The crickets fell silent. The early summer humidity died swiftly, replaced by a cool, dry breeze. There was a shift, like a great hand stretching down to curl its fist around her; she felt it down to the marrow of her bones -- a ripping that she, in her drowsing state, was powerless to resist. But from her father's sloping cottage porch in the deep French countryside, she felt it. No pain, but pressure, enough to make her ears pop. It woke her from her dozing.
The fog of sleep lifted in starts. First, she found herself staring at a wood table top of the finest, smoothest making. She couldn't see the seams, she couldn't find any blemishes in the wood, and the varnish was like glass. Such a table would have easily fit in the finest salons in Paris. But when she lifted her head, she was not in Paris. Rows after rows of sterile gray-metal bookshelves surrounded her. The ceiling was high and white, unadorned. The rug looked as if it had been knit, and it went on and on - again, no seams. But as she became more aware, she also realized she was nowhere close to home.
There were others around her. Dressed strangely. Strangely, but uniformly, as if they had all chosen their clothing from the same tailor. Beauty looked down at her dirt-stained country dress, curled her fingers in her apron, and sat very, very still. Panic was rising, and she knew from experience that panic did nothing, nothing at all but make things worse.
She was in a library, she finally surmised. No library she'd ever seen before, and none that felt familiar. The letters everywhere were wrong... Or not wrong, but not French. She found she could read the words she saw, but the language was not one she'd known five minutes ago. Swallowing, she very, very quietly stood from the chair where she'd been deposited. The sweat on the back of her neck had dried and made her skin pucker under the gusting cold air. Where was that coming from? She turned her face up and saw a strange sort of... it must be a vent, but not to let air out.
This wasn't France. This wasn't home. How had she gotten here, and who had taken her, and why? Her father needed her. Her sisters needed her. Unbunching her fingers from her apron, she forced her steps to remain careful, slow, and unhurried. She wanted no attention cast her way. There had to be an exit to this library, and from there, she could find where she was. And from there, she could find her way home.
A shush-shushing sound drew her away from the area with perfect tables and perfecter chairs, and she found herself staring at moving glass panels. Sunlight shone from behind them. A man with pale hair walked through them. This must be it. She ducked her head, edged backward to the closest shelf, and waited for him to pass her before she tried her hand at those panels herself. Unfortunately, she didn't look behind her.