Aoibh found me in the stable. I was in my pyjamas. It’s some sarcastic twist of fate that my favourite pyjamas consist of a “Robot Unicorn Attack” t-shirt and a pair of purple leggings, I think.
Aoibh was sleepwalking, and we figured I had been, too. I got dressed and we walked to the pub to get something to eat. I wasn’t very hungry, but I needed to talk, and Aoibh said she’d listen. I know if we’d been born in the same century, in the same world, we’d still be friends. Something would have drawn us together. That sounds really hooky.
Anyway. I told her about my dream, and she started looking at me funny, and then she said it didn’t sound like a proper dream, maybe it hadn’t been a dream at all, except not in those words. She just asked me, point blank, “Gwyn, are you a unicorn?”
I didn’t really have an answer, so she told me I should try to change into one. She explained how Paasheelu is teaching her magic, and magic comes from a unicorn’s horn, so I should concentrate my magic there. So I did that, and duh, nothing happened. I told her I felt magic mostly in my hands.
So Aoibh, because she is a true friend — or something — took out the tip of a unicorn horn from her bag and handed it to me.
It felt like the horn was sizzling in my hands. I could tell a lot about it just from touching it. I could tell it was Paasheelu’s. I could tell it had been given in love. My hands tingled like crazy and I felt a little weird. I stood up — and then I was a unicorn.
I remained a unicorn for most of the evening, but that’s not my fault.
Here is what it’s like to be a unicorn. I will need to add to this list as time passes.
- You are magical. Even if your horn is hidden, you know you are magical.
- You can understand English, or I guess whatever your native language is.
- You cannot speak English. Your tongue and mouth won’t make those noises. I may have to figure out a way around that.
- A weird shyness comes over you, like you suddenly want to be hidden. I had to fight that hard last night.
- You know you are beautiful and desired and desirable, the most precious prize on earth. That carries with it a fear and a headiness combined that I’m not sure I like.
- You know things. You feel things. You smell things. Like I knew something was wrong with Valene, but more later on that.
- You feel nicer, especially if you sink in to it a bit. I think in my ‘dream’ that wasn’t a dream, I was very much Gwyn being a unicorn. Last night, probably because I was conscious and awake and accepting of the fact that I was a unicorn, it was easy to be a unicorn being a unicorn who had a fae inside her head.
- You want to run. I need to try running, soon.
So wouldn’t you know it, like ten minutes after I became a unicorn, Nathaniel appeared. Now, I loved this as the unicorn, but seriously, he fawned over me like a teenage girl. Cute, in a bit of a weird-ass way.
And right on his heels comes demon bitch Rachel. I swear, if I thought she had the skills or the technology, I’d be convinced she had some kind of tracking system in the damn pub, just so she can creepily appear whenever we’re there. Blech. As soon as I realised she was around, I glamoured over my horn, but she saw it before it disappeared; she made some crack about not knowing unicorns could hide their horns. Whatever.
At that point, I just went more and more unicorn, because she and Aoibh and Nathaniel were arguing. It’s weird: I could be so much of a horse, so much of a unicorn, and that left my brain free to think about things like what it felt to become a unicorn and where that magic came from, and then I could feel it, where my horn should be, as if my hands weren’t in my forelegs and hooves at all, but in my horn. It came to me that I could change back any time I wanted. But I wasn’t about to change back in front of that thing.
Valene came in, but she really wasn’t herself. The unicorn side was terrified of her, but I kept thinking, it’s OK, it’s OK, it’s just Val, she’d never hurt us– but then she touched my flank, and I could just feel her drawing energy off me. It didn’t even hurt, it didn’t even make me tired. That’s what I mean by feeling magical.
She kept trying to influence Rachel to do whatever she said. I could feel that, as the unicorn. I will need to remember how that feels so when I’m a fae I can sense when others are doing that. And she somehow wasn’t Val. The unicorn was curious about the whole thing, but I kept saying, no, just be horsey. Nathaniel has yummy sugary treats. It seemed to work, which is good: the unicorn didn’t like either of them, but she, I, whatever, was more inclined to run, fast and away, than get involved in whatever magical conflict was taking place.
In the end, and I don’t know how this happened, Val ended up with the crystal Rachel says is her soul. Rachel went completely batshit. Well, more batshit than usual, and then she had to follow Valene, because Valene had her soul. Aoibh freaked out and ran, and the horse wanted to run too, so as soon as they disappeared, I went back to being a fae. I hope that’ll catch on, calling someone ‘a fae’ rather than just ‘fae’; makes me remember how the gay guys back home refer to themselves. I am a gay. I am a fae. Makes me giggle.
Padishar showed up, but he left as soon as Nathaniel told him what was going on. Too bad: even though I can’t trust somebody who’d willingly have that creature in his life, he is very easy on the eyes.
I explained stuff to Nathaniel, and then Aoibheann came in with a huge bump on her head. She’d hit her head on the portcullis. I didn’t even laugh.
And that was a good thing. After Nathaniel went to bed, we stayed up talking for a while. Aoibheann, lovely Aoibheann, actually talked. I know it was mostly because she was drunk and hurting, but it’s so amazing when she tells me something. She’ll probably pretend it never happened tomorrow, but tonight I’m just glad I know more about her.
If I wake up in the stable tomorrow, I’m going to ask Cristof for something to hold me immobile while I’m asleep. I don’t have to tell him what it’s for.
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