The Fairest

The whirlwind wasn’t chaos—at least not exactly.  And the mesmerizing glare from the light around it wasn’t precisely destructive.  But there was a rather foreboding quality to it, made all the more so by the woman dressed in black controlling what had suddenly turned into thick, shadowed lightening that danced in the palms of her hands.
            She dressed in black with purpose.  Long ago she found that color fades and white darkens.  Black it was, to maintain the passage of time; the color of the power she craved.
            Yet she knew that there remained still a small corner, infinitesimally minute, that held knowledge that glowed colorful and shined.  Not the strength she knew—something else entirely.  Something she kept at bay by the power of the dark lightening that glistened and flashed against her fingertips.
            In her looking glass she sought the Fairest, as she was wont to do in a moment of weakness.
            A woman agéd, hair as white as snow, skin as black as night, in a ragged cloak of many colors.
            And a soul that glowed colorful, too.  It shown.
            A fool.  She served others; the poor, the sick, those at the mercy of the law.
            Haggard.  Old.  Deluded.
            At peace.
            The last was no more than a split-second thought, but it was enough for the striking woman to feel a tear.  A lessening of power; and one she knew should taste of weakness.
            And yet… some small flickering of wonder known long ago… of battle fought without victory… of nobility, of courage… of kindness….  It was there, in that flickering piece of a soul.  The one that shown like the Fairest.
            She could reach it; her fingers could touch it….
That was when the lightening began to fade.
NO! screamed her being with all her want of power.  As the lightening flared, she felt its hardened strength; that which fed on darkness, on desperation, on despair….  To relinquish such would be an ultimate foolishness, a price she would not pay.
And yet…
The woman woke from the dream, as she did every night.
She looked into the mirror and saw white hair, dark skin, a cloak of many colors.  And shut out the minute corner of her mind that was tinged with flashing, black lightening. 
As she always did.

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