The Missing Unicorn in the Land of the Zombie Fairies—Part Twelve
By: David K. Montoya


The four friends traveled through the Dark Gnomes' dead forest and scaled-down the face of a mountain and crossed a small patch of desert land. Now, extremely thirsty they crossed the property line of The Village. Kén Tauros broke from the pack and dove headfirst into a nearby horse trough and gulped the water wildly.

"Oh, the freshwater… Oh how lovely," exclaimed Kén while he splashed around in the tub.

Olivia's face twisted in anger. "Good job, Kén, what are we going to drink since you made the water unsafe to drink for us?"

Kén frowned as he glanced at the sisters and Theo. "Oh dear friends, I am so sorry."

"That was a very selfish thing to do, Kén," Prince Theo cried. "I am so thirsty and now I cannot have a drink because you got your horsehair in the water!"

"It is super-hot, and I overreacted my friends," Kén said along with a sad face. "Now you all will be too weak to travel to the Magus."

Emma held her chin and pondered out loud. "Hmm. Not necessarily, Kén. There has to be a well around here."

"Oh, dear friends, I will make it up to you all," Kén said, while he continued to drift in the trough.

"Is it me, or is he talking weird," Prince Theo asked.

"He talks like that when he's nervous," Emma explained. "Okay, I think we need to split up. I will go left and search for a well to get some water. You three head toward the Magus' hut and I will meet you there."

"Emma no!" Olivia responded in anger. "Dad said to never split up because if we get lost, he would come to find us both."

"Livi, you won't get lost," Emma said softly. "I have a plan."

"No! I will not listen, Emma! No one word," Olivia angrily announced. "You are not going to leave me! I lost mama, and I am not going to lose you too!"

"I'm not going to end up like mama. I need to do this alone, Livi," Emma explained carefully, so as not to upset her sister more than what she already was. "I can move quickly through the village, find the water and go find you. Please don't be mad, Livi, it is not because I don't want you to go. I just think it is the best thing to do."

"But… But, I wanna go with you, Em," Olivia said, evident with fear in her voice as she wrapped her arms around Emma.

Emma smiled as her heart warmed. "You will be all right, Livi. Stay close to Theo and Kén. I will be back before you reach the Magus' hut."

"But…" Olivia stammered.

"We need water," Emma insisted. She turned toward Kén who was still in the trough and continued. "Let them ride on your back, Kén. You have been watered and refreshed as where Livi and Theo had not. Okay?"

As it was planned, they went different ways, Emma went alone to find drinking water. While, Kén loaded Olivia and Theo onto his back and carried them through the village toward the wise, old Magus' hut to get the portal spell to transport themselves to the Land of the Zombie Fairies and confront Schartzmugel and rescue Yoon the Unicorn.

Emma walked silently through her portion of the village, the second sun had not yet risen, and knew she needed to find water before it did, and it was too hot to travel. As the little girl wandered across the desert village, she decided to ask the first person she crossed paths with.

Eventually, Emma saw a cyclops as he walked out of an enormous hut. Excited, she ran toward the large creature as she called out to him. "Excuse me! Excuse me, Mister Cyclops. Do you either have or know where I can get some water for me and three others?"

The seven-foot cyclops paused and tipped his head and then leaned forward and looked behind, Emma.

Confused as to what the large creature was doing, Emma asked, "Pardon me, Mister Cyclops, but what are you doing."

The cyclops lifted his red hat and scratched his bald head and asked in a loud, but a dull voice, "You said water for you and three others. But I don't see anyone behind or next to you. Are they invisible?"

Emma chuckled and then smiled.

"No Mister Cyclops, my sister, and our two friends are on the other side of the village heading toward the Magus," Emma explained softly, as it was common knowledge that cyclopes for the size of their heads, had small ears and needed to be spoken to in a gentle volume. "Do you have water to spare, Mister Cyclops?"

"Toward the Magus? I heard an army invaded that part of the village," the Cyclops said. He knelt and faced Emma with a goofy smile. "I don't have water, but I do have fresh Tilberi milk and Basilisk eggs…I will share it with you if you would like?"

Emma's tummy rumbled at the thought of food, she had not eaten when they arrived. "Thank you, Mister Cyclops, but I need to get my sister and our friends something to drink," Emma explained softly. "But who invaded the village?"


Kén trotted passed a large clay wall, with a sign which read:

To Ravenwood

Olivia's eyes grew in awe at all the activity and people that rushed around in a small area. The dirt road was lined with merchants that sold anything from food to magical dragon scales. The commoners shopped freely from marketer to marketer.

Olivia spotted a street vendor who had large iron pictures set out. "There! They have something to drink!"

Kén's face dropped at that idea and said, "Your sister said to go to the Magus' hut, not go shopping."

"But we need something to drink, and it is right there," Olivia pleaded with Kén. "I know I have something we can trade for a cold cup of water. That's what Em would do."

"But you are not your sister and are a great deal younger," Kén said in a sweet tone, which confused Olivia. "We need to keep going."

Kén is right. I'm not as smart as Em, Olivia thought with a frown pasted on her face. I'm too young to come up with a good idea.

"If you ask me, I think Olivia has a great idea," Prince Theo said, while he eyeballed that big pitcher of liquid. "Mother always said that there was no such thing as a bad idea, that we are all smart as the next person and besides, I need something to drink."

"Really? You think my idea is good," Olivia said with a bright smile as her big blue eyes light up with excitement.

"Absolutely." Prince Theo said.

"Fine," Kén said with a huff. He trotted over to the merchant with the metal pitcher and asked, "What do you offer to drink, Dear Friend?"

The large, bearded man wrapped in an off-white apron looked up at Kén. His eyes cold and his words strong. "Granatus. But I don't serve your kind, Centaur."

"Fine with me," Kén said and started to walk away, but at that moment Olivia and Theo jumped from his back.

"What can we trade for a drink," Olivia said as they walked up to the large, angry seller.

The bearded man tipped his head and glared past his long nose and grumbled, "I know you are a Gnome, but what are you little one?"

"Um, a girl," Olivia said with a shrug.

"No. No, what realm are you from?" The Bearded man asked.

"Uh, Apple Valley," Olivia replied. "I think."

"How old are you," the Bearded man asked with a hint of kindness to his words.

"My sister, Em, said that I was five Earth years old," Olivia said with another shrug.

"Earth? You are only a child," the Bearded man said tenderly. He grabbed two tin cups and poured the cold liquid into each one, then handed Olivia and Theo them. "No charge, child. I have three daughters of my own and would hold that if they were in your situation, someone would show them the same amount of kindness."

Olivia and Prince Theo both drank from their tin cup, it was ice cold. They felt the thick, sweet, pomegranate syrup travel from their mouths to their bellies.

"Thank you," Olivia said and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

The Bearded man smiled and said warmly, "My pleasure, Child. So, tell me, where are you heading all by yourself?"

"The three of them are heading straight back to jail," Olmec the Mousse of Chocolate exclaimed as he and a handful of chocolate bunny guards approached the three.

"I knew this was a bad idea," Kén whined to the others, while he was handcuffed.

"Oh, no." Olivia whispered in fear.

To be continued…


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