Once A Unicorn - Part 2
 By Rein or Shine   •   15th Nov 2010   •   2,574 views   •   1 comments
One Year Later...

Ariela lifted her nose from the brook. Water dripped swiftly from her muzzle. Ariela looked around. It was a warm, sunny day. The wind was blowing gently, ruffling Ariela’s mane and tail. Ariela snorted and tossed her head, the light shining off her eyes and making them fiery. She walked away from the brook and bent her head to graze. The lush, dewy green grass met her mouth invitingly and was torn from the dirt, making a soft crunching sound. A rabbit hopped by. Ariela trotted around on the soft ground, pretending to be frightened by the sudden upset. Suddenly, she heard singing.

Ariela cautiously walked around a huge boulder. There was a small waterfall flowing from the brook, which curved up onto the hill and met the lower ground again through the waterfall. Looking around, Ariela saw a beautiful young girl sitting by the shore, making her fingers swim through the water.

She was singing softly, her light brown hair tucked carefully behind her ears.

Ariela somehow saw a very strong familiarity in the girl’s sweet, perfect face. And her voice… her voice was very familiar. Something tugged at Ariela, telling her to go toward the girl.

UnicornSuddenly Ariela remembered. This girl was Rose. Rose, from a year ago, the one who had told Ariela over and over to trust her. Ariela felt an urge to go to Rose, to let her bury her face in Ariela’s mane, to let her ride her as Ariela galloped across the ground. But Ariela remembered her mother’s warning. Stay away from humans all they do is harm.
Was it really true?

Suddenly, a beautiful, reddish-colored hawk landed on a tree right next to Ariela. “Are you Ariela?” he surprised her by saying.
Unable to speak, Ariela tossed her head, nodding.
The hawk, its voice light and friendly, said, “My name is Scarlet. I am the prince of the world of animals told to be myths, such as unicorns, or rosehawks like me. This royalty in my blood gives me magical ability.”

Ariela listened carefully. Something told her that what Scarlet was saying was important.
“For a few minutes, I will give you the ability to speak,” Scarlet continued. Suddenly Ariela felt very…well, magical. Her body shone white, and then… A jolt of something unfamiliar struck Ariela, and she opened her mouth. “I can speak,” she said joyously. “I can speak!”
“Don’t get too used to it,” Scarlet warned. “It’ll go away soon. Speak a hundred words and it’s over.”
Ariela’s heart broke. But she had lived without a voice for her whole life this was like a holiday. It would come and go just like that. She carefully chose her words, so as not to waste them. “Why can you speak forever?”
“I paid a price,” he said simply. “Anyways, you want more than anything to see that girl, no?”
Ariela nodded, her eyes sad.
“But your mother said not to have any kind of connection with humans, am I right?”
Ariela nodded again, saving her words carefully.
“You can be with your Rose,” said Scarlet, “But there is a price to pay. You see, the price that I paid was that I became mortal. It was a foolish choice, but I chose death over being silent.
“You see, your mother told you not to be with humans. But the thing is- though I hate to say it- your mother was quite selfish.”
Ariela’s eyes flooded with tears. “Selfish?” she asked. “My mother, selfish?”
“She wasn’t willing to pay a price for her human.”
“Human?” Ariela asked, forgetting her word count. “My mother had a human?”
“Yes,” said Scarlet. “Her name was Lily. Your mother loved Lily very much, but she never touched her. When Lily would try to touch your mother, she pulled away quickly. Lily’s heart was broken many, many times.
“The problem was, your mother didn’t love Lily enough. A wise old unicorn named Princess told your mother about the unicorn rule.”
“We’ve got a rule?” asked Ariela.
“Yes, you do. Or at least, unicorns used to have a rule. Sadly, you’re the only one left. Anyways, anyways, if a unicorn meets a human more than once, she will not be a unicorn anymore. She will become a mere horse.”

Ariela’s brain worked quickly. If she touched Rose again… she would become a simple mare. A horse. Was she willing to make that sacrifice?
“But… how does that make my mother selfish?” she asked Scarlet.
“Well,” Scarlet told her, “Your mother was very, very beautiful, like almost all unicorns were. And your mother enjoyed being so beautiful. She wasn’t willing to become a pretty mare over a gorgeous unicorn for her human. That’s what made her selfish.”

Ariela thought about this. She had never really been selfish, but was she willing to lose her beautiful horn and color for Rose? She shook the word beautiful out of her last thought. She didn’t want to become selfish like her mother.
“I’ll do it,” she whispered.
“Are you sure?” Scarlet asked her. “If you do this, you’ll never, ever become a unicorn again. You’re the only unicorn left. You’ll be killing your kind.”
“Not exactly,” Ariela said. “My unicorn spirit will always be inside of me. I might be a horse, but I’ll always feel like a unicorn. My appearance might be a horse, but deep down inside I’ll always be a unicorn.”
“Okay,” Scarlet said. He seemed doubtful, hesitant to leave. “Good luck.” He gave her an encouraging smile, and Ariela watched him fly away.
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