The Fairest

The whirlwind wasn’t chaos—at least, not quite. Too, 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 turned instantly 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.
   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.
   The image in the mirror was a fool. She cared to serve the poor, the sick, those at the mercy of the law.
   Haggard. Deluded. Powerless.
   At peace.
   That last was no more than a split-second thought.
   And yet, it was almost enough… some small flickering wonder known long ago… of battle fought without victory… of courage… of kindness… there, in that flickering piece of a charcoal-blackened soul... the one that shown like the Fairest...
   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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