Celtic_Bird_AC4x6Today I am happy to share an excerpt from the short story “Banner Prophesies”. This is a tale that I originally began while sitting in an Arizona hotel room in early 2012. Now, so many moons later, I hope you enjoy it!

Smoke coiled about the battlefield as the unicorn and griffin circled each other. Round and round they paced, testing each other’s weaknesses. The unicorn mare’s silver hooves flailed against his golden talons and drew scarlet blood. It stained the moorland’s dying grasses. Not that the successful attack mattered. The male moved all the faster with the sudden spilling of his blood, his jagged scars stretching over his bulging muscles as he pounced toward her. His body bore more scars than hers, but most of these were shallow and that worried her. The unicorn mare was sleek and smart, but this Sindon beast was proving a more cunning fighter than his predecessors. When she attacked again, he feinted and then snapped back at her with all the ferocity of a true steppe predator.

They kicked and bucked at each other again and again. Her right hoof opened a scarlet gash in his golden chest and his left talon scratched her right cheek. His persistence soon scored a painful gouge even as she bit his feathered neck in return. Her back kick crippled his left wing and his beak snipped off the end of her right ear. Her pained scream echoed off the dark bark of the distant pines even as she tried to spear his left forearm with her spiraled horn. The attack failed and the griffin’s reprisal opened a gash in the unicorn’s left flank.

She fought on, heedless of the pain, trying to protect her home and her foal from this monster. Like many before him, the griffin of Sindon had tried to expand his territory by conquering hers. The lush forests and verdant fields beholden to the Auleig unicorn would perfectly ornament his vast domain and so the griffin had trekked across his deserts and steppe regions to battle her for dominance. His coming was like the torrent of a firestorm, scorching all life as it swept through the land. The unicorn longed for peace, yet saw none while the griffin rampaged. So now she fought him hoof against claw and horn against beak to end his fiery reign.

Until our next meeting, may we each rewrite our world for the better!

Alycia


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia C. Cooke and/or Alycia Christine Sears at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!