I’ve been kind of hoping what I saw a couple of days ago was just my imagination, but no. The unicorn was real and white with a silver-yellow mane that fell like a waterfall to its feet. It was also the side of a pony and one hasn’t been seen in these parts since the town was founded.
Maybe I should rewind a bit before I dive in to the town’s history.
First of all, I was taking my first walk with Ben since my fall. He finally relented when the doctor told us that too much bed rest for me was a bad idea. He wanted me to get at least ten minutes a day of walking, especially outside.
Anyway, since we were walking down the sidewalk of our street near Mr Wilson’s house, If you recall it turned in to the giant tree house last month, when it came out of the woods and stared at us. Ben stopped dead in his tracks and stared. The man’s face was reverent.
My face on the other hand, was filled with sadness. I’d read about them in the books Ben got permission to take out of the library. They’re very herd solitary around these parts of the mountains. To see one alone means that its entire herd was destroyed. This one seemed almost defeated. I was moving forward to comfort it when Ben stopped me.
“Don’t. You don’t know if it’s sick.”
“It’s not sick, it’s sad. It’s herd is gone,” I whispered back at him.
“You’ve been in the library again.”
“You worry me into guilt if I set a foot outside of the house, what else am I supposed to do?” I hissed at him. I was watching the unicorn come closer to the both of us.
Ben sighed. “You’re pregnant.”
“I’m not fragile, Ben. I’m hearty. So is the baby. The doctor said so,” I said. I didn’t bother looking back at Ben. My eyes were locked on the Unicorn.
“Even so, you shouldn’t be going towards the herdless and possible dangerous animal,” Ben hissed back as he held on to my arm.
I admit, he had a point.
“Maybe you’re right,” I said. “but as of right now, I’m not moving towards it. It’s coming to me.”
Ben looked over at the unicorn that was now just out of reach. I stared in to one of its bright violet-blue eyes and felt an odd rush of wind going through my head. I swooned a bit, but managed to stay on my feet.
“Earth-Mother,” said the distinctly female voice in my head.
My eyes widened and I huffed out a breath.
Ben looked at me, then back at the unicorn.
“Hello there,” I said. I was having trouble finding the words when the tumbled from my mouth; “How can I help you?”
The unicorn bowed its head to me. I could have sworn the sadness lifted from her eyes for a brief second.
“Earth-mother who does not know the bond, asks the question out of instinct,” she said and tilted her head to the side. “I think I like you already.”
I couldn’t help but smile at her.
“I think I like you back,” I replied. “Do you need shelter? Food? A temporary herd?”
The unicorn dipped its head again and this time, came forward to touch her horn to my stomach. I felt warm all over suddenly, like I was in the middle of a spring day that was just warm enough to have shirtsleeves, but not enough to go with a tank top. I gasped at the connection that grew stronger and I could hear and see everything that she could. It was quite discerning. The feelings faded after she removed her horn, but I could still feel the echo of all of her thoughts and what happened to her herd.
It made me angry to see so many beautiful creatures butchered to the name of revenge. I also found that the Unicorn was just as pregnant as I was.
“Gifted Earth-mother, I would like to join your herd until I have my revenge on the one who killed mine.”
Ben groaned softly as I smiled at her.
“Home and herd you shall have and be welcome.”
“Home. I have not had home in a long time. It would be most welcome,” she said to me through the link. “I am Sabina.”
That surprised me. Unicorns don’t usually give their names at all, if ever. I noticed that she had not given me her herd name, just her first name. The second thing I noticed was the smell of fresh flowers with the sharpness of the cold. It was an odd mixture. I turned to Ben and laughed when I saw his face.
His eyes had widened and mouth hung open.
“Ben close your mouth. If you were a frog you wouldn’t have caught anything.”
The unicorn named Sabina dipped her head and nickered out a laugh. Ben closed his mouth and stared at the both of us.
“Between the two of you and my mother, I’m outnumbered, aren’t I?”
“You said I needed help. You just didn’t say what kind of help I needed,” I said as I placed my hand on Sabina’s shoulder.
She silently gave her consent through the connection.
Ben sighed. “Okay, let’s walk back. I’m sure the house will come up with something for our new friend.”
“Family. She’s family,” I said as I walked with Sabina on one side and Ben on the right.
I smiled up at him. “I wished for family. I got my wish and more.”
“Smart Earth-mother,” Sabina said.
I replied back through the connection, “I am Marlowe.”
“Marlowe, then. Good,” she said.
We walked back to the house together and she’s been a standard in the house. The dogs got used to her, they even treat her with much more respect than I expected. Even Gibbs, whose favorite game is chase, will not go running in the room if Sabina is in there with him. It’s strange.
I spent my time talking with her when Ben was at work. She told me about her herd and what happened.
They were slaughtered because they would not share their magic. It made me angry, which made Sabina nicker at me.
“Not so angry, Marlowe. Sad. The human that did it knows nothing of magic. She only knows what she takes and our magic will turn on her.”
I scratched her flank and sighed. “I hope it turns before she has the opportunity to hurt someone else with what she stole.”
“She will not. It will be more inclined to help you though, if you ask it to. Our herd magic is a special thing. It’s alive and very annoyed right now.”
I laughed. “It’s probably making things a little difficult for her, then.”
“I would say so,” Sabina said.
“Mom,” Logan said from the corner of the room where he was playing with Alphonse.
“I like her. I like her voice.”
Sabina nickered at him and Logan came over. He sat in my lap and stared at Sabina.
“I like you too, Child.”
Logan smiled and reached out to her. Sabina leaned over and he touched her face, stroking gently.
“Pretty,” he said.
I laughed. “Yes, she is.”
Alphonse got up and came over to where we were sitting. He wiggled his way in to my side, staring at Sabina.
“Shy one, don’t worry. I like you too,” she said to him.
It was later when I sent them up to bed that Sabina told me the story of the first herd in Blueville.
They’d been drawn here by the power that the original council had used to build the town. Each building was being erected with a protection spell weaved in to the mortar as they stacked bricks and stone. Naturally curious, they came to the Council and introduced themselves to the first Earth-mother on the land, Emily Barrett. She formed the first soul bond with a Unicorn and through it, learned that the land they’d chosen to settle on and protect was considered sacred to all creatures of Other origin.
They’d chosen fortunate to settle here. Now only those who would be friendly to Other-kin and the Other themselves would thrive here. Those who aren’t, well, they don’t stay very long and are not very lucky.
It makes me question the Mayor’s ability to thrive here, though. How did he gain all that power and wealth if he’s not exactly a friend to the community? It makes me weary of him even more than I already am.