Isaac called yesterday to tell me that he’s turned down Shufflebottom’s position. I wasn’t surprised. I had seen his aura dim every time he spoke about The Society.
And, would you rather be known as the president of a stodgy society or The Person Who Brought Unicorns out of Dormancy?
Since our return from Siberia, the three of us have been talking. We all feel that we are meant to continue this quest—there are more pages in the book, after all. And there’s always more magic to be discovered.
It seems that unicorns live somewhere between science, magic, and art. And frankly, that’s a really fun place to spend time.
Question: Are you taking the position?
Fact: You’re not creepy enough to fill Shufflebottom’s shoes.
I was happy to get home to the birds, my garden, and the studio. I’m still painting unicorns. Maybe the more unicorns I paint, the more we’ll see in the world. Either way, I quite like being surrounded by them.
And on that note, I miss you both. I miss our adventure and I find myself thinking of the book and its promise of magic. Last night, as the sun went down and the moon rose, I saw a color in the sky I’m not sure I’ve ever seen. Was that unicorn magic? Or just the magic that’s always around us, but so easy to miss unless you’re looking for it? Either way, I’ll be sure keep looking.
Write or call soon.
I did present my findings to The Society. At least, I spoke about the book’s age. But when it came time to speak about the text, I found myself wanting to protect it. This group, after all, had not supported the existence of unicorns. And, standing in front of the room, I realized that I no longer wanted to work within such narrow confines.
After the presentation, a vote occurred. But it wasn’t the vote Shufflebottom had pushed so hard to make happen. No, in a moment of grand irony, my colleagues nominated me to succeed Shufflebottom, who was still detained in Siberia.
Fact: The Society responded with some news of its own. Shufflebottom had been detained at an airport in Russia, with undeclared diamonds.
I was invited to present my findings at the meeting the next day. Elementa, Indigo, and I parted ways quickly. I am now on an airplane, making my way back to The Society to clear my name and reclaim my standing as a paleontologist.
Finally, I had seen the unicorn. Could I explain it to The Society? Never. But the existence of the book might just clear my name.
Fact: Yesterday, I emailed news of the discovery to all of the officers of The Society, aside from Shufflebottom. I anxiously awaited their response.
The vote, as far as I know, is scheduled for Thursday. The day after tomorrow.
I'm still feeling mesmerized—bedazzled—by the appearance of that creature. Was it iridescent? Not exactly, but it sure bewitched me.
I awoke to Isaac knocking on my tent. He was beside himself with glee. And talking very quickly. He had seen the writing inside the book! The book was 4.56 billion years old! It was magic! And he had seen the writing! And there was a meteor! And…
When I asked him to slow down, I finally understood—the age of the book had left him no choice but to believe in magic. He had eliminated all other options in his mind. And as soon as he believed, the writing appeared.
“Elementa, I saw a meteor!” Isaac exclaimed.
With all of the drama around Shufflebottom and the book, I had completely forgotten about the Draconids meteor shower. Another celestial event! Without taking any time to explain, we roused Indigo from her sleeping bag and all ran to the original site.
There, we waited, quietly oohing and ahhing as the shooting stars appeared.
And then, after one particularly bright meteor, we saw the glowing form of a unicorn, just on the other side of our giant hole. We all saw it.
And, it saw us. The unicorn looked in our direction, paused for a moment, then galloped off toward the horizon—and jumped into the sky.
Another meteor streaked across the heavens.
“Did that unicorn just wink?” asked Isaac.
I nodded, unable to speak.
Not surprisingly, I couldn’t sleep after the incident in my tent, so I went to the lab to check the results of the test. I’m not sure what was more unbelievable—that Shufflebottom had followed me to Siberia or the age of the book.
Fact: The date testing revealed the book to be roughly 4.56 billion years old. As old as, well, you know by now—as old as the solar system. As old as the stars themselves.
This is a find of such significance that I am overwhelmed. It feels beyond science.
Fact: I’m beginning to believe in magic, especially when I consider Elementa’s cards and Indigo’s art, the note to dig deeper, and now, this book we raised from the depths.
Fact: I looked at the book again. I opened it carefully, and this time, with the moon overhead, I saw the words.
Above, a lone meteor streaked across the sky. I ran to wake Elementa and Indigo.
Isaac doesn’t want to recount all of last night’s events here, but I think it’s important to have a record.
I was on edge after the lab break in. At various moments yesterday, I found myself whirling around to check the landscape behind me. I’m sure I looked quite ridiculous. I never saw anything. Even so, I slept fitfully.
It was Isaac who should have been uneasy, though.
He awoke in the dark to realize he wasn’t alone in his tent. Someone was attempting to pull the book from Isaac’s bed. Isaac and the person fell to the floor, writhing and wrestling for control of the book. It was Isaac who won—the other person fell backwards, grunted as he hit the floor, and then scrambled out of the tent. Isaac couldn’t see much in the darkness outside. He heard footsteps receding, followed by quiet. Then, in the distance, he made out the sound of a vehicle engine starting and driving away. Before long, everything was silent again.
As Isaac tells it, even though he couldn’t see the man at all, the grunt he heard was more than enough to identify the intruder.
Fact: Reawakening?? I had no idea what they were going on about. The page was blank.
Fact: I brought the book into the lab tent for date testing, prepared the samples, and began the process that would take at least twenty-four hours.
Fact: I was exhausted and went to my tent. I slept with the book by my side, occasionally waking during the night to confirm that it hadn’t disappeared.
Question: Was I paranoid after the disappearance of the skeleton? I can answer that. Yes.
Fact: When I arrived at the lab this next morning, nearly everything had been ransacked—papers, files, tools, equipment all had been tossed around the room.
Fact: After Elementa, Indigo, and I put things back in place, we seemed to be missing only a small bag of diamonds we’d brought inside for testing.
I felt quite fortunate, quite relieved that the book and my equipment were still with us. And the samples for the date testing were undisturbed in the corner. I could tell that Indigo was still feeling uneasy, though.
When the moonbeams reached us, shapes began to appear on the first page. Indigo saw them, too. We were both able to make out the title, Unicornia, and then, the rest of the page as well. I’ll let it speak for itself:
And Isaac? Well, Isaac couldn’t see anything. The man who had set off this entire chain of events was completely in the dark.