Smiley's Revenge

Submitted into Contest #92 in response to: End your story with a truth coming to light.... view prompt

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Fantasy Speculative

Sometimes you just can’t catch a break…

   My name is Smiley. Yes, Smiley. I am a humpback unicorn with no real reason to smile, yet that is my name. My friends call me Smi and my enemies call me “The One-Horned Camel”. Well, they do until I run my one horn where they least expect or want it. My body is the pure white of most unicorns, and my mane and tail are a beautiful cream. My one true flaw is my back. I don’t know why it has a huge hump. I wasn’t born with it and no one in my family has ever had one or heard of one. It’s not a pretty sight, and it causes me terrible back pain. I am the only unicorn in the world that begrudges giving rides to troll pups or the occasional fairy with wing fatigue. Today, however, my luck is even worse than usual. I woke up precisely at daybreak, as soon as I felt the sun awaken the long grasses and tall trees of my home. I don’t need a roof over my head in most weather so I just sleep in the glade near my favorite stream. I wake up surrounded by breakfast and covered in cleansing morning dew. Sounds nice, right? Not to whine or anything, but this morning the sun wasn’t the only thing waking me up. Before I even opened my eyes, I could hear the low pitched wails. The trolls were being chased again; probably by the tiny non-human witches that are such a curse to their human counterparts. One of them sped past my sleeping spot, creating havoc as she went. The flowers I so love to admire wilted and died in her wake. The grass curled as though scorched. The trees screamed in agony as their bark peeled. They would recover but I would be hearing about this from them for some time to come. The miniature witch was purple, as most are, and had long flaming hair. Not flaming red, mind you. Flaming as in made of fire. The cruel creature stopped and laughed at my hump before whizzing off again, looking for more troll victims. Witches and trolls are terrible enemies, but they rarely bother unicorns. The magic held in our horns can extinguish their hair forever. Without her fire, a witch is a laughing stock among her own kind. I wouldn’t damage one simply for laughing, but it was tempting to use my power to stop her senseless attack. The trolls never really hurt any non-human, and eating people wasn’t really against any rules that I knew of. I certainly don’t hesitate to munch on the friendly but helpless flowers at my feet. The witch continued on her way, however, with no real harm done. I could hear the mothers calling their young to them, assessing damage and licking their small wounds. One of my best friends, a troll named Gooth, waddled over to me.

   “Bad witch. Hurt Gooth. Hurt Gooth brother.” Trolls have terrible speech, mostly because they are exceptionally lazy.

   “I know. What a horrid creature”, I soothe and sympathize with him. “ Next time, run past me and I’ll step on her, just a little. Give you a head start.” Gooth seemed grateful but it was honestly hard to tell. Their faces are as expressionless as they are ugly. He did nod at me though, so I must have read him right. “Want to splash in the stream with me?” I teased. Trolls also hate water. They enjoy their own smell and were not willing to risk washing any of it off. He looked at me with zero expression so I decided he thought I was funny.

   “Witch hurt Gooth,” he repeated. This confused me. As I mentioned, trolls are very lazy. There was no need to repeat what had already been said and it was notable that he had done just that. I turn to look at him, waiting to see what he would say next. “Witch hurt Smi, “ he said.

   “No, Gooth, the witch didn’t hurt me. She wouldn’t attack a unicorn and risk having her hair put out.”

   Gooth shook his head. The movement showed his agitation and astounded me! Trolls do not move any part of their body unless it involves eating, walking to where they absolutely MUST go, or running from danger, such as witches intent on deviling them. Before I recovered from my shock at his energetic (for a troll) behavior, he continued. “Witch hurt baby Smi. Witch mad at Smi mother. Smi mother hurt witch. Witch hurt Smi.” This was the troll equivalent to a two-hour speech from any other creature, even a fairy (and they talk A LOT). Still, his words made a choppy kind of sense and I felt weak in all four knees as the meaning sunk in.

   “You mean that my mother injured a witch and she retaliated by hurting me? Did she give me this hump on my back, Gooth?” I had never felt rage before. Unicorns are perpetually happy creatures, and although I have more issues than most of my kind, I am still a unicorn at heart. My mother had lied to me! My father had lied to me! I felt betrayed on such a deep level that I really didn’t know what to do with myself. Should I confront them? Should I confront the witches first? As my legs began to move I heard Gooth beg me, saying, “Stay…” but I could not. I ran as hard as I could go straight to my mother’s little valley.

   As I reined myself in and tried to gain control of my emotions, I saw my mother. My father was with her, though they live in separate valleys. (Unicorns don’t marry as humans do, come on people, we’re animals!) I cantered up to them, slightly out of breath. My hump, the hump given to me by a wrathful witch, made running more difficult than it should otherwise be. They eyed me warily. As I said, unicorns are happy all the frigging time so any anger on my face would be a big deal.

“Greetings, Smiley.” They said in unison.

   “Mother, Father, I greet you.” I had to say that. It was law that all unicorns are to be formally greeted with respect before anything else could be discussed. The punishment for neglecting to do so involved being the injured party’s servant for a time. It taught respect and humility, I guess. But this was done and now for other, more important topics! “Did a filthy little witch give me my hump?” I said this as calmly as I could manage under the circumstances, which turned out to be a semi-hysterical scream.

They looked at one another and nodded. That was it. They nodded!

   “An explanation is needed.” I tried again to be calm and respectful, but my voice cracked so I guess I was still screaming kind of loud.

   “Fine dear,” said my mother. “Years ago, before you were born, I was friends with a witch named Lilt. She was crafty and maybe a little mischievous, but we got along great. She used to ride on my back and we spent every day together. One day, her parents decided that she should serve in a delegation of witches and she had to leave. She got angry and tried to refuse. She threatened to come stay with me and leave their society, which I thought was a little dramatic, but you know how witches are, so emotional! Her mother and father captured her and were dragging her away. I tried to stay out of it but she was crying so much that I felt it was wrong of them to treat her that way. When I intervened, my horn touched her mother’s hair. “ I gasped at this, because I knew what that meant! “When her hair went out, everyone just froze. Lilt looked at her mother, and then at me. She looked at me with such hatred that I knew I’d lost her forever and made an enemy at that. Lilt and her parents attacked me, intent on killing me, but the trolls heard the sound of the fight and came to help. That’s why troll and witches hate each other now. They left, but they came back for their vengeance when they heard I’d had you. Her mother was able to cast a spell, deforming you when you were just weeks old. She said that I had ruined her, and now my child was ruined. I never told you because I wanted the hate and blame to die. I was afraid that if you knew the secret, you would try to get back at them. It’s bad enough that the trolls know and deal with the repercussions. I wanted to spare you.”

   I took a few minutes to absorb this. My whole life I’d been allowed to believe I was flawed somehow. I wasn’t perfect like every other unicorn known to exist. I was the one imperfect, humped, deformed, UGLY unicorn! And with back pain! If Gooth hadn’t gone against what he’d obviously been told to do and let the secret out, I would still be walking around, blithely ignorant of my own past. My own HISTORY! I was purposefully kept ignorant to spare the stinking, nasty, evil little witches that did this to me and I could have stepped on one today had I known but I didn’t and so I hadn’t!

I had me some fires to put out.

   My parents called me back as I ran away, but I didn’t heed them and they let me go, oblivious to what I was about to do. Good. Let them be ignorant for a change. I galloped several miles, ignoring the pain in my hump, to the closest witch village. There were several milling around on the dirt road. I barely even slowed as I tilted my horn down and to the right, touching three witches before they knew my purpose. As my victims began screaming others poured out of homes and shops. With only the barest effort I had gotten them as well. Witch after witch felt my wrath, losing their precious flaming hair to my vengeance.  I finally slowed and pivoted; intent on going back for any I had missed. I had expected more resistance, more of a fight. I had gotten them by surprise though, and once their fire is lost to them, their spirit takes a while to recover. They would recover, however, and bring the fight back to my own kind. We would be ready. As I look around me and witness the despair and pain I have caused, I know deep down that my parents had been right to fear my reaction. These pathetic creatures would rally and there would be war. Maybe the unicorns would win, and maybe they would be destroyed. But one thing was certain. I had had my revenge upon them.

April 30, 2021 16:33

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3 comments

Muneeba Sarki
17:11 May 13, 2021

Very creative and very well written. Please have a look at mine and give review too.

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Aloe Plant
17:55 May 08, 2021

I love the world-building you set up in this story, and your interpretations of witches, unicorns, and trolls. I'd love to see more, please!

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Laura Austin
18:13 May 10, 2021

Thank you!

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