Fantasy Adventure Fiction

The storm howled as she gazed out the window. Across the room the red numbers on the digital clock told her it was the middle of the night. She loved nights like this. Lightning flashing across the sky, thunder booming as sheets of rain brought life to her garden. She sighed contentedly and took a sip of her tea. There would be no sleep tonight, she could feel it. Just as well, she thought, she loved to watch the storm and she would have been sad to miss this. Magic happened during storms like this. It was something her grandmother had told her when she was young and she had never quite given up the fantasy, the hope that maybe she was right.

               Another flash of light illuminated the front yard, and she watched the after-image play across her eye lids. There was the swing set, long abandoned, and the shed, the big tree and the garden boxes. She leaned back into her chair feeling both excited and content at the same time. It was a gift she thought, this ability to be two opposing things at once.

 Part of her wanted to run out into the rain like she did when she was child. Catch the rain drops on her tongue and dance in the iridescent light show that cascaded onto her skin. She remembered a time when she would have thrown off her clothes and gone naked, yelling to anyone who cared to look that at least she wouldn’t attract the lightning.

               She smiled at the memory; she had been so feisty back in those days. Now she was old and tired, the storms still had the power to excite but she was content just to watch. She stretched and found a better position, adjusted her glasses and took another sip of tea. When the lightning flashed, she saw it. Standing in the dark, shining bright against the gloom it simply appeared out of nowhere.

               She slapped her hands to her mouth, a delight filling her that she had not experienced since childhood. She rubbed her eyes, looked again, it was still there. It could be a horse, she told herself unwilling to believe the miracle before her. But, what would a horse be doing out here? Even if it wasn’t what she thought it was, the creature was there, solid and standing just outside the window. She pressed her face to the glass, cupping her eyes to make out as much detail as she could. Before her stood a unicorn. Gold horn gleaming, unmistakable, in the light cast from her window, Its warm brown eyes gazing at her with love and kindness and mirth.

               With a bust of energy she could not account for she ran to the front door and flung it wide. There it stood, ghostly and pale, the most beautiful creature she had ever seen in her life. She wept as she put her hand out and the unicorn walked towards her. She laughed, joy in her heart so bright and strong that it was nearly painful. She thought her heart might burst at the beauty of it.

               For the briefest moment she wondered if this was a dream, and she glanced back towards her chair, half expecting to see her own crumpled frame, teacup in hand, glasses askew, but no Spector greeted her eye. She pinched herself, just to be sure but the sharp pain did nothing to dispel the unbelievable creature walking towards her across the lawn. She wiped the tears from her face and walked out to greet her most secret, guarded, precious dream.

               They met in the middle, the unicorn and old woman watching each other, just out of arm's reach. She wondered for a moment if the old legends were true, because if they were she could never touch the unicorn. They could only be touched by innocence, and she had long since passed that expiration date. Her heart broke a little at the thought, but she shook it off, if the legends were true, she could not have even seen it. She let go of her apprehension and allowed herself to feel like a child again. The wonder in her heart bloomed like a flower given water after years of drought.

She closed her eyes, reached out her hand, held it in the air just a few inches shy of the unicorn. hoping against hope, she waited. Suddenly she could feel the soft wet fur of its head brush her finger tips. She sobbed and began to stroke it head, neck, ears. It stepped closer and she buried her face into its fur, hugging the creature as it nuzzled her with its nose. Warm breath against her cheek. She cried out all her sorrow, her loneliness and her loss. As her own tears fell, so did the rain around them. The unicorn stood patient allowing her the time, the space she needed. She was grateful, and when her tears began to ebb, she began to feel lighter, easier, better.

               “I just can’t believe you are here” she whispered into its neck and the unicorn whickered softly. She pulled away slightly, inside her belief and disbelief were having an argument that would last the rest of her life. The unicorn put its head onto her shoulder in the way horses show affection. It began to slowly push forward, leading her back towards the house and out of the rain. When she was at her porch the unicorn smiled at her, whinnied softly and then ran off onto the night.

She wrapped her arms around her chest. A dull pain echoed through her chest, barely noticeable amidst the wonder and joy. She had seen a unicorn! Touched a unicorn. Had been chosen, greeted and loved. She clutched at her chest, the pain becoming more obvious now, only it didn’t matter. The pain was secondary, uninteresting, set to the back burner of her thoughts and feelings. She touched a hand to her cheek as she tried to recall every detail of the soft fur against her skin.

Sitting back in her chair, she gazed out the window at the sky as it began to lighten over the horizon, the storm had finished and soon a rainbow would fill the sky. She took a sip of her tea, snuggled into her blanket, and closed her eyes. She would dream of the unicorn she decided, and with a smile, she drifted off to sleep. 

June 05, 2021 14:04

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