Beth yawned lazily, stretching like a cat. It was a dull day as usual. Nothing was out of the ordinary. She tossed her phone aside and curled around her pillow. The screen was still on and her favorite web novel's cover was frozen on it. She had pulled an all-night once again since she had nothing else to do. Now that the dawn was breaking, she felt sleepy.
"Ahh, my life is so good," Beth murmured into the pillow, closing her eyes sleepily.
She brought her leg up and tossed it over the pillow, moving around to find the perfect position. It was an everyday routine for her. She moaned happily as her body settled comfortably around the fluffy pillow. Ah, sleep! Sweet, sweet sleep! She thought to herself as she welcomed the heaviness crawling onto her eyelids.
Soon, she was in the world that she loved. She was in Castlewall. Her favorite character from her novel was laughing heartily at something she said. She couldn't remember what she told him to make him smile like that. But it didn't matter. She had ulterior motives like every other night. She had to strip the dragon prince naked and get her way with him!
Beth got up from the chair that she was sitting on and slowly walked towards the silver-haired kelpie prince. How could someone be so incredibly attractive? She wondered, her eyes locked onto the exposed part of his chest that peeked from beneath his shirt that was half-undone.
"What is it darling? See something you like?" Lloyd asked, smiling at her mischievously.
"I see a lot that I like," Beth replied, leaning down to place a hand on his chest.
Her heart hammered in her chest like crazy as she stared into his magnetic green eyes. They were like the Bermuda triangle- sucking her in with everything that it had. She wanted to get lost in them forever and never surface again. Lloyd's long fingers wrapped around her waist, squeezing it lightly as he pulled her against him.
Beth gasped as she was suddenly on his lap, his hands wrapped around her torso tightly. She licked her lips nervously. Yes! This was the moment! She was finally going to get the kiss she deserved, she thought, closing her eyes in anticipation. Beth felt his warm breath gently lapping against her mouth as he leaned in. His heady scent filled her senses as his wet lips drew closer to her own.
All of a sudden, she was falling. Beth's eyes grew wide in horror as she stared at the fast-approaching ground beneath her.
"Aaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, flailing her hands and legs in the air helplessly.
Damn it! Stupid dream! How could it tear her out from the arms of the prince?! She screamed in her mind in irritation. But the fear of the impact kept distracting her. After all, this was a dream. Nothing is going to happen to you, Beth reminded herself. She closed her eyes and braced for impact, cursing her luck. This was not the first time that her romantic moment was interrupted.
She landed on the ground with a thud with zero pain whatsoever. Beth opened her eyes slowly, looking around her surroundings in confusion. Wait, why hadn't she woken up yet? She wondered. That was how it usually worked. If she fell down a cliff or was pushed down a well, she ended up staring at her bedroom's ceiling. Then why was it that she could see the bright blue sky?
"Where am I?" She asked aloud, sitting up.
Her voice sounded strange and meek. Beth cleared her throat, keeping a hand on her neck. Her eyes scanned the surroundings curiously. She seemed to be sitting on the curb of a house in a ghetto of some sort. Suddenly, the place was filled with the chatter of what sounded like numerous children. She looked down at her own hands, sensing a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"What?!" She exclaimed in horror.
Her hands were small. And so were her feet. She quickly got up, running towards a nearby puddle. She stopped at the brink of the water and leaned in, gulping nervously. There in her reflection was a smaller version of herself. But she looked dirty and unkempt, unlike how her pampered self had been in her childhood memories.
Mother had ensured that she always remained clean and tidy. Unlike other kids, she never went to play outside. She had been content with her little storybooks that were always piled up on the floor, right next to her green dino. She stared at her face with disbelief. It was covered with soot and dirt as if she had been laboring away in a medieval kitchen.
"What are you staring at, number 23?" A child's voice interrupted her moment of self-inspection.
Beth turned towards the source of the voice. It was indeed a child. He looked around nine or ten years of age- the same age that she now happened to be.
"What did you call me?" She asked, raising her brows.
"Isn't that your number?" He asked, laughing at her, "23?"
Beth woke up with a gasp. She sat up on her bed, panting heavily. She looked around at the familiar setting of her penthouse. It slowly calmed her down. What was that dream? She wondered. A premonition? Guilty conscience? But why should she be guilty? She had never done anything bad her entire life.
She had moved out of her parents' house to the penthouse when she was old enough to live on her own. Though she had never done any charity work or anything, she had never spent more than her pocket money that her mother transferred to her account every month. Was it such a sin- to do nothing but read? She thought to herself. Just then, her tummy grumbled in complaint.
"Get up, Beth. Stop overthinking." She told herself, sliding off from the bed.