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A stereotypical gamer-geek discovers that he has somehow attracted the attention of a unicorn by nature of his virginity. Hilarity ensues.
Work in progress, more first chapter of a novel than short story.


Submitted:Jan 29, 2013    Reads: 62    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


"Quasi-finished" would be the best way to describe the basement. The smell of must and mildew vaguely lingered like the memories of a damp, stuffy dream. Beige carpet began at the top of a narrow staircase and spread down and out through the single, large room. A dingy brass futon in couch-mode was directly opposite the stairs, its batman sheets loosely wrapped around the thin mattress pad. The walls were concrete block coated with thick layers of off-white paint, a la church basement. A generic accordion-style door off to the right led to a small concrete-floored laundry room: the last remnant of a more primitive basement. Cobwebs hung from just one corner of the ceiling, a net threatening to capture a television and the small wooden stand it rested on.

The quiet tapping and chattering that came from a dimly lit corner of the room could have easily been mistaken for the frantic nighttime workings of mice were it not for the faint blue glow illuminating a set of spidery fingers furiously flying across a keyboard.

Irritated muttering punctuated the almost serenely rhythmic typing, "Who casts a level four Hex on a level thirty-seven Cave Troll!?" Violent clicking and smashing of the space bar masked the next few words, "-even played this game! God!"

The door to the basement creaked open and a middle-aged woman with red, shoulder length hair stepped into the stairwell and flipped the light switch. "Felix, dinner's done!" she said with a raspy voice that immediately revealed her years of smoking. "Please don't keep us waiting like yesterday." She closed the door, leaving the light on.

Felix typed for a moment, still muttering under his breath, then logged off the ancient-looking desktop with a couple swift keystrokes. He leaned back in his rolling chair, hands laced behind his head, fingers tangled in the tight curls of his orange mop of hair, and sighed. Still squinting from the sudden brightness, Felix stood and began to carefully navigate the piles of dirty clothes that littered the floor. He stopped for a moment to pick a few loose Cheetos from his Official Star Trek Convention XII T-shirt and shove them into his pocket before ascending the stairs.

He had to hunch his head down to clear the door frame from the basement to the kitchen, most door frames, really. His parents were sitting at the table, James reading from his tablet through a pair of oversized bifocals and Harriet tapping her fingers absently on the knotted oak tabletop.

"There he is," Harriet said. "Told ya it wasn't gonna' happen again."

James grunted noncommittally and set the tablet on the floor, taking his glasses off as well. "Evening, son," he said. "Glad to see you today."

Felix rolled his pale green eyes, pulled out a chair, and sat down, somehow managing to stuff his long legs under the table without upsetting anything. The meal went by uneventfully. James shared that Tim Goodyke in sales got called in to the boss's office today, which was apparently a big deal. Harriet nodded silently, as usual, and poked at her Hamburger Helper.

Felix had scarfed down two plates full of food and was loading up a third when his father sighed and spoke, "When are you going to shave? You look like a damn hobo, Felix."

Felix blinked at his father and self-consciously reached up and stroked at the thick, wiry hair growing all over his neck and nowhere else. "I like it... Makes me feel like a Viking."

"You look ridiculous," James spooned some corn into his mouth, "Besides, Vikings had blond hair."

Felix scowled and checked his watch.

"What?" James continued, his voice raising a little, "Do you have a rave to get to with your 'internet friends'?"

"It's called a raid, dad, God! And yes, as a matter of fact, I do!" Felix shouted before taking one last bite and pushing away from the table.

Harriet began to hum softly to herself, suddenly finding a particular kernel of corn to be endlessly fascinating.

"Stay," James said, his eyes glaring daggers at his son. "You are not done with this conversation."

Felix rose from his chair and walked over to the basement door, not bothering to look at his father, "I'm twenty-five years old; I can be done with this conversation if I want." He opened the door to the basement and ducked under the frame, not bothering to turn the lights on before he slammed the door and descended."

"How about some damn rent then?!" James shouted after him.

Harriet looked up from her plate at her husband, her teeth gritted and her nostrils flaring, "Our son will not pay rent to live in his own house."

The two stared at each other, eyes locked, various parts of their faces quivering with pent-up anger and frustration. Finally, James averted his eyes and visibly deflated.

"He should at least shave that disgusting neck-beard. It's no wonder the kid has never had a date."

Felix made his way back to his desk in the dark, stubbing his toe on some sort of rock-solid circular thing along the way. He settled into his chair, rubbing his throbbing toe gingerly, and jiggled his mouse. He squinted against the sudden light of the monitor before jumping out of his chair as something warm touched his neck.

A loud whinny made Felix jump again, this time back against the wall. He frantically reached for something, not knowing at all what he was looking for. A loud snort sounded from the darkness. Felix squeaked. Slowly, his eyes adjusted to the lack of light and he began to make out a large shape a few feet away from him. Some sort of large form, four graceful-looking legs, a long, thick neck--

Suddenly, the screen saver kicked on, flashing bright lights and colors across the room. The creature reared back on its hind legs and let out a shrieking neigh, its pristine white coat and solitary spiraling horn catching and reflecting the light beautifully.

Felix squeaked again, cringing up against the wall and closing his eyes, hoping desperately to either sink into it or simply wake up from whatever Hamburger Helper-induced nightmare he was having. The unicorn quieted, gradually, and snorted again, staring at Felix in the multi-colored strobe light. Felix cracked an eye open after a few moments and found the creature's horn a few inches from his face.

He swallowed, hard, and stammered, "Y-y-y-ou're a-a-a..."

The unicorn tossed its head, the horn bobbing closer and farther from Felix's stunned face.

"A..." Felix whispered the next word, "Unicorn."

The creature stared at the terrified man for a moment before turning to a nearby pile of clothes and rummaging through it with its horn.

"Okay...There's a unicorn in my room..." Felix said, attempting to keep himself sane by talking through what was happening. "I came downstairs from dinner, walked over to my desk, and...there was a unicorn in my room." He pinched himself hard on the arm, his untrimmed fingernails drawing blood. "Gah! No, I'm definitely awake. Okay...Um, let's try this: why is there a unicorn in my room?"

The unicorn had obviously found something in the pile as noisy munching sounds were coming from its snout.

Felix slowly moved away from the wall and snuck over to his desk. He sat down, cringing as the rusty spring complained, and opened a web browser.

"W-i-k-i-p-e-d-i-a-dot-o-r-g," Felix read as he typed. He quickly navigated to the page on unicorns, particularly how unicorns interacted with humans in folklore. His lips moved as he read silently to himself until he eventually froze, a look of disbelief on his face as he stared at a line of text.

"A common trend in almost all mythology relating to unicorns is a strong connection between the noble beasts and virgins."

Felix shook his head slowly as he read and reread the line, "You've got to be shitting me."





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