Magic Words

Something was different. Bijou blinked her crystal pink eyes several times, then she looked around her dorm. Golden sunlight poured in through the windows and highlighted her mess. A mix of clean and dirty clothes covered most of the floor, the computer chair, desk, and foot of her bed. Everything seemed to have a faint ethereal glow around it. A realization struck her as she surveyed the room. Bijou paused, thought for a moment, then violently shook her head.

“No hangover?” Normally her head would be pounding the next morning. “Awesome.” The short, dark-haired woman hopped out bed overflowing with energy. “I wonder what the hell I drank last night,” she mused. Her phone rang as she stared at the pile of clothes trying to guess what was clean. She grabbed the phone displaying her mom’s picture and answered it.

“Hey, mom, what’s up?”

“Oh thank god you’re okay!” her mom let loose an audible sigh of relief. “I was so worried.”

“Worried? About what?” Bijou sat on her bed to listen. Her mom’s stories tended to drag on, especially if she was worried.

“It’s all over the news, there was a unicorn attack at the university last night,” her mom sighed again. “I shouldn’t have worried the rhyme will keep you safe. You should teach it to your friends,” she said. Bijou realized she forgot the previous night, but knew there would be nothing gained by telling her mom that.

“Oh wow, I better go check on them. Thanks, mom. Call you later, I love you.” She saw a way out of the conversation and took it. Bijou did not actually have any friends she was worried about, but her mom didn’t know that. She was friendly enough and enjoyed nights out, but she only kept social friends. She had yet to meet someone she’d consider a real friend, and she was happy with that.

“Crazy,” Bijou shook her head. “It can’t be a coincidence…,” she said. She stood and walked to the bathroom. “I gotta find out what happened.” She checked her clothes and hair in the mirror, then decided she looked presentable. As she stepped out of the girl’s hall she noticed several news crews packing up. They walked away from a line of yellow police tape that surrounded a red spot on the green lawn. Two officers by the police tape were talking to a woman in a black suit. The woman happened to be facing towards Bijou. Once she noticed the student, the woman left the two officers to approach her. Bijou panicked for a split second, but then she realized she’d done nothing wrong.

“‘Morning,” the woman smiled and extended her hand. “I’m Agent Mundo.”

“Bijou,” she gave her own name and accepted the handshake.

“It looks like there was a unicorn rampage last night,” Mundo said. She cocked her head back toward the police tape. “Did you see anything?” Bijou shook her head.

“Sorry. I was out drunk last night.” Agent Mundo’s left eyebrow raised slightly. She looked Bijou up and down, then gave her a friendly smile.

“No hangover, huh? You’re super lucky,” she said.

“Oh, believe me, I know,” Bijou said. She felt comfortable with Mundo enough to chat. “It’s actually kind of odd for me. Usually, I’m in bed for the whole next day.” Mundo’s left eyebrow edged upward again, this time a bit higher.

“Really? What’s your secret?” she asked. Bijou shrugged.

“I don’t know, but I hope it’s permanent,” she replied. Agent Mundo took a step towards a nearby bench.

“Well, you can’t just hope. Think about your day yesterday. Did you do anything different last night that you didn’t do all the other times?” Mundo walked two more steps to the bench and sat down. Bijou sat on the bench to chat more before she realized it. In the back of her mind, she vaguely registered that she was very comfortable around Mundo. She wanted to keep the conversation going and decided to tell Mundo about the rhyme.

“It’s silly,” Bijou said.

“If it keeps me from getting hangovers, I don’t care how silly it is,” Mundo smiled.

“It’s not something I did. It’s something I didn’t do, so it probably won’t help you.” Despite deciding to share the rhyme, she did not know the best way to dress it up to sound less ridiculous.

“Hell, I’ll start just to stop. Out with it,” Mundo patted Bijou on the shoulder. Bijou took a deep breath.

“My mom taught me this nursery rhyme and she said it’ll keep me safe from unicorns,” Bijou said. The moment the word ‘unicorn’ came out of her mouth she remembered the whole reason Mundo was there. She was enjoying the woman’s company so much that it slipped her mind. Mundo’s raised her eyebrow again.

“How does it go?” she asked.

“In brightest day, in blackest night, no unicorn shall enter my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my glower… Bijou’s soul light.”

“That’s adorable!” Mundo said. Bijou blushed slightly and nodded.

“I think so.”

“What’s on your agenda today?” Mundo asked suddenly.

“Don’t have one. I expected to be hungover all day, so I cleared my schedule.”

“Wanna grab some lunch?”

“A-are you asking me out?” Bijou asked. She wanted to say yes, but she also did not want to make a fool of herself by assuming it was a date.

“No, my first dates are always dinner,” Mundo shrugged. “Right now, lunch sounds good and I’ve got a lot to tell you.”

“You do? Like what?” Mundo smiled and leaned closer.

“You’re the unicorn,” she whispered in Bijou’s ear.

“What? Bijou stared at Mundo with confusion. “How in the hell did you come to that conclusion? Are you even a real Agent? Agent of what?” She stood to leave, but Mundo rested a hand on her shoulder to keep her seated.

“You’ll have a ton of questions and I’ll elaborate over some Chinese food, but here’s the quick version. You’re Unique #47, La Corona. You’re born to be one of the most fearful things on Earth,” she shrugged.

“This Earth hates unicorns for some reason. Anyway, you grew up thinking your rhyme would keep the unicorns away, so it did. And then when you forgot the Unicorn came out to play. To be specific you’re a were-unicorn, but that’s neither here nor there. If you get a tattoo with the number 47 on it, you’ll get control over your abilities. We can do that after lunch, I know a great artist.”

“You’re making that up. All of it. I don’t even know what you said,” Bijou said. Despite her words, Bijou did understand some of it, and she believed it.

“Things were different for you this morning, weren’t they? You see things just a little different now. Like everything is alive. Like it has a soul,” Mundo said confidently. Bijou knew she never mentioned that to Mundo. She nodded softly.

“But you didn’t look into a mirror, did you?”

“Yeah, I did,” Bijou said. Mundo shook her head and reached into her pocket. She grabbed her cellphone and turned the selfie camera on.

“You didn’t look into the mirror,” she held the phone up in front of Bijou’s face. Bijou noticed her eyes for the first time. Bright pink irises surrounded bright, crystalline pupils.

“What happened to my eyes?”

“They’re magical now, just like you,” Mundo said. “Do you believe me yet? At least enough to listen over lunch?” Bijou nodded.

“Good. We should do dinner too.”

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