Once upon a time across the Meadows of Rainbow Flowers, across the crystal clear brook on the far bank of the Lily pond stood a beautiful unicorn. The unicorn was the color of the sun with a long flowing pink mane and tail. The unicorn’s horn was the color of blue raindrops. The unicorn, Ned, bent down his elegant head to take a drink from the sparkling water. A light breeze rustled the leaves on the magical trees making the soft sound of leaf rubbing against other leaves. Suddenly the unicorn’s graceful green eyes opened wide with surprise. He realized that there was another unicorn standing on the farthest bank. The unicorn looked like it was limping. Oh no, I must help that poor creacher, thought Ned. He quickly pranced around the sparkling pond. As he drew closer to the other unicorn he realized something. A trail of blood was glittering fresh in the sunlight. Ned whinnied in surprise as the other unicorn turned to face him. The other unicorn’s neat purple mane was matted with blood; the eyes were wild and blood shot. Blood dripped like falling rain from a bite mark on the unicorn’s neck. His horn was cracked in half, with the other half lying at its feet. His hoofs were covered in dusty red blood. The unicorn gave an indianite snort and stamped the ground before him angrily. The frightened Ned backed up quickly and the other unicorn started forward towards him so Ned turned and made a run for it. They raced across the meadow of rainbow flowers, through the Shimmering Waterfall and ended up at the Chipmunk Woods. Ned quickly dashed behind a large old oak tree. His heart was beating fast in his chest. He listened closely to his surroundings. There was no sound but the sound of his own beating heart. Not even the breeze blew and no bird greeted the day with a song. Where were the magical birds that sing to welcome the morning? Suddenly Ned’s ears perked up. Was that the sound of hoofs in the distance? Ned held very still and didn’t dare move a muscle. He heard a snort from close by. Was it the other angry unicorn? Before Ned had the chance to run; a rustling sound was heard then out ran a… chipmunk. Ned watched as the furry little creacher raced across the leaves. Ned watched the little creacher stop suddenly. The creacher seemed to be gazing at something just out of Ned’s view. Suddenly the chipmunk made a run for it but too late. The angry unicorn dripping blood raced forward and swallowed the chipmunk whole in one bite! Ned stood still frozen in shock. He had never seen another unicorn quite like this. Animals of the Magical realm normally respected each other. The council of unicorns had to know about this. Ned had to make it back across the meadows of rainbow flowers, across the bridge of wishes, into the town of unicorns. But how was Ned to get by this angry unicorn? Ned’s brain whirled fast, trying to come up with a plan. The angry unicorn now paced back and forth looking for more chipmunks to swallow. Ned swallowed a lump in his throat and made a dash for the edge of the trees towards the meadows of rainbow flowers. The angry unicorn rammed into Ned, knocking him to the ground as hopeless as a mouse in a trap. The unicorn snorted angrily at him and kicked him in the head. Ned neighed in alarm and scrambled to his hoofs. As Ned tried to run away the angry unicorn clamped its teeth into Ned’s silky pink tail. Ned summoned up all of his energy and pulled free. He felt all of his tail hairs suddenly become unattached from his rear. Ned gritted his horse teeth and looked back as he dashed through the flowers to see the angry unicorn busy munching down the hairs of his tail, eating them like spaghetti noodles. The sun glinted off of the unicorns red eyes as it glared at the retreating backside of Ned. Good, thought Ned, maybe it will leave me alone. But how wrong Ned was. The other unicorn suddenly opened its wide mouth, dripping blood and saliva and ran after Ned. Ned ran even faster than before, trampling the wildflowers and stirring up pretty butterflies. The angry unicorn, close behind Ned, snapped wildly at the surrounding butterflies. Hearing the Chomp Chomp noises close behind him Ned galloped even faster. He was soon practically flying across the meadows of rainbow flowers. The unicorn behind Ned was snapping at Ned’s rear as he ran, making him run faster. The bridge of whishes was just beyond the next hill but would Ned make it? Ned’s breath was coming in sharp gasps as he began to run out of air. (Ned is not in very good shape.) He made it over the remaining hill and began to dash across the Bridge of Wishes. As Ned ran across the Bridge of Wishes he looked into the water and saw the magical fish of the Unicorn River. Would the fish help him? Wondered Ned. “Oh magical fish of the land, Help me, help me if you can!” whinnied Ned. The fish popped their pink heads above the water and began to laugh, “Na, na, na, na. Ned is dead! Off will come his head! Maybe we will get an eye or maybe a thigh.” “Of course,” muttered Ned as he ran on, “Fish of the Unicorn River are always unhelpful and rude. How silly of me to ask for help from these wicked creachers.” He was now entering the Fields of tall grass but he looked back to see the angry unicorn crossing the bridge. As the other unicorn crossed over the water the fish, who loved to make fun of things, start to recite a piece of famous children’s poem called “The Hearse Song.” “Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by, For you may be the next to die. They wrap you up in a big white sheet From your head down to your feet. They put you in a big black box And cover you up with dirt and rocks. All goes well for about a week, Then your coffin begins to leak. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, The worms play pinochle of your snout…” The angry unicorn gave Ned a bloody wide smile then began to speak in a gurgling voice as blood frothed on its lips. “Yes, yes!” The other unicorn gurgled as it ran after Ned. “The worms will crawl in and out!” Soon Ned was in the tall tan grass so far that it was over his head and he couldn’t see where he was heading. He soon couldn’t hear the sounds of the other unicorn’s hoofs in fact he heard nothing at all. Not even a breeze rustled the grass. Ned barely dared to breathe. The blue sky was as blue as cotton candy overhead with a few white fluffy clouds. The sun was directly overhead shinning down on Ned as he looked around him nervously. The stalks of grass next to him suddenly moved and out flew a…. crow. The crow stared at Ned out of its black eyes and blinked then five more crows flew out. Ned was getting wary of asking creachers questions but he figured that asking a crow a question couldn’t hurt so he requested, “Oh crow, of the sky’s and land; I ask you to hear this plea. Please, if you can, point out the village to me.” The crows landed in front of Ned and cocked their heads from one side to the other starring at Ned in silence. They seemed to be looking him over with their beady eyes as though deciding if he would be tasty to eat. The crow in the front of the murder hopped forward and opened its beak. “Run. Run. Run.” Cawed the crow and it shut its beak and was silent. “Please crow of skies, help me before I die.” Pleaded Ned. The crow gave out one short caw and out of the grass came at least six more crows. Now all eleven crows starred at Ned hungrily. “Why? Why? Why?” The crows cawed and fell silent. “But why? Why should I die?” Ned asked getting quite frustrated and forgetting to keep his voice lowered. “Food. Food. Food.” Came the answer. The crow in the front took flight and landed on Ned’s head and began to peck at his ears. Ned whinnied with fright and tries to shake the crow free as the crow began to tear pieces of flesh away from his ears making them bleed as the other crows cawed and began to fly in circles around Ned. “Stop! Oh please stop!” Yelled Ned as he took off running through the tall grass. Over the cawing of the crows and over the tops of the weedy grass came a voice that chilled Ned to his spine, “Oh Ned, I’m coming for you! The worms crawl in the worms crawl out!” Ned turned his head and through the black of the crows he could see the zombie unicorn close nearby with its head sticking up over the top of the grass, grinning an evil grin. Ned whinnied in surprise and ran faster. All the running was beginning to wear out Ned because he was so fat so he had to slow down. The crows had left Ned alone and now were taking chunks from the Zombie whom didn’t care. In the distance Ned could see the far away village of unicorns. He could hear the Zombie gaining on him and snapping at his rear when he dashed through the gate to the unicorn village. He galloped down the dirt streets of the Unicorn Village and the Zombie followed still snapping at his rear. All the other unicorns in the village dodged out of the way and hid inside their beat up huts. As Ned ran by he called to them, “Help me, can’t you see? This Unicorn is mad and his bite is quite bad!” “No.” they cried. “Go away; we will not help you today!” Ned’s blubber bounced up and down as he galloped faster ahead of the unicorn until he came to the town hall. He burst in through the doors and quickly shut them behind him. Once he was inside he looked around and saw that he had trotted in on a Unicorn Leader Meeting. There were all the famous leaders in the room and they all starred at him as he caught his breath. “Ned, what is the meaning of this?” Asked a purple unicorn with a neon yellow horn. “This is quite rude.” “But I.” Ned had to stop every other word to take a gasp. “There is a problem. Zombie.” “We already know that and that’s why we are holding our meeting so if you would excuse us we have work to do.” The unicorn turned away from the fat unicorn. “But! There is a zombie following me!” Panicked Ned. As soon as he had finished his statement the door behind him banged as something hit it with the force of a speeding bullet. Everyone in the room turned to stare at Ned as though he did it. Ned starred back, “It wasn’t me!” He protested. “It’s the Zombie Unicorn!” There was another loud THUMP and the door shook on its hinges. The room instantly burst into a panicked chatter. “We’re doomed!” “Toss out Ned! He’s the one it wants!” “He’s the fattest so maybe it likes fat!” One of the Unicorn leaders lost his calm and ran into a wall screaming and landed on the ground unconscious. Finally the Head Unicorn stomped his hoof down hard to get their attention. Everyone turned and the room fell silent except for the noise of THUMPing and splintering of the door. In seconds the Zombie would be inside. “Obviously,” Began the unicorn in a loud booming voice. “We need someone to go to the wizard who lives in the Bloody Caverns and talk to him about the zombie virus.” Everyone in the room turned to Ned who stared back. “It is decided then.” The Leader told Ned. “Ned shall go to the wizard for us.” “But!” Ned protested, “I don’t even know how to get out of here!” “When the Unicorn comes in here then you run out the door.” The Leader said impatiently. “But how do I get there?” Ned asked, not wanting to go. “You cross the Bridge of Death, go over the Plains of Misery and at last to the Hills of Shadows and then to the Bloody Caverns!” Ned’s jaw dropped. “But.” Was all he could manage. At that second the door burst open in a shower of splinters of wood and metal. The Zombie ran in with saliva and blood dripping from its mouth. A crazy look glinted in its eyes as it ran forward and attacked the Unicorn on the ground that was unconscious. “Run Ned!” Shouted the Leader as the unicorn stampeded out. Ned didn’t need encouraging; he ran as fast as his plump legs could carry him (Which wasn’t far). He ran out of the village and across the Meadow of Green. Soon he came to a mountain trail that would take him up to the Bridge of Death. Panting hard, Ned climbed up the huge mountain and collapsed when he got to the top. He lay on the ground to catch his breath when he heard chatter from beside him. He turned his head and saw a ground squirrel sitting by him with its blood shot eyes wide, staring at him hungrily. “So juicy.” It mumbled. “So tender.” It picked at Ned’s belly. It gave it a hungry look then suddenly took a handful in its small claw like hand and took a bite. “OUCH!” Yelled Ned and he quickly got to his feet and kicked the ground squirrel back; all his exhaustion was forgotten. The squirrel went flying back and smacked into a rock. It’s neck made a snap and he thought that he had killed it but to his horror the squirrel got up and snapped it’s head back into place. It walked on its hind paws with its front paws stretched out in front of it like the zombie it was. “Tender meat.” It groaned. Ned knew that there was only one way to escape, across the bridge. He stared at the bridge in front of him. It was made of fraying old rope that stretched across a huge chasm to the other side. The bridge swayed in the slight breeze and looked very unsafe but he had to take his chances. Either that or the mad squirrel. He chose the bridge. He began to trot across and tried not to look down or listen to the creaking of the boards under his weight. He was halfway across when he glanced back to see a terrible sight. The ground squirrel was still on the other side but he had called all of his other zombie squirrel friends and they were gnawing on the rope that tied it the other end. Without another thought about it, Ned ran and barely made it to the other side in time before the bridge collapsed behind him. Ned resisted the urge to shout rude things at the angry chattering squirrels and continued on his way. He came to the Plains of Misery. It was nothing but a huge vast chunk of land that was covered in ash from a nearby volcano. The ground was covered in streaks of still flowing lava and steam vents hissed hot gas from all sides.
© Copyright 2016 Amaya Kateke. All rights reserved.