He stood before her door and knocked hard. When she opened it, he gasped in surprise at her gray hair and wrinkled skin.  But no, he couldn’t allow himself to get distracted.

He rasped out the words.  “Who am I?”


She held the quilt up to the dim candlelight.  “This will tell you everything you need to know,” she said in a papery voice.

He frowned at the patchwork creation, shoving away the thought that it was just a mirage of meaning — that it wouldn’t help after all.

The lady didn’t seem to notice his doubt but placed one gnarled finger on a maroon slice of cloth.

“Red.  This is for blood — the blood that you will shed for others and the blood that will be shed because of you.”

Her finger slid down.

“Blue.  This is your tears, the only payment for your pain.  But remember this: blue also stands for hope.  Hope will spring from your heartache.”

She shifted the quilt to expose a murky hue.

“Gray.  It symbolizes the buildings that will be reduced to rubble because of you, the kingdoms that will become smoldering ash because of your deeds.”

The flickering flames lit upon an emerald star.

“Green.  This means growth, for you are here to recreate, rebuild, and renew.”

The next patch melded with the shadows.

“Black.  You will be like those lost in the dark — alone, wandering, afraid.”

She gently rubbed the last color.

“White.  Though you will wade through blackness, the true color of your life will be white: bright, brilliant, a beacon for all who come after.”

She looked up at him, and the candlelight glittered in her irises. “So who are you?” she whispered.

He tried to sort through the hues and their meanings.  Some fragments stood out — buildings reduced to rubble … blood shed because of you — and he knew.

“A rebel.”

“Yes,” she said. Her face glowed orange in the flickering light. “But no.  Rebels destroy to push the limits and test the boundaries.  They leave the world in charred ruin.  You will destroy, but in order to build up, to grow better things. Remember the lesson of the green.  You are no rebel.

“You are a world changer.”


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