Issue 86 Jul 2020
Parvati lined up the silvery neck of the unicorn in the telescopic sights of her specially adapted hunting rifle.
The creature’s hide glowed in the light of the full moon, making it an easy target to pick out among the shadows even from thirty metres away. It suspected something, though; there was a wariness in its stance as it bucked its head and sniffed the night air. The creatures were highly intelligent. This one exhaled a cloud of mist, green in her night sights. Beside her, Zack muttered the vowels of his Concealment spell a little faster, working to keep the two of them hidden from the unicorn’s senses. It was among the last of its kind in England. If it spooked and fled now it might be months before they could track it down again. Or they might never see it again.
Zack cast her a wide-eyed glance that said, Now. Shoot while you can. This was his first field operation. He hadn’t wanted to come along, happier among his books and his incantations, but there’d been no one else available at short notice.
There was a glitch, a flaw, a mishap and my once ever so lovely world mutated. The thousands of voices that once spoke were now silenced, the thousands of hearts that once loved were now numbed, and the thousands of eyes that once saw were now closed…forever. The world was muted down and no one was willing to break this pact of eternal silence. So, everyone held their breath, as the curtains unfolded, to watch a show no one wanted to witness…
I nuzzled deeper into my warm blanket, my heart beating a strange rhythm while the wind sang a dark symphony. I glanced out the window, and sure enough, the clouds spoke of an imminent storm. I could make out the faint outline of my room with the closet overflowing with clothes and my eclectic bookshelf about to erupt. The slightly open door was accentuated by the light from the streetlamp that peeked through the shutters of the high, grubby window.
I could not sleep.