The Music of Borealis

They rode across the sky on the hands of Borealis, which reached unusually far south that night.

At first, I saw it in my sleep: a flare of color against the black sky, swaying back and forth like a flickering flame. As I watched, it became more and more solid and swelled like a kaleidoscopic wave. Then, as I was peering into the light trying to find images in its random movements, I saw it.

No, it couldn't have been, I said. But I knew very well what I had seen. Half of me just didn't want to accept it for fear of insanity, and the other half was immensely curious about the horse in the sky. It stood in the light, a silhouette against the flow of colors. It pawed at an imaginary ground and whinnied from its distance, though every fraction of the sound moved through me, noble as a trumpet, piercing as a chime.

And then there was silence between us. We stood watching each other—I knew it was watching me because I could feel its eyes boring into me, judging me, wrapping themselves around me. But I wasn't afraid. Nobody in their right mind is afraid of unicorns.

"Come down," I said.

It whinnied in response, and the bells rang through me again. I didn't speak a word of unicornish, but I knew its meaning perfectly well—music is a language that everyone understands. The tiny beats pulsed though my head so powerfully that the rhythm of my heartbeat strained to match them, just like every other beautiful song in the world. "Come outside," it had said.

I nodded. I was in my pajamas, but that didn't stop me from rushing outside to the center of the cul-de-sac. The aurora twisted above, brighter and more magnificent than it had been from behind the glass. The unicorn was still there, too, and I could feel it smiling down at me.

"Alright," I said, "I'm here."

Then a great feeling of happiness surged inside of me as trumpets blared triumphantly, and the unicorn rode down through the sky. The aurora arced like a rainbow, the tail end of it landing right before me, forming a bridge between land and sky.

I was able to see the unicorn clearly for the first time now: It was delicate, but fierce, and was the purest shade of white from the tip of its horn to the last hair of its lion-tail. It strode across the bridge toward me slowly, almost dramatically. When it reached the end, the aurora rose back up to the sky again.

The unicorn looked back up at it, and I followed its gaze. Now, looking down on us were many shadows of unicorns- maybe hundreds! Then, much to my surprise, the unicorn before me lowered its velvet nose into my hands.

And I woke up.

I was outside in my pajamas, and I was still holding the nose of a unicorn, but the aurora was gone. The resonance the unicorn caused inside me told me that they were still there, watching from some far-off place.

"We have been waiting for you," he said.

My first instinct was to hesitate at his greeting, but a warm note coursed its way through my blood to quickly reassure me.

I looked deeply into his eyes and placed my arms around its neck to show my loyalty to him, and the beating of my heart was able to convey my feelings before any words left my mouth. We stood like this in a musical, mutual understanding. He could feel my rhythms of wonder and confusion, and I, low hums of inner peace and hope for me to do my part, whatever it entailed.

"What must I do, Sir Unicorn?" I asked out loud as proper, falling into a deep bow before his hooves.

The next notes quavered: he knew that the task before me was difficult, and was reluctant to inform me of my duty. "Perhaps I should introduce myself first," he seemed to be saying, and he lowered his head next to mine in an awkward bow, keeping his eyes fixed on mine. Then, while I was expecting a symphony to erupt inside of me, came a sequence of notes seemingly from a panpipe. It was his name. Beautiful.

I dropped to the ground on my knees and placed my hands on either side of his head, trying to communicate my own name with the blood pulsing in my fingertips. "Eliza," I said, probably inaudibly.

"Eliza," he repeated as a single high note. I had never liked my name, but when he said it, its power ran through me like a jolt of electricity. I laughed. For once, I was at peace with what my mother had chosen to call me.

"Eliza," he repeated again, this time lower, more seriously. "We come with grave tidings. Get on my back and come along with me, and I will tell you the story along the way."


Note: I'm going to continue this. It's late, and I really can't stay up and finish it, as I have no idea where this story is leading me or how long it will be.

This story was really spur-of-the-moment. I had a dream about seeing the northern lights last night, and somehow that tied into unicorns. Really, I'm not sure how this all came together in my head. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn this into some sort of script and turn it into an animation. And before you rant and rave that certain things are "omg clichés", realize that this isn't a completely serious piece of writing, and while it isn't a parody per se, my goal here was to write something in a sort of cheesy, 70's fantasy sort of style.