I once swore I’d never publish a unicorn story, but Alethea Kontis made me change my mind. “The Giant and The Unicorn” tells the tale of what one brave unicorn does when the clockwork starts to wind down.
It was seven more years before the Giant went mad; the animals knew this because their springs and gears always kept perfect time (apart from those of the wind-up monkeys, who never cared for time). First the Giant lost his reason, then his sanity, and then his sense of purpose. Some said a virus had scrambled his wiring. Some said he was losing his power. Some said he had lost it long ago. Some said the world would die without the Giant to lead them,but they did not die, and the world went on, perhaps only a little less harmonious than it should have been.
No one asked the Giant about his notable lack of sanity, mostly because he was so much bigger. He was too much stronger. He would tear them all to pieces, or stomp on them until they were nothing more than crumpled scrap, or grind their bones to make his crown. They were all afraid of him… all save one brave little unicorn.
It was twilight when the brave little unicorn came upon the Giant weeping in the forrest. It did not occur to him to be afraid. Now, you might think him silly — many would — but it was not ignorance that drew the little unicorn toward the deep, creaking sobs. What drew him was curiosity, and kindness. For this unicorn was the youngest unicorn, the last fashioned bythe Toymaker before his untimely demise, so his heart burned the brightest and the purest, the most compassionate of all.
Want to read the rest of the issue? We’ve got 19 more fantastic stories!