Monster parent: Niko Staten (@nikostar)
Sylvia thought her speech on abstinence was particularly rousing today. She’d delivered it hundreds of times over the years in the brightly colored room the church used for Sunday school. Nothing gave her more joy than knowing she’d ushered several generations of teenagers down the path of purity.
She couldn’t sense the boredom oozing from every pore of the half dozen teens who lounged on bean bag chairs around her. She was too caught up in her passionate words. “Love of the Lord is the only truly effective form of contraception. Your body is his temple. When you defile it with disgusting and irresponsible acts outside of the holy bonds of matrimony, that temple can never be clean again. Purity isn’t something you can lose and then get back, like mittens you accidentally dropped while you were shopping in Wal-Mart. There is no Lost and Found box for purity.” She said this last line with dramatic gravity. It was her favorite part of the whole speech.
Her audience only perked up when she offered them cookies to take home with them. The circular cookies had holes in their centers and were painted with light gray frosting, symbolizing the silver purity rings she hoped these lovely young men and women would soon be wearing. A few of the teens didn’t even bother to say goodbye to her as they snatched up the snacks and left.
When Sylvia was finally alone, she felt deflated. Suddenly, she wanted nothing more than to be at home, snuggled up with her cat, watching her DVDs of Leave it to Beaver.
The unicorn hiding in the arts and crafts room had been patiently waiting for this moment.
Virgins were its only prey. It had been repelled by the presence of the impure teenagers, but the spinster’s virginity sang to it like a siren.
Sylvia gasped and dropped the tray of cookies when the unicorn revealed itself. It stepped into the Sunday school room in a dainty, mincing gait, moving with the delicate grace of a deer.
The unicorn’s coat was lavender, its mane and tail frothy curls of cotton candy pink. A gentle light shone in its bright blue eyes, which were huge and long-lashed, like the ponies in that cartoon Sylvia’s nieces loved so much. The shimmering golden horn rising from its forehead was one of the most beautiful things she’d ever seen.
Sylvia didn’t wonder if she was crazy. She understood, instantly, that this was a vision from the Lord. Unicorns only appeared to virgins. This was a gift from God, a reward for her unwavering dedication to remaining pure and protecting the purity of others.
“Ohhh,” she breathed, a sigh soft with wonder, and reached out her hand. The unicorn nuzzled her palm and she marveled at the creature’s exquisite silkiness. It whickered softly, sniffing her hand, and Sylvia giggled at the tickly feeling of its breath.
Then, the unicorn’s eyes went black.
A twisty network of dark, wormy veins crawled across its face, flowed down its graceful neck, and marbled its body. The unicorn bared its teeth, and they were sharp and pointed, shark-like. It looked nothing like the ponies her nieces loved now. Sylvia stumbled back in surprise, and bumped up against the big desk where she’d sat while giving her abstinence talk.
The unicorn’s horn began to change. A tiny hole appeared in the tip, spiraling outward as the horn folded open like a flower. Three dark shapes slithered out of it: black, snaky creatures covered in slimy glop the consistency of raw egg whites. Their heads were bullet shaped. Small red eyes burned over grinning mouths crammed with fangs. These ghastly beings reminded Sylvia of the last date she’d ever gone on, in 1979, when a man had taken her to see a highly inappropriate movie called Alien. That disastrous experience had been the perfect excuse for Sylvia to swear off romance for the rest of her life.
One of the hideous black creatures flashed forward, lightning-fast, sinking its teeth into Sylvia’s shoulder. Her arm immediately went numb and useless. Another one bit her face, and the third darted down and bit her hip. Sylvia could barely feel her body. She collapsed in a heap. The back of her head–one of the only parts of her unaffected by the unicorn’s venom–sent fireworks of pain bursting through her skull as it struck the floor.
The toothy serpents retracted back into the unicorn’s horn, which smoothly rearranged itself into its original shape.
Sylvia was blessedly numb when the unicorn bowed its head and began tearing chunks of flesh out of her. Though she prayed as hard as she could, God did not give her the ability to close her paralyzed eyelids and blot out the sight of her body being devoured.
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