#fridayflash: roy g. biv

Red was the lumberjack shirt Roy was wearing over his favourite Supertramp t-shirt that night. Red was the STP logo on his baseball cap. Not that anyone saw him as he drove over the gravel side roads home, rolling up each hill and down into each valley as fast as he could go without spattering pebbles into his windshield.

Orange was the colour of Roy's pickup truck. Burnt orange, he insisted. His friends didn't care. They teased him about whether or not the paint glowed in the dark, or whether they could just shoot deer out of his truck during the season instead of having to don an orange coat. Roy liked his pickup. It wasn't the biggest, or the most powerful, or — all right, so it wasn't the best colour — but it let him get his work done, and it didn't need much maintenance.

Yellow was the light thrown off by the pickup's headlights. The light bleached out the warm brown of the dirt and the pale grey of the limestone gravel, making the road look almost white. The dead grass and bullrushes growing in the ditches looked white too. If he hadn't known there were healthy fields of corn just beyond the bordering trees, Roy would have been creeped out. He crested the next hill, which was little on the way up, but long and steep on the other side. A glance at his dashboard clock told him it was just after one in the morning. Roy knew the road well, and let the truck go a little faster than was safe so he could coast down the long slope. That's why the truck skidded so badly when he slammed on the brakes to avoid the man standing at the bottom of the hill.

Green was the man's skin, at least the parts not covered by his silver jumpsuit. His bald head was encased in a glass bubble, just like in the old films CHCH Channel 11 showed on Saturday afternoons. He didn't move as Roy screeched the truck to a halt, and didn't seem bothered by the glare of the headlights. The pickup came to a stop about three metres from where he stood. Roy insisted later the glare from the headlights hitting the glass head-bubble should have blinded him, but he also reported that the man didn't seem affected by any glare. He just peered over the hood of the truck, nodded as he stared straight at Roy, then raised his left arm and shook it. A signal.

Blue was the flash of light Roy spotted coming from his left side. Later he said that whoever or whatever caused the light to flash must have been in the ditch, directly parallel with the driver's-side door of the pickup truck.

Indigo was the colour of the next thing Roy remembered seeing — his jeans, wadded up and being used as a pillow for his head. He discovered he was lying on the road in front of his truck. He still had his underwear on, but, as he put it later, it "wasn't arranged right." His socks and shoes were arranged neatly on the pickup's hood. The truck still had its lights on, but the engine was shut off. There was no sign of the green man.

Violet was the colour of the eastern sky as Roy picked himself up and checked for any signs of the green man and his blue-light-flashing assistant. After Roy got fully dressed and got back into his truck — which still had enough battery power left to start, barely — the clock said it was five-thirty. Roy's wristwatch only said it was about five past one, though. He drove home, thought about calling the police to report what happened, then thought the better of it.

One other thing he did notice, though. After he crested the next hill, he reached the highest patch of land between home and where he had stopped for the green man. And out in the distance, near the escarpment, there was a clearly visible, fully-formed double rainbow. But, Roy pointed out, the area was dry. No rain for a week.