You can buy Kaleidoscope today! I’m so excited; I’ve been waiting to share my color vampire story with you for a while, and now I can. It’s a story about hunger and art and sisters and belonging. And eating colors, of course.
And while we’re at it, here’s a sample of the story!
Neha blinked back her tears. That ignorant jerk wanted to see her heritage in her work. Which to him meant melodramatic imagery from the kind of red-sari literature she couldn’t stand. And instead of refusing, she’d frozen.
A thought unfolded. Her heritage, huh? Her palette with its bold smears of color was the artist’s version of her mother’s steel spice box, the same way her mother’s canvas was the tongue. There, multihued pools of fragrance and flavor joined to create something even more sensual and complex.
In the same way, Neha could blend the paints that would create the shades of turmeric and chilli and garam masala, amchur and cumin and coriander.
She uncapped another tube. Turmeric yellow oozed out, making her gasp. It was so bright, so beautiful. Its golden glow promised to fill her, to illuminate the corridors of her arteries and veins and soothe the dark, lonely chambers of her heart.
Images and ideas slipped through her mind in dreamy golden waves. If turmeric was like paint, then paint was like turmeric . . .
Stupid. Oil paint was toxic. How many teachers had drilled that into her head? Neha shook her head and reached for a paper towel.
Turmeric, something within her insisted. Somehow, instead of the paper towel, she’d seized the blob of paint. The tip of her index finger glistened yellow.
Neha paused, trapped between possibilities, teetering between potential universes. She might hate her life, but she didn’t want to die.
Yet her finger was at her lips now, parting them. She was so sick of everyone knowing better than her. She wanted to do this for herself, to taste turmeric yellow.
At the brush of her lips, the color exploded, bursting over her taste buds and splashing liquid saffron into her bloodstream.
Everywhere Neha looked she saw sunlight. The yellow was hers now, bright and bubbling. She twirled joyfully, radiant with it.
Then she glanced at the smudge on her finger. Horror and wonder fought to leave her breathless.
The paint had turned a lifeless gray.