Once There Was a Lonely Unicorn
On a balmy afternoon in July, I went to the creek
that snakes through the glade, following hoofprints.
Too large for a goat or satyr and there was no musky scent.
I nickered as a unicorn nickers to summon a mate.
Waiting on all fours. Waiting for hoofbeats.
Wind rustled tree branches, but only rushing water
and warbling swallows answered my call.
Finally, I dipped my tongue in the creek and drank,
lapping glacier nectar that tasted of moss and something sulfurous.
My third slurp, a dragon alighted on the bank beside me.
The magnificent, scaly beast dipped his head and drank.
His golden eyes swiveled, appraising me as I stepped closer.
Glacier dragons were supposed to slaughter unicorns,
but he didn’t sink his fangs into my throat.
Unicorns were eternal optimists.
There was only one of him left, and one of me.
Why did I believe that loneliness would lead to love?
Alicia Hilton is an author, editor, arbitrator, professor, and former FBI Special Agent. She believes in angels and demons, magic, and monsters. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, Dreams & Nightmares, Lovecraftiana, Modern Haiku, Neon, NonBinary Review, Not One of Us, Space & Time, Spectral Realms, Unnerving, Vastarien, World Haiku Review, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volumes 4, 5 & 6, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. Her website is https://aliciahilton.com. Follow her on Twitter @aliciahilton01.
Author’s Backstory and/or Crafting: Dichotomies often feature in my poetry: hope and horror, kindness and savagery, utopia and dystopia. I was pondering dualities in nature while taking an early morning walk in the woods. Something rustled in the trees. I froze. My imagination conjured a vision of a unicorn.
Editor’s Comments and/or Image Credits: Ice dragon [wallpapercave.com] with a white unicorn[freeiconspng.com]