Tag Archives: unicorn

Thoughts on Writing – Flash Fiction – “Unicorn”

I recently met Charli Mills, a local author who introduced me to her website, Carrot Ranch. There, a community of writers respond to weekly prompts for flash fiction, which, for their purposes, is fiction with an exact count of 99 words.

This week’s prompt is “Unicorn.” I very much enjoyed researching the mythology of unicorns when I was in junior high and high school, so I decided to take part in the fun. First, with a darker variant on the idea of the unicorn, which was inspired by stories in which the unicorn was used in courts to determine if a criminal was guilty or not. (You can blame these stories for the version of the chesnathé mentioned in The Shadow War, a brutal, bulky, immortal equine who tends to pass judgment on “lower beings.”) Second, I also wrote a lighter variant (following a more European story).

Enjoy. 🙂

* * *

“Judgement”

His curved horn meets with flesh and another criminal meets his fate. A sinner. A thief. No more shall he steal. The crowd roars their approval. The unicorn raises his bulky head and swings it side to side like a bull. They cheer for him and his judgment.

He flicks his tail, slender like a cow’s, with a tuft of brown hair at the end. The rest of his fur is black. His horn is tri-colored. Black at the base, cinnamon in the middle, and red on top. Stained red… it would be brown, but the blood never dries.

* * *

“Captured”

Her fingers pass through the creature’s mane, which is silky white, like threads dipped in the morning dew. He is in chains. She slides her fingers under the delicate silver.

“You will be free.”

His ears swivel, listening. She strokes the damp fur of his neck. He breathes hard from the chase.

“Do not worry. I will return.”

She disappears, her slippers padding through the rain-flushed grass. When she returns, her gossamer gown whispering around her calves, the unicorn raises his head. His blue eyes regard her, pleading.

She reveals a pair of wire cutters and smiles. “Be free.”

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to participate, head over to Carrot Ranch for their Feb 22nd prompt. 🙂

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Behind the Scenes – The Great Forest of Shee

This is a cover for Melange Books. I’ve done covers for this author before, but in the previous cases, they were contemporary stories, not fantasy. The author mentioned in the provided art form of the possibility of having the unicorn on the cover, so that’s the direction I went. At first I tried a unicorn running toward the reader, but upon learning that the unicorns in this story where primarily passive, I tried a different route. The calm, resting creature. Originally I had the unicorn as a smaller piece of the cover, but since it didn’t really stand out (the cover lacked a focal point), I brought it forward and made it larger, thus drawing more attention to the unicorn. To add to the magical feel of the place, I increased the yellow and green color tone for the forest, as well as added a leafy texture to the edges of the cover.

This is the result:

SBibb - The Great Forest of Shee - Book Cover

SBibb - The Great Forest of Shee - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-white-lying-horse-green-grass-spring-image42596458
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-african-oryx-image15187054
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-morning-deep-forest-foggy-image33124894
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-huge-old-tree-washington-olympic-peninsula-forest-theme-nature-photo-collection-image32432337
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-ancient-castle-door-image22839459
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-shaded-blue-swirls-background-image12615609
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-giraffe-underbrush-image27233341
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-dappled-morning-light-shines-though-elm-tree-image11383183

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Behind the Scenes – Fallenwood

Another cover for Melange Books.

This is actually for the book prior to Forgetting Fallenwood, but the book is being re-released by Melange Books, and so it’s getting a new cover. For this one, I tried capturing the feel of the other covers I’ve done for this series, including text placement, colors, blur effects, and the fonts I used. I quite enjoyed playing with the concept of the unicorn, as well. The author had mentioned on the art form that it might be neat to have the unicorn somewhere on the cover. I took the idea and ran. 🙂

This is the end result:

SBibb - Fallenwood - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-black-horse-runs-image14200120
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-woodland-glade-image22617867
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-wild-eland-image5106959

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