Avery sighed as she looked at the tree. She did not want to enter and face all the fey inside. But she had no choice, so she put a gleeful smile on her face and flew into the hollow playfully.
Avery was not like the other fairies: she didn’t like to play mean tricks on people. She always felt so guilty. But she couldn’t not play tricks: it wasn’t natural for fairies to dislike tricks. If anybody found out she’d be in trouble. Her family might abandon her, or they might send her away to get fixed. She’d lose friends and nobody would want anything to do with her. So she pretended to like tricks as much as anyone else.
“Hi Avy!” Misty, Avery’s best friend called as she flew into the hollow.
“Hi Misty,” Avery replied. “How are you?”
Misty giggled and flew in a circle around Avery. “Good,” she replied. “Guess what today is?”
Avery tried really hard not to moan. “Test day?” she said with more enthusiasm that she felt.
Misty nodded. “Yeah!” she cried. “What are you gonna do? I’m gonna steal a man’s purse and make it reappear in his hat!”
Avery giggled. “That’s great,” she replied. “I’m going to make a tree nymph’s apples disappear and reappear in a water nymph’s pond.”
“Oh my, that’s brilliant,” Misty whispered. “You’re so wonderful at tricks. I think you’re going to be a great fey one day. Maybe you’ll serve the queen.”
“Oh,” Avery replied. “I don’t think I’m that good.”
“Are you kidding?” Misty cried. “You’re the best in our class. You’re a natural.”
Avery shook her head. “I think Tia’s better than I am,” she replied.
“Are you kidding?” Misty said. “Tia’s good, but you’re definitely better.”
“Hurry up now,” Avery heard. “It’s time to begin.”
The young fey flying around gathered quickly into the main room in the tree. The students waited to be called for their turn to take the test.
Avery fidgeted as she waited. She didn’t want her turn to come, but she new that she’d have to go eventually. She knew she’d do well, but she really didn’t want to.