I am Black. Like my twin brother White, they often call me a non-color, because neither of us shows in the rainbow. White frets no end about it. I don't.

They say that I eat all colors, that I'm greedy, that I'm scary like a bogey-man. Let them! They're right; if they want to get a fright out of me, they're welcome.

You can find me all over the place: by night I'm everywhere, even though nowadays, as soon as I come together with the Night, men switch on lights by the million! Fools! All they do is to show off my gloom.

I'm the black, starry sky above you, showing and hiding the endless universe. I'm the dark depth of the oceans. I'm the black cat crossing the path of that superstitious, finger-crossing old fool. I'm the black livery on the back of the raven, the blackbird, the spring-bringing swallow. I'm the hue of the coal, painfully dug out amidst the screech of the cart, of the tar coating the roadways, of the obsidian that volcanoes spew.

But I also dwell much nearer: I like to go to classic concerts, dressed like the musicians and their conductor. Or to escort fine ladies wearing silk crêpe, yes, because I'm stylish, always.

In many places I'm the color of mourning, just like my twin White is elsewhere. We both do it well, this harsh job, perhaps because we are all-pervading colors, colors of air and time: he is in the pure, wind-ridden clouds; I'm in the dim clouds of gathering storms.

And if you really want to try one of my scents, and one of my tastes, then try to smell thoroughly a bit of licorice, and then taste it. You'll let me know what you think of me now, and I'm sure none of you will ever be scared of me again!

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