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    Kell Shaw

    October 16, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Draft 2 – thanks for the feedback so far.

    First line…

    “A unicorn was shot dead by Storm City police officers in the South Street Mall overnight…”


    And in context, the first line with the first page (500 words)


    “A unicorn was shot dead by Storm City police officers in the South Street Mall overnight…”

    Great, Rako thought as she shambled out of bed, dropping the TV remote onto her table. She’d been determined to treat this as a day just like any other, but a dead unicorn wasn’t the happiest thing to wake up to. She’d only turned on the news to see if the stock price of Ironside Industrial shares had rallied.

    “…police claim that the unicorn was endangering lives after it attacked a garbage truck, but activists claim that the beast was simply confused after manifesting and there had been time to safely relocate…”

    Rako showered, re-heated porridge, and observed a few moment’s silence for the dead unicorn. Her nine-year-old self would have been in tears. But her thirty-nine year old self had responsibilities. A job. She switched off the television, and changed into a brown-knit suit.

    Just a day like any other, she repeated as she rushed to catch the 7:22am Green Line Metro, where she would claim her normal seat in the third carriage from the end and…

    But the train was packed today, as an earlier service had been canceled. Only one seat remained in the third carriage. Just as Rako was about to take it, a beefy woman shoved in front, sitting down. Rako tried to glare, but the woman refused to make eye-contact, pulled on a set of headphones and opened a laptop.

    Sighing, Rako gripped the safety rail above with both hands and watched the dark walls of the underground tunnel streak past through the reinforced windows. News bulletins scrolled past on the carriage’s smeared information screen, set just above the entrance to the adjoining carriage: “….anomalies are on the rise in the Storm City central metropolitan area. Goldengrove has promised to send in preservers to investigate the worrying trend…”

    Rako chewed at her lip, wondering if a preserver could have saved the South Street Mall unicorn. Unlike Berg, she’d never been all that interested in anomalistics and all of the supernatural ballyhoo that went with it. But Berg knew all about Zheist’s supernatural protectors, studying their biographies and records as though they were all members of an elite sports league.

    Rako tried to stop herself mid-thought. She had just thought about Berg and it wasn’t even 8am yet. It didn’t help that a few years ago they’d made plans for this day. “When you turn forty, we’ll take six weeks off and do that country driving tour I keep talking about,” he’d promised. “We’ll visit the best elven wineries, the ruins of the Silverhawk Keep and the Floating Obelisk.”

    It also didn’t help that Berg’s last, strained phone call to her had been made from Silverhawk Keep, on his honeymoon. Six months past the divorce and he’d remarried. Two years past the divorce, and Rako couldn’t even bring herself to click open a dating website.

    I am not forty today, I am still thirty nine, Rako reminded herself, clinging tightly to the handrail. And I will stop thinking about Berg.