The crisp air tells of summer’s leaving. But Mother Nature’s greenery ignores the chill. I stroll through the glade, letting my fingers brush the soft fronds. The sunlight plays hide and seek among the trees, dappling the ground. The songbirds sing a tune that makes me smile.
Although cold, I’m exhilarated too. The day holds promise.
I breathe deeply; the scent of the earth and the trees around me. I relish the air as it fills my lungs. It’s been too long…
My footfalls are hushed on the forest floor. The glade holds secrets in its quiet embrace.
The sunlight falls on a stream bubbling with life. The sound it makes is like laughter as it winds through the trees. I step carefully across, using the wet stones that push their way up from the water. The water splashes across my feet sending a shiver through me.
As I jump to the other side of the stream, I see a flash of movement in the distance. I catch my breath. My excitement mounts. The forest is very dense here and my progress is slow. I push through the underbrush; the branches scratch my arms. I pay no heed. I do not feel the scratches. What lies before me has me transfixed. All else is forgotten.
There, in a small clearing in the glade lay the female unicorn; her small offspring just nuzzling up beside her. The tiny horn in the middle of the foal’s forehead shone as if lit from within.
I dare not breathe. I’m afraid to move. If the mother sensed anything out of place the two glorious beings would vanish from sight as if never having been there.
Suddenly, the mother’s head comes upright. She’s on alert. She’s got my scent.
With a small sound, like a child’s breath, the two of them disappear.
I knew my luck wouldn’t hold. It was too good to be true. To have seen a unicorn at all was amazing. But what I witnessed today was nothing short of a miracle.
I turn back the way I had come. My shoulders drooped, my head down. The walk back was unremarkable. The enchantment had gone from the day.
It was all too much, just too much. They humored me about the pixies. I know that’s all it was. Just to humor me. They would never believe this.
I cleared the glade and broke through the hedge that led to the back entrance. I couldn’t hide my soaked pants and a little bit of blood on my upper arms. I sighed and resigned myself to what I knew was coming.
As I pushed through the back door Nurse Clara bolted up from her seat behind the nurse’s station and came stomping toward me with that look on her face. That look that said I was going to spend the rest of the day fighting the straps that pin me to my bed.
Copyright © 2017 Penny Wilson
*I read on another SC Richmond’s blog, that it’s National Unicorn Day! So although this post is a reblog of an older and reworked story of mine, I was inspired by SC’s post. I hope you enjoyed. Be sure to visit SC’s lovely blog and spend some time there. You will not be disappointed!