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In Turning

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It was Spring when King Haggard saw two unicorns, still in their movement, flowing in their stillness, in a meadow brighter than morning. Their light pooled in things that don't reflect - birds' feathers, blades of grass, burls of wood. Dawn went down to day, but their silver stayed.

Summer roared into being on the breath of the Red Bull - season of heat and growth and change, burning up its own fuse, full of impatient mortality. The Red Bull chased the unicorns through the land, tossing trees and fruit aside together, withering the grass brown under its hooves, until the land itself ran to an end.

When they exhausted their joy, when they fell by the road, scattered one by one like leaves, Autumn fell too.

Winter swept out to meet them as they plodded towards Haggard's castle, broken and washed of colour, anticipating the bitter beat of the waves, where they floated like ash, or snow.

“When I see them, I am truly young,” whispered Haggard, ignoring the warning, though he spoke it to himself. He ought to fear memories of youth, or anything that called back to him from a morning in the woods. For Spring would come again.