The Phosphorescent Dyes
In the early 1990s a new kind of clothing appeared in the market-
places of America - clothes that glowed in the dark. Unlike previous
phosphorescent materials, the new fabrics were impregnated with brilliant
dyes of bright, strong colors that always glowed with a steady intensity,
and they never seemed to fade. Soon it was discovered that the new dyes
could be used in almost any application, and the primary colors of red,
blue and yellow could be mixed just like paint pigments to form any
color desirable. In Southern California, surfboard manufacturers somehow
got access to the source of the dyes, and began creating phosphorescent
boards that were the hit of the beach scene. The surfers stopped all day-
time wave-riding, and appeared only at night as blobs of light out on the
waves, wearing glow-in-the-dark wetsuits and headbands in addition to their
boards, which seemed to glow the brightest of any object.
By 1995, most folks had at least one piece of phosphorescent clothing.
It was all the glamorous types wore. Imagine their surprise when the solar
flare erupted that summer, and everyone wearing a glow-in-the-dark
outfit was burnt to a crisp, due to some catalytic process which remains
obscure. Curiously, the source of the new phosphorescent dyes was never
determined by the survivors. The flare was mild as such things go, and
only a few fires were started by it, yet everyone wearing even a single
glowing article of clothing was scorched, and all traces of the new
phosphorescent dyes vanished.