It was a clear, warm day in the land of Noal. The suns burned bright in the clear skies. The first sun was larger than the second sun. The second sun always appeared more like a bright star. We only knew of rain and warm breezes. Our lands were filled with bright Black, blue, and yellow flowers, plants, and trees. The larger the plants, the deeper the colors. We, the race of unicorns, lived off of berries and green leaves that grew on tall trees. The unicorns were slowly becoming extinct because of the ghastly, nasty, evil Black Antars. The Black Antars were tall men-like creatures with long legs and arms. They had long pointed ears and three deep black eyes over their short noses. Their wide mouths protruded out of their black thick scaly skin. The Black Antars ran fast like the wind and they used sharp pointy spears to hunt unicorns. These creatures could hit even the smallest of the critters that crawled on trees with great accuracy. We relied on our sense of smell and sound to defend ourselves from the Black Antars. Our sense of smell could detect a Black Antar from yards away. Their rustling of the leaves would warn us when they were in the area. I was eating my favorite yellow berries when I began to sense a Black Antar coming towards me. I waited, while eating my berries, and I relied on my sense of smell and hearing to locate which direction the Black Antar was coming from. Was it Garr, the head Antar or was it another one? I did not know, but I was not going to wait and find out as I leaped from the trees and ran fast away from the direction of the smell and sound.
The Black Antars were fast, but I was faster. I could feel the wind in my long white mane as I felt the plants and flowers brush past my strong white muscly body. I was the strongest of all the unicorns, and the fastest. I learned to rely on my speed and the strength of my legs to escape from the Antars. I guess it was because my parents were both killed by the Black Antars during my early youth. My mentor, Willow, was the wisest of all the unicorns. He was both old and wise and had yellow skin. He lived in the caves of the high mountains. Willow could no longer run fast. This was so for all the elder unicorns. So they moved to the high grounds protected by the elves. The elves were small, furry creatures with long beards and hair from head to toe. They live in holes in the ground with their wives and kids. The elves were very good at using their natural surroundings for weapons. Their favorite weapons have always been the sling-shot and the boomerang. They could knock the tiniest creatures from a tree branch while running and jumping through deep forests. Because elves were shy and quiet around other creatures, I only met one elf in my life time. Snor was the main elf that guarded Willow. He often visited Willow during my younger years, and I might add that elf was very witty for a fur ball. As I ran through the forest, I knew that I had to get as close to the cave as I could because Antars were fearful of elves. So the closer I got to the cave, the safer I was. Soon I was near the cave and I could no long smell or hear the rumblings of the Antar. I was safe again, but not entirely alone in my forest.
Beyond the distance, I saw a very bright light. This was the brightest light that I have ever seen, even brighter than the first sunlight.
“What could it be?” I thought.
As I hid in the bushes and trees, I saw two small creatures emerge from the light. These were creatures that resembled the Black Antars, but with pale white skin and shorter bodies. Their skins were covered strangely, but they seemed gentle. I watched intently as the bright light vanished in thin air, leaving the two creatures behind.
“Where are we, John? I heard one of the creatures say.
“I don’t know, Katie”, the second creature replied. Even though I could not speak, I intuitively could sense the meaning of their words. I watched immensely as the two creatures wandered around the land of Noal. They looked around the land, smelling the flowers and touching the trees. I could tell that they were not of this world. But what were they? I decided to slowly introduce myself. I gave myself away by making some rustling noises and then getting within sight of the creatures.
“Look, Katie, is that what I think it is?” John asked.
“No, it can’t be! It looks like a unicorn”, the second creature responded. I slowly moved backward and then forward while bobbing my head up and down.
“Come on!” the creatures said as they reached out with their little hands.
I did not sense any hostility in them, nor did I see any weapons with them. I could feel a gentle side to the creatures. Slowly, slowly, I moved towards the two creatures until their hands touch my nose and chin. They crested and stroked my neck. Their hands felt like soft leaves brushing against my body.
At that moment one of the creatures spoke to me, “What’s your name?” The creature said out loud.
“Unich”, my mind said, for my mouth could not form the words in my head.
“Unich!” the gentle voice replied in amazement. I nodded, yes.
The second creature said, “You can hear his thoughts, Katie?”
“Yes, but I don’t know how”, she replied.
“I can too”, the second creature added.
“I’m Katie, and this is my brother, John. We’re from earth”, she said.
Suddenly, a noise startled me. I knew what it was, but I also knew that the creatures were going to be defenseless against them.
I quickly commanded them, “quickly, jump on my back and hold on to my long white mane. The two creatures jumped onto my back and we ran through the forest like the wind. I heard two spears hit on two trees as they barely missed us. Yet we managed to escape.
“Where are we, Unich?” the female creature asked.
“You are in the land of Noal”, I replied.
“But how did we get here?” John asked. By now, I was able to call the two creatures by their given names.
“I don’t know, do you remember?” “We were sitting and playing in my room and talking about Christmas when a bright light appeared out of nowhere. We saw the beautiful plants and flowers, so we went into the light. When we went through the light, it disappeared”, said John.
“So how do we get back?” Katie asked as she sat on the ground.
“We are going to miss Christmas in three days if we can’t get back”, Katie began to lay her face in her hands and cry.
“Why do you cry?” I asked.
“Because we are supposed to celebrate Christmas with our family, and now we won’t be there with our parents,” Katie added.
“What is Christmas?” I asked. John explained,
“Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of a king that lived a long time ago, and we also give gifts to each other to show love for that king. It’s a time for love, peace, and joy in one another.”
“It sounds like a great time”, I said.
“We love it because it’s a peaceful time in our world”, John added.
“Now we may never get back there!” Katie said while tears rolled down her cheeks. I knew then about the children’s heart break, so I decided to seek the counsel of Willow, my mentor.
“Hop on! I will take you to my mentor, Willow, the wisest of all the unicorns. He will know how to get you home”. I ran through the forest with the little ones on my back. I was just hoping Willow could show me the path way towards getting the children back home, in time for Christmas.
Nearing the cave, the wind blew ever so gentle as I saw Willow lying in the warm hay. Willow was bright yellow, but much older.
“Hello, Master, Willow”, my eyes gazed on his large yellow body.
“Unich, what brings you to see me, and where did you find those children?” he rose to meet my head.
“Their names are Katie and John”, I replied.
“They are not of this land, are they?” Willow asked.
“How…. How did you know?” I replied.
“I know about children from an adventure I had a long time ago, before you were born”, he said.
“They entered this land from a portal created by the two suns joining together. The portal happens when and where ever its wants to appear”, he added.
“Master, is there a way to get them back?” I asked.
“Yes, there is only one way, but the journey is long and hard. You must take the children to Ballou, an old but wise witch that lives on the edge of our land. She has some black stones that can reopen the portal at the same place and time as when they came”, he explained.
“Will she still be there and will she help us?” I asked.
“Yes, she is kind to unicorns, but she is fearful of other creatures, so you must approach her with caution”, he added.
“Then we must leave immediately”, I said.
“Travel with caution, my son; make sure the children stay fed and alive. Be careful of the Black Antars and their beasts”, he added as he turned to rest his body in the hay. I gathered the children onto my back and slowly jogged away from the cave.
Upon jogging for a few hours, we came to rest near a shallow river. The water was as clear as crystal and it swirled around the jagged rocks. I could see the fishes swimming in the water, and hear the sound of a waterfall in the distance. The children took turns eating the pink berries that grew on the bushes just on the edge of the river. I slowly drank my fill of water as I carefully kept my ears open for signs of danger.
As I slowly drank the water, I heard a strange sound just beyond some trees. It was not the sound of danger. It was more the sound of sweetness from another unicorn. I watched with eagerness as a well-built black unicorn raced from the trees. This was not a horned unicorn, because only males have horns. This was a fine looking female unicorn; with a long black mane, broad shoulders, and a spot where the horn might have grown, if she had been born a male. I was bewildered as to why she was in this area alone because female unicorns are particularly frightened by Antars. I did not know of any female unicorns that lived in this land because the area was heavily populated by Black Antars. She was a bit shy around me as I slowly approached her. The children, especially Katie, tried to coach her towards us. Slowly, slowly, she inched herself closer to us. Katie must have made the first connection with her because she was the first to touch her. She was very intriguing, captivating, and beautiful to me. I took in the array of beauty that beloved my eyes.
“What is your name?” I softly asked. She starred back at me like a wild flower waiting for its bee.
“I’m Ulassus”, she quietly responded as our noses slowly touched for the first time. “What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I always come here to drink the water. Why are you here and what are those creatures sitting near the water?” she asked.
“They are children from another land, and I’m trying to get them home. The female is called Katie, and the male is known as, John”, I replied. Just then a spear flew between our heads and landed in the water. John jumped on my back, and Ulassus allowed Katie to jump on her back, and away we all ran out of sight.
Ulassus suddenly stopped near a patch of bare forest. She looked around and bent her head downward. I went to meet her, for we knew what had happened in this lonely part of our land. It did not take us long to find it. There he lay with a spear in his neck and no horn on the nose. We somberly lowered our heads as Katie and John jumped to the ground.
“What happened, Unich?” Katie softly asked.
“A Black Antar killed this unicorn for his horn”, I replied.
“Why?” John asked.
“Unicorn horns have magical powers that can make life longer”, I explained as I touched the dead unicorn on its nose.
“The Black Antars use the horns to cure their ailments, and then they burn the used horn. A horn only has magical powers when it is connected to a live unicorn. Once the unicorn dies, the horn’s powers will die, that is why Black Antars continue to hunt unicorns”, I added.
“So why is everything around the unicorn also dead?” John asked.
“Because when a unicorn dies, all living plants around the unicorn will also die”, I explained. Just then, the once beautiful brown unicorn, turned into dust as the wind blew it away. All that remained was the bare, dead ground.
“So this ground will remain dead?” John asked.
“Yes, well, just until a new unicorn is born then the plants will be reborn. This is all a part of the magic of life in the land of Noal”, I said. The children shed some tears as they climbed onto our backs, and we slowly walked away to continue on the journey.
The second day was going dim. I could tell that the children were once again getting tired. I had John gather up some wood for a fire. Every insect in the forest knew what to do, including the dragon flies. The wood was piled on the ground. The dragon flies all took turns blowing their tiny breaths of fires onto it until a blaze of Black flames grew high in the sky. The lighting bugs also spread their wings and lit their lights as they flew around the forest. It was as though, all the creature did their part in watching over the children. Sometimes the lighting bugs were so numerous that we could not tell the difference between lighting bugs and falling stars. The children giggled as the lighting bugs flew in and out of their noses. I guess the lighting bugs would tickle their noses, in order to make the children laugh.
As the flames blew wildly, I needed to find out why the children walked through the portal when it appeared.
So I asked, “John, why did you and Katie walk through the portal?” I got no answer. I asked the same question, but John looked away as he began to speak.
“I’m almost ten years old, and it’s time for me to grow up and stop believing in fairy tales”, he said. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“Some kids from school were saying that Santa Claus was not real, and that, my mom and dad just bought our gifts and put them under the tree on Christmas Eve”, he added.
“Who is Santa Claus?” I asked.
“Santa Claus is a man dressed in red clothes with black boots. He rides on a big slay and brings gifts to all the good little children”, Katie added.
“I told my dad that I no longer believed in Santa, and that he can just stop lying about where our gifts came from because Santa is a fake”, he angrily added.
“Dad sent him to our room, I then went to my room to talk to John about why he didn’t believe in Santa any more”, Katie added.
“And that’s when the portal appeared. When I said that I wished that I could get away from my dad”, said John.
“And that is why you and Katie walked through the portal?” I asked.
“Yes, it looked so beautiful on the other side that I grabbed Katie’s hand and walked through”, John answered.
“So, John, do you believe in this land and believe in unicorns?” I asked. “Well, yes, because I’m here”, he replied.
“But before you came here, did you believe in unicorns?” I again asked.
“Well, no!” he responded.
“Just because you can’t see something or some place, it doesn’t mean it’s not real”, I added. I could see tears in John’s eye as he lowered his head, and cried.
“Do you believe in unicorns now?” I asked.
“Yes”, he replied.
“Then you must believe in Santa Claus, too!” I said.
“Yes, I do, Unich, you must get us home. I need to tell dad that I’m sorry!” John responded while crying in his hands.
“John look at me”, I said. John’s eyes fell upon me.
“We will get you two home! I promise!” I sternly said. I could somehow feel John’s emptiness in his heart. It’s like wanting to make amends to a wrong, but being unable to fill the hole due to a disconnection of emotional bonds. I sometimes miss my parents, but I keep their memories in my heart. I knew then that I had to keep my promise to get them home. Soon after that, John and Katie lied down near the fire and fell into a deep sleep as we watched over them throughout the night.
Just before dawn, something unusual happened. I heard Ulassus cry out in distress. As I looked towards her direction, I saw a large net covering her body. I watched Ulassus jump and gallop wildly as a net then covered me. Garr had somehow snuck up upon us without being detected by our senses. It took several Black Antars to hold us down, and by now, the children had awakened to kicking and screaming as they tried to run away. Garr had two Black Antars hold down the children. Garr, for some reason, wanted to children more than us. I watched as John and Katie were taken deeper into the forest. Soon after the children were long gone, I managed to kick a Black Antar in the face. I also heard the swirling wind of sling-shots and rocks being hurled at the other Black Antars. I saw a group of elves running towards us, with Snor and Willow following behind them. The nets were quickly removed as Willow approached me.
“I thought you might need some help”, said Willow.
“The children, why would Garr take the children?” I asked Willow.
“The children carry the fountain of youth in their blood. If Garr drinks their blood, then he will be forever young and strong”, added Willow.
“How does he know that?” I asked.
“It has been a legend for thousands of years. Garr was there when the children passed through the port-hole”, Willow replied.
“What must I do to save the children, master Willow?” I asked.
“Go find the witch, Ballou. She can help find the children. Go quickly, you have only a few hours to find her and rescue them. Garr will drink the children’s blood only at night.
So Run… Run quickly”, he added. Ulassus and I took off like a wild thunderbolt to the edge of Noal. With the children in the hands of Garr, we were able to run faster than ever.
“Run! Run!” I said to Ulassus as we raced across the forest.
With leaves, flowers, and branches brushing against our bodies, we ran like the wind to a place never seen by my eyes. Were we going in the right direction? I did not know. All we had was our sense of hearing and smell to guide us. After running for about an hour, it was time to catch our breaths. I heard the sound of water in the near distance very near a foggy cliff. So Ulassus and I headed in that direction. The water felt cool to our throats as we drank, but my heart burned with thoughts of the children. I knew what it was like to be held captive. The helpless feeling of being held down without being able to move. The hopeful feeling that someone will come to rescue you, but not knowing when or if help will show up. I knew that we were doing all we could to rescue the children, but these same feelings of helplessness and despair resonated within me. We knew that we had to drink the water and move on. This was the only way to save John and Katie. As we drank the water and prepared to move forward, we heard noises in the distance. It was the same sounds the children made as they spoke to us. I saw a hidden cave buried in bushes at the end of the stream. Could this be Ballou, the witch? How would she react to two unicorns invading her home? I slowly approach the cave with Ulassus next to me. I saw a strange hooded figure dancing around a fire. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew time was becoming short. I needed to find out if the hooded figure was friend or foe.
“Hello, Unich and Ulassus. Come in! Come… Come… Don’t be afraid”, the frail voice gently said as she stirred her food in the pot on the fire pit. My eyes looked upon her with caution as she walk towards us. She did not seem very old. She had greyish hair with brownish skin and eyes. Her body was slender, and her face still had some features of youth. She seemed to be quite gentle, but very straight forward with her words. I watched closely as she began rubbing our noses and necks.
“How did you know our names?” I thought.
“Oh! I know all about you. I have been watching you two since the children entered the portal”, she said as her coverings swayed in the warm breeze.
“But how have you been watching us?” Ulassus stepped forward to ask.
“My wall of visions. It lets me know everything that goes on in our lands”, she said while pointing to a wall on the cave. The wall showed us random images of the forest as we spoke to one another.
“Yes, I can see anything with my wall, even where the children are now”, she added. Then the image changed to show the children tied to a tree, crying out for help.
“We must hurry, and rescue the children”, I frantically said!
“Yes, it’s time to go and rescue the children! Are you strong enough to carry me, my new friend?” she asked. She then adding more coverings to her back and picked up a long staff and a bag to be hung around my neck.
“Yes”, I replied.
“Then let’s ride like the wind my new friends!” she shouted as she climbed upon my back.
“Now hurry… Hurry! We don’t have much time. The suns are setting and Garr is preparing to harvest the children for their blood!”, she said while adjusting herself and grabbing a firm hold of my mane. We did not waste any time on food or water. Boui knew right where the children were, so we ran faster than ever. We ran to save the lives of two children.
Garr had the children tied to a tree. He was close, but I could not spot his tracks or smell. He must have learned to cover his scent and mask his sounds. The children stood a few feet away as we searched for Garr. I forced Ulassus and Blair to stay near the trees then I hurriedly, but cautiously approached the children to try and set them free. I used my mouth to bite away the ropes. It seemed like a slow process, but finally, my strong teeth were able to break the rope. I managed to release John and we both tried to release Katie. Just as the ropes fell off Katie’s hands, I felt a sharp spear pierce my side. It was a pain like no other, as I moaned loudly and jumped around. Garr lunged towards me with great anger. I lowered my head to spear Garr near his heart. He stumbled backward, and howled in pain. Katie and John ran towards Ulassus as I heard elves springing up from the ground cover with their sling shots. Round and round and round the sling shots shot their rocks directly in Garr’s direction. Garr threw his spears back at the elves, but he hit nothing. The rocks were so numerous that Garr did not have the chance to escape. Rocks came from every direction and a few struck his head until he fell down into death. Garr was now dead, but not without sacrifice. I fell down with a spear stuck in my side. An elf removed the spear, but the damage was done. I was dying.
The land in the area was slowly dying as I lay on the ground. I could feel my heart slowing down with every breath. The spear from Garr was not only taking my body, but my spirit as well. I could hear John and Katie sobbing as I felt their tears fall on my face. Katie sat next to my neck as her hand rubbed away the pain from the spear. Ulassus, Ballou, Willow, Snor, with all the other elves gathered around me with heads hung low. I could feel their sadness in the air as my life began to slip into the wind.
“Willow, thank you for being my master! I will miss our long conversations about my parents and your adventures with them. Ulassus, your love has filled my heart with joy” I said with tears in my eyes. I never felt death before, but it was a calming feeling as my mind returned to the younger years of running in green fields and colorful forests. I was dying, but my spirit still wanted to live. Was this the end? How would John and Katie get home for Christmas? For now, I knew love, hate, anger, and now death. I knew about the precious joys of life, and the coldness of death. I was not ready to be beaten by Garr, but he was dead, and I did not want to share the same fate as him. Suddenly, new sounds rose from the trees. It was the sound of hope, love, and life.
Yes, from beyond the trees sprung one unicorn, then another one, then two more unicorns to rescue me from death. I found myself surrounded by unicorns with a variety of colors. Four unicorns gathered around me. I felt their horns touch one another as they touched my horn. A blinding light shinned brighter than all the suns in the world. I felt my wombs healing and my heart beating again as the air once more filled my lungs. Life was once again coming back into my body.
With a light touch of Willow’s nose on my face, I heard him say, “Unich, rise from the shadow of death and live again”.
The dead flowers and plants began to regain their colors and scents. The children’s sorrows began to ring out songs of joy. My lifeless body now had life again, and my spirit grew stronger and stronger as I sprang onto my four legs. Death was no longer in me as I reached for Ulassus with love. I was back for good and ready to fulfill my destiny. It was time to get the children home so that Ulassus and I could become free unicorns in the land of Noal.
After my revival into life, we traveled back to the same land where the portal first appeared. Ballou, the witch, placed the four black stones upon the ground. She stomped her staff three times on the ground and uttered the words,
“Great suns of Noal, bring fourth the portal, and open once again for the children to pass through to return home”. The wind wildly blew as the portal slowly appeared like a bright sun.
“You will only have few minutes before the hole closes again”, Ballou said. I could feel the children’s sadness about leaving me and the land of Noal, but it was time for them to go home. Katie was the first to hug and kiss my cheeks as she shed a few more tears. John followed behind her as they both hung on my neck and stroked my nose with their warm hands.
“We love you, Unich, and we will always remember you and Ulassus”, Katie said softly.
“Yes, we would have never made it home without you all”, John added.
“I will always remember you two as well. You brought Ulassus and me together. Because of you two we now know the miracle of Christmas and love”, I replied.
The children turned and held hands. I pushed them forward with my nose as they walked through the portal.
“Remember John and Katie, just because you never see something, it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Sometimes we must walk in faith to believe in something to guide our lives”, I added with a wink in my eye.
I turned to run towards Ulassus. We stopped to look back at the portal. We saw the children waving goodbye with smiles on their faces, as the portal quickly closed for good. I never thought that I, Unich the unicorn, would have had such a fantastic adventure with two human children and found love with a female unicorn. I can’t help to think about the children as they open their gifts for Christmas. Whatever Christmas may be? I hope their Christmas is filled with love, joy, and peace. Ulassus and I ran into the sunsets with our mane’s blowing in the warm breeze, our bodies touching on the run, and our nose rubbing together. We were now free to live in the land of Noal.