Unicorn Helper (4-17-18)

[WP] Your kid walks into the living room with a unicorn trailing behind him. With pleading eyes, he goes, “I swear, he followed me home. Can we keep him?” [Link to post.]

I stared at my son from behind crossed arms. He kept his focus on the unicorn to avoid eye contact with me. I stepped closer to him and reached into his jacket pocket.

“Followed you home, huh?” I pulled out several sugar cubes. “I wonder why.” It took all my willpower not to crack a smile when he gave an exaggerated gasp.

“How did those get in there? Someone at school must have put them in my pocket for some reason,” he said, his eyes darted everywhere around the room to dodge my gaze. I nodded my head at the unicorn to get my son to look. The beast glowed with a pure, white light. 

“Maybe we should keep him. He’s a good lie detector. You know unicorns glow when you lie,” I said. He jumped back from the unicorn.

“I didn’t know that.” The unicorn’s glow dimmed down. “I changed my mind. You know, he’s probably too expensive to feed, and I don’t want to clean up after him. I’ll take him back to the forest.” I put a hand on my boy’s shoulder to interrupt him.

“You go upstairs and do your homework, I’ll take care of it.” I left a hard edge in my voice to make it clear I wasn’t making a suggestion. His dark brown hair bounced as he nodded, then he ran up the stairs. With him gone I took time to properly admire the unicorn. It really was a beautiful animal, and it had a slight ethereal glow around it. I smiled remembering my first experience with a unicorn when I was a young boy. My dad’s 30th birthday was a pretty big deal, and my mom went all out putting together the best barbecue for family and friends. Everything from the party hats to the burgers was unicorn themed, back then they were still fairly rare. Thanks to government protections and regulations, unicorns were now common enough to buy at the store. Still, a free unicorn is a free unicorn. I led him out to the shed to surprise my wife and son later when we sat down for dinner.

Maybe it was the nostalgia, but thinking back to my dad’s barbecue really put me in the mood for burgers. I worked fast, since my wife usually comes home a couple of hours after my son. I stood at the grill tending the burgers when my wife walked out of the house and pecked me on the cheek. 

“Burgers are perfect, thanks hon!” she smiled at me. 

“You’re welcome love, how was work?” We made small talk while the patties finished cooking, then I shooed her off to go wash her hands and fetch my son. Soon all three of us sat around the dinner table, talking about our day.

“And then a unicorn followed me home, but I decided not to keep it,” he said between bites. “This is delicious dad!” he exclaimed. I smiled at him.

“Thank,” I said shortly before taking a big bite myself. 

“Well that was a very mature decision,” my wife said. “Having a pet is a big responsibility and I’m proud of you for realizing that. You know, your dad and I were talking about getting you a pet. Not anything that big, of course. But one of my co-workers’ teacup griffons just had a clutch. Depending on your grades maybe I can get her to save me an egg,” my wife looked at me for reassurance as she made the offer, and I nodded. Teacup griffons were basically winged house cats, I didn’t see a problem with it. 

“Really? Thank you!” he stood from his chair and ran around the table to hug her. 

“Depending on your grades,” she repeated. He nodded then went back to his seat. 

“I’ll keep up with my homework!” he affirmed his determination. He picked up the last bit of his burger and added, “I already finished it for today.” The meat in the bun began to glow with a faint white light. Luckily he didn’t see it as he popped the final morsel into his mouth. Unluckily my wife did see it. She turned to look at me with a curious look in her eyes. I knew what was coming, and I jammed the last half of the burger I had left into my mouth to chew for all I was worth. 

“What did you do with that unicorn?” she asked me, her eyes twinkled with amusement. I shrugged my shoulders high and tried to speak through a full mouth. 


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