carl murphy - 24
christian murphy - 23
carson murphy - 20
cole murphy - 18
Your mother’s lips glistened red, a contrast to her pale skin. You never knew where she went those nights. All you knew it was too cold for her to be wandering the streets wearing that little clothes. You tried to give her your jacket but she laughed, giving you a pat on the head, before reminding your sister she was in charge. Red was the color of the light of that district, or so your sister told you. But that didn’t make sense. Not at first.
Your fists speak in red. Cracked knuckles from fights you don’t remember, fights started over single words. The only way you know about them is through the splits on your fingers and the images replaying on the side of the magazine cover or on the television set.
Your mind is not red. But she is.
She’s the red you wish you could be. The color of romance, of lust. An innocence mixed with desire that plagues your mind hours later, keeping you up in the cool sheets of the bedroom. Red is the bow in her hair - the one you pull out and tie to your wrist for safe keeping while you press your lips to hers. She is your breath. She is red. But you are not.
Orange is the color of the sky when it is heading to sleep. You sit on the edge of the building top, spliff in your hand, boots dangling over the edge. It would have been the last color you saw if you jumped, if you were pushed. But you weren’t. Instead you sat there, fingers wrapped in each other. Orange the last thing you noticed before your eyelids grew heavy with desire and your lips pressed tight.
Orange is the embers of your house. The one that had been passed down in the family, the only equity your parents owned. You were lucky to get out of the house - second eldest responsible for half of the younger ones. A toddler on one hip, a babe on the other. Your mother had fallen asleep again with the stove on. Too young to stop it and too smart to call an emergency. They would have given a bill and your parents would have gotten nothing. It is the last thing you see as you walk away from that house for good, moving into an apartment blocks over raised on money from daddy’s newest job or mommy’s newest friend.
Orange means nothing more than the color of the fruit your baby brother enjoyed. You remember him pressing the peel against his mouth, sucking out all the juice, forming a strange smile on his face. Smiles were not a family staple.
Orange is Rocket, the beautifully half-Maine Coon that found his way into your life. You weren't big on animals, never having any pets your entire life. But he chose you - came up to you one day when you were looking at the various garages for practice, running straight out of the woods as a young, messy kitten. You were just keeping him until you found a home - but soon you realized his home was between you and her. So the two of you kept him. She named him. And he was an honorary Siren ever since.
The interior of the sigil that gave you more life than you thought was possible. The body of a bird - one that you had never seen, never thought was real for years and years until a visit to Arizona. The school that saved you. No, the house that saved you. Introduced you to the friends you never realized you could have - the friends that made you realize you had more to give to the world than handling your baby siblings, hiding your father’s bottles, and tucking your mother in when she was too gone on her medication to care.
The color of lightning - of the storms you witnessed, both internally and externally. The storms you wanted to bring home, but couldn’t. You couldn’t do that to the younger ones. You couldn’t do that ever. Except for the storm you brewed when your sister left, the lightning you threw when you knew she was going to make decisions she regretted - which she did. The last interaction before she went off to jail with her boyfriend until the day you met your niece. The lightning that jolted you to take care of your siblings.
The color of your first game. Pokemon. An old one, played on some muggle device you stole from the bag of a first-year on the train a few years into school. The beginning of a love you never realized could exist - a distraction that kept you going, kept your siblings entertained when you were home with them.
Yellow looks beautiful on her, but she doesn’t wear it anymore. You still try, though. You gave her a sunflower on her birthday.
Greatness. Your parents never told you you were destined for it. You never believed your preschool teachers when the city forced you all to go to no-maj school. You remember the positive signs plastered over the brick walls; little mantras your teachers kept saying in hopes that someone would make it out of the streets, avoid the gangs, and live past twenty-eight. Even when the four of you first talked about starting a band, you played along but never thought it would last. You never put ‘greatness’ into your mind until the day you read a review. The Sirens: The Greatest Girl-band You Never Knew You Needed. Now all you want is to strive for it.
Hazel eyes. Mostly green. When you stare into them, they almost change. Her pupils are occasionally dilated - the darkness of the stage does that. But you can still swim in them - watch the swirls of blue interact with the waves of green, the scattered golden flecks here or there. If you were an artist, you would paint those eyes. A poet, write about them. But you are a musician - so you describe them with the beat of your sticks, with the rhythm in your newest song. She doesn’t notice. But you always do.
Your favorite thing in the world when you were thirteen were the bruises on your legs. From falling off the broom after trying a stupid trick. From the little “duels” that usually ended with you losing your wand and resorting to fighting. From falling off your bed when you were trying to tape endless band posters on your ceiling. Reminders that you weren’t some perfect, fragile little child. You got bruises, but they would always heal.
Your favorite thing in the world when you were twenty-three was that blue dress she would always wear. It had a peter pan collar and anytime you all went out to write music or the two of you for coffee, she would throw it on and be in an endless good mood. It was the dress she had worn to the audition - an image that pulled you in from the start. But she was eighteen, you were older, so you kept your mouth shut and just played along. You don’t know what happened to that dress - she hasn’t worn it since. But every day that year, you were hoping to see your silly favorite girl in that damn blue dress.
The only other time Indigo came into your life was before your first gig. You all had crazy colors in your hair, but she was nervous. She let you dye her hair a dark indigo with your temporary dyes, throwing in mixtures of purple and blue when she wasn’t looking. It came out beautiful - she looked amazing. Even though the hair dye washed out a few days later, you made sure to get a picture - one that is still hung with the rest of your lyrics in your shared office space. A reminder of that first bond.
When you smell violets, you think of endless flower fields. The daydream turned reality one fateful night when you snuck away from the rest of the band, holding her hand tight in yours as you laid under the night sky, protected by the tall stalks. You think of the clean sheets in the bedroom - the scent of laundry detergent and cheap candles confusing your nostrils, your mind, leaving you to fall asleep into the gentle caress of that innocent night.
When you hear violet, you hear your drums. The sounds they make as you hit them just right with your sticks. Every time you play, they always threaten to shatter - various dents from all the shows forever bent into the grain. You think of the surprise present they all got you - your friends, your bandmates - of the dark violet and ebony set that hasn’t left the stage since. Your baby, your child, your life.
When you taste violets on your tongue, you are feeling her too.