I Just Wanted To See The Unicorn
The glass was cold. I could feel it against the palm of my hands. Raindrops stuck to the window like tiny little beads. Some running into others and creating bigger ones that were too heavy and would fall to the city below. The sky was the color of white, no break in the smooth sheet of cloud. It looked as if it went on and on forever but I knew without a doubt, it was sunny somewhere. There had to be some kid out there basking in the sunlight. Maybe in Africa. I had heard my teacher say it hardly ever rains there.
"Sweetie, get away from the window." My mom led me away. "Come on, get your coat on."
She helped me into my favorite purple jacket and took my hand. We walked down the long hallway towards the elevators. We were in my dad's workplace. We decided to surprise him with a visit on our way to go shopping. Tomorrow is my 8th birthday. I couldn't wait. My mom was taking me to find nice clothes to wear.
The elevator dinged and we got in next to a man. I stared up at him, curiously. He was tapping his finger against his leg in a rhythm no one but him could hear. He looked nervous like he was waiting for something. His hair was messy and I wondered if he had brushed it this morning. Even his clothes looked messy. Maybe he didn't have a mom to wash his clothes or brush his hair for him like I did. He looked down at me and I looked quickly away, embarrassed at being caught. My mom was watching the numbers on the elevator, not paying attention to the man. 6...5...4...3...2...1... It dinged again and all three of us exited the small room.
My mom held tight to my hand as we walked out into the wet street. The rain had stopped about an hour ago but raindrops were still falling from higher places it clinged to. I looked up into the sky at the tall building we were just in. I couldn't tell which window I had been looking out of earlier. There were too many.
"Come on, baby. Keep up." My mom tugged on my arm and I focused on where we were walking.
We went to the big place with lots of stores inside. My mom said it was the mall. My eyes lit up with fascination at all the lights and pretty things in the windows. We walked into one of the stores, maneuvering through the people. I found some pretty pink dresses and shiny black shoes to wear with them. When I tried them on I felt like a princess. I twirled around in the dress and it spun out around me. I tripped over my feet and tumbled to the ground, giggling. When I looked up to see if anyone noticed, I saw that man again. He was standing off in the distance, behind a rack of clothes, watching me.
I stood up and dusted myself off, trying to ignore him. My mom came up and took me back to the dressing room to get dressed into my old clothes. She bought the dresses and handed me the bags. I was happy to carry them. It made it feel like it was my own.
"Can we pleeeeeaaaasse go to the toy store?" I begged her.
She looked a little hesitent so I jumped up and down, pulling on her arm.
"Please please please please please please please please pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaasssee?!"
She laughed and started walking to the toy store. I smiled happily. The store was huge. My mouth hung open as I took it all in. A big robot clown was moving in the corner, waving at children. Airplanes tied to string on the cieling were flying in circles above my head. I heard talking dolls and rawring dinosaurs. This was amazing!
"Can I go look around please?" I bounced around.
My mom chuckled at me and let go of my hand. "Go pick something out. It will be your early birthday gift from me."
I cheered as I ran off into the store, looking at all the wonderful toys displayed around me. I could never be able to pick just one thing. Pink unicorns sparkled in a row, little blonde dolls dressed up sat smiling at me, everything was so much fun!
I grabbed a unicorn and petted its mane, she was so cute and fluffy. Her horn sparkled from the lighting up above. "I'll call you Lisa!" I hugged the unicorn tightly. I would get this for my gift.
"Do you like unicorns?" I heard a man ask.
I turned around and saw the man from earlier. He grinned down at me, his breath smelled bad and his teeth were yellow. I didn't want to be rude so I nodded. He chuckled to himself like there was some kind of joke.
"Do you want to see my unicorn?" He continued.
My eyed widened. "You have a unicorn?" I asked in disbelief.
He laughed again. "Yes, a real life unicorn. Do you want to see it?"
My mouth fell open. "You mean its here?!" I looked around seeing if I could find it.
He looked around quickly, his black eyes flicking to all the faces before turning back to me. "Yeah it's outside waiting for you. Come on, I'll show you." He held his hand out for me to take it.
I looked around suddenly scared. Maybe I should ask my mom first... He seemed to know what I was thinking. "If you go now, you can tell her ALL about it when you get back," he grinned. "She won't even miss you."
I hesitated, looking down at the unicorn. Without another thought I took his hand and his smile got wider. He led me to the back of the store where there was a door. He looked around quickly and walked right through. It was dark and cold as he led me to another door leading outside.
"Where is it?" I asked, looking through all the parked cars.
"We're almost there," he assured me.
He got to a dark black car and opened the trunk. How did he fit the unicorn in there? He pulled me around to look into the car. "I don't see it," I said, slightly disappointed.
"Are you sure? Climb in there. He wayyy back there."
Determined to see the unicorn, I climbed into the car and started searching. "I don't see i--" The man then slammed the trunk door and everything turned dark. I was silent, confused at what just happened. "Hello?" I whispered, crawling back to where the man had just been a moment ago.
I heard the car start and a loud screeching noise. The car lurched forward, slamming me into the side of the tiny space. I screamed trying to find something to hold onto. The car turned left and right, going really fast. I was scared of what was happening. I didn't understand it. No tears came, my brain was too confused to know if this was a reason to cry. Everytime he made a turn and I rolled to the other side of the car, I screamed. I wanted my mom to come save me.
Suddenly it stopped, the car died and I heard a door slam. A whimper escaped my lips as I waited for what would happen next. I made a promise to myself, I will never leave my mom again. She must be worried to death about me. I hoped I could get back in time for my birthday. I hoped I could get back at all. I heard gravel crunch under someone's shoes. The man unlocked the trunk and opened the door. I squinted against the sudden light. It wasn't bright, I think it was a garage. My eyes adjusted and I stared around. I couldn't think straight. All I knew was I was scared. I was scared of the man. I was scared of this mysterious place. I was scared of that grin he had. Like he was hungry.
"I want to go home." Tears finally fell as I cried.
He grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the car and into the dirty house. His shirt was now unbuttoned and he looked even scarier in the dark house. He threw me into the corner and I just laid there and cried. He locked the door and closed the windows, sitting on the ground across from me. I stared at him through terror-stricken eyes. He was so laid back and relaxed. I wiped my nose on the back of my hand and quieted myself. He pulled a stick out and lit it on fire, putting it in his mouth and blowing smoke out. I'd seen people do this before. The house smelled awful, worse than the man.
After a long silence, he looked up at me with those hungry eyes. Tossing the thing from his mouth he stood up, coming towards me grinning. "I'm not going to hurt you." He assured me, but I instantly knew he was lying. "That's a pretty coat you have on."
I backed farther into the corner, whimpering as he closed in on me. I knew then that I wasn't going to be home for my birthday.