After a brief hiatus of sorts (*nervous laughter*), here is some Flash Fiction prompted by Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash challenge.
Celeste knew she was in for some pain when the word “sparkly” was mentioned. She had lost her roommates in the mass mob that was the Holidays shoppers at the Shopping Center. She had wandered into a bookstore, attracted by the CLOSING SALE ad on its large front windows. Somehow she had ended up in the children’s section. The colorful covers might be something her roommate Li would be interested in. She was a bit birdbrained. Celeste wasn’t even sure she could read, despite being a thousand-year old mythological shapeshifter.
While she flipped through a picture book titled “Angry Birds: A Tale of Vengeance,” she heard it.
“Look at the unicorns, mommy! They’re so sparkly!”
A vein above Celeste’s eye twitched. Her head turned towards the voice as if against her will. In a corner of the colorful, but cluttered, preschool section was a whole display of glittery books with glittery unicorns and stuffed unicorn toys. It was surrounded by little girls squealing excitedly to their mothers.
Celeste’s feet took her to the shrine of sparkle and rainbow colors. She picked up a unicorn doll. It was pink. A pink unicorn! With silver tinsel in its mane and tail. There was also a strange tattoo on its butt of a vanilla frosted cake. The image was scented.
She wanted to puke. Is THIS how everyone saw unicorns? The toy’s plastic horns weren’t even sharp! It wasn’t even worth its $1.99 sale price tag. The books were just as bad. “My Little Unicorn” featured anthropomorphic unicorns involved in various humiliating activities, such as tea parties and frolicking in meadows.
Celeste glanced at the mothers, hoping maybe they would see what an atrocity this was. Nope. The female adults beamed and actually encouraged their children, looking just as excited as they picked up an armful of the horrendous toys and books to buy.
They were all human, but still. Had unicorn lore really fallen this low?
Celeste replaced the sacrilegious artifacts and was about to make a swift retreat when a scream pierced the air.
The crowd broke apart as a large rhinoceros charged through the window, showering the terrified customers in glass.
Humans! Your foul stench has tormented me for the last time! Celeste heard the telepathic message loud and clear, as well as any other shapeshifter in the area.
She figured Christmas shopping amidst hundreds of humans didn’t sit well with this one. Still, it was no reason to break a perfectly good window.
The rhino went berserk, destroying bookshelves and trampling over any poor human who didn’t run away quickly enough.
Celeste glanced at the cowering children behind her and grinned. It was the perfect opportunity to show what a real unicorn looked like.
Breaking one of her sacred rules, she stepped into the rhino’s path and shifted into her animal form.
A real unicorn appeared in the middle of the closing Books N Things. She was just as large as the raging rhinoceros, but still majestic — ivory white body, platinum blond mane and tail, three foot long horn as hard as diamond. Celeste made sure the long battle scars across her flank and along her neck were clearly visible by the children.
Not a single patch of pink or glitter to be seen anywhere.
The rhino stopped for a brief second by this dramatic and unexpected appearance. But his rage took over as it charged straight for her. Celeste’s warrior heart raced as she kicked up the floorboards and met his charge with her own.
The impact sent the intruder flying back through the window and into a pretzel stand outside.
Everyone stared. Celeste stood proudly. She had held back, knowing she could have well kicked the nuisance all the way to the parking lot outside, but felt the effect was dramatic enough. There was a minute of shocked silence and Celeste felt pretty good.
“OH MY GOSH!
She blinked. High pitched squeals threatened to rupture her brain. A flood of children from inside and outside of the store surrounded her. Small, dirty, smelly hands petted every inch of her beautiful body
She felt violated
“A real unicorn!!
“It’s so pretty!”
“Mommy, mommy, can we take it home!? Please, please, please!!”
Their voices made her queasy. Dizzy, she knelt down. A mistake. The tiny humans climbed on top of her as if she was an average pony, laughing, tugging on her hair.
Celeste’s last coherent thought was that next year her roommates were getting e-books.