The sliver of a crescent moon brings scant light to the forest floor. Two men in hooded leather armor with their mouths covered in bandit masks make their way silently through the darkened woods. Their bows are ready to be drawn at a moment’s notice. One moves with full confidence ahead of the other, who glances around with jerky movements.
“Hey, Jack, you sure this is a good place to go huntin’? We’re getting pretty deep. Close to the warped lands.”
“Nah, Lenny, don't’ worry, ‘bout it. I scoped this place out good and the only thing that was here was some old hag who croaked a few days back. The real prizes are here—real unicorn. I bagged one here last year. After the boss lost his contact in Calin, we’re gonna need all the support we can get, and their horns sell for real treasure!”
A twig snaps, followed by a sylvan giggle. Lenny raises his bow, sweeping around. Jack holds still, listening.
“W… who the hell’s out there!?” Lenny cries out. “We’re armed.”
“Shut up, dumbass!” Jack says, slapping his hand down. “We’re in fey territory. Don’t antagonize them-”
“Hello~!” the young musical voice says. The two men immediately turn their attention, and their weapons, in its direction.
Standing there is a fair-skinned young girl, with bright silver eyes and platinum-blond hair. Her outfit criss-crosses over her, almost as if it was painted on and leaving scant details to the imagination. “Who are you?” she asks, bouncing on her toes, pointed ears wiggling.
“None of your business, brat!” Jack shouts, keeping the bow on her. “Now, scram!”
The girl frowns and shakes her head. “But, this is my home?”
“Yer home?” Lenny asks, whispering to Jack. “You said only an old woman lived here.”
The girl giggles, her hands behind her back. “Oh, yeah. That was me. I’m now a little cutie!”
“Shit. She’s a fairy!” Jack says, firing the shot straight toward the girl’s chest.
She flies back from the shot, disappearing into the trees.
“You just murdered a child!” Lenny screams.
“No, I didn’t,” Jack says, looking up into the branches, his bow still ready. “Like I said, she’s a fairy.”
“You told me not to antagonize the fairies!”
“Because I knew you’d fuck it up!” Jack snaps back, stopping his sweep of the treeline when he sees her.
Sitting in a branch with the arrow embedded in her chest, the girl kicks her feet and hums. “You’re funny. We should play.” With that, she pulls the arrow out, her skin smooth and unblemished by the piercing weapon. She tosses the arrow away and hops down, landing her feet on Jack’s shoulders. She bends over, her hair covering his vision, her bright eyes staring into his before she presses her thumb against his forehead With a “boop!”, she hops from him over towards Lenny, sitting on his shoulders facing him, her legs wrapping around his neck. He’s far too stunned to do anything about the little sprite on him, a mix of fear and confusion keeping him paralyzed. In his state, she leans in, and places a kiss upon his forehead.
Lenny shivers, feeling a cool sensation moving down his body, even as she jumps away. He rubs at his head, a pressure building up in his skull. Out of nowhere, a spiraling protrusion of bone breaks free through his skin, causing him to fall over onto his knees in pain. Holding onto his sides, he groans as his mouth juts out, skin turning into more coarse hide.
“N… no…” Jack says as he holds onto his bow. His fingers fumble and fail to grab an arrow, only for him to look at them and see them fusing together. “Y… you’re the monster transforming everyone into horrors!” He shouts, his eyes wavering in fear.
The fey spirit blinks, wrapping one arm around herself and resting her cheek upon her palm. “Turning people into horrors…? No, that doesn’t sound familiar. I just punish people for hurting nature by bringing them closer to it!”
Jack bucks as a tail bursts through the back of his pants, the increase in mass ripping through the fabric, until his hind legs become completely equine, except for cloven hooves. Similarly, a luxurious mane spills from his hood, glittering in the moonlight.
“H… hurting nature? We were just hunting!”
“Unicorns are sapient beings, you meanies!” she says, bending over and tapping her foot, her cheeks puffing out as she scowls at him. “Though, I’m sure you’re finding that out right now, aren’t you? All your thoughts and memories are intact, but in new bodies. Maybe you two will appreciate your fellow beasts by spending time as some, isn’t that right, Lenny?”
Lenny is almost all the way gone. The large, majestic creature only showing human worry through his eyes as a long, curled beard pokes out from under his chin.
“It’s really difficult for unicorns to conceive. They’re stuck up poopy heads that way. But you will sire foals with just about any lady unicorn, won’t you, Lenny?”
Lenny snorts, feeling a confidence and a virility that he had never had before in his humanity. He is a regal creature, a proud unicorn, yet still, the humility of his transformation, his punishment, his duty, remains in the back of his mind.
Something wafts along his nose, a scent he has never noticed before, but one he instantly recognizes—a female! He glances around, looking through the treeline, but to no avail. It’s really close, so close, so…
The unicorn that was Jack rears up, his legs kicking as he lowers his head, ready to charge the fey creature, but Lenny runs in the way, between the two, staring down Jack.
Jack, whose build is slighter, his coat more vibrant, his chin bald, sees the magnificent male unicorn in front of him, and he feels the warmth building up within his… no… her core!”
Lenny rubs his cheek against Jack, or rather, the new male unicorn courts with his soon-to-be mate and mother of his foal.
The fey girl giggles once more as the two continue their mating ritual, turning away and skipping off into the moon-lit forest. But, once she is far from where they make their love, she sighs and stares up to the moon through the break in the trees. “A monster turning people into horrors?” she asks to herself and to the forest. “Is that what is making me sick in my tummy?” she sniffs, tears welling up in her eyes, sobbing. “Oh, the forest, you’re sick!” she says, hugging a nearby tree. “I wish… I wish I heard about this when I was older. I don’t know what to do!”
Suddenly, she stops, then pounds her fist into her cupped hand. “I know! I’ll go find the monster and make it apologize!”
She giggles again, singing a forest tune as she disappears into the night.