Friday, October 22, 2010

The Unicorn

The last unicorn died on March 5th, 2001, found between the teeth of a yarder in a primal forest in Bulgaria, which had been flying cut timber into a truck bound for sawmill.

Four notable university professors were called in to examine the carcass, tangled as it was from becoming caught in the machinery, and the consensus was clear: it was most definitely and decidedly a unicorn. Why, look, they said, pointing to its silver pelt, its diamond hooves, and its spiralled horn, what else could it be? And what's more, they said, it was most assuredly the last unicorn. That much was undeniable. It was the only unicorn that anyone had ever seen, and it would be the last.

The public outcry was enormous. Bulgaria was the ancestral home of the unicorn, and where would one find a unicorn but in the last lush and primeval forests to grow there? They were sacred animals, written into the book of God, abandoned by Noah, forced to flee to the ocean, yet now, so clearly illustrated, they had returned to land! Drawn only to light and goodness, the unicorn could purify sickness and come back from the dead; it was magical and wise, not to say anything of all the power of a cup made from its horn.

The fact remained, however: there had only ever been one unicorn, and now it was dead.

Over the world, the excitement regarding the unicorn slowly died down, and life returned to normal. A small sculpture of the lone unicorn was placed by a road near the forest, and drew a few tourists.

In time, however, some people began to wonder. If that one animal, that one divine animal of hallowed glades and whispered forest pathways, had managed to spear itself on a wire running through the trees, could there be more? Suppose that in fading Amazon cloud forests, in Congo jungle, in the melting Arctic, there were more? How many more? What was it they had always heard about the unexamined life? They pulled on their coats, murmured I'll-be-back-soons to friends and lovers, stepped out their front doors. They had to check.

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This is a short and mostly blatant and badly-written short story about unicorns. I wrote it pretty late a couple of nights ago. This is probably about all you need to know.

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