Feeding Rainbows Species in Dread Romantic | World Anvil

Feeding Rainbows

  Glistening… the city is literally glistening. The concrete appears as if it just dried. The windows are crystal clear. Even the dumpsters look shiny and new. It's remarkably clean. No litter, no rust, and not a single overgrown plant can be seen.   Olive finds that last detail to be the most crucial. All the grass and trees are gone, the plots where they were are now barren. Pots and flower beds sit empty in front of stores. Olive's breath shakes as the shop soars over the abandoned cars and debris. The chicken-like feet crack the freeway with every step.   She sees it, a rainbow. A perfect arrangement of colors in an arc hanging above the city. It's dormant; sleeping.   Corey takes the small cat in his arms. Cider starts digging its claws Into his shirt, clinging for dear life as he sprints to the storefront.   Olive remains focused, her eyes tracing the arch for any signs of change.

Bottom feeders

When the world ended, the sky changed. The colors, the dancing stars, the fading sun… all of these were concerning but had a certain charm to them. They are beautiful to behold, if you can handle the dread of not quite knowing what will can be behind them.   Something else came from that alien sky, entities that have no form and no sense of right or wrong. They have no weakness, a symbol of power to those fools who once worshiped them as gods. These gods were not all loving, nor all knowing. These gods were hungry.   The rainbows are higher dimensional bottom feeders. They consume organic matter, breaking it down with concentrated, radioactive light. The rainbows are why people avoid the cities. The cities belong to them, now.

Over the rainbow

They only appear as rainbows. No one knows what they really look like. Such is the way when dealing with beings beyond your comprehension. They linger, sitting in the sky until some internal clock wakes them. When they wake, they descend.   It's like a flood of liquid light, it seeps into every nook and cranny. Any organic matter caught in the light will be quickly broken down, dissolving in mere moments. This leaves behind a perfectly clean surface.   The worst part of feeding rainbows is their composition. They're made of light. The smallest gap may as well be a wide open door. Finding yourself beneath an awoken rainbow is one of the worst places one could be. There is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.

End of the rainbow

Can you Fight it? With what, dear reader? These are beings beyond time and space. Bullets pass through them. Explosions merely spread their feasting light in ever more chaotic patterns. Even magic fails, as no human mind can understand them enough to produce a proper counter.   Escape? Protection? Now there's an idea. The light is invasive, but not sentient. It doesn't lurk or search for you like a movie monster. It washes over every surface. The light follows the path of least resistance. Make yourself a hard meal to earn, and you may survive.   Cover every gap, every opening to the outside. Wear layers of synthetic material if you can, covering every bit of skin. A downpour rarely lasts more than an hour. Wait that long and you're good to go. Then again… those with magic and means have discovered a different tactic.
      As Olive watches the colored arch, she races across the gardens of Dread Romantic. Every ten feet, she hangs a smooth, black stone. Some are nailed to posts, others dangled from tree branches. Each stone possessed a symbol, interwoven circles painted in blue.   With one stone left, she looks to the sky once more, and her eyes go wide. It wakes. As if being poured out of some invisible container, the light rains down like a flood. It starts at the peak, the arch transforming into a straight line, and then a bleeding smile.   Cory calls from the storefront. "Olive, let's go."   She takes a step forward, her eyes fixed on the sky as the flood of color races toward her. She does the math. They should have waited a little longer, trading some sunlight for time. She can't place the last stone. Luckily, it would cover an easily replaced section of the gardens. She then turns and races to the storefront.   The light reaches the confines of the garden, then collides. She hears a crackle and pop from above her. The light begins to roll and flow across a series of iridescent domes, shields projected by the black stones to protect the garden.   She takes a look behind her and sees the light hit the unprotected path she happened to be running on. In seconds, plants left without a shield break down, the leaves and stems flaking off the whole in pieces like motes of dust…
"Shit, shit, shit." Olive leaps through the open door and lands hard on the wooden floor of the storefront as Corey slams the door shut.   She eyes the stained window on the door. This was the moment of truth. "Please work." She says, repeating the phrase over and over.   The light collides with the door. The gaps along the edges were sealed. Weather stripping saw to that. The window… the window was the problem.   She had a theory. If the rainbows are indeed liquid light, what happens if you force them to change color? What happens when the light is diffused or refracted?   The liquid light passes through the stained glass, and she holds her breath. She watches as it changes, the color, warping the deadly light into something far more mundane.   She felt heat as the light kissed her skin, more heat than it should be. While uncomfortable, the light could do little else.   Olive let out a cheer, shouting "Fuck yes," before standing to her feet. "It worked. I was right again!"

Stained glass

Recent discoveries suggest that forcing the light through a medium such as stained glass, clear plastic, or water can nullify the light. Magical shielding meant to ward off light is also effective.   With time and preparation, as with many things in the world, a rainbow becomes nothing more than an inconvenience. Mirrors are also an excellent strategy if you can control the flow of the light. The light will simply bounce off.   Why the medium requires a tint is curious. The light passes through standard glass with ease. Regardless, travel through cities and even scavenging will be much safer with this discovery.
The light slowly recedes, slipping off the side of the shops decking. Eventually, rivers started rising to reform the arch in the sky. Olive steps out of the storefront and sighs.   Before her, the unshielded section of the garden was barren, the very soil no longer capable of supporting life. The wooden decking is preserved, however. This led Olive to yet another discovery. Varnish, finish, possibly even paint may protect from the light.   While the task of reinvigorating the soil would be long and arduous, she did take solace in the fact that her wards would ensure it would never happen again.   "Well done," Corey says. "You killed my azaleas."   "Sorry." Olive replies.   "I'll plant more. Small price to pay, really. We learned something today."   The Direwood loomed on the horizon, the trees like skyscrapers in the evening sun. In just a few hours, they'd be at their destination, but it's well known how the direwood is never friendly at night.


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Huge shout out to Stormbril for his forbidden CSS wisdom! Would not have been able to do this without his advice.

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Feeding Rainbows

Now I'm Covered In The Colors, Pulled Apart At The Seams...


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Jul 10, 2023 08:49 by Catoblepon

Holy hell these rainbows :OO

Visit Daeliha, Iphars, Khulgran & Shattered
Love to code, but this one is driving me crazy!
My world Shattered won as the "Most ground-breaking premise new world"!
Jul 10, 2023 15:11 by R. Dylon Elder

Spooky rainbows. Very spooky. Lol thanks so kuch!

Jul 10, 2023 10:59 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

RIP azaleas.   Horrifying but the descriptions are beautiful.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 10, 2023 15:12 by R. Dylon Elder

Poor azaleas... also Thanks so much!

Jul 14, 2023 17:45 by Autumn Riverwood

This is so cool! :0

Aug 17, 2023 20:43 by Stormbril

Incredible work Dylon!! :O I love these spooky rainbows so much, what a fantastic idea, and such evocative writing describing them :D

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