“Don’t be upset, Niku. Everything happens for a reason,” said Zara to cheer her friend up.
“I’ve gotten used to their taunts, Zara. Magic-less creature! A bad omen! All of that. I’m such an aberration in this magical land of Lindenvale.”
“You’re very much a part of this wonderful land, Niku. What if a bunch of bullies in school call you names? You’re what you are and you need to love yourself for it.” Zara, the prettiest fairy of Lindenvale asserted, waving her wand at Niku. Showers of sparks fell on her horn and lustrous mane.
“Don’t try to magic me, Zara. I don’t have even an ounce of magical blood in me… or, so they say. I don’t believe in magic, either,” Niku, the youngest and the most beautiful unicorn of the land, sighed and shook her head.
Even as Niku walked away, a few goblins and leprechauns from school jeered at her.
“Hey, hasn’t Niku gone home yet?” called out Ratty, a goblin, as he came out of the school gates.
“Why can’t you magic yourself to fly, Niku?” screamed another goblin, Eddy.
“Oh wait, she can’t. She’s that extraordinary unicorn who’s too ordinary for magic,” squeaked a leprechaun. They guffawed together.
“You insensitive brats!” Zara screeched waving her wand to shut them up.
As much as she tried, magic had always eluded Niku so much that she was mistaken to be a horse. She turned a deaf ear to every snide remark aimed at her incapability and hardly mingled with anyone except her close friends, Zara and Plum. While Zara ensured Niku believed in her abilities, Plum, her pixie friend, promised her a miracle one day that would make her realise her magical prowess.
“That day would arrive soon when you’d start believing in magic. You’d also learn that there’s so much of it within and around you,” said Plum often.
“The world may be full of it. But, what I’m not is what I don’t believe in,” replied Niku.
Even as her friends kept her motivated, Niku lost all her confidence and was disdained at school as a disgrace to their land. The Lindenvale School of Etiquette, set up under the Prince’s order to ensure everyone learned basic manners and etiquette, had invited the fantastical creatures of the land to enroll themselves. Her friends, who had forced Niku to join, regretted their decision. Since their first day at school, Niku had not been spared being bullied by the nasty goblins and their sidekicks, the leprechauns.
Each day at school soon became a nightmare for Niku. Although she put up a strong façade to ignore the insults thrown at her, it was getting difficult with each passing day.
Word spread to the Prince on the misdemeanour of the bunch of goblins and leprechauns at school. It was also rumoured that he would soon pay a visit. But, nothing changed the bullies’ attitude towards their schoolmates.
One morning, as Niku entered the school, the bullies were seen seated on the sprawling lawns. Eddy noticed her coming in and whistled.
“Niku, the magical unicorn, is early today. Well, Niku, that unmagical horn is a sheer waste on you. Shouldn’t you have it removed?” Eddy sneered.
“Leave her alone, Ed. She’s not fun anymore. The unicorn hardly responds to the derision.” Ratty clicked his tongue in disgust. “Let’s shift our target.” He smirked as his gaze fell on Dibby, the elf, who tried to scurry past Niku inconspicuously.
“Dib, stop right there!” Ratty bellowed and trudged towards him.
Dibby froze as if hit by a spell. The deafening silence that ensued seemed ominous. The trees around the school stood still as if in anticipation.
Niku looked up to notice that Dibby was trembling from head to toe. Her heart filled with pity for the little creature. She could understand his pain of ignominy and the exasperation of his inability to do anything about it. She had been in those torn shoes before and she knew they pinched hard.
“Look at you, Dib. Couldn’t you find anything uglier than those rags you call clothes?” Ratty cackled and the others followed suit.
“Doesn’t suit you, Dib. The green doesn’t go well with your grey skin.” Eddy cocked his brow as if in deep thought. Niku shuffled her hooves to control her rage.
“That’s right. Dib, you need a change of clothes. Let’s remove those silly rags,” Ratty commented and signalled at the leprechauns to do so.
Even as the leprechauns scuttled towards Dibby eager to carry out Ratty’s command, Niku, who was a bystander until then, trotted towards the elf and groaned menacingly.
“The crazy unicorn protects the elf. Whoa! Scary!” leered Eddy as he plodded towards her.
That very moment turned hazy as everything happened at the same time.
Zara and Plum entered the scene with their wands raised to protect their friend. Sounds of hooves galloping to a stop echoed through the grounds and the handsome Prince looked on with interest. A rainbow appeared over them in a splash of colours.
Niku kicked the ground and leapt into the air. A fiery ball of fire encircled her and Dibby as the goblins and leprechauns fell back in shock.
“A curse will disparage your race. You horrid goblins will forever turn into stunted ugly creatures. You foolish leprechauns will turn into wizened old lonely beings longing for company,” hollered Niku amidst a stunned audience. Her brilliant horn shone silver as the bullies shrunk abnormally in size.
“You made it, darling. Haven’t we always mentioned that you have special powers? You’re such a pure creature that it takes so much emotional turmoil to shake you up and show us your magic.” Zara announced and danced in absolute bliss. Niku closed her eyes and descended.
“You ought to believe in magic now. Do you, Niku?” Plum squealed.
Niku nodded slowly.
“And, you ought to bless me with your esteemed company forever, Niku,” declared the Prince as he bowed in admiration.
Image courtesy – Anja from Pixabay