This is a blast from way back when, the next part to the Ureal the Unicorn tale, Story 10. This is urban fantasy, 900 words.
I hope you enjoy the direction this is heading in
Ureal the Unicorn
The Humanity Intrusion
Ureal walked past the 7-11, some human inside was waving something around, the other humans holding up their hands. They have such strange customs, Ureal mused as he slowly walked home. His left hind leg got that familiar itch; the one that let him know he would lose control soon and his leg would stamp down. It was annoying but Ureal had come to accept that with age things change, like the ability to control your own legs.
He renewed his fade spell and walked over to a vacant lot, it had been left for years and was strewn with rubbish of every kind. Shopping carts seemed to a favourite, as was broken glass. Confused sad humans seemed to enjoy the place and hung around the lot quite a bit. A couple of them were quite talented and could actually see him.
Ureal though they were talented, in reality they were high. Sam had been the first to see him. He’d just walked over and started a conversation with Ureal. As though talking to a unicorn was nothing unusual at all to him. Lace was a little different, a younger woman who, to Ureal, never seemed to be happy. The first time she saw him Lacy had spend a long time shouting at Ureal until he left. Luckily she’d moved past that now.
He didn’t really come here to see those humans, he came here for the grass. He nibbled a little of it, it had a unique taste that he’d come to love. He’d tried explaining it to the human Charlie but it was a difficult concept to get across. The closest they had come was this grass had hot sauce on it. Charlie had then chewed the grass for a while before saying it tasted like grass to him.
This had made Ureal happy as he didn’t want Charlie eating all the grass. Ureal wandered over to a nice patch of grass, not to much debris among it, and chewed happily. After a minute his leg kicked downwards and the itch subsided. He felt like a new unicorn. As much as an ancient dilapidated, rather moth eaten looking unicorn could feel new.
Sam waved and Ureal raised his head in acknowledgement. He couldn’t see Lacy, so he decided to head home. Turning he carefully picked his way off the lot and headed back down the road. As he reached the storm drains where he lived the sun was already starting to rise. He slightly slid on his way down the slope into the wide concrete trench.
A small flow of rainwater ran down the middle, negotiating a forlorn shopping cart and slowly pushing along empty water bottles in fits and starts. Graffiti was everywhere in the open trench, Ureal like Graffiti. He wished he still had enough magic strength left to do his own. He’d tried, finding some abandoned paint a few years ago.
The magic required to lift the paint and place it carefully where he wanted it was draining. Ureal had started a small mural, a stylised picture of his homelands, and he intended it to feature his long dead mate, Csylossen. He’d got some green on the wall, tried to start some blue but it fell, splashing across the ground. In his youth he could have done it in the blink of an eye.
The effort had cost him, he fell asleep, not maintaining his shadow spell. He’d been lucky though and no-one had discovered him. Ureal wanted to return home, but couldn’t. He hadn’t the magical strength anymore. Asking another magic user was too risky, Unicorn body parts have many magical properties that others could use. So he was trapped. Living in a storm drain in the time of humans. He didn’t want to die but he’d realised he was waiting for it to happen. Talking to the unfinished mural wasn’t helping.
He walked the storm drain until he reached the tunnels, thick bars barred access but someone else had used this tunnels in the distant past, Ureal placed his horn against the metal, it shocked him, like a small electric charge, but hardly hurt. The bars swung to one side and he walked into the darkness. Behind him the bars silently swung to again.
This was his sanctuary; it had been for many years. Unless a severe storm came through it Ureal considered it pretty safe. He was surprised into stillness when he heard voices. Somewhere in his tunnels. The voices carried clearly though he couldn’t see anyone in the darkness or tell where they had echoed from.
“So now what?”
“But he’s already fucking late.”
“I hate this place.” A pause, once voice was local, the man complaining of lateness. The other was deeper, more self assured. That one spoke up again.
“So what, you’re getting paid, so shut the fuck up, asshole.”
“Shut up or I’ll beat the shit out of you.” Silence fell, in a dozen heartbeats more sounds could be heard. Some thing was getting dragged, and Ureal could hear gasps, interspersed with repressed sobbing. Someone else was here. Three people. Ureal checked his shadow spell, and moved forward slowly. His leg began to itch.
MJ Cook: I found this so difficult to write. Not only was the story so old I’d forgotten who the characters were, I also had no clue on where to take the story. My editor prompted me with ‘Why not show the crime?’ That was a great idea but something would be missing. How could I show the crime without going into Ureal more? He’s the interest here, at least as much as the actual plot. So I wanted to paint the background of the old unicorns life, where he lived and what he longer for. I want the reader, that’s you, to connect with the old boy so you care what happens to him as the story moved forward. That’s why this sotry is the lead up to the crime, not the actual event itself.
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