Penny's Unicorn

Submitted into Contest #144 in response to: Start your story with somebody taking a photo.... view prompt



I snapped a photo of the most beautiful creature I'd ever laid eyes on standing beneath a huge oak tree.

She had silky white fur covering her entire body. One single horn stood on her head glowing hues of pinks, purples and blues. A long sparkling violet tail whipped in the wind as she struggled to flap her rainbow colored wings and fly away.

I knew better, but I crossed the property line to get closer. I knelt beside her and patted her snowy white head. Her frightened eyes shimmered with tears. I followed her helpless gaze and that's when I saw mean old farmer Brown stomping in muddy black boots towards her. He carried a large stick over his shoulder.

When he lifted the stick back, I screamed, "No. Don't hit her!"

Mean old farmer Brown lowered the stick and snickered, "Then get her off my property."

Mean farmer Brown didn't like unicorns.

I stuffed my phone in my pocket and ran towards her. I struggled to lift her just enough to move her a few feet from farmer Brown's property line.

Farmer Brown yelled, "You better keep her over there."

I took off my jacket and gently wrapped it around her helpless body.

"Don't move an inch. Farmer Brown isn't a nice man and I don't want him to hurt you. I'll be right back with help. I can't carry you all the way home by myself."

I softly petted her head again and whispered, "I promise, I'm coming back. I won't leave you here all alone," before I took off running towards home.

I ran the full half mile home faster than I'd ever ran before. I was panting as I skipped up the front steps two at a time.

"Brother, where are you?" I called out as I entered the front door.

"In here," Paul's voice answered from the kitchen, "I made pancakes, your favorite."

"I only eat Mom's pancakes," I answered sternly.

"Mom isn't coming back. Please try my pancakes. I know you're going to love them," Paul said with pleading eyes.

"No, I'm not hungry," I answered, "but I really need your help."

"With what?" Paul asked as he dropped the last round fluffy cake on a plate.

"I found a unicorn on farmer Brown's land. I think she's hurt," I told him as he pinched off a piece of pancake and popped it into his mouth.

Paul rolled his eyes. "Penny, you know there is no such thing as a unicorn."

"I saw it! So did farmer Brown! He yelled at me and told me to get her off his property, but she's too heavy so I could only move her a little ways."

"Penny, unicorns aren't real. Mom's not coming back. You have to stop making things up. Living in a dream world all the time isn't good for you. You're twelve years old."

"But I promised her I would come back. Please help me. I can't break my promise," I begged.

"I know you want Mom to come back, but she isn't. Saving a make believe creature isn't going to change that," Paul snapped.

My eyes began to sting. Even though I knew Paul thought I was a baby, I couldn't hold back my tears any longer. "Fine then, I'll just do it myself," I choked out as I stomped towards the front door with a huge lump welling up in my throat.

As soon as I reached the front porch, the tears I held back poured down my cheeks. As the tears fell to my lips, I tasted the saltiness. I took a deep breath and I lifted my t-shirt to my face. I dried the tears as I started the half a mile hike back. Somehow, I'd save her all by myself. I wouldn't break my promise, like Mom had broken hers.

Before I'd trekked far enough to lose sight of the house, I heard Paul running up from behind me.

"Go away," I said refusing to look at him, "I don't want your help."

"I'm going with you," Paul stated softly as he slid his arm around my shoulders.

"Why? You don't even believe in unicorns," I said in a raised voice as I jerked away from his arm, "And get away from me. Don't touch me."

Paul lowered his arm to his side. "Because I love you, that's why," he softly answered.

"I took her picture. I know she is real, " I insisted staring straight ahead.

"Let me see it then," Paul said holding out his palm.

I reached in my pocket and handed Paul my phone. "You'll see."

"Penny," Paul said as he stopped his tracks. "There's nothing in this photo. It's just a tree."

"Your lying," I said as a snatched the phone from him. I stared at the screen. Paul was right, nothing was there.

"But I saw her. I swear I saw her and so did Farmer Brown." I felt the tears stinging my eyes again.

Paul started walking again.

I might have just turned around, but we had already reached the place where I'd left her earlier. My jacket laid sprawled over the ground. I lifted my jacket to find only dirt underneath. I felt so stupid.

"Oh there she is," Paul said pointing towards the right. "She must have tried to get away."

I looked, but I didn't see anything. Maybe Paul was right and I was just making things up in my head.

Paul walked toward the right a few feet away. He knelt down. He gently lifted an invisible body from the ground and held it in his arms. " And wow, you're right. She's very heavy," he said smiling. "Come on, let's take her home. You can take care of her. She looks injured."

I started to argue with him, but I knew Paul just loved me. He only wanted to make me happy.

"Are you sure?" I asked using my jacket to dry my face.

"I'm sure," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "but only if you promise to try my pancakes when we get home."

"I will," I managed to whisper as the tears blurred my eyes again. "I love you, Brother."

"I love you too, baby sister."

May 01, 2022 12:29

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Laura Eliz
15:28 Jun 07, 2022

This story brought a tear to my eye. So sweet.


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Jennie B
18:13 May 07, 2022

The imagination, innocence and love are all so very touching in your story.


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Sharon Hancock
23:15 May 03, 2022

Awe I love sweet sibling stories. I have to wonderful brothers, and although they never made me pancakes, this story reminds me of them. 😻


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