The Cruise to Choose
By: Timothy Law

"Should I tell you my secret?" asks the girl sitting next to you, physically distancing but in a voice so loud you jump.

"OK I will, but you have to promise not to tell a single soul. I've just come back from the best holiday! A unicorn cruise! Now, before you try telling me unicorns aren't real you believe in rhinoceroses, right? Well rhinos are just old unicorns put out to pasture. So, believe me when I say those horses with a horn on their heads are totally real and when they grow tired of being all magical and stuff they take a well-earned break. A cruise that is, for unicorns only. So I was at my local travel agency collecting a pre-COVID ticket to Hawaii flying out in February. While there I spied a pretty pink envelope under a keyboard. With great finesse I managed to switch my ticket for this mystery one. Score! Safely back at my car I peered inside that precious prize. Squealing in delight I read what was printed inside:

You're invited to a little slice of horsey heaven!

Fields of fresh clover sprinkled with candy corn…

DJ Donkey Dan playing each and every night in the Royal Stables…

All the while cruising along the majestic Fantasia Ocean…

Canter up to Pier 0108 on August first (every horse's birthday) and get ready for the best week of your life!

At the very bottom of the ticket was the cutest little hoof stamp, embossed with a sprinkle of glitter.

The cruise would leave a few months after I had planned my beach holiday but I was happy to wait. When you're your own boss it's not hard to rejig your calendar or to find time throughout the weeks to work on an extra special costume. I knew just how unhorselike I looked, I needed to blend in.

February became March and trotted toward the end of July. As COVID worsened around the world so many cruise liners ground to a halt. I checked the official website of my cruise and discovered it was still going ahead. Do you know why? No, of course you don't… Unicorn cruise ships FLY!!!"

The girl pauses for breath for a sec before she barrels onwards.

"So I made it to the pier and they let me on board. It's amazing what one can do with cotton, cardboard, needle, thread and a load of glitter."

Suddenly a white van pulls up, Psychiatric Hospital printed on the side.

"Well that's my ride," the girl announces.

Two figures hop out in full hazard suits.

"Come Missy," orders one.

"Nay, not contagious," says the other, directing the comment at you.

As the van drives away you wonder did that nurse truly have blonde hair or was it a mane? Did they say nay or was it actually a whinny. Did you hear a clip clop? Was that a horn poking out the top of that suit? What if unicorn cruises were real? What if?

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