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Message to Readers

Am I the snake, the unicorn, or the crows?

The title is borrowed :)

Beautiful Creatures

December 6, 2019

GROUP: True Stories

    A snake slithers through the winter-dried grass, its scales slices of glowing agate. Making its way towards the forest, it rears up to glance behind, testing the air with its blackened, forked tongue. Its eyes, fiery orbs of hate with shadowy slits for pupils, perceive nothing on the foggy moors around. Safe, it turns again towards the forest, its body lightning ripples on the ground as it comes closer to the cave where it can hide from the cruel sun.

    This is the Nightsnake, feared among all peoples to the point that they worship it to keep from falling under its wrath. It is called Child-Killer, a harbinger of illness and poverty. It is said to have fire-breathing abilities like the dragons of old and can torch an entire crop with one breath. For its venom, there is no known cure. 

    Just as the sun dares to peek over the horizon, the snake sights its cave, a dark hole well hidden under the roots of a dead tree. Racing towards sanctuary, the snake doesn't notice the heavy vibrations drawing rapidly near. Doesn't hear the determined whinny. Or see the pristine hoof raise into the air.

    The next second, after the impact of the hoof into the snake's skull, it doesn't feel anything. Its body rattles a writhes for a brief moment, then lies still. Snorting in triumph, its breath a warm cloud in the dissipating fog, the unicorn stands there, relishing the death of its nemesis. 

    Silver coat gleaming in the pale dawn, the unicorn rears up, its single iridescent horn brushing a tree branch, loosening the brown and crumbling leaves the still clung desperately to their perch, but now swirl silently to the ground. A sprig of pale pink flowers blossoms where the unicorn touched the branch, withstanding all frost.

    No one knows the name of the unicorn. No one has seen it before. And no one will see it again, for as the sun rose full, the unicorn darted away, vanishing from all sight save that of its kind. That, though saddening to all hearts that ever glimpse the unicorn, is their way.

    As the unicorn disappears, a flock of crows descend to eat the body of the snake with gusto until it is gone and the only evidence of this scene is a flower that never dries in the sun, freezes in the winter, or fades with time.


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