I have eighteen marbles, all told.
By the schoolboy standards of yesteryear, that’s probably far too few. Any proper aficionado of spheres should have at least twenty, and each one should be unique. None of this identical glass ball nonsense, where some errant youth grabs a handful of decorative stones and declares them true and proper marbles. No, those, good sir, are not marbles, they are decorations, fit for the bottoms of fountains and the inside of your grandmother’s glass bowl.
Real marbles are special, unique in their design, and definitely cooler than those foolish monochrome spheres. The complaints of any older sisters that might be heard should be likewise ignored. The colorful and unique nature of marbles is integral to their very being, and any level headed, siblingesque complaints to the contrary are clearly born of ineptitude and envy from the marble-less depths of their very soul.
My marbles might not be many, but they are good.
In no particular order, they are:
The Clown Ball:
A yellow so bright it looks like it should glow, splotched with four red dots and four blue dots rudely equidistant from each other along the marble’s sides. It’s not my least favorite, but I am a little sad that it’s one of my two big marbles. The big marbles are always best when they’re also the coolest, and the clown ball just doesn’t live up to that. Though it would be funny to perch a small jester figurine on top of, at least once.
The Stellar Sphere
If you wanted me to pick which of my marbles looked most like what the core of one of those person-gets-transmigrated-to-a-dungeon-core type of novels (And if you are unfamiliar with the genre, never fear, that just means you’re normal,) It would be this. It’s maybe lacking in the sparkles department, but makes up for it with an excellent black field scattered over with dusty yellow flecks that, if you squint, look a little bit like stars.
The Cat’s Eye Fruit
Truthfully, this one doesn’t look much like anything, except maybe a fruit split lengthwise and subsequently infected with some kind of mold. The field is one of those odd shades that sits right in the middle between yellow and green. Is it yellow? Is it green? I don’t know. It depends on the light.
The Dark Quartet
All four of them are just so different from the other guys. Black with with swirls of deep brown and pastel blue, the dark quartet are a collection of spherical Myspace goths, all set and ready to prove it’s definitely not a phase.
Personally, I like my marbles more colorful than this, but once I started imagining them as siblings, I became a little more satisfied. They remind me of my own cringe phase, which featured lots of black, bad RP, and even my very own, incredibly original anthropomorphic wolf person as a self insert.
In retrospect, I was really quite normal, wasn’t I.
The dark quartet, likewise, might not be the most stand out of my marbles (although I’m sure they think they are), but on the same hand, they really don’t have to be. Being just as dark and edgy as everyone else can be fun, especially once you realize it’s the look, and more the taking it seriously that’s really cringe.
The small-guy siblings to my big guy clown, the mini-clowns lack the small blue dots of their older brother, but make up for it with their extra-large streaks of red. They look just like the balls cartoon seals are always balancing on the tips of their noses. It’s a real pity both mini-clowns are glass, because if they weren’t, I’m sure they’d be great fun to bounce.
Where I live, you’ll occasionally run across hollow glass orbs with random strings of glass suspended inside. They’re called faerie catchers, and according to the person who told me this story, they’re made to trap faeries, and if I looked closely at the spun glass strings, there was a chance I could see one stuck inside.
A quick internet search suggests that they’re more like faerie attractants than faerie traps, and the story I heard was an odd mix of the old legend, from back when they were witch-orbs, designed to attract evil, and the modern, cutesier tale focused on pleasing good spirits around your home.
My faerie-catcher marble is, obviously, too solid to be the real thing, but it’s mostly clear coloration makes the dull orange spirals look as though they’re suspended in a hollow space, bringing the old memories of blown glass and spirit traps to mind.
The Mountain Glaciers.
I had to think a bit on whether these two marbles should qualify as siblings or not. While they’re both iridescent white streaked with a very pretty pale blue, one has a very distinct line of brown running through it, while the other does not.
That said, siblings don’t have to be all that similar, and they both reminded me so much of the glaciers on a mountain peak, I decided they must surely be kin. That brown streak is there because this particular marble represents a lower part of the mountain, enough that snowmelt has revealed some of the underlying dirt. The other mountain glacier marble comes from the peak, so its colors aren’t mixed.
Looking at these two makes me want to ski.
Summer Sky Beach
When I was a child, the holiday I looked forward to the most wasn’t Christmas, it was the beach. We had family there, and summer was the time we always went to meet them. Those days when I was young and the time away from school stretched into a heat haze as distant and fleeting as the shimmer born from parking lots and roads that criss-crossed the Augusts of my youth.
This marble reminds me of those sort of skies, blue as anything, as I built castles and dug holes besides the strand.
When it comes to the mocha latte marble, there’s absolutely no question: That is definitely a coffee orb.
I say mini, but that’s relative to the planet more than anything to do with the marble itself.
In fact, mini-mustafar is one of my big marbles, bright red and streaked with thin lines of yellow, and one of my favorites by far. If any one of them could be imagined as a lava planet, it’s this guy. You can almost imagine the burn when you pick it up!
A spherical rendition of of a sailor's least favorite dawn, red skies is mostly see-through, making it distinct from it’s larger cousin, mini-mustafar, and streaked with creamy white bands that swirl across its longitude like early morning clouds.
If I’m being completely honest, my first thought was that the red skies marble looked a lit like milk and blood, but I’m trying to keep this mostly cheerful here.
A marble so heavily swirled with yellow that the clear elements are hard to make out, brightened further by a sharp orange-red around the equator and the lower pole. I said I wanted to mostly focus on happier associations, but I it’s hard not to see this one as anything but a factory fire. Maybe if I squinted, I could see it as a campfire, or something more tame, but the bright yellow of it all makes it hard not to think of something toxic as it burns.
Is it cheating if I imagine most of my marbles as some kind of planet?
Mercury, for its part, is exactly the same color as its namesake — A bright, solid orange that makes me wish it was one of my big marbles, mercury marble is my second favorite of the bunch, second only to mini-mustafar.
What can I say? When it comes to marbles, I have a weakness for bight colors. They just look better that way.