This story is by P.E. Writes and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Zoe the Lost Unicorn
By P.E. Writes
Deep in the forest of Reynoldsville, there was a beautiful young unicorn. Her name was Zoe. She looked just a lot like her mother. Zoe loved to play out in the field by their thicket. She would dance and prance around chasing butterflies and fairies all day. The fairies would like to take rides on her multi-colored mane. The Spring fairies would braid flowers in her mane, making a crown on her head. She was a very happy unicorn.
Some years ago, Zoe and her mother had fled deep into the forest for safety. Their herd was being hunted by a band of savage humans. While trying to protect his family Zoe’s father had been violently captured and killed. Zoe’s mother, Anna, took Zoe deeper into the forest for safety. They have lived in the forest ever since, isolated from everything.
One day as Zoe was playing in the field she saw another unicorn. Now, Zoe could not remember ever seeing any other unicorns in her field. She hurried to the thicket where she and her mother were nesting.
“Mother,” she panted,” I saw another unicorn!”
“Zoe,” Anna cautiously replied, “you stay here. I will go and check this out. Please do not follow me. Stay here where you are safe.”
“Yes, mamma,” Zoe sadly replied, “I promise I will stay here.”
With that Anna took off into the field to see if she could find this other unicorn. First, she searched the northern border of the forest, then she circled around to the eastern border followed by the southern border. There was no sign of a unicorn anywhere, so Anna went back to their thicket. Only to find Zoe playing with another unicorn. Anna didn’t know how to react, she was happy to see another unicorn but afraid that it might have brought intruders into her thicket. She had so many questions she wanted to ask this new unicorn in her thicket.
“Well, hello,” greeted Anna,” may I ask your name?”
“Mother, this is Anton,” Zoe blurted excitedly, “he is from the river area beyond the forest.”
“Zoe,” Anna interrupted, “let Anton speak for himself. I am sure he has a voice.”
“Hi, ma’am,” Anton began, “I live eastward beyond the forest by the river. There is a small herd of unicorns there. We live in the enchanted land protected by the mighty Fairy Princess Lilly. I would very much like to take you to my home. I am sure that you would be welcomed there.”
“I am not sure,” Anna hesitated in her answer, “we have been here for five years, ever since Zoe’s father died. Our herd was ambushed by some savage humans … I took Zoe here to keep her safe… I know of this land you speak of quite well.”
“But Mother,” Zoe protested, “there are other unicorns, and it is protected by a mighty fairy princess.”
“Very well,” Anna replied, “we will go, but at the first sign of danger we will return here to our thicket.”
Zoe agreed, and the following morning at daybreak the trio took off for the enchanted land by the river. As they got closer to the edge of the forest Anna became quite nervous, she kept Zoe close to her, so she could protect her at the first sign of danger.
Once out of the forest, there was a wide-open field, Anna had seen humans in that field gathering grain and flowers. This concerned Anna, she requested to Anton that they travel this area with the cover of the night so that they would have less chance of being seen. The trio nested on the edge of the forest until sundown. Then they rose to continue their journey using the blanket of the night to slip through the field.
Zoe being the daunting young unicorn that she was had hidden some of the Spring Fairies in her mane. The fairies were getting restless and started itching the back of Zoe’s neck. Zoe wiggled and squirmed trying to deal with the itching and not let her mother know that she had hidden them in her mane. Finally, Anna couldn’t take Zoe’s squirming any longer, she stopped.
“Zoe, what is wrong with you?” Anna whispered.
“I’m sorry mother,” Zoe replied, “the fairies are making my neck itch.”
“Young lady what are fairies doing in your mane!” Anna said sharply.
“Mother,” Zoe said softly, “I wanted them to come with us, they are my friends.”
“My dear,” Anna replied, “the fairies already know where the enchanted land is. You see that is where they live. Each day they came to play with you …I believe that they were sent to make sure you were safe. The fairies do not have to hide in your mane.”
With relief, Zoe shook her mane, and about a dozen small fairies came tumbling down. Anna quickly nuzzled them back up onto Zoe’s back and the trio continued their journey to the enchanted land by the river. The sky was clear that night and the moon was full and bright as it led them through the open field. Anna kept her guard up flinching at every sound. They were not the only creatures traveling by the cover of darkness.
Off in a distance the trio could see a campfire and hear the barking hunter dogs. Anna remembered the sounds, and the smells of the humans. She remembered when her husband had sent them off when the savage humans had attacked their land. The fear that Anna felt back then returned to Anna. Knowing that she had to face her fears Anna nuzzled Zoe even closer and ran towards the safety of the grove of trees ahead.
The grove of trees that hid the enchanted land by the river was right ahead of them. Anna sighed with relief as the trio entered the enchanted land, the danger had passed. Zoe sensed the atmosphere had changed, it seemed almost mystical. Anton cautioned them not to step on any rocks for they were living things, and not to pick anything from the trees … they would throw things at you and yell at you. Other than that, he said most everything else was normal. Now his version of normal and Zoe’s were quite different. Zoe could not remember ever seeing rocks talk or roll on its own, and she couldn’t remember ever hearing a tree talk or walk and the fact that the branches were like arms. Definitely not normal in Zoe’s world.
The closer they got to where the Fairy Princess Lilly lived the stranger things seemed to Zoe. But it wasn’t a weird strange it was an exciting strange. The mushrooms turned into gnomes, and there were fairies dancing and flying all around. The fairies on Zoe’s back joined in with all the dancing. Oh, the wondrous sights and sounds.
Then there in the middle of the land was a beautiful Tree of Life, that was where Princess Lilly lived with all the fairies. Now Princess Lilly was a lot larger than all the other fairies. She was almost human size as if she was an enchanted human child. At first, their new surroundings scared Zoe and Anna, but Princess Lilly greeted them.
“My forest friends,” the Princess began, “I would like you all to meet Queen Anna and her daughter Princess Zoe. They have been missing for many years after the King was killed when our village was ambushed by savage humans. Our noble scout Anton has found them and brought them home… All hail the Queen!”
Zoe was in awe as the creatures of the forest bowed to her and her mother. She didn’t know how to respond to find out that her mother was the queen and she a princess. Now, what would their future be? Are there more lost unicorns? Oh, so many thoughts raced through Princess Zoe’s head of what her future might have in store for her.