the pearl

Mood Indigo

She said the color was Mood Indigo. A purple with shades of blue swirling in a tiny bottle — contraband, of course, but we hid it well, sneaking it under pillows, hiding it in our underwear, the glass cold against our clits. It reminded her of the ring she used to have there, the ring she had to remove when she came here, she whispered to me one night while we curled on the lower bunk.

We painted our toenails Mood Indigo, hiding them in socks and shoes, hiding our rebellion, hiding our brief spot of color in a world of beiges and greys. We'd look down in the shower in between stolen kisses, and see the splashes of purple against the beige tile — see the color of the world outside, despite the years ahead.

Mood Indigo was contraband, and she knew it was wrong. Her crucifix and her rosaries tolerated, her faith low on the guards' radar. She justified this minor offense (not so minor if the guards found it — solitary for her, solitary for me, and when we emerged with blinking sun-blinded eyes, we would be separated, whole new cellblocks to be introduced to) with a slow smile and whispering about God enjoying color.

I asked her once about what we did. About the slow kisses and the gentle trembles and the whispered moans, and she just smiled again and hummed a slow tune in my ear, a song about the devil, her, and me, making three, sleep now little baby, and I dozed off without ever really getting an answer.

Mood Indigo was on her toes and on her fingers when she knew she was going to die. She had stayed too long in one place, stayed too long with me, and when people noticed me, they noticed her. Too long for an old femmey dyke, too old to stand up for her own, and far too weak to stop the fight. Mood Indigo veins up and down her skin as she died, darkly purple against near-white iced flesh.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at