As the week comes to a close, I struggled to find a prompt to get me going today. Thankfully, Reddit pulled through!
Prompt: You’re driving down a quiet road at night, when a unicorn jumps out of the woods and in front of your car.
I’ve never been a fan of driving – especially at night. When I can, I avoid it. Unfortunately, once in a while, there’s just no getting out of it. This is one of those times.
Normally I don’t struggle to stay awake when I drive. The nerves I get behind the wheel do more than enough to keep me awake, but tonight is different. I’ve been on the road for a solid five hours and I’ve still got another two to go. To make things worse, I haven’t passed a residential or commercial area in almost just as long. Outside, the trees whip by on either side of the car, eaten by the darkness behind me. If it wasn’t so dark out, I might consider pulling over for a nap, but the thought of something coming out of the forest to get me keeps me driving.
I should have just taken the nap.
My eyes start to droop again, so I try to turn up the music. My car is the only one on the road, and I haven’t see anyone else for miles. It doesn’t occur to me to keep my eyes on the road as I reach for the volume control. When I look back up, a white blur shoots out of the forest and into the road. By some miracle I manage to swerve without hitting it. I almost lose control of the car, but managed to stop just a few yards away.
When I turn to look at what I almost hit, I can’t believe my eyes. There, in the middle of the road, is a white horse with a horn coming out of its head. Moonlight highlights the curves of the horn – it actually shines in the light. The animal has a glow about it, and I’m sure I’m dreaming. Or dead. I probably fell asleep at the wheel, hit a tree, and I’m dying somewhere in the dark right now.
It’s staring at me now. At least, I think it is – we’re making eye contact in my rearview mirror. I consider flooring it and just driving away, but I’m too awestruck to move.
“Belle! What do you think you’re doing?” Someone runs into the road behind the unicorn. The animal looks away from me and at the person – as if responding to the name – before focusing back on me. The person follows the unicorn’s gaze. “Oh no.”
Now, I try to floor it, but my car just doesn’t want to work. I try to restart it, but all I get is a sputtering engine. Before I know it the person is at my door, knocking on my window. I jump at the sound and refuse to open.
“It’s okay. I just want to make sure you’re alright. Did she hurt you?” The deep voice is calm, reassuring, and it does something weird to my brain. Though they’re standing right in front of me, I struggle to make out their appearance. They’re blurry, like I’m looking at them without my glasses, though everything else is clear as can be. My thoughts are fuzzy and I have to struggle to stay focused.
“She-she ran out onto the road. I’m okay. I just want to go.” Again, I try to start the car. Still no luck. “Dammit!”
“Your car won’t work.” They’re still standing outside. “You’re on the veil. I’ll need to get your car to the other side so you can keep going.”
“Please. Come out and I’ll help you.”
I gauge my options. There’s a unicorn on the road, this person is blurry, and my car won’t start. Not to mention I’m probably already dead. Or dying. After a glance at my phone, I realize I have no signal, either. I exit the car with my pepper spray in hand, my keys sticking out between my fingers.
“Why are you blurry?” I narrow my eyes.
“What? Oh! Sorry. That’s my glamour. No use in keeping it up, I guess.” A blink later, their figure comes into focus. The first thing I notice are his eyes – they’re the color of the moon. Everything else about him is fairly normal – short black hair, muscular build. Like a farmhand, I suppose. He offers his hand. “I’m Caleb.”
I don’t take it, still gripping my weapons tight. “Kara.”
“Sorry about this. Belle doesn’t usually get out, but every once in a while she slips past me.” He sends a glare to the unicorn, which he leashed to a nearby tree. “And ends up ripping the veil. Normally no one is around, though. You’re the first!”
Caleb turns his attention to the car, straightening it out on the road with his bare hands before moving to stand behind it and push. Like it’s no heavier than a shopping cart, he navigates it down the road. For a moment I’m struck before I realize I’m supposed to follow him. I hurry to catch up.
“I’m dreaming right? Or dead?”
“No, not at all!” His voice is cheery, casual. “But you probably won’t remember this tomorrow.”
“The veil’s magic will wipe the memory. Can’t have humans stumbling upon fairies and unicorns.” The thought is upsetting. My curiosity spins, and if it wasn’t for my need to get home and mild fear, I’d demand more answers.
After a few more yards, he stops. “Here you go. Try again.”
I keep the door open as I try to start the car again. It starts with no problem, and I find myself smiling with relief. “Thank you.”
“Anytime. Maybe just avoid driving through veils during full moons.” He says that like it’s advice everyone should know.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I look down at my phone again, happy to see full bars. When I go to thank Caleb again, he’s gone. I turn to try to spot the unicorn, but she’s gone, too. After another hour on the road, the entire ordeal seems like a dream, but I struggle to hold onto it, to remember.
I intend to come back tomorrow.
I really like this little piece. Hope you did too!
As always, think happy thoughts!