I have a feeling this one needs a content warning.
Infe noticed the changes in her daughter, as the unicorns filled the village.
At first, Felfen lit up, becoming happy in a way she hadn’t since Infe and Fennix had taken jobs at the Factory. She began making more friends, her skin turned brown with the sun and her hair bleached fairer, and she smiled, all the time, she smiled.
Infe smiled more, too, and Fennix did, proud that their daughter was helping the Town and the Factory, proud that she was becoming a valuable member of the community. More than that pride, though, they were happy that their flower was blooming again, that their lovely daughter was smiling and playing again.
And then something started happening.
Infe wasn’t sure, at first. Felfen was at that age where girls could be smiling one moment, crying the next, and shouting with rage the next. The frowns could have been passing thunderstorms. The worry lines could have been a friend speaking unkindly to her. The smiles were still there, at least. She was still spotting unicorns…
…at first. When Felfen started letting Angwe, a year younger than her, take the credit for the unicorn spottings, Infe knew something was wrong. She took her twenty minutes on lunch one day, and walked out in the Town, to see what was going on.
There. There was Infe’s daughter, the jewel of her life, sneaking across the market square, and there, there was a shadow Infe couldn’t quite see, and Felfen blanching.
“Leave me alone,” the girl muttered, backing towards the fountain. “Leave me alone. I won’t tell them, anymore, but why won’t you just go away? Please?”
Infe didn’t know what the unicorn did, but her daughter backed up until her legs hit the low wall of the fountain’s surround. “Please, please. I don’t know why you’re following me. I don’t know…”
For one moment, one moment of horrible, awful clarity, Infe could see the unicorn. It stood at the shoulder almost as tall as a man, and its horn was long, and pristine white, its hooves golden, its tangled tail and mane streaked with the same gold color.
And its horn was leveled straight at Felfen.
Infe screamed. Across the square, someone else took up the panic, and someone else. They could all, it seemed, see the creature. And they were all terrified for Infe’s daughter.
Only she, Felfen, staring at the creature, seemed calm. Frozen in terror? No. Infe made herself calm down, and walked, as quietly as she could towards her daughter. Not frozen, but ready.
“I understand,” the girl whispered. The look in her eyes… Infe remembered that look on her own face, many many years ago in a wedding bed. “I’m ready.”
“Fel…” but it was too late. The unicorn was piercing her daughter with its horn, the blood dripping into the fountain, staining it red, staining Felfen’s dress red. Her daughter’s eyes rolled back in her head, and she fell into the water.
And the unicorn was gone from Infe’s vision, the water pure and clear, and Felfen, un-wounded, floated like a lily in the fountain pool.
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