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Dreams Come Troom
She crouched inside the locker, waiting for the chocolate Duchessa Gucci slides. In exactly 32 seconds, the incomparable Ella Vanslora would emerge from Biology 101, and she, Beatrice Margaux, would be waiting. Beatrice held her breath, her grimy pudgy fingers tapping out the seconds, barely able to contain herself from the bursting taste of imminent victory. She could already hear the golden clicking of heels on concrete getting nearer and nearer…BAM! A flash of gold blinded Beatrice as the locker door swung open and something soft slammed into her forehead.
“AHHHHH!!!!!” she shrieked.
A large triangular Prada logo was branded on her head.
“Toodles, Prada Margaux!” Ella called airily as she pranced away with irritating nonchalantness. Her posse pranced behind her in perfect triangle formation, and the whole school parted for them like Moses and the Red Sea.
Beatrice Margaux stewed on her creaking front porch and thought about revenge. I could always do a disappearing act on her eyebrows…thought Beatrice maliciously. I will be at that sleepover with her on Saturday night and it would take at least three months for them to grow back…
Suddenly Beatrice looked up. A truck rattled by. It wasn’t a FedEx truck or a UPS. It was painted gold.
“Strange,” she muttered.
Fancy trucks like this didn’t usually drive through her neighborhood. She looked around at all the old rickety houses on her block. They practically moaned with resentment and bitterness, and inside, Beatrice moaned too. It seemed like the minute her father had lost his job they’d both been shipped away to this cardboard box neighborhood they called home. Sighing, Beatrice looked up. A small golden box sat in solitude in the middle of the road. Its brilliant light glowed against the black asphalt.
“That wasn’t there before…” Beatrice murmured curiously.
She tiptoed up to the box to examine it more closely. Beatrice gasped with pleasure when she saw her name on it in gold letters. She picked it up and brought it inside her house. Holding her breath, Beatrice set the box down on a table inside her room.
“I wonder what’s inside…maybe Grandma sent me a gift,” she said excitedly. It’d been a long time since she’d received a gift. Slowly, she unlatched the catch and opened the lid.
“Ughh! Where’s the gift?” Beatrice exclaimed loudly.
She angrily dropped the box on the ground after she saw that there was nothing inside.
Ding…something inside the box had rattled.
Beatrice quickly picked up the box and tipped it over. A small gold ring fell onto the green linoleum floor. Beatrice hastily bent down to grab it and slip it on her finger.
The ring was a small gold band with faint writing etched into the metal.
“The bearer of this ring will find the secret to happiness,” read Beatrice. She slid it on her finger.
“Sounds good to me,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.
Satisfied, she crawled onto her uncomfortable air-mattress and went to sleep.
Beatrice knew something was different even before she woke up. For one thing, she could no longer feel the indented buttons of her air mattress on her spine, and her head didn’t bump into the mattress nozzle. She opened her eyes and looked up. Shimmering curtains swept over her bed frame like a lady’s long golden tresses, and she lay in sheets so soft that she felt lost in a sea of bedding.
“I must be dreaming,” murmured Beatrice.
She sat up and looked around. Everything she saw seemed to be draped in waterfalls of gold, and her bed frame was studded with jewels. Directly across from her bed was a large mirror with a ruby-crusted frame.
“Oww!” Beatrice exclaimed.
The reflection of all the gems had nearly blinded her. Instantly, four butlers in sunglasses all marched in with fluffy velvet pillows bearing Dior, Chanel, Prada, and Louis Vuitton sunglasses.
“What is this? Who are you?” asked Beatrice.
“We are your servants, and these sunglasses are for you to wear when you are in your room, my dear. Don’t you remember? The jewels reflect too brightly off the mirror you ordered…” said one of the men with a thick mustache and a strong French accent.
“Oh…” said Beatrice.
She hastily took a pair of diamond studded sunglasses and shoved them on her nose. Beatrice looked in the mirror. The gold metal band on the side of the glasses shot into the mirror and pierced her eyeball with blinding light.
“Owww!” she screamed again.
Almost before she had even opened her mouth, there were three more servants in the room, each holding more fluffy pillows with blinding bejeweled sunglasses.
“Ughh! Just, take these away and bring me a blindfold!” she cried.
One of the servants scurried out of the room.
“So, what’s there to do around here?” asked Beatrice.
“Well,” said the butler. “You can use the steam room, the pool, the game room, the equestrian park, the spa, or you can just sleep if you wish, but usually you choose the equestrian park first, then the pool and then the spa,” answered the butler.
“Ooh!” exclaimed Beatrice, “A pool, a spa, and an equestrian park? Since when did we get all of these rooms?”
“Darling…are you feeling okay? You’ve had this house your entire life! Maybe we should call your personal doctor. He usually knows what to do when you go into funny fits,” suggested the butler.
“No, I’m fine. Would someone take me to the equestrian park?” she asked.
Soon, Beatrice was being chauffeured in a gray jaguar to a beautiful park with rolling hills and an iron gate guarding the front. She could see many beautiful horses galloping in the pastures. Well…at least I’m kind to animals, Beatrice thought.
“You can wait in the car while we have your horse…or should I say unicorn saddled and brought out,” said the butler.
“I have a unicorn?” asked Beatrice.
“We really should have your doctor come over. Don’t you remember? You instructed us that you wanted unicorn horns implanted on all your horses’ heads ‘cause it would be ‘cool’,” said the butler.
“Oh…right,” said Beatrice. A chill danced in her heart. She had dreamed all this, and now it had come true, even the part about her own ranch filled with unicorns.
“I’ll be right back,” said the butler. “I want to make sure they get Twinkleberry saddled properly.”
Moments later, a hopelessly beautiful white horse gracefully moved towards Beatrice, who was still perched in the gray Jaguar. Its huge liquid eyes burned with sadness and pain. A crystal horn spiraled out of the horse’s bloody forehead.
“Why is the horse bleeding?” asked Beatrice tremulously.
“Because they had to remove a cylinder of flesh from the horse’s head before thrusting the crystal horn in,” said the butler.
Beatrice’s heart hurt as the horse looked sadly into her eyes. She hoped he didn’t know she was the reason for all his suffering.
“Isn’t this animal cruelty? Isn’t this against the law?” Beatrice cried.
“My darling…you are the law,” said the butler. “Now hop up, my dear.”
Beatrice climbed onto the silver saddle, feeling the horse tremble beneath her with each shift of her weight.
“Um…I’d like to go the spa now please. And have the horn removed immediately,” Beatrice said.
“And leave the other horses as they are,” she finished.
“Not another word!” said Beatrice, her heart shivering with fright as she stomped off toward the spa.
Beatrice had barely walked ten meters when she saw snazzy jaguar parked by a post with a driver-in-uniform standing at attention.
“Would you like me to drive you the rest of the way, madam?” he asked in a thick French accent.
“What? Who are you?” Beatrice asked bewilderedly.
“You ordeahed cahrs posiçioned every ten metahs so that you would not af to walk if you became…très fatigué, ma petit,” said the driver in a very bad French accent.
“Well, I’ll have you know that I’m perfectly fine with walking!” Beatrice huffed.
“As you wish, Your Grace.”
Beatrice trudged back to the mansion as slowly as possible. She was trying to come up with ideas about how she got to this horrible place and how she could get out of it. What was the last thing I did before I got here? she asked herself. And then she remembered the ring. She looked down at her finger. The letters were glowing now, so she could read the message more easily. The secret to happiness is knowing when you have enough.
Beatrice thought about all the times when she wished she could have more—a Prada bag, more shoes, more Juicy sweats, the latest cute dress she saw in the mall.
But now she realized that all she wanted was a roof over her head, a family, and love.
She finally came to a set of massive marble double doors framed with a massive archway. Gold lettering was engraved across the top of the doors reading, The Spa Margaux.
“Oh my God!” Beatrice exclaimed. “My own spa! Just for me!”
Forgetting all her resolutions, Beatrice flew through the marble doors and into paradise. The winged-shaped pools were paved with black pearl and filled with mountain-fresh peppermint-scented water. Hot steam rose from one wing of the pool while the other burbled cool and fresh. The floor was translucent beaten pink gold leaf, pounded so fine that you could see the exotic tropical fish shimmering beneath. A gold bridge encrusted with millions of tiny gilt mirrors arched between the wings, and as Beatrice tripped lightly across the bridge, she could see herself reflected a million times. At the other side of the bridge, a walkway, still of translucent pink gold leaf, shimmered, and on it flowed the words The Hall of Choice. And so she stood, before four solid gold doors scripted with mother of pearl letters: Dreams Come Troom, The Room of Scented Steam, The Room of Song, and The Warm Stone Cave. And if she had looked a little closer, Beatrice would have noticed that at the bottom of the Warm Stone Cave door, tiny letters written in jewels said The Cave of Realization.
“Hmmm…Dreams Come Troom,” said Beatrice. “Sounds like my kind of room!”
Eagerly, Beatrice placed her hand on the glittering fish’s head that was the doorknob and pulled down on the fish-tail lever.
“Ah-em,” grunted the fish.
“Did you just…?” she began.
“You’re going to need a password, young lady,” said the fish in a mock-reprimanding tone.
“What?” asked Beatrice, hardly believing that she was actually talking to a doorknob.
“I’m just kidding! You are the queen. Enter, my lady!” said the fish, chuckling musical notes.
The door swung open to reveal a spherical glass room glowing with electric blue light. Beyond the glass glided the strange creatures of Beatrice’s dreams. A welliphant floated past, its floppy elephant ears gracefully propelling it forward as its tree-trunk legs paddled in a slow-motion version of the running man. The welliphant’s trunk was long and wrinkled like a normal elephant’s trunk, but its tip was divided into two flippers that spun like the blades of a propeller.
Other neon-glowing fish hovered in the water, giving the effect of Chinese paper lanterns suspended in mid-water. Beatrice was speechless. She couldn’t wait to find out what was in the next room.
As she closed the door, the silvery fish handle said, “Farewell, my princess,” in a floaty, airy voice.
The next door was titled The Room of Scented Steam. The moment she stepped inside the room, Beatrice saw something that looked like a solid gold coat rack, and from it hung a stylish pink-polka dot bikini.
“How cute!” she cried.
She quickly changed out of her clothes and into the bikini. On the wall was a set of buttons that read Peppermint Steam, Evergreen Steam, Peach Steam, Cookie Dough Steam, and even Exfoliating Mud Steam.
“Hmmm…” Beatrice wondered aloud. “Maybe…Peppermint Steam!” she cried happily, pushing the button.
Instantly, a giant screen that she had not noticed before lit up, displaying a beautiful picture of waterfalls surrounded by vivid greenery. Small golden pipe-like objects ejected from the walls to shoot peppermint-scented steam into the room.
“I can almost taste the peppermint!” cried Beatrice, dancing about.
The aroma filled her nostrils and seeped into the pores of her skin. It was so soothing she almost wanted to lie back and fall asleep. She watched the screen for awhile before deciding to try the next room.
Once Beatrice was changed back into her jeans and tee-shirt, she opened the next door that read The Room of Song.
“This should be interesting,” she said.
When she entered the room, all she could see was jungle. A pool burbling with steaming water was surrounded by a grove of lush, leafy chocolate-brown trees. And when she looked at the wall, the set of buttons there read African Birds, Dancing Lights, and Lost Music.
“I wonder what would happen if I pushed all the buttons at once…” Beatrice contemplated aloud.
Beatrice’s fingers had hardly touched the buttons when colorful birds with silken feathers began to swoop around the room, singing in voices like silver flutes. Colorful lights danced about the room to the rhythm of haunting music. After a while, Beatrice was no longer entertained and decided to go into the next room.
The door’s writing was especially large and gold, and it read Warm Stone Cave, but if Beatrice would have looked a little closer at the bottom of the door, she would have seen that it also said The Cave of Realization.
“Hm!” Beatrice cried, shrugging her shoulders, “I could do with a nap.”
She pushed open the door to reveal another jungle. But this time, a crashing waterfall sang into a pool that gleamed blue with life, and something about the song was familiar.
“Oh…a singing waterfall, what else is new?” she asked aloud.
Suddenly, Beatrice saw a small black-stone set of stairs that wound up behind the waterfall.
“Ooh, I wonder where those lead?”
Quickly, she ran up the steps and into a cave. At first, all she could see was steam, but slowly as the steam faded away, a face appeared. It was the face of her mother. And then she knew when she had heard that song before.
“Mom…is that you?” she asked quietly.
“No, dear. I’m just your masseuse,” said the woman softly as she gripped a silver kettle.
“No, you aren’t, you’re my mother!” cried Beatrice. “I know that song the waterfall sang. You sang it to me as a child!”
“You’re being silly, sweetheart. I’m not your mother!” exclaimed the woman.
“I haven’t seen you for eleven years, and now you’re not even going to speak to me?” cried Beatrice.
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’m not your…your…mother,” the woman stammered.
Suddenly, the butler emerged from some secret door behind the cave.
“Is everything okay in here? We could hear the noise from the surveillance recorders.”
Both Beatrice and the woman were silent.
“Is everything okay?” the butler repeated.
“I just don’t know what’s going on here! One day I’m going to sleep on a blow-up mattress and the next I wake up as a princess. And I’m sure this woman is my mother, but she won’t admit it. I’m just confused,” Beatrice cried.
Slowly, and very much to Beatrice’s surprise, the butler pulled off his sunglasses and fake mustache and dropped them on the ground. Beatrice gasped. It was her father.
“On the day you turned thirteen you made a wish when you blew out your birthday candles, and that wish was for the world we have created for you here,” said Beatrice’s mother quietly.
“Do you like it?” asked Beatrice’s father. “We executed every detail, even down to the welliphants.”
Beatrice looked at her father and mother and wanted to cry. She had made her parents into her servants. And the world she had once thought was so wonderful now crushed her heart. She did not want to be the selfish queen that had her every whim obeyed. She just wanted to be Beatrice.
“I love it,” she said to her father and mother, “But I would trade it all for a family that lived together in a small house, and loved each other.”
“Some things cannot be reversed, my love,” said her mother gently. “But your father loves you, and he will take care of you.” And with that, her mother lifted the silver kettle and poured the boiling water onto the glistening black stones. A veil of mist rose from the steam and when it dissipated, Beatrice found herself lying on her air mattress in her room. After kissing every button on her air mattress thirty times, she ran into her father’s room and shook him awake.
“Wake up, daddy! I want to give you a hug!” she cried happily.
“What did you do?” he asked hazily.
“Nothing, I’m just happy to see you!” she exclaimed.
“Humph,” her father grunted suspiciously, looking around to see if anything was broken.
But when she looked at him, he was hiding a small smile.