Author: Ghost of Eternity
Once, long ago, in the time of magicks and unicorns, an evil sorcerer cast a spell on a girl and her friends, changing them into animals. But, luckily, his brother, a good sorcerer, managed to effect the spell so that they retained their human form at night. Even so, they were doomed to neither go to heaven or hell once they died, for they carried the soul of an animal, albeit only during the day. They constantly searched for a way to save themselves, coming up with nothing, living in the forest. Finally, one was sent into the world of men once again, to see if they could find help. And, it is here, in a small village that our story begins...
Tara hummed quietly to herself as she set the tray of bread on the windowsill, smiling at her handiwork.
"Tara," her father's voice boomed, "Get in here!"
She sighed and walked into the kitchen, her head down. She looked up through her curtain of hair briefly at her father, who sat by the hearth with a wine bottle in his hand.
"Tara," he slurred, "did you finish your chores?"
"And did you give your brother his breakfast?"
"Good girl. Now, hand your father his coat and I'll be off." He stood up, only to fall, then stood back up and lurched toward her. She stepped backward nervously. He grabbed her and pulled her up to his face. She could smell the alcohol on his breath and he growled, "You afraid of me, girl?"
"Yes you are."
His hand raised up and slapped her, sending her reeling back into the wall. As she lay there, trembling, her father stood up and called for her brother. He came downstairs, and the two of them left, taking the bread she had made with them.
Tara finally stood up as the world stopped spinning. She leaned against the wall and used it to support herself as she made her way to a chair. She sat down and sighed. Her life had to get better. It had to.
Who was she kidding? There was no way that it could get better. She put her head into her hands and began crying.
It was then that she heard a commotion outside. She looked up, and could hear the villagers shouting. What's going on out there?
She stood up, opened the kitchen door and stepped into the street. Her hand flew to her mouth, and she gasped at what she saw:
A unicorn with a red mane and a white body walked down the street like it was just another carthorse. It walked with such grace, such elegance... Tara couldn't describe it. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen, and she wanted nothing more than to run her hands through the silky red mane and stroke the magnificent white body. As it was passing her, she stepped out and reached for it.
The unicorn turned and she gazed into startling green eyes. It seemed to gaze into Tara's very soul. The pearly horn shone in the late afternoon sun. It was gorgeous, but Tara knew from the stories that it could rip through her flesh with one jab.
Out of nowhere the men of the village came with ropes. Tara was shoved away as they threw the ropes around the unicorn's neck.
"No!" Tara cried out, but her cries fell on deaf ears. It struggled fiercely and whinnied angrily, trying to break loose. It began to give up and allowed one of the men to get close enough to tie up its legs.
Tara stood there and watched the stunning creature start to cave in to her captors. No. She wouldn't allow this wonderful being to be sold for money.
"No," she yelled, "No! Don't give up! They'll kill you! Get up! Fight them! Please!"
The unicorn looked up, and Tara could've sworn that it understood her. It reared up and charged, knocking the men aside and severing the ropes with its' horn. It raced down an alleyway as the men dazedly tried to get up, and Tara followed it, not sure why she was but did anyway.
The unicorn galloped through the village and Tara scrambled after her like a mad woman. I have to get to her. I have to make sure that it's ok!
The chase finally led them into the forest. Tara leaned against a tree, panting and gasping as the unicorn stopped and turned, realizing that it was being followed. It watched as Tara straightened back up. There was a long moment of silence as the blonde and the unicorn gazed at each other, green staring into blue. Tara blushed and looked down, her curtain of blonde hair covering her face. She looked back up, and she almost thought the unicorn was smiling at her.
Suddenly, it stiffened. Tara didn't even have time to react as an arrow whizzed through the glen. It barely missed her and the unicorn, and then Tara felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She'd been hit with a second one. As she fell, she saw the unicorn charge in the direction of the archers. After a few sounds of scuffling, it returned to her side. It nudged her face, nickering softly. She faded into unconsciousness and the last thing she remembered was the unicorn's horn sparkling in the setting sun.