The Mystery of Jenny in Tom Shaw's Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Tom is not like the other boys at school. Jenny has never been afraid of his difference, and accompanies him on a startling find of discovery.

The Mystery of Jenny in Tom Shaw's life.

Jenny’s the kind of girl at school for whom a young Tom Shaw scrawls ink hearts for, with arrows running through and her name in the middle; yes, Jenny Schofield was born for the sole purpose of being on the back of Tom's English book, his Math’s book, and his Science book; in fact every book in his school desk.

"Tom why have you brought me here?" Jenny asks.

"I want to show you something; something so secret only I know about it," he tells her. "You must never tell another soul, ever in your life, promise?"

"I promise, Tom, but won't you tell?"

"Just keep low, lay absolutely still, it will come, but you must stay absolutely still." 

Tom and Jenny do exactly that, they lie so quiet, so still amid the sand-dunes even the mice don't know they are there. The waves roll gently in under the brilliance of a full moon; each wave speaking to them, bonding a friendship that will never let go; each wave whispering: ‘Hold on to me and I'll become your enemy; let me go and I'll be your friend.' and it says this ten thousand times a day. 

"Tom," whispers Jenny.

"Hmm....?" He responds, concentrating on the waves.

"Tom…do you think at night the moon misses the sun?"

"Not as much as I miss you when you're not in school," replies Tom. "I think it does, I think the moon does miss the sun. Imagine if you were the moon, and you came out at night and saw no-one."

"Tom, you're really weird, but nicely." 

He chuckles, and says…

"Jenny I read your essay in school today, you know, the one about the Unicorn. It’s so beautiful, it made me cry." 

"The teacher says I’ve a vivid imagination, Tom. I'm glad you liked it. Do you believe in Unicorns?" She asks.

"I've seen one!"


"Shooosh, Jenny," he answers, a finger over his mouth. "I have…I think it’s the only one left."

"Where.....where does one see a Unicorn, Tom?"

"That's why I had to bring see, it will come tonight. While the moon chases the white horses on the waves, that’s when it comes, and if it does, Jenny, will you never leave me all my life…will you run on my beach, tell me wild tales, walk with me in the rain on summer evenings?"

"Tom Shaw, I'll do all those things if you show me a Unicorn." 

"Then stay really still." And they do. Jenny's heart is exploding.

She wonders what makes her friend so different; why he never plays with all the other kids in school. How he appears, but never comes from anywhere, as though he’s always behind some corner, some cloud, and he just appears without journeying. He, on the other hand, wonders about Jenny. How it is when she sits next to him during history lessons funny things happen in his chest; as if every champagne bottle in the world pops its cork at exactly the same time. 

"Jenny," whispers Tom, "where will you go when you grow up?"

"I'm not going to grow up, I'm going to stay at this age until you come and find me again. You will come and find me, won't you?"

“If you call to me, yes.”

"What will you do, Tom?"

"I want to be a hero, better than the good John Wayne, I want to save every whale in the world, I want to write beautiful books, and really, I want you to stay, Jenny." His voice is sincere.

"You're the nicest boy in school......and the strangest."

"You're the most beautiful girl." He tells her.

"And do you know, Tom, I feel it when I'm with you."

Tom smiles and they are silent again. Jenny falls asleep on the sand.

The Unicorn shines brilliant under the power of the moon. It’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen. Smaller than she imagined, so dainty and beautiful and with a sleek body, looking powerful, but its head...such a head should belong to no animal. The Unicorn wades in toward her in the shallow waves, having appeared from nowhere and standing in the moonlight. What creature ever looks so wonderful? Its eyes so deep, so true, so bright they hold more truth, more beauty, more love than she’s ever thought possible. It comes closer, her breath falters, misses a beat, until it is standing before her; its proud beautiful head showing the gold curl of horn that spirals to a fine elegant point, glinting like a wand in the moonlight. It snorts the sea air, stamps its fore-hoof, and waits...for what, Jenny wonders? Gently and quietly she rises to her feet. The Unicorn catches her image in the depth of his eye. It does not try to escape or run away. They stand looking at each other for a long moment. Then with rare confidence she takes a step closer...then another...till she is only feet away, her ankles bathed in the cool water. 

The Unicorn never lets Jenny’s image escape from its eye; standing without fear in her life. She raises a trembling arm, touching the warmth of something unbelievable; something rarer than an angel. She doesn't know why, but tears fall from her eyes; single droplets running down her cheek. The two stand drenched in the circle of the moons light. Softly, Jenny lowers her head and whispers...'I love you.' As if that’s all the Unicorn wants to hear, it turns and, with silvered grace, walks back into the waves.

“Don't go......don't go just yet, I need you.” But the Unicorn has to go, for it’s the only one there is and there are many shores to visit.

“Jenny...Jenny...wake up...are you all right, you're crying.”

"Sorry, Tom. I just dreamt the most wonderful was the Unicorn; it came from the sea, Tom. It came from the sea, and I understood…I understood many things."

Tom smiles. 

"A dream, Jenny. Do you think so? If it was a dream, how did I see you with the Unicorn, how would I have seen that?"

"You saw…you saw me with the Unicorn, the only one there is? It spoke to me, Tom, it did. I'm not afraid anymore."

"That's good, you must never be afraid; you must never grow out of your imagination."

"How did you know, Tom…how did you know about the Unicorn?"

"Who knows, no-one knows, but you are part of me now, Jenny, and I am part of you, the Unicorn has made it so."

"Why did he come from the sea?" She asks, looking out over the ocean.

"Back in the sea it becomes the Narwhal, the most beautiful whale in all the oceans. Every now and then it seeks out someone special, a believer; tonight he chose you. This means you’re now protected, that your whole life will be lived with a child's fascination and wonder."

"Did you really do this for me, Tom; did you know all the time?"

"If you must leave, Jenny, then do so with a glad heart. I will miss you, as the moon misses the sun, but one day ahead I will come to find you, you won't know when or where, I will just appear in your life and it will be as though I've never been away, do you understand?" And he looks deeply into her eyes.

"I’ll be waiting, Tom. Will I know you when you come?"

"Knowing me is not the important thing; being ready is."

Together they walk from the shore.

Jenny asks. "Tom...will you hold my hand?"

"Of course." And he does
They remain quiet as they walk slowly away, the ocean whispering its message behind them.

Submitted: October 25, 2014

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