“That’s right, I said unicorn.”
“You’re a fucking idiot.”
“She’s a fucking horse with a fucking horn growing out of her fucking forehead. She’s a fucking unicorn!”
Paul took a swig of beer, then held his forearm to his lips to hold back the beer that threatened to spew from his mouth as he fought back laughter. After finally managing to swallow it down, he looked at Steve with tears dripping down his cheeks and said, “You actually think your sister’s horse gave birth to a mystical creature? Some mythological beast has sprung from that sad old swayback mare to gallop in the moonlight with naked virgins while farting rainbows?” Paul leaned back as he filled the room with laughter, almost falling out of his chair.
“I never said she was some magical creature or anything. She’s got a horn, that’s all.” Steve grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair and slammed the door shut behind him. He heard Paul yell for him as he walked down the street, but it was followed by another roar of laughter so he just kept walking.
“Wait Steve, maybe your unicorn could stop by my Grandmother’s house tomorrow and cure her arthritis! She’s had a hell of a time doing her laundry lately.” Paul’s laughter followed Steve down the street. He gritted his teeth and flipped him the bird, even though it was too dark for him to see it.
It was a short walk home back to Steve’s apartment complex. He jammed his key in the slot and wiggled it around until he could slide it into place, then he had to jerk the door a few times before it would open. He climbed the orange shag carpeted stairs to the third floor, holding his breath next to Mrs. Carlson’s door that reeked of cat piss, until he reached his room. After another short struggle with his own apartment door, he flicked on the TV and collapsed on his own old mare, a couch just as swaybacked as the unicorn’s mother. He fell asleep in front of the TV with a beer in hand.
The next morning, he checked his email at work and saw a message from Paul. He almost deleted it unread, but the subject line caught his attention, “$50.”
“Hey Steve, I told Peggy about your sister’s horse and she’s willing to pay you $50 to bring him over to Sally’s birthday party on Saturday. Kids love unicorns. I knew you’d be interested cuz you’re always broke.”
Steve groaned and gave Paul’s email the finger, even though he wouldn’t be able to see it. It just made him feel better. Paul knew he wouldn’t say no to $50, but he wasn’t looking forward to more of his laughter on Saturday.
Steve showed up at the party with Snowflake in tow. His sister wouldn’t have let him take the trailer and especially not the horse, but she was out of town and wouldn’t ever know what he’d done.
The girls at the party started screaming once he’d arrived. Peggy must’ve told them he was coming. They were jumping and screaming at the back of the trailer, and he could hear the foal huffing and stomping around. He pushed the girls away as he reached for the door handle. His hand turned halfway, then stopped, as he felt a strange sensation ripple through his body. He shouldn’t open the door. He didn’t know why, or what would happen, but he knew it would be bad.
“Come on, Uncle Steve, open her up. The girls want to see your unicorn!” Steve looked up to see Paul’s drunken sneer hovering above all the young girls chanting “Unicorn! Unicorn!” and his hand continued moving again. A hush fell over the crowd as the door swung open, and for a few seconds nothing happened. Then, all at once, the children began to scream.
Steve surveyed the chaos around him. The unicorn was impaling the children with its long, twisted horn. Paul and Peggy was screaming while trying to gather up their own children, leaving the rest of the kids to fend for themselves. The children were climbing trees and jumping up on the tables, but the unicorn was surprisingly agile and easily jumped eight feet in the air to snatch them by their clothing or whatever body part was most easily accessible. One of the kids had broken his leg, and he was the first to die. The unicorn impaled him through the chest then ripped his throat out and screamed a bloodcurdling roar before chasing the next child down.
Steve dropped to his knees and wrapped his hands around his head. He thought about his sister’s refusal to let him take the beast and wondered if she knew what would happen. It wasn’t his fault, though. He couldn’t be blamed for it. She should’ve said something.
Within a few minutes, the screams had stopped. He raised his head to find the unicorn resting a few feet ahead of him, licking the blood and gore from his legs. He cocked his head sideways and looked directly at Steve, then bleated like a goat, and went back to his licking. Steve surveyed the yard, blood covering the grass in every direction, and small body parts littering the grass as far as he could see. He shuddered and stood up. The unicorn looked at him again with his head cocked to the side, and then trotted back to the truck and curled up in the cab, underneath the seat on the passenger side. Steve climbed in the driver side and put the key in the ignition.
He heard Paul yelling at him as he backed up the truck, and Steve rolled down the window. “Where the fuck do you think you’re going? The police are on their way.”
“What do I need to be here for? I didn’t do nothing.” Steve shrugged and tried to roll up the window, but Paul grabbed it and held it down.
Paul’s eyes were red and wild and saliva flew from his mouth as he screamed, “You brought that fucking creature over here! It murdered all these kids!”
Steve shrugged. “Yeah, so what, the cops going to interrogate her? She’s a unicorn.”
“She’s not a unicorn! She’s a murderous fucking horse and you are responsible for this!” Paul tried to jump into the cab, but Steve hit the gas pedal and flew down the driveway. Paul fell off before he reached the road, and Steve called out to him before he drove down the street.
“You’re the one that told me to bring her over here. Kids love unicorns, but it doesn’t look like unicorns like kids. In face, I think unicorns hate kids. Well, at least this one does. Seems fine with adults though, docile as a lamb.” He patted the bloody beast on the head, and the unicorn bleated happily and laid its head back down for a nap. Steve put his foot on the gas and left the massacre behind them.
Flash fiction challenge from the Terrible Minds site: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/07/22/flash-fiction-challenge-thats-right-i-said-unicorn/