It all started with a dare.
ďIf you truly donít believe in it, then go into the Davee's forest right now. Leave this on the tree, and then come back.Ē
A few weeks earlier, Aubrey arrived in town to stay with her Grandma Jenny due to her parents lack of knowing what to do with her snappish mouth and less than admirable behavior in school. They hoped that a slower pace of life in a small town rather than the city would help her return to a path of being a helpful person rather than a rebellious daughter and menace to society. She didnít do anything too harmful to gain such distrust from her parents except sass the teachers a few times and maybe get into a few screaming matches with some other girls. Alright, thatís a lie. She cursed out a few teachers and intentionally started some fights with preppy girls in her classroom. Then, she started hanging out really late at night with some of her male friends, but it was all in good fun. Nothing crazy ever really happen except for the one time she tried to have a race down a less than empty road. Aubrey would have won if some homeless woman didn't try to run in front of her car to cross the street. It caused her to make a sharp right to avoiding hitting the woman. In consequence she crashed her motherís car into a pole, and it didnít help that she was over the legal drinking limit, didnít have her license on her at the time, and participating in underage drinking. Apparently, that was the last straw with her parents since after the court hearing; she was sent to a no manís land called Sunshine Valley that didnít even appear on the map when searched on Google.
A few boys from Sunshine Valley were tired of hearing Aubrey's condescending tone when she spoke of the townís alleged history with magical beings and her comments on the town in general. She often rolled her eyes at the ridiculous shops with supposed books of factual lore on fairyís existence and attended the joyous festivities in gratitude for the good fairies protecting the town from harm with a scowl on her face. It didnít make sense to her how people in a modern society could live with such pagan beliefs. It was worse than mainstream religions in her opinion since there was documentation on certain prophets in history for those, but there was no physical record of a human the size of a fly with wings. Aubrey relied on her senses to determine if something existed so if she couldnít see it, touch it, and even smell it then it wasnít real in her opinion. There were also times she also complained about the practically nonexistence internet connection and her calls constantly dropping. Her nickname for the town was Shit-shine Valley, located in between the crack of a donkey's ass. Older members of the town called her an abomination among many other unfriendly terms upon noticing her unladylike behavior, but her Grams wasn't have that type of discussion even if it was true. So they didn't talk about Aubrey around her grandma, but there was no doubt that the gossip of her actions was the news of the town.
The only person who actually displayed some type of feeling other than annoyance with her was a boy about her age called Matthew Slog. She couldnít be sure why he was so intrigued with her since it didnít seem as if he wanted an intimate relationship with her. Unlike some of the males when she first arrived, he didn't seem the less bit impressed by her looks. His eyes always remained on her hazel ones, only drifting upward to insult the messy brown curls on her head when she didn't take the time to make them look good. Most of the time, he just wore an amused look on his face when around her as if she was his personal form of live entertainment. Despite the looks of disapproval on his friendsí faces and girls that wanted his attention, he continued to hang out with her, and even tried to explain why she didnít believe in fairies in friendlier terms than she used to convey her opinions to anyone who was around to hear them.
This was how she ended up being invited to all of the activities since Matthew was quite popular in town. It was becoming known that if someone wanted him to go somewhere then they had to deal with her presence as well. Tonight, there was some type of birthday party going on in front of Davee's forest with some weak liquor and dancing. Aubrey wore a white t shirt with the words "Diva" in bright pink letters along with a black jacket and denim jeans. Her curly hair was reasonably tamed since she had a simple headband on with a brooch her grandma gave her as an accessory in her hair. The story behind the brooch was just as intricate as the legends and myths in the town. Supposedly, the brooch was given to her great great great great great grandma by a fairy that was thankful for their families assistance when she was lost. Utter bullshit, but the brooch was really beautiful with a green gem of some kind that seemed to shimmer with life so she wore it often.
A few people began talking about the town's history, and how this party was actually to celebrate a fairy's birthday. Of course, Aubrey couldn't keep her mouth shut when she noticed out that everyone except her was serious about it. Gullible fools. She pulled herself away from Matthew's side and glanced at the rough picture someone drew of the female fairy. It was a nice picture, but it was time for these town people to get a reality check. She moved to the center of the group, and cleared her throat to gain everyone's attention. As soon as they noticed it was her, a few people groaned in disbelief while some people looked horrified. "I know you guys don't want to hear what I have to say, but someone needs to take the wool off your eyes. There is no such thing as faeries or any other magical being. If so, science would have found out about it a long time ago." She heard someone mumbled something along the lines of bitch before Jeremy stepped forward from the crowd with his arms crossed over his chest. He didn't look very pleased with her. From the moment she arrived he hated her opinions on the town and just disliked her in general. In his hand was a band of some type, and he tossed it to her with a malicious smile. "ďIf you truly donít believe in it, then go into the Davee's forest right now. Leave this on the tree, and then come back. We will inspect the tree in the morning to see if you really did it or not, city girl." Matthew shook his head since there was apparently some type of "myth" going in the forest at night time.
A dainty eyebrow arched as she turned and headed towards the forest with the band in her hand, and only turned upon hearing footsteps behind her. Aubrey turned, knowing it could only be Matthew, before giving him a scathing look. "I'm going in the forest without you. And you know what, I'm going to walk all the way through as a shortcut to go home since I don't want to hang out with losers." A few people paled, and she smiled brightly, not showing an ounce of fear. "But not you Matthew, you're not a loser," she clarified gently. Matthew reached in his pocket, and pulled out a flashlight, placing it in her hand since he knew about her stubbornness already. "Call me when you get home, and walk straight through. Don't stop. Don't...don't get lost. Just walk. It's easy to just stay along the dirt path." She nodded her head and turned to head into the dark forest.
For a moment, she felt slightly scared but pushed it down since it was just a small with no wild creatures. She was the biggest thing in there. As Aubrey moved further inside, the flashlight flickered as if it was about to go out but she shook it aggressively. "Don't you dare," she whispered to it even though it couldn't hear or respond to her. There was a sound to her left, and she turned sharply as her arm began to quiver. The beam of light lit the shadows. There was nothing there but leaves and bushes. "Calm down, Aubrey," she chided herself harshly. "You're almost to this stupid tree where the stupid fairies touched it to make it bloom..." Talking to herself about the craziest of the town's beliefs actually calmed her down so she continued. "Who really believes in such things?" She snickered to herself while talking another step. "I rather hang myself than believe for a second that a person is the size of a bird." Just then, her foot stepped on something hard. There was an audible crunching sound in the silence around her. She pointed the flashlight down to see if she destroyed a branch or something.