At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GETTING RID OF ALL THE UNICORNS

It was a sunny day when she saw the unicorns. They were at the far end of a forest glade, grazing among the grasses. Dappled with light and shadow, from the bright rays broken by the leafy boughs. At first she didn't recognize them for what they were, assuming them to be foals from the farm beyond the trees. Not until she saw the jagged spike that projected from each head did she realize that these were the beasts of which she had dreamed since childhood. When they looked up at her, it seemed threatening. Each horn could pierce her through, with room to spare.
And they did not look friendly.
Angry red eyes.

She woke up drenched in sweat. What an unsettling dream! She had not had it often in the past few years, it was something that had faded with the onset of adolescence. Her mother's friend had first told her about the unicorns, and warned her that wild animals reacted aggressively when disturbed, more so when they were armed. And mythological creatures were not limited by normal behavioural patterns. They could often be illogically violent.

When she was twelve years old, she read that unicorns were symbols of female virtues like chastity, innocence, and remarkably passive stupidity. How odd that so many little girls fantasized about them! She would much rather have sword-wielding troll-maidens inhabit her dreams, cleaving skulls and feasting after battle. But those never showed up, and instead the unicorns paid visits. Night time was exciting; you never knew what would happen in your head.

After her first menstruation they stopped coming. She was glad. Growing up meant the absence of savage beasts.

In high school she discovered Lord of the Rings, and also quickly found out that long hero epics are virtually unreadable. The three volume set gathered dust, while she devoured Science Fiction. Robert Heinlein -- a good writer until Stranger In A Strange Land, which marked the bend around which his writing went south -- and Asimov, who was a more readable author when he simply explained scientific matters; his Foundation Series was virtually indigestible. Arthur C. Clarke was often amusing. The darkness of Philip K. Dick crept into corners of the mind, and prompted odd fantasies.
L. Ron Hubbard wrote garbage. Let us not mention him.
Anything with heroes generally speaking stank.
Magic fantasy fiction nauseated her.
Too many damned unicorns.
Or symbols of such.
Stand-ins.

What really appealed to her were the garish covers of the magazines stacked in her mother's friends garage. Rocket ships, breasts, and foreign planets. Whenever her mother and Herman went out to dinner together, she'd stay at the house, and spend hours reading short stories that featured giant spiders, slimy superbrains, aliens baffled by the peculiarities of homo sapiens. As long as one of the characters reacted with misplaced curiosity (which got them into trouble), or stubborn indignation (which got them into trouble), she would enjoy the story.
She did not like tales that mentioned love or sex. Most Sci-Fi authors were males, of course, and she suspected that they were like the geeks and nerds at school for whom sex was both an academic exercise and entirely imaginary. Far better that such people NOT write about breasts! Or any other part of the body. All their conceptions were entirely divorced from reality, and their whimpering desperation shone through in every feverish erotic passage. Sci-Fi authors should never speak of sexual matters, but stick to sober straightforward stargazy narrative.
Only write about what you know!


Her mother often went out to dinner with Herman. They had known each other a long time, and she suspected that those two actually liked each other, rather than just being in a state of perpetual rut. She didn't quite understand the attraction, as her mother loved romance novels and had a sappy sense of humour, whereas the "friend" seemed more into texts that involved nuts and bolts and space aliens. Serious stuff, which required an active mind. The Sci-Fi mags were piled right next to Popular Mechanics and Scientific American. He'd been reading such things for decades.

It was a story by Harlan Ellison that made her dream of the unicorns again. She had found it by looking for Samuel Delaney at the public library, and the anthology she borrowed included several other authors, including Theodore Sturgeon, Cordwainer Smith, Roger Zelazny, and others. Naturally she read the entire volume.
What better way to spend an afternoon away from school?

Summer break was the perfect time to just laze about reading.
But being threatened by rampaging unicorns was no fun.
Why did some authors even mention crap like that?


It was far better to have someone else deal with those horrible creatures, someone with a sword or a voltron blaster. A man with an excess of male hormones; hot, sweaty, and inspired to show off how gallant he was. It had to be totally ferocious, and blood would spatter everywhere. She planned to stay inside while that went on, with a book and a big bag of chips.
Safely elsewhere from the violence and vulgar male posturing.
If he survived the epic battle, she might kiss him.
She hoped he was also fairly intelligent.
It would make him bearable.


She really liked her mother's friend Herman. He would have made a good unicorn slayer. Pity he was already taken.



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