Colors by G.C.Nichols


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Gypsies bestowed the curse. A sadistic man unleashed its power.

Gioia Vita, at thirty-four, is not living the joyous life her cultural name might

suggest. Haunted by an abusive past and tormented by the harsh illustrations of a cynical world

she struggles to bury her secrets and find serenity in her life. Plagued by a glitch in her vision,

she perceives colors and mystical imagery surrounding people that warn her of their intrinsic

nature. With a fear of old world superstitions implanted into her from an early age, Gioia finds

herself believing in these enchantments. Especially now, that she is seeing these… colors.

The desire for adventure in her sheltered life prevails when an acquaintance invites her

back into the subculture of her rebellious youth. Her vision helps her navigate this tumultuous

world few get to experience, the world of 1%ers. An enclave of brothers, bearing colors that

reject normal society. She unexpectedly finds the warm colors of family, friends and a new

love. Braden Davies restores passion in her heart, but can an outlaw from a chaotic underground

culture heal her wounds? First, they must conquer the manipulative adversary that haunts them,

unearth long buried family secrets, and learn that sometimes a curse can really be a gift.


G.C. Nichols

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “ride or die”, and assume we have a fairly

adequate grasp of the significance behind it. I believe, as writers, we need to take a closer

look at its’ symbolic meaning and the philosophy it epitomizes.

For me, personally, it was an ideology my parents embedded in my brain from the

moment I exited the womb. They were immigrants from Italy, determined to live the

American dream, and work as hard as they could to provide their children with

everything they never had themselves. Telling me to “Make it happen” and “Don’t give

up”, these words embodied the “ride or die” mentality. Never stop, until you achieve your

goal, no matter what it takes. Acknowledging their morals was my only choice and I

complied with blind faith. Eventually, it helped me succeed in my path to fulfillment.

The expression actually originated in the motorcycle culture, a world I grew up in,

and know all too well. My father propped me on his bike for my first ride at a very young

age. Throughout my childhood, I watched my brother hop on dirt bikes and ride off into

the woods, returning hours later, filthy, hurt, and always with a big grin on his face. I had

to know what these men felt as they rode those beasts so I jumped on one and got my

license as soon as I could. Later in life, my rebellious spirit lured me right into the world

of motorcycle clubs, a band of misfits that allowed me to feel right at home.

Bikers use a variety of terms that represent the same sentiment, such as “Live free

or die” and “Ride hard, live free”. No matter how you say it, it is an expression that

represents dedication, a commitment to ideas, morals, freedom, art, or anything that

matters more than your personal convenience. Never meant to suggest danger, yet it

expresses an extreme challenge. It signifies a devoted individual that will pursue dramatic

means to achieve a lofty goal. Imagine for a moment the personal reward when one

triumphs, and their dedication finally provides them with a victory. It is a sublime utopia.

My perseverance finally paid off. I’m published. After almost eight years of re-

writes and rejections, I’ve attained my goal. And now, I find a million more roadblocks to

veer away from. Insecurities and fears overwhelm me as my story enters the world. So,

here I go again, digging into my soul, for the mentality etched into my heart like an old

sailor’s tattoo. I’m still learning to be strong and have to work hard to muster up the guts

and keep it moving. “Don’t look around, just ahead,” I tell myself. It gets way too scary

to see everyone’s expressions as you’re running to the finish line. “Will I make it? Can

they see me sweating? Forget them. Write… or die. Just make it happen.”

Excerpt from Chapter Sixteen: Resolution

The sun emitted particularly balmy rays that seeped into my exposed skin and warmed

me throughout. Like Mom’s chicken soup on a cold day, it flowed through my body to my soul

and healed me. The wind cooled my face, knotted my long flowing hair, and created pockets of

force between my limbs as it raced against us. We were in flight for the two-hour ride, and my

soul appreciated some much needed freedom. Even though my sunglasses kept the bright sun out

of my eyes, Braden’s brilliant metallic fire captivated me.

We snuck in small rides every day the fall weather permitted, but this particular Indian

summer day was an unexpected gift received along the Merritt Parkway. The almost eighty

degree temperature was truly out of the ordinary for the end of October. We were going to an

ally club’s Halloween party that evening and decided to extend the trip to northern Connecticut.

There were few times in my life I could remember being this happy. Waking up to

Braden’s golden sun almost every morning for the past few weeks surely made this one of them.

I felt safe with him, not only because of his gleaming rapture that guaranteed he was pure but

also because I could sense it in everything he did. His touch was always gentle, and he never

failed to watch over me. In these past few weeks, I grew to know him well and love him entirely.

I was still frightened and questioning everything. What had I done to deserve him in my

life? Had I endured enough hardship to finally find a decent man? Our passion was rising to

daring heights, and I wanted nothing more than to become one with him, but he always held

back, as if making love could risk our bond. Was it only a matter of time before the devil would

find me again and take Braden away?

The gypsies continued to invade my dreams and fear of their evil nature consumed me.

Luckily, I managed to hide the nightly turmoil from Braden. My brain struggled to comprehend

the most recent nightmare. I found myself wandering back to last night’s vision.

“Mom, can we open the presents now? Please!” I begged my mother.

She looked lovingly into my eyes and smiled. “Not yet, Gioia. We have to take care of

something very important first.”

I watched as my mother hung bundles of red peppers around the room and wondered

what could be more critical than opening presents on Christmas Eve. Why was she decorating

now? The Christmas tree lit up the otherwise dark room, and the large nativity set beneath it

glowed shimmering white light.

My aunt poured water into a large, ornate ceramic bowl and then waited patiently,

holding a small pitcher of greenish oil over it.

“Is Zia Francesca making something special tonight?” I asked, my juvenile mind always

hoping for the next treat. Spending Christmas in Italy meant I would be spoiled with gifts and

sweets typically unimaginable. It was rare we spent the holidays in Europe and my aunts would

cater to my every wish.

“Yes, but probably not what you’re thinking of,” my mother answered, chuckling.

“What do you mean?” My voice turned to a full on whine as I grew impatient.

“Tonight is a holy night and we’re going to utilize the exceptional power we’re offered to

say a prayer over you so no evil can ever hurt you. It’s a special gift that Zia Francesca wants to

offer you,” my mother explained.

“Ti voglio protegere dal malocchio,” my aunt told me in her native language. I only

understood some of the words and looked to my mother for clarification.

“Zia Francesca said she wants to protect you from the evil eye.”

A sudden chill crawled up my spine and I shivered, almost falling off the high stool I sat

on. Terror treaded wildly over my skin. Immature thoughts clouded my eight-year old brain

allowing my mother’s words to send me into utter panic. Evil? What did I need protection from?

My mother nodded to my aunt as she made her way across the room to stand near us. Zia

Francesca slowly drizzled the thick, green oil into the bowl of water.

I counted nine drops carefully placed in the shape of a cross. We all watched quietly as

the small, liquid circles spun away from one another, slow at first, then gaining speed until the

outline of an eye appeared.

“It’s true. She is cursed,” my mother whispered, tears forming in her eyes.

“What, mom? What’s the matter? What do you mean?” I begged.

“Gioia, pay attention! Just do as I and Zia Francesca do.” My mother commanded,

avoiding my wide eyes and panicked tone. She made the sign of the cross in front of me and

exclaimed, “Padre, Figlio, Spirito Santo.”

“Dammi la tua mano,” Zia Francesca commanded me to give her my hands. She also

began gesturing the sign of the cross over my pale skin.

I could see the outline of the gypsy in my peripheral vision. She stood in the window just

beyond the Christmas tree watching us. I refused to make eye contact. My body sat frozen, and

terrified from the mysterious ritual my mother and aunt were performing. I would obey my

mother until this nightmare ended.

“Father, this prayer is being said for Gioia. I pray it works in the name of the Father, the

Son, and the Holy Spirit.” My mother spoke the words quietly, closing her eyes and lifting her

head up toward heaven.

She continued to chant as a gust of wind swept across the tiled floor. It wrapped around

me and seeped into my pores forcing tears of panic as I shut my eyes in horror.

“Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt, as it was in the beginning is now

and forever shall be,” my mother concluded and grabbed my right hand. Zia Francesca already

clutched my left in a firm hold.

The warmth of their skin brought on a calm sensation that flowed throughout me. I finally

found the courage to face the gruesome hag staring at me through the window. Cavernous

wrinkles weighed on the corners of her eyes turning them into slits of darkness. Her voluminous

lips curled downward into a scowl only meant to curse. The multiple strands of colorful beads

encircling her neck appeared to choke her. The sight of her was hideous and I found myself

hissing the word, “Zincara.”

My mother and Zia Francesca jerked their heads toward the window. The gypsies’ outline

dissipated into a puff of amethyst smoke, and she was gone.

The bike slowed as we approached our destination, waking me out of my memory. I

shook my head trying to free my brain from its’ unnerved state. Realizing my dreams did nothing

but bring on paranoia, I decided to chase out the crazy thoughts. Braden’s gentle soul gave me

hope to believe in righteousness again, and being with him was the most blissful place in the

world. Even if an evil gypsy or the devil came, I would fight. A surge of adrenaline ran through

me as I realized that, in the end, no one could keep me away from this love.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Blog Tour – Colors by GC Nichols | The Book Mistress

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