Once upon a time in a land full of centaurs, mermaids and all creatures alike, a debate was on trial.
“Order! Order in the court!” yelled the judge. He was a fine satyr with golden fur and sharp black horns.
“In my defense, this centaur has committed a crime against Olympus!” said the accuser. The crowd murmured in agreement. The accuser floated to the top of his pool. His tail had the greatest blue fins a merman could have “I want a witness,” he pointed, “you.”
The crowd quieted as they looked to where he pointed his finger. There stood a middle-aged centaur, small in stature and rather humble.
“You were there. Tell the court what you witnessed the night of the Moon Festival,” the accuser continued.
The young centaur, who was more accustomed to being overlooked than he was being noticed, was slightly taken back at being suddenly thrown into the center of the crowd’s attention. He quickly gathered his wits and replied, “There are many spectacles that take place on such a celebrated evening. Is there one particular event to which you refer?”
Many of the crowd snickered as they glanced at the judge. The judge’s face became more stern.
“Don’t make a mockery of this court. Tell us what you saw as the festivities ended and the lights were blown.”
Remembering his Centauric upbringing young Grillone began his account.
“The lights turned on and the crowds were leaving to return to their dwellings. It was then that I heard a loud crack and once again darkness took over. There was smoke in the air covering the lights of the night sky. I remember the panic of the crowd to clear the area and ensure their safety.”
Not looking satisfied the judge questioned, “Is that all?”
Not willing to betray his knowledge of what the stars had told him Grillone answered, “That is my testimony.”
But what the stars had told Grillone was far too much for the crowd to bear. As a centaur who could read the stars as if they were an overly-descriptive preteen novel, he knew that all too well. The guards grudgingly let him go and he trotted off to his dwelling, the light of the setting sun casting long shadows from the trees across his path. “This night,” Grillone said somberly to himself as he looked up at the darkening sky one more time before entering his hut, “we will witness the end of our peaceful life as we know it.”
“What did you say?!” came a shrill voice from below near the trees. Grillone looked down to see a small squirrel staring back up at him with disproportionately large eyes, jaw wide open.
“I must not tell you this, Squirrel. The stars have spoken, and I must honor them.” The centaur looked sad, as tears welled up in his eyes. “Go, quickly! There is not much time!”
Just then there was a deafening crash and a blaze of red light from the east. There were screams, shouts, and sounds of breaking glass. The coming doom prophesied by the stars was upon them, and nothing, not even the magical properties of a centaur’s tears, could stop it.
Yes, the doom that Grillone the centaur had been hinting at, but had conceitedly never fully explained had indeed come upon them. And it was none other than the dreaded Unicorns from the East. The villagers looked on in horror as unicorn after unicorn came galloping down the mountain pass, into the town square, trampling bushes, flowers, and thoughtfully-placed garden gnomes under their magical hooves. They had even gone as far as to topple and smash the giant glass statue of Anthrohippus the Great, the legendary centaur ruler from the Diamond Age. (That’s what all the breaking glass sounds were about)
The leader of the unicorns was jet black from tail to horn, fire ablaze in his eyes. “Now you are under our rule!” he declared, following it up with a quick stand on his hind legs and a fierce, other-realmly neigh.
And so the rule of the unicorns began, bringing with it a lot of new laws. There was the law of mandatory cupcakes and sprinkles at every meal, the law of always saying a pleasant greeting to each creature you passed, and the law of listening to country music and none other. They also had a law that you could be exempt from paying taxes if you consented to brushing a unicorn’s hair for three hours a week. There was some weird stuff going down in the new Unicorn Land. Indeed, as Grillone the centaur had prophesied, it was the end of their peaceful, unicorn-less life as they knew it.