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The Pastel Unicorn: The Promise

by Rei


The first light of the morning crept in the window though the narrow space between the pink-and-blue flowered curtains. A calm breeze wafted in with the scent of dewy grass and flowers that had just woken up. Dozens of bird chirped to welcome the morning and greet their friends. Emily's eyes fluttered open when one of these birds landed on her window sill and chirped a wake-up call.

"Wake up, wake up," the bird seemed to say. "The sun has risen and now it is time for you to do so as well."

Emily kicked away her My Little Pony blanket and sat up surrounded by her animal friends. She scooted down to the end of her bed and opened the curtains. The little brown bird that stood there might have come in had the window not been covered in a wire mesh that prevented anything larger than an ant from getting through.

"Good morning, Ariel," Emily said to the bird, bright and sugary, as if she had been awake for hours, not like all the other children who still lay in their beds. But none of the other children were turning eight today!

"How are you?" she asked the bird she called Ariel, who then whistled a happy reply. "That's lovely. The man on TV said that there won't be any rain all week!" Ariel chirped her excitement, because everyone knew it was no fun flying in the rain.

"We can have a party in the backyard after Mommy takes me to the mall to get my birthday presents." Emily never liked getting her presents wrapped up in all that silly paper. It was such a waste to wrap them up in something you're just going to throw away once you open them. Emily never played with the other children, so she wasn't going to get any presents from them.

And they weren't invited to her backyard party either! That was strictly reserved for local animals and Emily's army of toy creatures. Not that she thought of them as toys. They were as alive to her as Ariel and the neighbbourhood cats. The silly children at school didn't like her, so she had to make friends her own way.

Ariel whistled and chirped as if to say, "Have fun. I will see you later."

"Good-bye," Emily called out to her.

She then hopped off her bed, accidentally knocking down a purple rabbit with short fur and big, shimmery eyes. She picked it up, saying, "I'm sorry, Owen." Stroking the rabbit's fur, she gingerly returned it to its place on the bed.

Emily's room was like a museum for everything fanciful. The bookshelf was crammed to capacity with the best in folklore, fairy tales, and high fantasy, from the latest bestsellers to classics like The Hobbit. The walls were plastered with posters from all the cartoons and movies she loved so much. If she were to put all her DVDs into one stack, it would be as tall as she was. From the top of her white dresser to the edges of her floor dolls, every kind of stuffed animal, and plastic figurines, filled just about every available space.

But of all her treasures, Emily's favourite was the picture of a unicorn. It had a dark yellow frame, and a pink backing. The white-pink unicorn stood on its hind legs as if it was preparing to take off, surrounded by flecks of pink-and purple pixie dust. In the background the sun was sinking behind distant mountains, making everything appear pink and orange. A brilliant rainbow streaked across the sky. The words "Pastel Unicorn" were written in periwinkle letters below the picture. Unicorns were the most magical creatures in all the stories Emily had read. The Pastel Unicorn had been a surprise for her seventh birthday from her grandmother. Ever since then, Emily knew that she had to meet a real unicorn.

She changed out of her baby blue night gown and into a white skirt that fell just below her knees and an iridescent red blouse. After brushing her wavy, red hair, she braided it into pig tales, holding them in place with navy blue elastics. The look was finished with baby blue sock, folded at the ankle, and white tennis shoes. She inspected herself in the mirror, and as soon as she was satisfied, trotted downstairs for breakfast.

In the kitchen, her mom was busy at the stove preparing pancakes. Her dad was sitting at the table, all dressed for work. He was a teacher at the high school, where all the older kids went. Emily liked that her dad was a teacher because he was always home during the summer and had two weeks off at Christmas, the same as her. School wouldn't be over for another three weeks, but Emily was allowed to do anything she wanted on her birthday, and that included not going to school.

She climbed up onto a chair across from her dad. Her mom handed her a big glass of grape juice and said, "Happy birthday, Emily,"

"Thank you, Mummy," Emily replied, then drank almost half of the juice in one big gulp. Normally, she was only allowed to have milk with her breakfast, but not even chocolate milk was as good as grape juice on her birthday!

"Emily," her dad said, sipping coffee, "who did I hear you talk to in your room?"

"Oh, that was just Ariel, one of the birds in the backyard."

Her mom turned from the stove and put a plate of silver-dollar pancakes in front of her. "Thank you, Mummy," she said in a sing-song voice.

Her mom set down her own plate of pancakes and sat in the chair next to Emily. "But how do you know it's always the same bird?" she asked.

"How do the people at the zoo tell the difference between all those horses?" Emily countered. "They have twelve of them, and they all look the same to me." She gulped down the rest of her juice. "I know my birds," she concluded with a triumphant nod.

"All right, honey, whatever you say," her dad said, getting up from his chair. "I have to get to work. I love you, sweetie." He kissed Emily on the forehead and walked away.

"Have a good day, Daddy!" Emily shouted to him, though she was a bit annoyed that he didn't believe her about the birds. She was smart enough to know that "whatever you say" meant that he was just going to pretend to believe her.

"You too," her dad called from the door. "And happy birthday!"

As soon as he was gone, Emily hurried to finish eating her pancakes as fast as she could. Soon after she and her mom had finished washing the dishes, her mom asked, "Are you ready to go?"

"Yep," Emily answered. "I just gotta get one thing."

She ran up to her room to get her leopard-shaped backpack, which she had hung on the doorknob. As she pulled the backpack onto her shoulders, she took one last look at The Pastel Unicorn. She kissed her fingers and touched the picture. "I'm gonna meet you for real one day," she said. "I promise you that, my Pastel Unicorn."


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Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:21 am
Snoink wrote a review...



Okay! I read it. Or, more likely, reread it. There were some spelling errors, but you can go through that on Word and find them. There were some sentences that did jar me.

First of all, about the "My Little Pony." Instead of using a brand name, why don't you describe the blanket as having a bunch of ponies dancing in a rainbow? Or something to that effect. I don't know... I have this problem with using Brand names. Also, I saw that, though you italicized "My Little Pony" you did nothing for The Hobbit. That kind of bugged me.

If she were to put all her DVDs into one stack, it would be as tall as she was.


Ah, modern times, eh? I remember reading this a couple of years ago, and I don't think you mentioned DVDs in that version. Even so, this seems a little tacked on. After all, you talk about books and figurines, and then mention DVDs. The transition is slightly off. I was thinking, when I read it, "Wait... she had a TV?" You didn't mention anything about a TV. Nor did you mention what kind of DVDs she had. I don't know... also kind of awkward.

Ever since then, Emily knew that she had to meet a real unicorn.


The foreshadowing is a little too strong. The effect might be better if you say "Emily wanted to meet a real unicorn." I know you want your reader to know where you're going with this idea, but the last paragraph hints it fine, and in a better way I think. ^_^ Oh, I like the last line.

Her mom handed her a big glass of grape juice and said, "Happy birthday, Emily,"


Oops! No comma at the end.

"How do the people at the zoo tell the difference between all those horses?" Emily countered.


This seems out of character. For one, she's just turned 8. For another, the way this sentence is constructed, it doesn't seem like an eight year old would say it. Make it a little simpler. "How do the people in the zoo know which horse is which?"

It might make it better. Maybe?

Anyway, I'll critique the rest soon. ^_^

Oh yeah... I'm biased like Sarah, but I liked this as well.




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Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:53 pm
Doctor Kitty wrote a review...



Though I'm not fond of this particular type of story, it still caught my attention, and I still enjoyed it. The first thing I thought when I read the first few paragraphs was that it would be an excellent children's book. And yes, it is obvious that she'll meet the unicorn eventually, but it's not that big of a deal because: 1. The book's name is The Pastel Unicorn, so it sound like that's the way it's meant to be, and, 2. If it is, in fact, a children's book, then it would be fine, as well. It's imaginative and delves into the imagination of a small child.

It was very well written and I enjoyed reading it. I'd give a a 4/5.




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Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:48 pm
Emma wrote a review...



Wow, it was very good. I think people at the age of eight or younger would like this sort of stuff. And like other people say you would be a great children's writer.

I personally, if this was a book and I picked it up I would put it down, the plot isn't all the best for me. But it caught my attention and made me want to read.

What I do want to know and which I hope to be finding out if you make another part of this, is how you can talk to birds, or is it just in her mind... *scary music*




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Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:08 pm
DarkerSarah wrote a review...



I liked this --but then I'm a bit biased, as I was in love with unicorns when I was little. Still am, really. I liked the way that you told the story in kind of a childish way.

But none of the other children were turning eight today!
It's cute and it works well with the theme of the story. Unicorns are most associated with the innocence of children and virgins. The only thing about using the childish narrative (and I just mean the tone, not the actual structure of the story...) is that, I'm not sure how well it will hold up over a few chapters. It works very well for a short story --but for an entire book? (Or chaptered story, at least.) Unless this is a children's book, then it'd be fine.

I think, since the picture of the unicorn is going to be so important, you could elaborate more on it. Maybe you could go into more detail about all the magical places that the unicorn could be, or why Emily loves the painting (besides the fact that it's beautiful.) You tell us that the unicorn is the most magical creature that she's read about, but what about their magic? What do they do that is so special Emily wants to meet one?

Does that make sense?

You have a very simple way of telling stories, which would make you a fabulous children's writer. Of course, there are a lot of contemporary writers who have the same simple way of telling things. Nowadays, it's more about the story than the writing. (In a lot of cases. In other cases, writing is praised for being flowery.) Take for instance, The Da Vinci Code. Of course, I prefer stories about Unicorns.

-Sarah




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Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:17 pm
Rei says...



Thanks guys. The painting I describe is a real painting in my room. I actually came up with this one day while I was just sitting on my bed, staring at it.




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Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:10 pm
Rincewind wrote a review...



I wish I got to skip school on my birthday!

That chapter was good, but I think the forshadowing was a tad bit too excessive. It's guaranteed she's going to meet a unicorn, and likley have an adventure with it. I hate telling people to change anything, and I hardly expect you to, but my suggestion would be to make it more subtle. An example is this.
The final line of the story is "I'll meet you for real one day"
I think it would be really effective without the final line. Just her rushing up grabbing her bag, and stopping quickly at the poster for one last cutesy smile.

I like the character, shes a cute little girl. I've got a niece and I pretty much pictured her, she's around 8.
Oh, and I am rather impressed that she is so young and already reading Tolkien, hehe.

PS. I used to live in Ontario!




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Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:13 pm
Sureal wrote a review...



I assume this is the begining of the story, right?

Anyways, another good story, and once again - you've succeeded in capturing my interesst. And you've given Emily a captivating personality.

The only thing I can find at faut with this is a couple of missspellings:

morning crept in teh window though

not like all the otehr children who still lay


8)





He wanted his bottle and I didn't want to give him his bottle yet.
— Jack Hanna