It was a perfectly normal night. Livvie was slumped into her bed, soaking in a new book, taking a sleepy sort of happiness from having taken her hearing aids out after a long day — like pouring all the synthetic, grating sound out of her head, shaking it out of her ears like water.
It was a perfectly normal night, except that a glowing purple portal had opened up in the corner of her bedroom five minutes ago, and she’d been huffily ignoring it ever since.
It’s just my imagination, Livvie had told herself, aiming the thought pointedly at the softly humming portal, in case that would help. No weird magical shit going on here.
She focused on her book. Through the softness that was all sound without her hearing aids in, she heard the portal cough, politely but purposefully, waiting to be acknowledged. She raised her book higher so it would block her sight.
This went on for a another few minutes, then the portal let out an indignant huff and a flash of bright violet light that grabbed Livvie around the waist like a cosmic octopus arm and yanked her in, ignoring her protesting yells of “What the fuck!”
The portal did not care for rude language, or for slightly magical teenagers who ignored the very polite callings of their destiny. Unfortunately, it also did not have a good enough grasp on humans to know that some of them, if they were to complete quests with their highest possible potential, really ought to be wearing their hearing aids before they are sucked into magical alternate realities.
Sometimes magical quests just go to hell before they’ve even begun.
Stop this “work hard” bullshit. You deserve free time, you deserve sleep and you deserve mental health. You deserve to procrastinate and you deserve to have your hobbies. You deserve it. You need it. No one should work & study all the time.