My heart stutters. I mentally feel for my glamour, the magic that should be making me invisible right now. It's still in place, I'm sure it is. So how can he possibly see me?

This is bad. This is very bad.

A few feet away from me, the boy pushes himself up onto his knees. "What just happened?"

"Um . . ." Crap, I am going to lose so many points for this.

"And what the hell is that?"

I follow his gaze to the arrow in my hand. It sparkles with its own light, as though made of hundreds of tiny white-hot stars. I can see how that would look weird to a human. I let go of the arrow. It vanishes, causing the boy's eyes to grow even wider.

"Well, I should really be going." I stand up, hoping my stylus is still in my boot.

"Wait." He gets to his feet. "Who are you? What are you doing here? What was that . . . thing?"

"That thing?" I casually reach behind me for the wall. "Oh, you know, just a product of your subconscious. And all that ice cream you ate earlier. Indigestion can make for some interesting dreams." I cringe internally. Dreams? What idiot would buy that explanation?

His eyebrows draw together. "I guess that could make sense. You are way more attractive than any real-life girl who's managed to find her way into my bedroom."

This is not happening.

I slide my hand into the top of my boot and retrieve my stylus. "You need to wake up and carry on studying," I tell the boy. Then I turn to the wall and scribble a few words across it. The writing glows and fades, and a portion of the wall melts away like ribbon held too close to a flame. "Goodbye," I call over my shoulder. I step into the yawning darkness, holding two words in my mind: Creepy Hollow.


"Ow!" He grabs hold of my arm—the arm that's only just begun to heal from the reptiscilla's bite—and I stumble on the invisible path. My mind loses hold of my destination and I tumble out of the darkness and onto the forest floor. I don't usually exit the paths so clumsily, but I don't usually have a human boy on top of me.

The reality of what has just happened strikes me like a slap in the face.

A human.

In the fae realm.

And I'm the one who brought him here.

No no no NO.

I give the boy a good kick and he lands on the ground beside me with a groan. "What did you do that for?" I yell, jumping to my feet. "You can't follow me through! That's not how this works."

He sits up and stares at his surroundings—the wildly tangled trees; the creeping mist; the shifting smoke-like colors in the yuro plants' leaves—with a mixture of horror and awe on his face. "That . . . was . . ."

"Probably the most idiotic thing you've ever done," I say. I doubt he's listening to me though.

"I think you were right about the dreaming thing," he says. "There's no way this could be real. Am I high on something?"

"Ugh." I clench my fists so tightly I can feel my nails digging into my skin. "It's magic, you moron."

He looks at me and frowns. "There's no such thing as magic."

"Well, you probably think there's no such thing as faeries either, and yet here I am." And here he is. In my forest. My home. I kick a flurry of leaves into the air. Their colors shift rapidly in protest, cycling through an endless palette: lavender, magenta, burgundy, sienna. I bury my face in my hands. I have so failed this assignment.

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