The Unicorn and the Trapeze – SPF

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week Al provides us with a
nother wonderful photo of a scene that is quintessentially English. And for once I am not poking fun at my lovely neighbours, or the Auld Enemy as we Scots affectionately call them!
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear this 90-second story read aloud by the author:
The Unicorn and the Trapeze

Ernie only gets the job because he is a unicorn.
It’s a bit of a novelty, you see, someone like him in a trapeze act.
Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t bad.
But he isn’t what you would call a natural either.
He has no tradition, the circus isn’t in his blood, like some of us.
So I teach him all he knows, and we put on a pretty good show.
He is what we call the flyer, I’m the catcher.
The point is, if you’ll excuse the pun, that I catch his horn.
That can be tricky.
And rough on my hands.
But it all goes pretty well until the inevitable happens.
We both fall for the same girl.
Rosie the Rope, she is called, and she walks the high wire.
I saw her first, I warn Ernie, I only have to miss you once.
He scowls, says nothing.
As it turns out, it would have been better if I’d stayed quiet.
He doesn’t miss me.
I am on my way to hospital, with a spiral-shaped hole in my chest.
And a spiral-shaped horn protruding from it.
And Ernie?
Well, they sack him, of course.
Hornless, he is just another white horse.

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31 Responses to The Unicorn and the Trapeze – SPF

  1. He got the point about love. I wonder if Ernie laughed until he was hoarse.


  2. Ha, ha. This is great, C.E. It’s not your usual circus story. I feel sorry for both of them. Probably neither one ended up with Rosie, either. Good writing as always. 😀 — Suzanne


    • ceayr says:

      Thanks, Suzanne, happy you enjoyed. And Rosie the Rope ended up marrying Barbie the Bearded Lady. They set up a finishing school for young ladies of quality and breeding, and lived happily ever after.


  3. This is wonderful and funny in an “ouch” kind of way. What an imagination! 🙂


  4. Joy Pixley says:

    Funny idea, a unicorn in a trapeze act, not to mention in a love triangle. I’m still on the fence (on the ropes?) about forgiving him the “point is” pun… Sounds like a horn to the chest is what he deserved, for threatening his partner’s life — trust is everything in the high wire business!


    • ceayr says:

      ‘a horn to the chest is what he deserved’
      You really have a mean streak, Joy, it is your best fault!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Interesting that it comes off that way; I don’t think anyone I know in person ever said that. But it’s definitely true that I want to see the bad guys in stories get their just rewards. And anyone who threatens to kill his friend over a love interest? Seriously bad guy!


  5. A Writer's Beginning says:

    Nice piece, I enjoyed reading it! 🙂 Interesting take on the prompt, too!


  6. Mandie Hines says:

    The line “until the inevitable happens” caught me off guard, because I was expecting the injury at the end to be the inevitable part . So the pair falling for the same girl was a delightful twist. Well done, and quite amusing.🙂


  7. mandibelle16 says:

    I enjoyed this take using circus performance at this place as a set up and background for the story. The setting was well done in so few words. The character of Ernie is interesting in his rarity as a unicorn. There squabble over Rose the rope, is interesting as well b/c if I was Ernie I would not be trusting this guy (the narrator) after saying a thing like: ” I only had to miss you once.” And I agree with the narrator, if he was going to get back at Ernie (possibly) for being involved with Rosie better to stay quiet and pretend you messed up. Instead, he ends up with a horn shaped hole in his chest. Which in itself is interesting as are the various references to horn and what it actually means. Seems like perhaps Ernie was a kind of unicorn, useless without his beloved horn. Makes me think a lot. Agree with James, the whimsical quality is fantastic. Great write C.E. and hugs 🙂


  8. James says:

    Pretty funny, actually. Whimsical fairy tale/circus story.


  9. Excellent piece. Vivid.


  10. Only you could look at this picture and think unicorn! Brilliant piece of work, really enjoyed this one 🙂


  11. L.E.R.T says:

    Ouch and ouch! Both the narrator and Ernie don’t get happy endings, as it seems. Good one, this was fun. Cheers, Varad


  12. Sheena says:

    O I love this Another lovely flight of imagination.


  13. emmylgant says:

    High flying fun story!
    Well, maybe not so funny for the narrator or the used-to-be-unicorn, but quite entertaining for this reader.


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