A few years ago, my Clarion classmates and I were joking around about the tendency of "-punk" suffixes as a weird genre descriptor that, while useful, has nothing to do with punk. Someone tossed out the idea of "unicornpunk," and I quickly whipped this opening paragraph as an example of the genre:
Glitterpiss had passed out in the back of a dilapidated rickshaw with a pair of shit-stained boxer briefs hanging off her rainbow horn. Sprite must have thrown one heckuva party. Not that she could remember most of it, but the fact that her motherfucking head felt eight motherfucking sizes too big was a good indication. The harsh noon sun flared through the barnhouse windows, and she lit up another faerydust blunt to ease the pain.
It should have ended there. But it didn't. Because I found myself enthralled by Glitterpiss and Sparklefuck, the anarchist unicorns I had made up in jest, and I ended up writing a roughly 6,000 short story about their adventures, loosely inspired by Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn Song." What started as a joke accidentally turned into a vessel for me to grapple with some personal issues. And unicorns.
Alas, when it was hard to find a place to publish the story, because it straddled too many lines of grimdark campy humor. Which was exactly what I wanted it to do—and at which, several editors have told me, it does indeed succeed! There's just, erm, not really much of a publishing market for unicorn stories that try to make you laugh and cry at the same time. So I decided to whip together an ebook version on Gumroad and Amazon in case there is an audience out there for this kind of thing.
Here's a little more of a teaser, continued from above…
There was a luminescent twinkle in her veins as she sucked in the magic smoke, easing the spider bumps of stress that had spread across her fine white coat. The little bit of roach she had left fit snugly into the frog of her sole. Her herdmate, Sparklefuck, could probably use a hit, too, wherever the fuck he was. But Glitterpiss's brain still wasn't forming words yet, and she woke up first, so whatever. She exhaled, and her breath fogged up the window of the barn where they'd been squatting. She wiped a hoof to clear a streak on the glass. Wavy heat lines rose off the street below, as the drip-drop of black sludge fell from the sky and seared the surface.
"Looks like there's a flood coming soon," she said.
Glitterpiss took another drag while she awaited a response, but the cavernous loft space just echoed her words back to her. She took another hit and tried again. "Hey. Sparklefuck," she said with a scowl. "What time were we supposed to check-in at the ark? We gotta get there before the storm starts anyway."
A cloudship passed by outside and blocked the burning sun overhead. In the absence of an answer, Glitterpiss tossed the shitty briefs at the one hoof she could see sticking out from behind the empty barrel in the corner. There was still no response. She pivoted and found Sparklefuck lying prone on the dusty wooden boards with a stupid smile stretched across his muzzle, drooling dazzled pinkshit on the floor. The flitting scent of it made her nostrils flare, reminding her of the breeding stable where they both were reared.
Glitterpiss knelt down in a panic and placed her snout beside his to see if he was breathing. There was a twitch in his nostril, and a small jump in his chest. Then he fell still again, swallowing a choke at the back of his throat.
"Don't you OD on me, motherfucker," Glitterpiss said, lifting his front right hoof with hers. "Only posers overdose." She rolled up his sleeves and saw the scars of faerydusted needle punctures swelling from his pelt. She pressed her fat toes against Sparklefuck's wrist, but her hoofs were too clumsy to find a pulse.
Image: Public Domain via Wallpaper Flare