Retrospect by The Lady Arianrod
disclaimer: Peter S. Beagle owns the Last Unicorn
Summary: The Unicorn remembers Prince Lír, even at the end of the world.
So many years have passed that I cannot even count them. Each new spring blooms like a lily and fades by mid-summer. Such is the way of these transitory, earthly years.
I have seen many days that I would like to last forever. Days of frolicking amongst the meadows with the other Undying ones, the Unicorns. They also can enjoy that feeling of ageless weightlessness under the sun, even if for a moment. Yes, I do feel old at times when everything around me dies. I sometimes fade a bit with the older deer and rabbits as they lay down for a final time under the endless sky.
I was here when the clouds first danced across the expanse. How can I live in this world, you ask, when it is always the same for so many millions of years?
Look at the clouds. They always change. Every summer, the flowers bloom in different patterns. Beauty is always present, but it manifests itself in ever-changing patterns.
And yet I sigh. For though I do not tire of it all, I do wish that I had parts of my past to live on with me. He was amazing, that prince.....
He was always brave, always committed, always striving to please me. I ignored him, but then.... I fell in love. Fate brought us together, that twisted banshee, for she was to also tear us apart.
A unicorn cannot love a man, for the man will never spend the many years with her. He will fade.
Why did I not see past this? Was I so blinded by fate, or was it love?
It does not matter. Lír became king and most likely started a family. Sometimes, I hear talk of him when I wander by the old city of Hagsgate and watch the royal children play.
"Let's pretend that we're the brave King Lír! Let's slay dragons like in the days from a long time ago!" they shout. Sometimes, the old man will show up. His name is Samuel, and he is a storyteller to these children.
"I can tell you all tales of dragons and of Robin Hood," he begins, "but I will tell you about King Lír. He slay many a dragon in his time, over 2,500 years ago."
Has it been that long? Hagsgate still thrives as it did when Lír ruled. I do not shed tears outwardly but inwardly I sigh. My ancient heart can only wish that someday this world will end and I too will die.
This is not so. I can never die. Even if the world were to end, would I still be here?
I do not know.
My mind skips along the paths that snake their way through many a shady a forest and glimmering, verdant forest glades. I see life when I look at these forests of long-dead birds and times gone by.
I see thousands of years with my fellow unicorns, though these years seem mere days compared to my life span.
When I lie down to rest my eyes from the midday sun, I see them. Schmendrick and Molly and even King Haggard are there. Dark images that I long to forget and the trapped unicorns' pain sometimes wake me from these reveries. However, I most often see him. Lír and his childish desire to please me, and his sadness that I did not pay attention to him.
I now wish that I had acknowledge his presence more.
He is gone now, just another memory amongst the others.
The amazing thing about Lír is that he is immortal. When men are merely legends, he will still be here in my mind.
End note: Eh, it wasn't as good as I wanted, but it has a certain effect. I hope that I captured the unicorn in this soliloquy. Review if you wish!