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The Girl and the Unicorn

The hum of traffic building up in the street below was the only sound for a while. He left the window, sat on the floor near her, his back resting against the wall. “What’s this business with the statue?” he asked. They had all day, cooped up together in the vacant office suite, and he was curious.

“It is not a statue,” she whispered.

“Okay. What is it, then?”

She shook her head. “You would not understand.”

“Try me,” he said.

She hesitated. “He is ……. the watcher,” she began, watching his reaction. When he showed none, she continued, “He knows who you are ….. why you are here.”

A lift of the eyebrow was his response. No-one knew who he was, a select few knew of him as the man for the job. Knew how to contact him without knowing his identity, his whereabouts …. He was curious to see what story she had made up for him.

“You are the warrior, the protector ……”

He smiled. No surprise that she would think that of him.

“You are here to save the city …..”

His eyes narrowed. He had expected the story to go along the lines of him having been sent by some higher power to save her and the statue, but the city …… why would she think that the city even needed saving? No-one knew of what was about to happen apart from the players.

She nodded slightly, acknowledging his look. “He says it will be almost impossible to save but, if anybody can, it will be you. He has faith in you.”

“The statue? How does it know all this?” He needed to know how she knew all this. It appeared that his mission had been compromised.

A tiny smile from her. “He is the watcher. He has been here a long time, watching the decay and corruption. He knows what is coming, he knows the city has very little time left. But he cannot leave. Do you see? ……. It is his purpose to watch while yours is to save, if you can.” She reached across and placed her hand on his. “And I must watch with him. Together, we will help you.”

He studied her face for signs of duplicity. There were none. In her eyes, only concern for him. As if she knew what he knew of his chances of coming out of this mission alive.

She squeezed his hand lightly. “None of us belong here,” she told him. “But we cannot leave. The three of us must play our part.”

from The Girl and the Unicorn

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