|The Unicorn and the Almost-Virgin (standard:fantasy, 2233 words)|
|Author: moya||Added: Jun 05 2002||Views/Reads: 2022/1238||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|What is a virgin to do if she isn't - quite? Sir Eustace to the rescue again. (Dragontail 6)|
“What's that funny noise?” said Sir Eustace. They were fighting their way through the impenetrable forest - impenetrable until Snowdrop passed by anyway. The trail of pulverised vegetation he left behind would have accommodated a carriage and pair. “Sounds like someone with a bad cold,” said Snowdrop. “Over there, I think.” Signaling the dragon to stay where he was, Eustace struggled through the undergrowth until he came to a small clearing, where a strange sight met his eyes. A young girl sat on the grass crying her eyes out, while behind her, looking distinctly uncomfortable, stood a unicorn. “I wish you wouldn't take on so,” it was saying. “It's not my fault, I don't make the rules.” “But what am I going to do?” wailed the girl. “I can't return without you!” “Humph!” said the unicorn. “You should have thought of that earlier.” Sir Eustace was strongly tempted to turn round and go back the way he came, but maidens in distress and all that . . . and she was a pretty little thing, even with her eyes all swollen with tears. He pushed his way into the clearing. “What's all this, then?” Maiden and unicorn both stared, jaws dropping. “And who might you be?” snapped the unicorn. “Sir Eustace Curdylion. I'm more a dragon man, really, but if there is anything I can do to assist - what's the problem?” “It's this stupid unicorn,” cried the girl. “I'm supposed to be marrying the King, only they have this silly ceremony before the betrothal. The bride has to go into the forest and wait for a unicorn. When he comes he lays his head in the virgin's lap, then she garlands him with flowers and leads him to the palace, amid popular acclamation. I've got the garlands all ready, but this horrid beast won't play!” “The operative word,” said the unicorn, “is ‘virgin'.” “But I am! At least,” she added, “almost.” “Almost isn't good enough,” said the unicorn. She began to cry again. “It's not fair! He said it didn't count as long as we each kept one foot on the floor.” “Just goes to show you should never trust a man,” sniffed the unicorn. Sir Eustace coughed politely. “I don't suppose you could stretch a point? Just to oblige the young lady?” “Sorry. More than me job's worth.” At this point the dragon poked his head through the branches. “What's going on?” “Bloody hell!” cried the unicorn. “I'm off!” He bolted into the forest, and the sound of snapping branches and flying hooves faded into the distance. “Now look what you've done,” sobbed the girl. “Well, I don't think you were going to get much change out of him,” said Sir Eustace. “I know these bureaucratic types, one whiff of power and it goes straight to their heads.” He fished out a large handkerchief and passed it to her. “What's your name, miss?” “Princess Claribella.” She dried her eyes. “Oh dear, what am I going to do?” Click here to read the rest of this story (293 more lines)
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