Once Upon A Dream


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When Basil woke up the next day, he wasn’t feeling quite himself. Probably because he had grown about 5 feet taller since yesterday, and he now had hands instead of paws. The weirdest thing of all, though, was that his tail was now gone. He panicked for a moment, but then breathed a sigh of relief as he remembered that his pride and joy would be firmly attached to his ass where it belonged in less than 12 hours’ time.

For now, though, it was all about the girl. All about Bella.

He sat up in bed, hitting his head on the top bunk as he forgot for a moment how tall he now was. “OW!” he exclaimed. He carefully turned himself around and got out of the bed slowly. He made his way to the bathroom to inspect his ‘new self’ in the mirror. “Hmm, not bad,” he said out loud. He combed his red hair into a ‘cool’ style, and that made him realise something.

 As if on cue, Maddie entered through the front door, smiling as usual. “Hey, guys,” she grinned.

Basil walked right up to her. “Madison,” he said firmly, pointing to his hair, “I said tall, dark and handsome.”

Maddie giggled. “You get what you’re given I guess. And besides, you wouldn’t want to lose yourself completely, would you?”

Basil sighed. She had a point.

“Now,” Madison continued, “go get yourself ready and ask that girl to prom before someone else gets in there before you!”

 

***

In the café, Bella was sipping a large hot chocolate, her eyes transfixed on her copy of heat magazine. She barely looked up when her friend Stephanie walked out of the kitchen to serve a customer.

“Olly Murs is looking hot today,” she gushed, ogling her favourite popstar on the Torso of the Week page.

Steph rolled her eyes. She knew her friend was only trying to compensate for the fact that she was so not over her ex-boyfriend.

“Good luck getting him to ask you to prom,” she said sarcastically.

Bella sighed. “If I’m mentally dating a celebrity, I can’t get hurt, can I?”

She was about to answer her with some kind of smart-ass comment when they heard the bell sound, signalling a new customer entering the café. Both Steph and Bella turned their attention to a handsome young man, with red hair and brown eyes, wearing a green hoodie and jeans, his hands in his pockets trying to look cool. They’d never seen this boy before, but Steph was instantly interested.

“He’s hot,” she whispered to her friend.

“Ew,” Bella replied in disgust. “He’s a ginger.” She made the word ‘ginger’ rhyme with ‘singer’.

“Shut up, Bel! He’s coming this way!”

“He’s all yours!” Bella replied.

“Ladies…?” the lad said as he made his way up to the counter, his brown eyes sparkling.

“I’ll leave you guys to it…” Steph said knowingly as she made her way back into the kitchen. “You need a man more than I do.”

Bella groaned, realising her friend had abandoned her to deal with this customer all on her own. “What can I get you?”

“A cup of tea,” he answered, “and maybe some indication of what you’re doing tonight?”

Bella laughed. That was the worst chat-up line she’d ever heard. “I’ll get your tea, but if you’re looking for a date, you should ask my mate Steph. I think she likes you.”

“Too bad!” the boy laughed back. Then he leaned in close. “Between you and me, you’re much nicer than her.”

Bella was flattered and a little more interested now, even though she wouldn’t admit that to anyone, especially Steph. She placed the steaming cup of tea down on the counter in front of the boy. “My name’s Bella.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Baaaa…” He stopped for a second. Revealing his real name would give her a hint of who – and what –he really was. “I’m Bas.”

“Nice to meet you too,” Bella smiled. It was the prettiest smile Basil had ever seen. “So… about tonight…”

In that instant, Stephanie returned from the kitchen. “Got a date yet?” she asked Bella impatiently.

‘Bas’ heard her. “We’re getting to that,” he explained.

Bella blushed.

“It’s her school prom tonight,” Steph told Bas. “She’s got no one to go with after her boyfriend dumped her yesterday.”

“Well, that’s perfect!” he exclaimed. “If you’d like to, I mean.”

Before Bella could answer, Steph answered for her. “She’d love to.”

Bella scolded her mate and Bas giggled at the two of them. “That’s that then,” he smiled. “I’ll pick you up later.”

“She’ll be waiting,” Steph replied as if Bella couldn’t talk.

As Bas turned to leave the café, Bella gave Steph a look of pure annoyance. “Thanks a lot.”

Steph shrugged. “At least that dress won’t go to waste now.”

Bas froze. He hadn’t thought about what he was going to wear.

He needed Madison’s help again.

***

“Hey, Bas, how’d it go with the girl?” Maddie asked as she saw her friend enter through her front door in a bit of a panic.

“Great,” Basil replied, “…except… I’ve got nothing prommy to wear!”

Maddie laughed. “Prommy? Is that even a word?”

Basil smiled at her. “It is now.”

Maddie giggled again. “Maybe you should check out your closet.”

Basil gave her a funny look. Even though she’d lived here for years now, Madison’s American words still boggled him sometimes. “My… closet? Oh! You mean my wardrobe.”

He ran downstairs to his own flat, into the bedroom and opened the wardrobe door. In there was a full prom suite and shoes, his size.

Wow, he thought, that spell really did sort everything out!

A few hours later, at 7pm, he was ready.

“Anything I need to know before I go?” he asked Maddie nervously.

Maddie shrugged. “Not really. Just be yourself and have fun – she’ll love you.”

Basil’s eyes lit up. “Really? You think so?”

“I know so,” Maddie smiled, straightening him up a little. “Now get going or you’ll be late – your ride is waiting outside!”

The ‘ride’ in question was actually a big black limousine waiting to take him to Bella’s house to pick her up. As he got inside, he thought to himself, Wow, Maddie did really think of everything!

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