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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #2148861
Strong emotion can lead to strange things.

Buffy had many qualities. She was beautiful, accomplished and rich, just to name the top three. But emotion ruled her to the exclusion of little else.

Because she was rich and privileged, Buffy was haughty. She tended to look down on those she felt were beneath her. But inside, she secretly wished she were them.

There would be so much less pressure to act perfect, be perfect, and exude perfection. In her heart of hearts, she felt like she did and was none of those things, but she desperately wanted to be all of it. Jealousy soon took root inside her, taking over all her thoughts.

Someone or something was always nicer, stronger, thinner and richer than she! In spite of all Buffy had, it rapidly became not enough. Covetousness began to rule her.

One day, while putting on her makeup, Buffy noticed something going on with the skin on her face. It seemed to have developed a decidedly greenish tinge. Afraid she had something serious, maybe even terminal, she called her doctor.

Buffy being who and what she was, he always made house calls and charged her accordingly. He hemmed and hawed but gave her no diagnosis. His suggestion to stay away from green foods for a month was unnecessary, as she never ate anything green anyway!

On her own initiative, Buffy decided to skip seaweed wraps and avocado facials for the same amount of time. She was even prepared to avoid green apple shampoo and facial water, although it was her favorite scent and had become a signature for her. In spite of all these precautions, her skin continued to turn green and the color began to move down from her head to other parts of her body.

She started to resent those with normal colored skin. Afraid to show herself as she was now, she sent her maid to buy expensive skin bleaching and whitening products, the more costly the better. All she managed to do was irritate her skin, making it appear a muddy grey brown and bumpy.

Buffy became reclusive and avoided the social whirl that had once been her lifeblood. All the while, she was adding to the spite in her heart by including jealousy of those who were free to do as they pleased when she couldn’t. Through it all, the green pigment in her skin kept spreading and darkening.

About that time, she began having disturbing dreams about a green skinned woman in ancient garb. Every time the woman reached for her, she woke up in a sweat of fear. Buffy soon couldn’t sleep at all.

When the green reached the soles of her feet, palms of her hands and her scalp, she became desperate. Buffy did something she had never in her life done before. She went to the public library.

Swathed in black clothing that had long sleeves and trousers, she hid behind dark glasses, a veil and gloves for the trip. Once there, Buffy began to search in the collections data bank for some answers. It was in a richly illustrated old book about the Roman gods and goddesses that she found the woman that haunted her sleep.

Invidia was the Roman name for the Greek goddess Nemesis. It seemed even the Christians believed in her as she was listed as one of the seven deadly sins for them. It soon became clear that Buffy would have to speak to the woman in her dreams and find out what to do about what was happening to her.

That night, Buffy did her usual pre-bed rituals. But this time, she added a chant to Invidia that she had found in the crumbling book. As instructed, she repeated the chant three times.

Falling asleep quickly, she began to dream. Invidia came to her and spoke at length. By the time she woke up, Buffy knew what she had to do. In order to lose her green skin, she had to rid herself of an emotion that had begun to rule her exclusively. For the goddess had another name, Envy. Buffy knew that only way to get back her alabaster skin was to rid herself of it as soon as possible!

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