The edges of the rose-colored silk and satin sheets were tattered with loveless words. The ones Charlotte's mother would yell at her when she wouldn't behave as “a young lady of her social standing” should. Yes, Charlotte's family was wealthy as ever. They passed the beggars by every day hardly ever offering them a penny. Today, she was in great trouble for wandering off with a homeless boy at the park. But Charlotte only hoped to help the boy. He told her he hadn't had a substantial meal in days.
She didn't wish to dine with her family tonight, so she ran upstairs and hid away in her mother's bedroom. She wondered if her family had even noticed.
The large mirror that sat before her, fed with the vainness of the morning and evening, suddenly spoke to her with a soft voice. “Beauty lies here, but not in the heart”.
She imagined everything on the walls crashing down to nothing. Charlotte smiled and looked into her mother's jewelry box. “And maybe the rings would turn to scarabs” she said, holding back a laugh. “And the strings of pearls to white snakes”.
She imagined a beautiful white snake forming from the glistening pearls she clutched to her chest.
It fell from her hands then slithered under the door to the hallway. She quickly leapt up to go after it.
As she opened the door she saw the snake slowly making its way down the hall. She went after it and in a quiet voice, for she did not want to startle the creature.
“What would happen?”, she began. “If a fire came and we lost everything?”
Without taking a moment to stop or think, the snake responded. “Empty halls, empty hearts. Which holds more significance?”.
“Significance?” she was confused now.
The snake stopped it's movement and turned towards her. “Occupy the empty spaces”.
She still didn't understand.
“But the halls are full. With decorations and tapestries and portraits and ornaments-”
“And every worthless bit they own”, the snake cut in. “You hold something much more precious. Don't trade it for anything”.
With that, the small, glistening creature slowly turned around and evaporated to nothing.