The Black One
by Mary Garvaglia
(Niagara, WI, USA)
None were black. None of them expected this. 'Twas only spoken of in their legends. The Black Unicorn. She was born from Rage, a paint unicorn, and Lust, an almost, but nae black unicorn. She received from her mare, the most beautiful fire red mane and tail. Given to her by her sire, were the blue-est eyes of the land, and the silverest horn and hooves. Yet, the unicorn lass was blackest of black. The fillie seemed nae to mind at all. Until she found a human, who, loved her for her color. And only that.
They played for hours each day, and when the human child's sire found out, he decided he wanted to keep the fillie for his own. The Black One heard this, and, in turn, fled from the land and her sire and mare. None knew whence she'd gone. Her sire, Rage, while searching for his fillie, happened across a young foal. He was a dapple-gray, and said he'd seen the most beautiful fillie around. Rage asked the foal, "Which way Did my night colored fillie roam?" He answered with a tilt of his head towards the South.
After a very long, dark, tiresome and lonely journey to find The Black One, Rage, who was the eldest of all the unicorns and sire the Black One, gave up and returned home to his mare.
The Black One, lost and lonely, happened upon a river, from whence a disembodied voice sounded. "Why art thou at mine river?"
"I am here because I need water, and I am very tired. I have lost my way in this Southern Forest, and am in need of guidance. There is a human who loves me for only my color, and I wish to know why," the Black One replied. The voice continued on, "I can give ye my guidance, bonnie fillie, but
ye must know, there is a price must be paid." "Price?," the fillie unicorn repeated, "whatever price, I accept your guidance, spirit."
"First, ye must find a snake. Bring it to this river. Then, ye need a jeweled sprig. Also, bring it to this river. After ye have items, ye shall be guided on yer way home."
The Black One, agreed with this price and she went off to find the snake and the sprig, but her search was for naught. The nightfall was quick, and unforgivingly ominous. The next day, the fillie, who felt strange, set out to find the snake. Again. Today she found the snake, and found her way back to the river. And again, after searching for the snake, nightfall was all too familiar. When she awoke, she found herself in the same spot, in the same woods. She again set out to search. About an hour after she started, she'd found the jeweled sprig, and returned it to the river.
The voice sounded pleased, "While ye have undertaken the small quest I had given ye, an almost but nae black foal, colored same as yer mane, ran for his life. But, Black One, be warned. The price ye will pay is yer soul."
A fog started to appear around the fillie and without warning, a figure materialized in front of her. It was a human. Or at least, she thought it was. The figure held its hand palm out to her. The Black One was so entranced by this figure that she didn't pay heed to everything else. White snake-like vines wrapped around her hooves and soaked into her flesh. She collapsed, and the figure, who, moments before, was two yards away, was now holding her neck in a hug-like embrace.
When the embrace was broken, the Black One, found herself in the sky amongst the stars.