By Debbie

I often wonder what I looked like on Antar. For all my memory retrieval abilities, this is one thing that I've never been able to recover. Was I just one of those carbon-copy green or gray figures that are part of Brody's displays in the UFO museum? Did I have hair? Eyes with colored pupils? Any distinguishing features at all?

I've spent my life feeling like a pale version of my former self. Once, I was revered as a queen; now my powers are weaker, and I've had to keep to the shadows for fear of detection. Even my features are pale -- light blonde hair, pale blue eyes, the fairest skin. Put me outside on a sunny day and I disappear, washed out by the light of the sun. It figures that the rest of my podmates would live in the desert, where that sun blazes without pity nearly every single day.

Liz, on the other hand, is all about color. I love looking at her -- she's my antithesis in every way. I can never get enough.

I suppose some people might say her hair is brown -- plain brown. Whenever I hear that, it only proves to me that they're not looking very carefully. It's twenty shades of brown, light and dark, and is sprinkled with blazing strands of copper and cranberry and russet. The sun that bleaches my pale strands to nothingness gives Liz's hair a million colorful kisses.

Liz's eyes are also brown, but not like any brown I've ever seen before. Max's eyes are more golden -- unusual, but not as appealing. You look, and you see everything there is to see - no mystery at all, no reason to wait with baited breath in hopes of catching a glimpse of hidden depths. On the other hand, Liz's eyes are so dark, I can't see into them at all unless sunlight is shining directly at her. When that happens, I'm rewarded by a quick peek at the even darker streaks which radiate out from the center. Otherwise, her eyes are dark, endless pools. I gaze into them and I'm lost, sucked in as if by a benevolent black hole, held by the strength of feeling only she can convey.

Her lips -- a lovely deep rose. As much as I'm enchanted by her eyes, more often I find that my gaze strays toward her mouth. The first time she kissed me with that mouth, I felt like I could almost taste the color. That rose hue has a warmth to it, a sweet spiciness and a smooth caress which left a stain of sensation on my own lips. As our kiss deepened, I could tell without even looking that her tongue was a lighter shade of pink - delicate and languid. Who knew colors had a feel? A flavor?

As she lies back atop the tangle of sheets, I notice, more than ever, the striking contrast of bleached linen against her tanned skin. It's a hard color to describe, a sort of olive-bronze. No matter how much time she spends indoors, laboring under the false glow of fluorescent bulbs, her skin never loses that warmth. The expanse of light bronze is interrupted midway down by the dusky hue of her nipples. Two round smudges of color, a darker and softer rose than her lips, tint the peaks of her breasts. Even her breasts themselves add to the complexity of tones -- a slight shadow here, the way the light reflects off the soft swell there -- all the contours create brighter and darker hues of the ones underneath. With me, it's all much plainer, more like black and white.

And speaking of black.... My eyes travel below the dip in her waist, down to the juncture of her legs. Black. But ... can it be that black comes in many shades? It must be, because the riot of curls are a mix of brighter blacks and deeper midnight blacks. Blacks that look almost blue, and others that almost, almost tip over into the deepest of browns. My fingers itch to stir up the black swirls, to tease them into the light -- perhaps one day I'll find the one renegade strand which, like Liz, refuses to be pigeonholed and categorized. A red one perhaps or maybe even ... a blonde one. To match me. I think if I were to find something light and pale on her, it might grant depth to my own limited range of colors. A blonde hair that has a color of its own, simply by standing defiantly in contrast to the dark sea around it.

For now, though, I'm content with the array of hues which make up Liz Parker. Lying there on the bed, she's a virtual rainbow, only much less trite. I wonder if she knows how beautiful she really is? I only hope my portrait will be able to show her how I feel.

I dip my paintbrush into several shades of rose and swirl them around, trying to capture the exact shade I want, before applying the tint to my canvas.

Last summer I taught Michael Guerin to blow up rocks. He taught me to paint.

I think I got the better end of the deal.


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