A few kills later I had found myself face-to-face with what I could only describe as a Cyclops with poofy red hair.

The stuff of nightmares, really.

I’d been getting a bit tired (the wound was starting to act up) and I really wasn’t as good a shot with pain shuddering up my arm, so I guess I should have seen it coming when the clown-cyclops smashed his foot into the ground beside Omen and he reared wildly, whinnying.

And I flew off of the saddle.

I’d been expecting pain. Or, more pain. But I just felt myself slowly floating through the air, drifting towards the ground.

It only took a moment for me to remember the time I’d been thrown off of the castle. How time slowed. And I dropped safely to the ground.

Surely enough, time resumed its course and I plopped into the bluish grass, hardly the worse for wear.

I looked up to see Eversio trotting towards me, holding Omen’s reins with a look of concern on his face.

“Commander! Are you okay?”

I slowly got up, nodding.

There was movement in my peripheral vision and I saw the same hooded figure I saw the first time.

“Eversio, give me the reins.”


I swung myself onto Omen’s back, taking the reins and spurring him into a trot.

“Hey!” I called, “You!”


“Get back here!”

I put Omen into a gallop, keeping my eyes fixated as we began to close the distance.

I felt myself blink, and when my eyes opened again –


I spun Omen around, scanning the horizon to no avail.

“Were you looking for the Cyclops?” Eversio asked, his white horse trotting leisurely towards me, “I kinda…killed it. Sorry.”

“No,” I sighed, “There was this…cloaked…person. I was trying to catch them.”

“A cloaked person?” Eversio asked incredulously, “Out here?”

“Yes.” I muttered, “I’m not crazy, okay?”

“Let me guess, they…disappeared into thin air?”

“Yes! Exactly!”

There was an awkward moment of silence.

“Crikey.” His horse said suddenly, shaking its head, “She’s totally lost it.”

I looked at the horse, stunned, before noticing its horn.

“Rocky?” I asked incredulously, “What…what happened to your hair?”

“Had it bleached.” He snorted, “Nobody takes pink and purple seriously out here.”

I could have been hallucinating…but he actually looked sad.

“Um…that’s too bad.” I offered, “I…take pink and purple seriously.”

Rocky looked at me with his large blue eyes, as if scrutinizing me.



I tried not to make it sound like a question. Tried.

“You know,” Eversio started, a mischievous grin on his face, “I’m sure the Commander would love to stand up against the problem we have right hair.”

I glared at him.

“Did you just-”

“Yes.” He replied unapologetically, “I did. But, as I was saying…”


“What? Come on!” Eversio wheedled, “For the greater good!”

I kept my eyes fixed on the camp as we rode back.


“What kind of a message are you sending to Rocky?” Eversio asked with mock concern, “You just said you take pink and purple very seriously!”

“Yes, I do.” I clarified, “But other people don’t. And I already have enough people looking down on me for being a female human.”

“So what you’re saying is that what other people think is more important to you than what you think?”

I looked at Eversio, eyes narrowed.

He was his father’s son.


We slowed and Rocky turned his head to look at me.

“You won’t do it then, Commander?”

I looked at the unicorn and felt my resolve weaken.


If it was possible, it looked like the unicorn was making puppy dog eyes at me.

And, right then, I ended up making a decision I would regret for a while.


The End

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