She lay on her stomach and contemplated the mushroom. It was only one, she reasoned. There were so many of them. The faerie ring would still be a ring, regardless of what the man had warned.
Inhaling its scent again, she wondered if it was edible. She knew all the varieties that grew in the forest; which ones were poisonous and which ones weren't. These were unlike any she had come across. They smelled different. Not earthy like most mushrooms--but like wildflowers, sunshine and honey. Like magic.
It was only one...
Holding her breath, she plucked the mushroom from the ground. Dirt clung to the bottom of the stem and she brushed it off. The mushroom was flawless and beautiful, its scent like a heady perfume. "See?" she breathed. "Nothing happened. The man was making a fool of you."
The mushroom turned black and withered in her fingertips. Its scent changed from one of summer breezes...to one of death.
Tossing it aside, she sat up, her heart racing. Trepidation pricked at her insides. Grabbing a handful of pine needles, she covered the blight she'd left in the dirt. Her gaze darted around the ring. She tried to ignore the gap and couldn't. The ring was broken now. The mushrooms grew in a perfect circle until you reached the place she'd defiled. What had the man said? Break the ring and betwixt you'll be. Betwixt what? Just thinking about it gave her a headache. In fact, her head was throbbing quite painfully. She closed her eyes to ward off an onslaught of dizziness.
Falling onto her back, she looked up at what had been a blue sky mere moments ago. She was unprepared for the darkness that enshrouded her.