Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.
Helen Presents: a flash fiction piece from Sarah Vernetti
The most important issue on the agenda was the dreaded “end to secrecy” debate.
It was bad enough that they had to endure the accusations of humans, the constant struggle to define themselves as “real.” But to watch their kin enjoy true freedom while mingling with the humans seemed like a particularly harsh injustice.
Like her peers, Nadine’s existence relied on the imaginations of small children. And those imaginations were growing scarce, unfortunately.
As the meeting began, Nadine spoke first.
“We should have the freedom to lead a normal life, to work hard, to earn an honest living. If horses can do it, so can unicorns,” Nadine said passionately to a crowded room.
The sound of hooves clicking on linoleum filled the room as a small contingent expressed their approval.
“Why can’t we pull farm equipment? Or carry mounted police?” she continued.
But an audience member interrupted. “Do you really want your foals to live like horses? What about traditional values?”
The votes were cast by secret ballot. Of course, Nadine thought to herself as she watched unicorns bow their heads, leaning close to the paper cards so that their true feelings wouldn’t be revealed to their neighbors.
When the results were announced, a scuffle started in the back of the hall. A pro-secrecy council member attempted to stab a fellow unicorn. Thankfully, he wasn’t accustomed to using his horn as a weapon, and his opponent suffered only minor injuries.
After the meeting, Nadine stopped by the hardware store and inquired about crosscut saws.
Sarah Vernetti is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer. When she isn’t writing about travel, she’s busy crafting short stories and flash fiction. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in art history from the University of Kansas.