Showing posts from November, 2013

The Last Living Unicorns

I am sadly posting this on the day that the Western Black Rhino was reported extinct.

This piece was Commended in the Somerset Short Story Competition 2013, whose theme was 'Lost'. Copies of the resulting anthology are available for purchase from the organiser Alyson Heap - contact her at alysonheap [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk.

The Last Living Unicorns
Ammassalik, Greenland, 1861

Their fur-covered backs against the dense packed snow, faces flickering in the flame at the centre of the iglu, four teenage children are listening in rapt attention to their storytelling aunt.

In the story she tells them, there is a woman underwater, thrashing and turning in an attempt to disentangle herself from a harpoon rope, which surrounds her waist and whose sharp end has gone into a beluga. It was fired by her son. He used to be blind. When he was blind, she mocked him for it. This is his revenge - her efforts to free herself are in vain.

Like a fly on a web, her struggle is the trap. Her hair …