One day I tried to think of the saddest thing I could.
The result...a unicorn contracting cancer.
Three years ago I started writing this story.
It lay broken and forgotten on my hard drive until tonight when it was finally finished.
Please lay off me if some of the specifics about cancer are wrong.
The early parts of it should be correct but since I was offline when the latter part was written up some liberties were taken and assumptions made.
All the characters in this story are fictitious.
The unicorn unfortunately is also fictitious.
Enjoy and give me some feedback.
Heck I might even take what you say to heart and improve it one day.
Yesterday the unicorn started shaking and couldn’t stop, after about ten minutes it subsided but it still worried me so I called the doctor and made an appointment for the next day. We theorized it was a mild seizure and I thought maybe the doctor would just be able to give him some medicine to stop it from happening again.
I drove him to the doctors for his 10.30 appointment.
I told the receptionist the Unicorn had arrived for his appointment and we sat down to flick through some magazines.
After a few minutes the doctor came out and called the Unicorn into his office.
He didn’t come out at 11 like he was supposed to.
I just sat there watching the clock.
It just dragged on and on.
Finally he walked through the door.
There was no colour on his face and he just collapsed in my arms crying for what seemed like hours. He finally raised his head up and stared right into my eyes
I had to stop myself from looking away.
There was something in there that was terrifying.
The doctor had diagnosed him with a malignant tumor in the front of his brain.
An operation wasn’t an option. It had developed in such a position that any attempt to remove it had a one hundred percent chance of killing him.
He had less than three months to live.
It wouldn’t harm him physically apart from the occasional attack of shaking like that which had freaked us out in the first place but the underlying truth was still that he’d be dead sometime in the next ninety days.
I couldn’t speak.
What could I say in this situation?
What could anyone say in this situation?
The drive home was the worst hour of my life. The unicorn just curled up in the back seat and said nothing.
His sadness was almost tangible.
I realized then that the thing that had terrified me so badly was looking into the eyes of someone who knows that they’re going to die.
I went to the hospital the next day to try and find out as much as I could and a doctor gave me a booklet to try and help me make Unicorn as comfortable as possible in his final days with the horrible hand he’d been dealt.
Unicorn seemed to get more and more quiet everyday. Before he was a bright sun that lit up my days now he was a gaunt figure moving clumsily about the house with red rimmed, sunken eyes. The doctor had said with his exact kind of tumor it would trigger changes in his personality, but this was too much. He was still the Unicorn but at the same time he wasn’t the same unicorn I’d known and loved.
But who could blame him for taking it like this?
Six months to live. Hell of a piece of news to get.
The Unicorn’s birthday was coming up. I thought seeing all his friends might cheer him up a bit.
The darker part of my mind rationalized that it would also be good for everyone to see him one last time before he died.
I pushed the thought from my head.
The less I thought about it the more I could pretend it wasn’t going to happen.
His birthday came and in his sorrow he seemed to have forgotten all about it.
For the last few days I’d purposely not gone grocery shopping so when his birthday came I could ask him to go out and get more food while we set up.
He went willingly. These days he seemed to relish getting out of the house and losing himself in the crowds.
I guess he didn’t want to be near the things he loved in the house and be reminded of all he was going to lose.
When we were sure he was gone my girlfriend Jenny came out of my room and started putting up decorations.
I got on the phone and told everyone to come over on foot as fast as they could before he got back. I didn’t want cars out the front of the house tipping him off.
Unicorn walked in the door, he carried a bulging bag of groceries.
Everyone was gathered around the table. There must’ve been thirty or more people there. The table was almost buckling under the huge pile of presents it carried.
“Happy Birthday” I said.
Unicorn just stared at us like he couldn’t take it all in.
His brow furrowed and a tear ran down his cheek. He pushed past everyone and into his room. We heard a ‘click’ in the shocked silence as the lock slid into place.
I asked everyone to leave.
I walked down the hallway and sat down, my back pressed against his door.
“Hey” I said.
I tried talking to him for close too two hours but he wouldn’t say anything.
Unicorn didn’t open his door for two days or more.
I was starting to get worried.
I called out through the door and once again there was no answer.
He was my dearest friend and we’d always respected each others privacy but this was getting ridiculous.
Was he okay in there?
I had to know.
I took a few steps back and took a deep breath.
I lowered my shoulder and rammed the door.
A large crack now ran down the center and my shoulder hurt like hell but I had to get through to the other side.
Another three rushes and the door finally gave in.
Unicorn was lying on his bed in the fetal position.
His head faced away from me.
His sides weren’t moving.
I ran over to him with my heart in my mouth.
I flipped him over.
Glassy eyes stared back at me and there was dried blood on his lips and running down his chin.
There was stain on the blanket where it had pooled.
I dropped his head and there was soft barely audible thump as his head hit the pillow.
I walked from the room in a daze.
I could barely stand up. I felt so weak.
I grabbed the phone off its holder as I slid to the ground.
It took all the energy I had to dial the emergency number.
“Police, Fire or Ambulance?” snapped the lady on the other end.
Tears were coursing down my cheeks now.
My throat felt like it was lined with sandpaper. I could hardly breathe.
“My unicorn’s dead” I croaked.