God asked.
“There’s lots of green, brown and yellow”, Bert said. “You can have as much as you want of all of them”.
“Great”, said God, “we’ll do the dry bits in green and yellow and the wet bits in brown”.
“Brown?” said Bert. “You cannot be serious. It’ll look awful. Do you really want all your continents swimming in chocolate sauce?”
“Have you got any better suggestions?” God asked.
“Funny you should mention that”, said Bert. “I’ve just taken delivery of a brand new colour that I think you’ll love for your seas and oceans. It’s called blue.”
“Tell me more”, said God.
“I’ve got the colour chart here”, said Bert. “Just look at all the shades you can have. There are different blues for angry seas, calm seas, in-between seas, seas at different times of day, seas near the land and seas nowhere near the land, the choice is yours.”
“I see”, said God, “and you can supply all these shades?”
“No problem”, said Bert. “And then for your skies …”
“Skies?” said God.
“That’s the trouble with you deities”, said Bert. “You’re always looking down, you never think about looking up. You need a decent colour for your lifeforms to look up at.”
“How about magnolia?” God suggested.
“Magnolia? You must be joking. That’s so boring”. said Bert. “Let’s go back to the blue idea. You could have a different shade of blue for the sky and coordinate it with your sea colour. How about this lovely pale shade?”
“What do you call that?” God asked.
“It hasn’t got a name yet”, said Bert, “but if you choose it we could just call it ‘sky blue’”.
“I like it”, God said. “We’ll have sky blue all the way across the planet”.
“Small problem there”, said Bert, “You’re going to have to get some of your water out of the oceans and on to the land, otherwise the green bits won’t stay green for very long. And that means you can’t have unbroken blue skies everywhere. Some places will have to make do with grey for much of the time”.
“Such places as?”
“These islands about three quarters of the way up. I reckon you could cut down on the blue quite a lot there, and stick mostly to grey”.
“But won’t the two-legged brainy lifeforms complain if they hardly ever get any blue skies?”
“I wouldn’t worry too much”, said Bert. “It’ll give them something to talk about. You take it from me – they’ll just love it”.