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August 2015

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When she poked the unicorn with a stick, she didn't expect it to explode.

She had seen it in the clearing, a flash of white in the periphery of her vision. She had been innocently walking by, and this caught her attention, silvery pale in the muddled greens of the forest. And of course it was in a clearing, strewn with violets. She was surprised to see that no forest creatures had gathered about it to pay homage, as they did in the olde books. She thought she must be imagining it, a delusional curiousity. She peeped through the bushes, bramble scratching the palms of her hand, staring until her eyes watered. It didn't move, and it didn't vanish, but she could see the glimmering flanks moving slightly as it breathed.

Was it imagination? It had to be... unicorns, though they were said to exist, she never saw any proof. Well, any real proof. Ugly curled tusks that charlatans carried weren't enough to convince her. But how could she be sure? Was it solid? Was it real? A pellet of certain thought lodged in her awe-struck mind. She picked up a long stick and got down on her knees, crawling silently under the bramble...

She slid the stick slowly toward the unicorn, expecting at any moment for it to vanish, a figment of fancy. Surely dozing unicorns did not lie in concealed clearings, dozing amidst the violets. It was so... medieval.

Her arm trembled as she held the stick a few inches above the ground. She'd just give it a good poke, just to see if it was real. She held her breath as she held the end of the stick mere inches from the silven flank... one, two... three!

Then the world exploded around her with enough force to leave her ears ringing. The clearing of green became suddenly pink, something splattered her face and arms. A smell like hot laminating paper filled the air, and a second woosh of air filled the forest, flattening the brambles and making her hair stand on end.

She slowly straightened, her eyes wide. Pink sparkly goo covered the front of her shirt, and was beginning to tingle on her bare skin, the kind of nasty tingle that tells you that you're about to be dead in a couple of hours if you don't wash it off. Her normally straight hair stood around her head in a perfect halo, and her mouth was wide, a perfect "O" amidst the pink sparkly splatter of her face.

"Well," the imp said, standing next to her, somehow not covered in pink goo. "Who knew that unicorns could explode?"
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