Purple. Rich, deep, the rarest of dyes.
Short #1 - Underfoot
Everything came back in circles.
Once he was a man, then magic came and he was a man no more.
Once he was crushed under a cruel man’s boot, then he was the man doing the crushing.
For someone so old, the patterns should have been clear to him, but Belle knew that he didn’t see the cycle repeating all over again.
He had come to a land without magic, and once more become the man he had been, only with grief and loss and bitterness and fury weighing him down like a cloak woven from lead. He had cast the last of his magic deep into the waters far below the town, and the cycle returned on itself.
She knew it, saw it in his eyes when he breathed of power.
When he had spoken of love, she had believed him, but now, he was turning back into the creature he was, the creature who denied her, who cast her out, who never came to find her, no matter how many times she whispered his name in the dark.
Call his name three times, and the Devil will appear.
She had called and called, until her mouth was dry and her lips cracked, and he never came there.
But here, he was a man, a normal man, and he smiled and held her, and looked at her as if she was the most precious thing in the world. And then, he cast the magic into the well, cast it down, and stepped into the roiling purple mass, and let it wrap around him.
She could see him change before her eyes, changing back into the creature he had been.
She heard him giggle, and all the hope she had felt shattered around her.
He had true love, the rarest and most powerful of magic, but like a snail, he seemed to find it so much more delightful when it was crushed.