I recently met Charli Mills, a local author who introduced me to her website, Carrot Ranch. There, a community of writers respond to weekly prompts for flash fiction, which, for their purposes, is fiction with an exact count of 99 words.
This week’s prompt is “Unicorn.” I very much enjoyed researching the mythology of unicorns when I was in junior high and high school, so I decided to take part in the fun. First, with a darker variant on the idea of the unicorn, which was inspired by stories in which the unicorn was used in courts to determine if a criminal was guilty or not. (You can blame these stories for the version of the chesnathé mentioned in The Shadow War, a brutal, bulky, immortal equine who tends to pass judgment on “lower beings.”) Second, I also wrote a lighter variant (following a more European story).
* * *
His curved horn meets with flesh and another criminal meets his fate. A sinner. A thief. No more shall he steal. The crowd roars their approval. The unicorn raises his bulky head and swings it side to side like a bull. They cheer for him and his judgment.
He flicks his tail, slender like a cow’s, with a tuft of brown hair at the end. The rest of his fur is black. His horn is tri-colored. Black at the base, cinnamon in the middle, and red on top. Stained red… it would be brown, but the blood never dries.
* * *
Her fingers pass through the creature’s mane, which is silky white, like threads dipped in the morning dew. He is in chains. She slides her fingers under the delicate silver.
“You will be free.”
His ears swivel, listening. She strokes the damp fur of his neck. He breathes hard from the chase.
“Do not worry. I will return.”
She disappears, her slippers padding through the rain-flushed grass. When she returns, her gossamer gown whispering around her calves, the unicorn raises his head. His blue eyes regard her, pleading.
She reveals a pair of wire cutters and smiles. “Be free.”
* * *
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to participate, head over to Carrot Ranch for their Feb 22nd prompt. 🙂
6 responses to “Thoughts on Writing – Flash Fiction – “Unicorn””
I so loved the second version, but the first one was great too.
Thank you! I wrote the first one originally, but then I wanted to try writing something a bit lighter. I’m glad you enjoyed the result. 🙂
The tone is pitched just right for each and yet they both have a classical story-telling element. I enjoyed them both, Stephanie. “Judgement” made me think of how far apart justice and judgment can be.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed them and that they sparked ideas. 🙂
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