A scene I knew all too well played before my eyes in my dreams.
A girl with russet brown hair in a light blue nightgown and a blue bow holding her ringlet hair in a ponytail solemnly put away her sewing supplies. A boy around her age with messy red hair and pointed ears danced in his green tunic and with a red feather. He admired his own shadow.
"Tonight's my last night in the nursery," the girl said to the boy.
"But, that means no more stories," he surmised. The girl simply hummed a yes. Tears threatened to fall from her eyes. The boy scrunched his nose and stomped his foot. "No! I won't have it! Come on!"
He grabbed the girl by her wrist. He was flying in the air as he dragged her across the room towards a large bay window. She didn't resist but was confused. "W-where are we going?"
In a cheery tone, the boy answered, "To Neverland!"
Ah, Neverland. I wish I could find a charming guy to whisk me away to a magical world. Heck! Just whisk me away to a magical world for all I care! Just to get me away from the people here. A cute boy would be a nice perk though.
The scene began to fade, to my dismay.
No, not yet. I don't want to wake up yet! Dang-it!
The sensations of reality returned to my body. Instead of the softness of my bed, I felt wood. I tried to stretch my limbs but they hit a wall.
"Ack! What the hell?" I muttered. I opened my eyes, but still, there was only darkness. "Okay, what the crap is up?"
I put my hands in front of me and felt more wood. "Am I in an effing box?!"
Great. Absolutely fabulous. I know I can be a deep sleeper, but not to notice getting kidnapped?! That is a new record, Viv. Give yourself a pat on the back.
I tried to pat my back but the cramped space didn't allow it. Panic started to rise in me. I was never one to get claustrophobic, but the thought of being with kidnappers sent my imagination racing.
I knocked on the wooden box, "Hello?! Anyone!?" I banged louder. "Uh, I would very much appreciate being let out of the box! I don't think it has air holes and I kind of need air to-you know- live! Hello!"
I stopped my pounding. I could hear footsteps. They were getting louder.
Okay, so either I am surrounded by a bunch of bad guys or the rescue party has arrived. If the former, I'm dead meat. If the latter, then hallelujah!
I kicked the box and rocked back-and-forth. I was about to yell when another voice entered with a loud bang.
"WHO IS IN HERE?!" an opulent-sounding voice screamed. I froze. The voice didn't sound too intimidating, but the sudden force of it scared the bejeebers out of me. "Now, if you just come out I will consider being light on your punishment. I am a kind headmaster," the new voice said. It was much calmer now.
I knocked on the box, "Uh, yes, hello? I would love to come out but it seems I am trapped in a box!"
"What do you mean trapped in a box? No one can open the doors except with one of my keys. I grow tired of your foolishness, so come out now!"
"Again, I am locked in a BOX! I woke up in this thing!" I yelled. I was running out of breath. "If you really are the kind headmaster as you say, please let me out of here! I'm starting to get dizzy."
"Hmm. Okay," the voice sounded like it was right in front of me. "Never in my years have we had to use the door key outside of the entrance ceremony. What is going on?"
As he mumbled those words I heard a delicate click. The darkness that surrounded me melted away. I fell out and onto the floor. I took a deep breath in. I hadn't realized how much energy I had lost during my thrashing. Adrenaline really is something. My hair hung in box-braids over my face. "Sweet baby Jesus I am out!"
"You are not one of my students. Who are you?"
I looked up to finally see the owner of the voice. I did a double-take at what I saw or didn't see rather. Before me was a man wearing a raven-esque mask that covered half of his face. Glowing gold orbs looked down at me. He had skin as pale as porcelain. Pointed ears poked through short, wavy black hair. He wore a sparkling suit and a great coat that sported raven feathers at the collar over his shoulders. On his head was a top hat that had a blue sash with a mirror ornament with key and wing decor.
"I'm Vivienne Abiba," I meekly said. I was still seated on my hands and knees.
"Well, Vivienne Abiba, my name is Dire Crowley. I am the Headmaster here at Night Raven College. Can I ask how you got on school grounds, let alone this off-limits room?" he asked. He wore a smile but his tone was more aggressive.
"I would like that too sir. I went to bed in my family's home and then woke up in this..." I turned my head to address the container he released me from and felt a bit of color drain from my face, "...coffin?!"
"Hmm, he cupped his chin, "this is a predicament. An all too familiar predicament."
I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was locked in a coffin to notice the ramblings of the strange Headmaster. When it seemed like I was on the verge of panicking, his gloved hand with golden talon-shaped rings was outstretched to me.
"Come child, you shouldn't be on the floor," he warmly said before helping me up. When I got to my feet his height hit me. He was almost a foot taller than me. A confused expression slowly crept onto his face. Mr. Crowley asked, "Are you a lady?"
I was taken aback by his question. My gender identity had never been so bluntly questioned before. I gave a nervous chuckle before answering, "Yes I am Mr. Crowley."
"Oh, this could be a problem," Crowley muttered.
"Problem? Why is that a problem?"
"Well, Miss Abiba, this is an all-boys boarding academy."
"Ah," was my only response. What else could I do?
Maybe there'll be some cute guys? Wait no! Not the time to be daydreaming about living some cheesy high school rom-com.
"Miss Abiba," I snapped back into reality(?) when the masked Headmaster called my name. "It is still very early, but I must call the dormitory leaders. I am going to take you to the Dark Mirror in the meantime."
"Yes. It will tell us if you have any magic."
"MAGIC!? THERE IS MAGIC?!" I excitedly looked up at him.
"Yes. This is actually an academy for aspiring magicians," Crowley explained.
I wondered if my eyes were expressing the total wonder I was feeling.
Magic. Oh my goodness gracious I'm in a world of magic! That actually explains the pointed ears...
I followed behind the tall Headmaster. My mind was filled with a multitude of emotions.