The duchess of Bosfor was very beautiful. While she brushed her long black hair, silently cursing a few grey hairs she had spotted, which were even more visible in contrast to the lustrous jet black of the rest, a servant poured the last bucket of hot water into a large bathtub, which had been placed in a corner of the bedroom.
‘Is there anything else I can do for you, milady?’
‘No. Go away.’
Wilhelmina, a name not many people knew, left the hairbrush on the chest of drawers and took out of one of them two jars filled with powder. She mixed them together in a third jar, into which she also poured a few drops from a small bottle she got out of another drawer. When the preparation was ready, she applied it thoroughly, which, considering the length of her hair, took quite a while.
She waited more than an hour and, then, she went to where the bathtub was, placed a soft towel on the floor and, on her knees, she rinsed her hair slowly and carefully. She hated having to spend almost a whole morning in this process, even though she knew that, later, she would feel flattered when the other ladies begged her to reveal her secret for having such young hair. She felt frustrated for not having yet found a faster and longer-lasting method —the ointment hid the horrible white hairs for about two months— for maintaining the shiny dark color, which enhanced her already very attractive light grey eyes and her porcelain skin.
She could so easily transform a complete being into a different being. But a partial transformation was so much harder to obtain. She would have to keep on trying. Nevertheless, this temporary achievement, with the powder, even if it could be considered as a botch for a sorceress, was something the other women, with no access to any kind of magic or extraordinary practices, always marveled at. The duchess of Bosfor had reached an age when the first symptoms of lost youth had begun to appear. And, although she was naturally beautiful —not to mention her special arts—, she was too attached to external beauty so as not to be affected —deeply affected— by the arrival of maturity to her own body.