Crea­tures

RUTH DANIELL

Room Magazine - - MCMILLAN -

Into her mar­riage she brings a large uni­corn blan­ket she could not part

with, though it em­bar­rasses her that she still frets over judge­ment from a beast she knows is imag­ined. Her hus­band loves her and can­not bring him­self to hate it. The prag­matic part of him notes that the blan­ket is at least

warm and lies smoothly over the goose-feather du­vet. The woman lies be­neath the blan­ket be­side her hus­band and is com­forted. Long be­fore she learned to be an­gry, a part of her had mourned the uni­corn, con­vinced it would

know just from look­ing at her that she was no longer wor­thy. Though her fam­ily and friends couldn’t fathom her se­cret if she didn’t speak of it, a uni­corn would see her body, an un­jew­elled thing amongst the birch and pine, and it would be ashamed. She had found it easy to be­lieve that she was

mun­dane and could no longer be a friend to magic. Now, the wind sings into the un-blos­somed tulips of their gar­den as the cou­ple edges to­ward the dark for­est of sleep. The woman has learned to stop blam­ing her­self for a vi­o­lence she once thought had ruined her heart. At night the uni­corn leaps out of the threads of the blan­ket and lands gen­tly outside the bed­room win­dow to lower its horn in the slant of the moon. It might ap­proach to nudge against their skins. It knows in­stinc­tively how the man and the woman hold their plea­sures, like sugar cubes,

in­side their hands, and it has al­ways ap­proved of such ten­der­ness be­tween crea­tures.

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