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An Excerpt

By LalainaPublished 6 months ago 5 min read
Courtesy of Midjourney.

My little sister was the chosen savior of the magical world, the one meant to unite the unicorns in a battle that would cement their reign on the Mountains of Cosmas against the invading hordes of minotaurs and grant them peace for the next thousand years. They had waited millennia for her. Unfortunately for them, I was about to strangle her.

"Castalia Reyes, come over here, or so help me, I am going have one less sister!”

It was hardly the first time I had threatened to do so. Cas was a model student, but in the past eighteen years, she had been caused premature greys. I had never considered following through with my threats. However, this time my hands were twitching. Kendra’s mawing at my sleeve was the only thing keeping me from shooting up the tree after Cas and knocking her down.

"Mona, be rational," Kendra said.

"Do not tell me how to handle my sister. I am going to save her, then I am going to kill her.”

If I could turn back time, I would have told my sister that under absolutely no circumstances were we going to stop for a hungover unicorn on the side of the road. Not for the first time, I wondered if I would have not been better off staying in Texas. The Reyes clan was in Messillas, had been since my parents immigrated to America thirty years ago. However, Castalia had been accepted to Columbia fully-funded. It was her first step to becoming a doctor, like she always wanted. Unfortunately, our parents took more convincing on letting her move across the country by herself. The funding made the decision for them. We couldn’t afford to pay for a private school in Texas. So, as the eldest of us five girls, I had to go help her transition and move into her dorm.

Considering my little sister was a demisexual conservative, I fully expected her time in New York would be similar to her time in Texas: complicated. She had never been big on Pride and our parents still thought asexuality was reserved for bacteria, but it had been a talking point when people near us found out. It was strange the amount of people who suddenly went from thinking she was a good girl for focusing on her studies to telling her she needed to go out on dates to meet the right person. Still, I thought it would be good for her. There were not many queer kids out in Mesillas. If liberal New Yorkers could get past her being a registered Republican, it would be a good place for her to build a community.

At the time we met Kendra, we had been in New York City less than a week. I was just helping Cas get settled into the city when we saw the unicorn puking on the street. No one stopped to help the retching creature. Sympathy coursed through me. I grew up around horses and this one reminded me of my little Gaviota. However, while my own horse was white, this one’s coat had a purple, almost translucent sheen to it. The animal’s hooves glimmered gold. I shook my head. Who would paint a defenseless animal? Was it part of some carriage ride? They had those in Central Park, didn’t they? Admittedly, I had not heard of one with a fake unicorn, but it seemed like something New Yorkers would enjoy.

The horse didn’t appear dangerous. The eyes were soft, if red, and the ears were pricked up like an eager puppy. The smell of cheap beer hit me as I stepped closer. I hadn’t smelled anything so strong since Uncle Julian first tried sobering up. I attempted to hold Cas back, but she was already moving. Cas stepped diagonally from the front, trying not to scare the animal. She spoke to the creature’s knee, her accent slipping through.

“Hey there darlin’,” she said. “What are ya doin’ all the way out here?”

The unicorn was unimpressed. Cas dug into her backpack, pulling out apple slices. The animal licked its lips, the head finally turning towards her. She gently moved her hands until she was a foot in front of the unicorn. The creature stumbled towards her. Yep, just like tío. The unicorn nibbled the apples as she placed her hand on its hide. I felt a jolt of warmth run through me and moved next to Cas. I gently petted the creature. Strange. I thought of Gaviota again. I cooed.

“Aren’t you a pretty—”

I wasn’t sure what word to use. Girl? Boy? I looked over at Cas to see if she had gotten any sort of indication while walking up to it. I certainly hadn’t paid attention. She shrugged.

“I’m agender. They works as a pronoun. If you’re going for an endearment, I’m fond of sweetheart.”

My head shot around in the direction of the voice. Agender. As in a person without a gender. Except this wasn’t a person. It was a fucking horse with a horn. As I went into shock, the unicorn kept talking.

“I’m Kendra.”

“Kendra,” I repeated stupidly.

“We have the same name? What a coincidence.”

“No, I mean—My name’s Mona. This is Castalia. Cas.”

“Well if you don’t mind, I need to borrow that one; Castalia, come on then.”

I snatched my hand away from the unicorn’s coat. The scary unicorn began to drag my sister along, gripping her sleeve in their mouth. Cas snatched her arm away. I was glad the unicorn hadn’t gnawed it off; that would be difficult to explain to our parents.

“Hold your horses, I am not going anywhere with you!” Cas said.

“Oh, right. Where are my manners?” they said.

The unicorn—no, horse— bowed their head so low they could have been at church. It made me immensely uncomfortable and I felt Cas stiffen as well.

“Are you alright?” Kendra asked.

“I was until the freakin’ unicorn started talking to me!” Cas said.

Cars continued to honk, dogs continued to bark, and my little sister continued to argue with a unicorn. My stomach churned. I was a religious person. I was a scientific person. One thing both sides agreed on? There was no such thing as unicorns. I opened my mouth to tell them so. Instead, I began to scream as we fell through a portal in the ground.

SeriesYoung AdultLoveFantasyfamilyAdventure

About the Creator


She/Her. Writing Center Coordinator & Professor. Novelist. 29. Proud Latina.

I'm obsessed with my cat and fantasy fiction.

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