A/N: This is my first, and most likely only, fic for the Unicorn Chronicles. Flames will be added to my fireplace, since though it's supposed to be summer, it hasn't stopped raining once. But I do like nice reviews better . So, anyways, on with the story! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Unicorn Chronicles…sadly, they belong to Coville. He'd better hurry up with the third book, too. But I own Diana. So there.
Chapter One: Entrance
"Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful princess. Her father loved her dearly, and wished to provide her with the best gifts in his kingdom. Unfortunately, the king was unable to come to a decision as to what to give his beautiful daughter. One day, however, the hunters in the kingdom reported seeing a creature whose beauty surpassed even the princess's. The king, angered by this fact, ordered the slaying of the animal. The hunters readily agreed, and promised the king the horn of the animal. The hunters tricked a young virgin into coming with them to the forest. She waited in a clearing, until, finally, the long-awaited creature came and laid his head in her lap. The hunters surrounded it and—"
I looked up to see the drama teacher, Mrs. Bartoli, approaching me. "Is there a problem?" I asked politely. Inwardly, I was seething. This was the fifth time she had stopped the reading, and it was only the first scene!
She planted her fists on her hips. "Diana, I gave you the role of Narrator because you have such a beautiful voice," she told me. "But you…this has no emotion. None. Absolutely nothing."
Possibly because I hate this story, I thought. "I'll try harder," I heard myself say. She looked me up and down, then shook her head.
"All right, let's take it from the top!" I glanced around the gym in amusement, watching the actors take their places. Again. For the fifth time. I had to admit, they were surprisingly talented for a sophomore class. If only Bartoli would quit stopping the rehearsals! But everything had to be perfect for this woman. On the very first try, no less. I began reading, this time actually trying to put "emotion" into it, in an effort to get home faster.
"No, no, no! This is simply not going to work, Diana!" I heard Bartoli yammering on yet again about emotion, and timing, and my beautiful voice, and why couldn't I read this right? She finally stopped and looked at her watch. "Oh my! Where has the time gone? It's nearly five o'clock! Okay, rehearsal is over for today. Diana," she said, staring at me, "please stay after. I need a word with you."
"Sorry, Mrs. Bartoli," I said. "I really need to get home. My mother's expecting me."
"I really must insist."
I sighed. Guess a few more minutes won't matter. I already missed the late bus anyways, I told myself. "Okay, what's up?"
Yeah, sure, a few minutes. I was walking home, in the rain, at night (it was six o'clock when I was able to get out of the school, who knew what time it was now?), and I was now officially soaked. On my birthday, no less. Sweet sixteen. Oh well, not like anyone would be home anyways. Dad worked, and mom was always out…somewhere. I didn't know, and quite frankly, I didn't much care, either. It didn't matter. The point was, I lived almost two miles away from school.
Passing by an empty truck two minutes later, a shadow detached itself from the front and began following me. A few steps later, I noticed the noise. I looked behind me, and saw a large man following me. I started to walk faster. Okay, definitely catching a ride home tomorrow, I thought.
Almost imperceptibly, I heard him growl. "Hey girlie. What's a sweet thing like you doing out here at night all alone?" He jumped in front of me. I jerked back, feigning to be startled and afraid. He leaned in close, leering at me, and asked again, "What's a sweet girlie like you doing here all alone?" I gagged (the guy was drunk), and I didn't answer, just slammed the heel of my palm upwards into his nose and took off running. The one thing my mother had ever insisted upon for me was martial arts classes. Judo, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Aikido, Kung-fu, it didn't matter—I had taken them all at some point or another.
I heard the man cry out in pain, and ran faster. He won't be far behind me, I thought. Spying an alleyway up ahead, I veered around the corner to find that it was a dead end. Great, Diana. Just great. Haven't you seen enough horror movies? Never go down a dark alley! Looking for a quick way out, I saw a door behind me. Why was it there? I don't know, the author stuck it there because otherwise I'd be mugged and/or killed, and we can't have that, now can we? I just prayed that it wasn't locked, and reached for the handle right when the thug rounded the corner. Yanking open the door, at first I didn't see anything. I whirled around and shut the door, searching for a lock. There wasn't one. Perfect. I took a quick look at my surroundings…or rather, my closet. There wasn't much room, and I could hear the guy's ragged breathing over the rainfall. He was getting closer.
It was then that I spotted it. Floating just a few inches off the ground, it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen. I walked around it, now oblivious to everything else. It was a circle, more than anything else. A glowing circle, about half an inch in width, with a fairly large diameter. I stuck an arm through it, but it didn't come out the other side. Forgetting my danger, I wondered aloud what would happen if I jumped all the way in.
A banging on the door snapped me back to reality as the drunken guy walked in, surprisingly steady on his feet. He saw me, and lurched forwards, grinning hellishly. I shot him a quick glance, then tried to calm myself (to no avail) and reasoned, Whatever's through there has to be better than this. With a second glance backwards, I gave my life up to Chance and jumped through the gate as everything went black.
A/N: And that's where I gotta stop. Don't worry, next chappie she'll go to Luster and all that good stuff, but I've learned the first chapters aren't as good if they're long. So click the little Review button in the corner, and let me know what you thought!