The author apologises in advance for this story.

*


(in a deep, gravelly voice)

(or a high, sweet voice, depending on your mood)

(or any voice, really)

(what do I care, I just wrote the thing)

Gather around, my children, and listen closely. You are about to hear a rather romantic tale. Heroes… deception… betrayals… all that jazz. Love, castles, roses, poems. Other adjectives of good things.

This story has none of that, so if that’s what you’re looking for, I suggest you read something else.

But do not despair. This story has other good things in it. It takes place near a castle (Hogwarts) in a kingdom far, far away (Scotland), in an enchanted forest (of the Forbidden kind). It is a story of star-crossed lovers, forbidden love, all the good stuff. For probably was there a story of more whoa, than this of Lani and her Ed...o.

Act One

Meet Ed.

Ed has a stinger. He has a grey shiny shell. He can shoot sparks from his...posterior.

Ed is a Blast-Ended Skrewt.

And yes, ladies, he's single.

But Ed has a problem.

He’s in love.

Is this really a problem, you ask? Well, yes, and not only because I am the writer and what I say goes, but because the lady Ed loves is a unicorn. As I’m sure you are aware, this is quite forbidden amongst the Blast-Ended Skrewt clan of two. Ah, yes, Elder Ted would not approve of Ed’s infatuation. But Ed is a bit of a rebel. He has to be, or I would have no story to tell. Imagine if we all did what our elders told us? What boring – possibly longer – lives we would lead.

And the world would probably be a better place. But anyway.

The question remains for Ed and his unicorn love: Will they or won’t they?

They won’t.

Or will they?

No, they won’t.

But you’re going to keep reading anyway, because this story has sucked you in by its brilliance. The characters are fleshed out, they feel so real, you’re in awe of the skills behind this writing style.

So. Lettuce begin.

Act One Point Three Four Two

Right now, Ed is hovering at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It literally is the edge, because one tree kind of juts out more than the others. Ed thinks the Forest starts with this tree, he’s hiding behind this one. Ed is three times the size of this tree.

He always lost at hide and seek as a baby.

Ed is waiting for Lani. He’s here behind this tree waiting for Lani because it’s 3 pm on a Thursday, and he’s always here at 3 pm on a Thursday behind this tree waiting for Lani.

(Except for last Thursday, because he had a dentist appointment).

Thursday is Tail Lani Day.
Friday is Follow Lani Day, Saturday is Stalk Lani Day, Sunday is Seek Lani Day.

You get the idea.

Ed’s a creep.

Anyway.

More about Ed.

Top Five Things Ed Likes About Himself
(as seen in issue 5 of Lonely Hearts)

1. He’s sensitive
2. His shell is shiny
3. He dots his i’s with a little heart, and it’s totes adorbs
4. His one chest hair, which took two months to grow and he’s very proud of it
5. He puts on different voices when he reads his favourite stories
6. His ability to count

Blast Ended Skrewts really are the most surprising creatures. They enjoy harp music, and iced tea, and tree swings. They enjoy belly rubs. Don’t feed them after midnight. But this story is not just all about Ed, as much as he’d tell you otherwise.

More about Lani.

Top Five Things Ed Likes Most About Lani
(as seen in page 2 of Ed’s diary)

1. Her left hoof
2. The way she tosses her mane
3. The pitch of her neigh
4. Her smell (hazelnuts)
5. The width of her horn (insert horn joke here)

Oh, Lani is the unicorn. Just FYI.

Hm? I already said that? Yes, that was a test. You passed. Well done.

Act Two

Ed feels good about today. The sun is shining high, bright, yellow, warm and slightly to the left in the blue, crystal clear, expansive, cloudless sky. The feathery birds are singing and chirping and tweeting in the trees. Ed has not yet been peed on by that three-headed dog.

He waits behind his tree. For one minute and three seconds there is nothing. Ed nervously polishes his shell by spitting on it. He scuffs the ground with his claws. He glances at his watch, before remembering that he doesn’t wear one.

But then, he hears it – the magical sound of thundering hooves! Signalling the approach of Lani and the herd! That sweet rumble, it grows louder and louder!

Oh wait, that’s just Ed’s stomach.

Five minutes and two pumpkins later.

Now here is the magical sound of thundering hooves signalling the approach of Lani and the herd. Ed ducks nervously behind his tree. He may be a rebel, but he is still rather shy. Aw, bless. The herd stops at an emerald #14 shade of green grass. The grass is tall and long and stuff. They lower their long, strong necks, and munch on all the goodness that grass has to offer. Which isn’t a lot. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Behind his tree, Ed takes a deep breath, all four of his lungs filling with the cool sweet air of summer. He tries to reassure himself. I can do this, I can do this. He scans the herd, eventually spotting Lani. His heart stops. His heart starts again at twice its normal speed. She is so beautiful. Pure white with streaks of silver and golden hooves. She’s wearing her mane longer today; it makes Ed’s breath hitch in this throat.

Ed is not ready.

Ed returns home.

Six hours later.

Hey, Ed is a slow walker, okay?

When Ed (finally) returns home, he sits at the table to enjoy the delicious meal of a left shoe from a student in the castle that Elder Ted had prepared, but Ed finds he has no appetite.

“Eh, son?” Elder Ted said (look, that rhymes). “What’s all this then? Why aren’t you eating?”

“Oh Elder Ted,” Ed sighs. “Have you ever been in love?”

“Well, of course I have… not. Why do you ask?”

“Because I am in love, Elder Ted. Obviously.”

Elder Ted stops mid-chew, a shoelace dangling from his mouth. “Oh, I see. Why does this make you sad? I read in a book that love is a good thing.”

Ed took a deep breath. The time had come for honesty, which is precisely at 6 o’clock. “Because, Elder Ted, the one that I love is a unicorn.”

Elder Ted is silent for a long time. He is utterly still, continuing to sit at the table with the shoelace hanging from his mouth. In fact, it isn’t until the next day, when Ed comes downstairs after a fitful sleep, that Elder Ted finally moves. He sucks up the shoelace like a dog with spaghetti.

“Ed,” Elder Ted said (look, triple rhyme!) in a deep, gravelly, low, booming voice. “It’s okay that you love a unicorn. She must be something special, to have captured your heart.”

The heart in question swelled with happiness, like a balloon right before it is twisted into the shape of an animal (this isn’t foreshadowing, by the way, just a poetic metaphor).

“It matters not what you are or where you come from,” Elder Ted continued. “Nothing should stand in the way of true love.”

(How empowering is this story?!)

“Oh, thank you, Elder Ted!” Ed cries, pulling the other Skrewt into an awkward tangle of scaly limbs. He kisses Elder Ted on the cheek and bounds (slowly) away toward the forest, where true love calls.

Or was that a bird?

Act Three

The forest is a bustle of activity today. It is the annual meeting. A massive, lavish affair that is extremely important, but not to this story, so I’m going to skip over it.

Ed pushes past centaurs and thestrals and Grawp.

Oh my!

And then, he sees her. Lani. Obviously. She is with the rest of the unicorn herd. As Ed approaches, he can hear the whispers that follow him: “What is he doing here?” “This is unacceptable!” “What is that smell?”

Ed ignores the comments of the other inhabitants of the forest. If this were a movie, the camera would be on Ed, as he slow motion walks (or, normal motion, since he walks so slow anyway) towards Lani, who stands in golden lighting coming down through the trees, and the commotion around Ed is a blur, and Lani is the only one in focus.

I should really be a script writer.

Ed stops once he is close enough to see her clearly. They’re almost nose to nose (Ed is short sighted.) The unicorns stampe their hooves in protest. A Blast-Ended Skrewt among the herd? What preposterous notion is this? But Ed stares at Lani.

Oh, but she is beautiful.
Oh, but she is fair.
Oh, but she is different.
What’s with all the hair?

“Your hair is so long,” Ed remarks. "Much longer than yesterday."

“These are hair extensions. I have alopecia.”

Ed wrinkled his third nose from the left. “That’s disgusting.”

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – Ed is shallow.

And he walked away.

The end.

#stillabetterlovestory

*

Er, yes, I hope you enjoyed!



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