Carousel Part 3 of 3
And here is the last part. If you have not read parts One and Two then it would make much more sense to do so before reading part three.
To refresh your memory; Turning, she gazed a moment at the children. Jill stepped up next to her, “They are so sad. Can we help?” she whispered. The lady’s eyes sparkled. Keeping her voice low the lady replied, “Yes, help me get their halters off.” Her eyes went to Col’s pocket.
|I thought this photo I took yesterday would go well! I did edit a little horn in...|
Jill held out her hand with the shining figure in it, “Are these yours?”
“No dearest, but they are a sign. Keep them, and guard them well.” The lady’s pure white hair fell glimmering over her shoulder as she bent and closed Jill’s fingers around the unicorn.
Jill, Col and the white lady moved among the carousel beasts, and the harpist played. Col struggled with a silver buckle, but finally it undid and he slipped one halter off. He put it over his arm and slipped another off. Jill watched the woman, she had only to touch a halter and it slid off or broke with a tinkle. She placed each one into a pouch at her side.
As the last halter jingled into the bag, the lady spoke again, “You may hop on if you like, they won’t mind.” She motioned to the carousel beasts.
Who won’t? Jill wondered, but she did not intrude on the sound of the music which now swelled, humming along shafts of moonlight. The carousel began to spin, faster and faster. Wind whipped saddle cloths and tassels and gripped at the children’s delighted grins, the mystical unicorn appeared. This time something different happened though. The creature galloped forwards. Loud cracking and snapping noises pierced the night. Both children felt a strange warmth under them. Hair blew into Jill’s face, and she lost grip of the twisted pole. Her hands found only soft hide of an animal and hair, long thick, silver hair. Jill’s teeth clacked together as hooves hit the ground. Wide eyed, Jill looked at the moonlight shimmering all around her. The moonlight had hair and legs, hooves and bodies. Jill felt herself slipping and grabbed larger handfuls of the hair. The saddle fell to the ground, but Jill stayed astride. Col, on one of the inner unicorns had not yet broken free.
All the beasts that had transformed cavorted around, making it hard for Jill to see exactly what happened. In a moment all the creatures were free. Shouts came from the town, focused illumstones flashed out into the moonlight. Jill noticed that the music had stopped, and the black haired minstrel completely disappeared. People came running. The unicorns ran too, with the same speed that the carousel had turned at before. The last coloured saddle and blanket thumped to the ground. Forty nine gleaming unicorns disappeared into the trees. All glowed white except for the one which had a mane and tail black as the deepest shadow. That one had a different horn to the rest and also still carried a pack of some kind, very oddly shaped.
Col and Jill found themselves standing just outside the entrance of the inn they had crept out of only minutes before. The white lady touched each of their heads. “Guard your charges well, they are not living but they have power, when you are older you may find it. Peace now, in you go.”
The twins crept back into the inn. Out the window they thought they saw a last flash of silver hair and heard hoof beats, yet not a trace of the lady that just bid them farewell. “Unless,” Jill and Col whispered in the same breath, “Unless…” They both looked at each other sharing the thought. As sleep pushed their eyelids closed, a fiftieth unicorn, whiter even than the others, and with a smooth horn, galloped in the direction of the others.