He lived alone. It had been years now. Women liked him once but these days he couldn’t get a Tinder match.
One night he went to smoke a cigarette in the park. There was rustling in the sumac bushes. Something screaming; he ran to see what it was. Three coyotes had something pinned. It looked like a white pony, or maybe a giant goat. Some slave animal for Mexican kids’ outdoor birthday parties. Whatever it was it was terrified. The coyotes had clocked him but they were intent enough that he could get close to the big one. Give it a hard boot in the ribs. It was something he’d always dreamed of. Just as he’d dreamed, he felt a rib crack and the thing squealed and ran. The other two, toadies that they were, did too.
The animal looked up at him. It was a unicorn. He thought he might have a heart attack.
You saved my life, she said.
She was using telepathy. He wondered if she could read his thoughts. Yes, she said. I know you’ve suffered. And I know what you seek. There was a wind, and a mist, and she was a beautiful young woman.
I have long sought my Protector, she said. If you desire it, I will stay. Nurture your children. Fill your belly, empty your sac, stroke your trapezius on cold nights while the wind blows and we watch Planet Earth 2. I’ll be forever young, she said. I’ll give you succor as you weaken and age and pass back into the Earth. You need never suffer again. All I ask is that you’re faithful to me. My kind mates for life. If you leave me I’ll die. Yes, he said. I want that.
That Sunday he rode his unicorn in the mountains. Monday night she cooked him chicken after work. She was perfect.
On Tuesday he kissed her on the forehead as she slept. Went to smoke a cigarette in the park. There was rustling in the sumac bushes. Three coyotes had pinned a big white animal. He got closer. It was a unicorn. Beautiful like her but this one had wings. And he thought: just my fuckin luck.