this story started as a short last year as Pete, Sam and I decided to write a short story a day for a year.
there were some decent things in that years time, some you will definately see here.
but Unicorn is my favorite.
one day, i hope to extend it to novel length...
"Stop running up and down those damn stairs!" she yelled, but the children didn't hear her.
Their ears were full of the sound of running up and down those marvelous stairs.
Up and down, up and down.
Two steps, three steps, sometimes four at a time.
She was worried that they would fall and hurt themselves, but they wouldn't.
Not these kids. They had the stuff- the goods.
It was as if they were born to run up and down stairs.
It was as if God himself created these fantastic stairs, then lead theses kids to them to live out their days running up and down.
There was no stopping them this afternoon. They would run up, and then just as soon as they hit the apex, they would descend just as fast to the foot of the stairs. It was like a beautiful dance. Up then down, again and again, in rapid succession; to the top then to the bottom, from the bottom then to the top.
It was a perpetual motion machine. A rollercoaster. A lovely fountain. It was all these things and more, the vision of these kids.
Up and down, up and down.
Each time they hit a step, it was if they'd known that step their entire lives, but they never hit a step the same way twice. There was a method to the madness- a style to the chaos. It was ballet during wartime.
Those kids ran up and down those steps like warrior poets.
As the day went on so did they.
We all became transfixed. We made small commentary and little wagers among ourselves. How long would it last? Would anyone fall?
Surely, someone would have to take a rest.
Surely, someone would...
If God is in the details as they say, then that day God was the beauty of running up and down those damn back stairs.
It seemed as if they were in slow motion as they moved up and down. It was as if they were part of the Matrix, using “Stairs time” in place of bullet time. When they would pivot at the top of the stairs for their return trip down, it seemed like time stood still for but a moment, and the entire earth rotated accommodate the maneuver.
Who’s to say that it did not?
Who would have the nerve to question what they were seeing as those kids spit into the face of gravity, defied physics, and navigated the stairs as if they had been raised on them?
Their mother emerged from the house to once again admonish them, and she saw us watching the kids. She saw they way we looked at them- the way people watched beautiful swans or gymnasts- quietly, almost afraid, but enthralled.
She saw her kids defy the law of not only her, but of man, their God, and the universe.
She wanted to yell at them again, but she could not. Something deep inside her kept her from destroying this beautiful thing that had begun. Something inside her knew that it would be a crime to stop this.
Even with all that damn noise the kids were making running up and down those damn stairs it was a crime, she thought, to kill a unicorn.
So she simply rolled her eyes, and went inside.
Sure it was beautiful, she thought.
Sure they were pioneers, she thought.
But perhaps it was best if she let them continue until one of them fell. It was the only way they’d learn, she thought.
They never fell, though. Never. They ran all day. And they never fell.
Not that day.