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The Mermaid and the Unicorn(Lacie Aliss Challenge)

Short story By: Mistress of Word Play
Fantasy



The story of a mermaid and unicorn that become friends.


Submitted:Jan 5, 2010    Reads: 1,952    Comments: 19    Likes: 32   


mermaid


It was there by the lake of dreams I first saw them. I had heard such mythical creatures were no more, but wanting to believe otherwise I came at sunset. The elders in the village told tales of the mermaid who came to the lake from the sea to visit the unicorn. To my surprise and pleasure they were there. She sat upon a rock with her tail curled under her body and the unicorn stood by the water's edge. I marveled at the sight and stood frozen for the longest time taking in the beauty of the creatures. The unicorn at some point caught my scent. It thrust its head upward the bony horn glinting in what sunlight remained. The unicorn's sharp front hoof began to beat against the ground. Bewildered the mermaid looked my way and smiled radiantly. Her eyes were a beautiful turquoise color that shimmered brightly.
I walked slowly toward them, my eyes taking in every breathtaking detail. The unicorn snorted softly as I approached. He was the color of fresh fallen snow. His horn was a gold color and spiraled down at the top of his head between his ears. What I found the most dramatic about him were the eyes. Instead of a standard eye color of blue, brown, black, or hazel, his eyes were rainbow colored and iridescent. I gasped at the sheer, exquisite beauty of the creature.
The mermaid who continued to smile at me as I drew nearer was remarkable as well. From the waist up she was a woman and quite a remarkable woman at that. Her skin was the color of a white pearl and it glowed almost as if glitter had been applied to the surface. She had a heart shaped face which made me envious since my face tended to be more round and fleshy. The setting sun caught the reddish highlights in her strawberry blonde curly hair and made it seem she had flames attached to her head. Though she had no legs as I had, the tail she possessed was beautiful as well. Not quite a sea green hue the scales were pearl like and glittered each time she repositioned herself on the rock.
I felt blessed when the two of them did not try to escape as I approached them. It seemed almost as if they had been waiting for my arrival. Strange thoughts began to prick at my brain and I could hardly wait to reach a point closer to my destination.
"I see you made it," the mermaid called to me.
Shocked at hearing the mermaid speak I paused for a moment. This must surely be a dream I thought to myself.
"Were you expecting me?" I asked her.
"Yes," she answered her smile growing broader, "please come and sit with us for awhile. We have much to talk about."
I did as I was instructed. As I drew closer to my destination I could tell the mermaid was in some type of distress and pain. Where from a distance she had looked radiant, now I could see deep wrinkles and scarring across her back and chest.
"I am Liana," she said to me, "this is my companion Moneros. What is your name?"
I tried really hard not to stare at the wounds on her body and finally said, "My name is Celeste. Is this a dream or some type of magic?"
Liana laughed but it sounded more like a soft gentle melody coming from her lips. I could hear a rattling noise coming from her chest and soon she began to cough. My concern must have shown for she waved her hands about as if to signify she was fine. Soon her coughing subsided and Liana rested for a moment before continuing the conversation.
"Are you okay?" I asked her, "What is wrong? Do you need help?"
There was sadness in Liana's smile this time. For a moment she closed those captivating eyes she possessed and composed herself.
"I summoned you here Celeste," Liana finally said, "to ask for your assistance on a matter of great importance."
Dumbfounded and perplexed I waited to hear what the mermaid had to say. It was not long and she told me why she had called upon me to meet with her.
"Long ago," Liana said, "I was as you are a mortal girl. I grew weary of the world around me, so much in fact I had decided to end my life."
I shuddered when she uttered these words to me. It was hard for me to say anything since suicide had never entered into any of my waking thoughts.
"I came each day," she continued, "here to this spot and would cry. Moneros found me one day and we became fast friends. All the other unicorns had either been killed or died from some strange ailment. Truthfully Celeste, I think they died because people stopped believing they existed."
An audible gasp escaped me. Moneros had edged his way to my side and was gently rubbing the side of his face against my arm much as a cat or a dog might do when desiring attention. I giggled and began to stroke him across his nose and down the side of his face. Moneros whinnied softly as if to say I want more.
"Moneros unlike me could live for hundreds of years." Liana went on to explain, "While I knew my life span would be short. I implored Neptune to change me into the form you see here now. When I explained to him why, he granted my wish. I come each evening and commune with Moneros. My time however grows short. I called you here through sea magic to ask a favor of you."
Bewildered I stopped petting Moneros. The unicorn feeling rather annoyed at me for not stroking him any longer showed his contempt by snorting at me.
"What is it that you need me to do?" I hesitantly asked Liana.
Liana extended her graceful hand out to Moneros. The unicorn came forward and the mermaid began to run her tiny hand across his face. Love glowed deep within her eyes that someone could lose themselves in.
"I cannot expect you to change forms as I did," Liana replied, "but when I die it would mean so much to me if you would care for Moneros. You see I am all he has."
It stood for a moment and thought of how sad it was that she was dying. Such a beautiful thing she was. The thought also entered my mind of the unicorn and how terrible his life would be without his friend. Tears formed in my eyes.
"Is there no chance you might recover," I asked her sniffling and trying to hold back the rush of emotions I was feeling.
Liana extended her hand to me. I held it and kissed it tenderly. Her skin felt cold and clammy. I could see great pain and suffering in her eyes.
"No," she whispered sadly, "I will not recover my dear friend Celeste. All things have a time and my time will soon come to an end. Hush now. Do not cry for me, my time here has been a full one."
I tried to smile and be brave. It was hard. I knew what needed to be done and I shook my head, yes.
"Thank you," Liana said bowing her head, "I must go and will probably not see you again."
She turned her attention to the unicorn that was grazing nearby. I heard a faint whistling sound coming from her lips and Moneros approached the mermaid once more. Liana stroked his face and placed a kiss between his eyes just below his golden horn. Moneros whinnied softly.
"Good-bye my friend," she said to him, "Celeste will care for you now."
I watched Liana as she slid down from her rock perch and made her way back across the lake of dreams. I would not see her anymore. Tears stained my cheeks and I waved to her as she found her way home for the last time.
So it was I lost a friend and gained a friend all in a day's time. Moneros is still there each evening waiting for me by the lake. I am old now, almost eighty and I know my time will soon be over with as Liana's was and most likely one of my grandchildren would not mind having a unicorn for a friend.




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