So, in my art appreciation class I recently had an assignment to create a short work that contained and centered around the following phrases:
"What is that?"
"It's a unicorn."
"I've never seen one up close before."
"Get away. Get away."
The following short story is what I decided to create for this assignment. Enjoy!
Two year old Liam sat in his playroom, stacking blocks with his nanny. His mother and father had been away for two days at some far away land called 'the hospital'. While building his latest skyscraper, Liam suddenly heard the front door swing open which was followed by the hushed voices of his parents. Gretchen, his nanny, told him to sit still and continue playing as she hastily left the room. Minutes felt like hours to Liam, so he decided to go investigate what was keeping his beloved Gretchen from assisting him with his latest creation. He picked up one of his wooden swords for protection, and slowly crept out of his playroom.
He slid along the walls of the hallway like a stealthy spy. He came upon the living room door, and spied Gretchen unpacking a suitcase full of his mother’s things and tiny clothes; clothes far too small for him to wear. This perplexed Liam, so he quietly snuck past the living room so Gretchen would not scold him for leaving the playroom. He journeyed further down the hallway, and stopped just outside the door from which his parents’ voices could be heard. He carefully peered into the room, so he would not be seen. Inside, his mother sat in a rocking chair holding a small bundle in one of her arms. In her other hand, she held a small toy. One Liam could not identify. Liam’s mind raced with the different possibilities of what could be in his mother’s arms. His thoughts were halted whenever his father stepped in front of his mother and asked “What is that?” Yeah, what is that? Liam thought to himself. “It’s a unicorn” his mother replied. A unicorn? I’ve never seen one up close before. Thought Liam. He had heard about unicorns in the stories Gretchen read to him, but he never thought one would be in his house, in his mother’s arms. In an attempt to get a closer look at the fantastic creature, Liam ventured slightly into the room.
“Beautiful.”said Liam’s father. What’s so beautiful about it? Thought Liam. He had to get a closer look. Tip-toeing further into the room, Liam was unaware that he was swinging his wooden sword dangerously close to a lamp on the table he had been hiding behind. In one careless move, Liam clipped the lamp, sending it crashing onto the floor with a loud bang. Suddenly the unicorn began crying. “Get away! Get away!” screamed Liam’s father as he tried to get him out of the room. “I’m sorry!” Liam exclaimed repeatedly. Suddenly Gretchen swooped into the room taking Liam into her arms, carrying him away and into the playroom.
When he was tucked away among his familiar toys, Liam began to calm down while still in Gretchen’s arms. “What were you doing in there, Liam? I told you to stay in here and play with your blocks.” All Liam could say over his sniffles was “unicorn.” “Unicorn?” Gretchen asked with a puzzled expression. “What unicorn, Liam?” The young boy pointed down the hallway to the room in which they just left. A confused Gretchen picked Liam up, and slowly ventured back down the hallway. Once outside the room, she put Liam down and told him to wait there. She went inside the room, and told Liam’s parents to take a break and unpack. Soon, both left the room, not even noticing Liam standing outside the door.
Once they left, Gretchen returned and took Liam by the hand, guiding him into the room. “There’s no unicorn in here, Liam. There’s something better” she said. She picked Liam up by the waist, and hoisted him over a strange bed with high sides. Liam peered over the edge. He did in fact see a unicorn, a stuffed one. What was even more fantastical was the small creature lying beside the unicorn. “This is your new baby sister, Liam. That stuffed unicorn is hers, but she’s all yours. You’re going to have to look after her, and be a good big brother now”said Gretchen. “Think you can do that?” Liam stared at this small bundle in bewilderment. Suddenly the baby smiled up at Liam. He instantly felt love for this small creature and loved by it at the same time. A smile formed on his face, he knew that this was going to be greater than any unicorn could ever be.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.