By Bella R.

Chapter 1

One afternoon while walking home from school, quirky 10th grader Becky Walters finds a wounded pegasus in the woods. As she gets closer to the pegasus she notices that it’s bruised. A million thoughts breezed through her head. She tapped its face to see if it would wake up. The pegasus lay there, still. The pegasus had cuts on her face. But it wasn’t normal red-human blood, it was a swirl of all neon colors. The cuts looked serious and intense. It had hair as white as snow and eyes bluer than the ocean. Its hooves look damaged, like they had been running from something, but from what? Becky looked into the mud to see the same hooves implanted into the ground! She followed the trail, turning and twisting until she got to the river. She stopped and stared for a moment. The pegasus tracks ended. She was speechless. Her frizzy orange hair blew in the wind. “Would anybody believe this?” she thought silently. She finally got back up after a few minutes to walk back home.

While she was walking home, she followed the path of the engraved hoof marks, but this time, she ended up somewhere else. She ended up at a different pegasus. It had steel parts on it. Its face was half normal and half steel. Its eyes were red. She stood there, speechless. The steel pegasus stood there. It looked straight into Becky’s eyes. Becky slowly walked backward, trying to leave before the six-foot steel monster would attack her. “Is this the animal that chased the pegasus?” Becky said to herself. She ran home, through the trees and jumping over the streams. By the time she got home, it was dark. She was tired and went straight to bed.

By the time Becky woke up, she could hear the alarm ringing loudly. She was almost late for the bus! She quickly brushed her teeth and got her backpack. She was just in time for the bus. Her shoes hit the rubber step as soon as the doors closed. Her shoelace stuck in between the door. She tugged until she heard a rip in the shoe. “Sit down,” said Pat, the grumpy bus driver. He always seemed mad around kids. “Sorry, Pat,” Becky muttered. As her shoes plopped down the narrow walkway, she sat down next to her best friend, Adeline. She was silent. Adeline noticed and said, “Becky, are you ok? You look horrible!” Becky shook her head and said, “You would not believe what I saw yesterday.”

As they got to the school Becky told Adeline everything that happened. “You are lying! Unicorns aren’t real!” Adeline told Becky. Becky knew this would happen, nobody would believe her. As she got to her locker, she got her backpack and filled it with her books and folders she’d need for the day. She walked through the halls, lonely and anxious. Her hands were in her pockets, and her eyes looked at the floor. Adeline and Becky had different classes, so Becky didn’t really have anyone to talk to. Her first class was Science with Ms. Pam Beesly. She was her favorite teacher. Becky always went to Science early so she could chat with her. “Well, hello there, Ms. Walters!” Ms. Beesly said. Becky went up to her and whispered, “I need to tell you something crazy.” Ms. Beesly became very confused but continued to listen.

After Becky told her what had happened, Ms. Beesly looked at her with a dry smile that seemed to ask if Becky was insane or playing a joke on her. As kids started filing into the classroom, Ms. Beesly told Becky, “Please see me after class.” Becky’s heart raced. After class ended, Ms. Beesly took Becky into the hall. “Are you ok?” Ms. Beesly said, “Do you need to go home?” Becky knew that this would happen, eventually. She sighed and said, “No, I’m fine.” Even her favorite teacher didn’t believe her! As her day went on she had a gloomy feeling. At lunch, Becky went to the library to see if she could find any books about unicorn facts. As she went through the rows and piles of books, she found nothing. She went to the quiet librarian, Ms. Holly Flax. Ms. Flax was silent and kept to herself. “Hi, do you have any books on mythical creatures?” Becky inquired.

“Do you have a specific mythical creature in mind?” Ms. Flax responded. “Um, unicorns?” Becky said with anxiety.

“Is there a reason?” Ms. Flax said.

“Just for a school project,” Becky said with confidence.

Becky was a little confused about why Ms. Flax was so curious about it, but she just shook her head and looked back up at Ms. Flax. Ms. Flax directed Becky to the correct area. “Thanks!” Becky said. Becky looked and found ‘A Humans Guide to Unicorns’. “Yes,” She mumbled excitedly. She opened it up and read. She didn’t stop until she heard the bell ring. As her day went on, she slowly kept on reading more and more. Her peers and classmates looked at her like she was insane! She didn’t stop reading until her mom picked her up.

As she got in the car, she heard her loud and very supportive mom yell, “How was your day?” Her music was so loud Becky couldn’t hear anything her mom was saying. “What?!” Becky yelled. Her mom turned down the volume, so they didn’t have to yell the whole time. “I said, how was your day?”

“Oh, It was fine, but I have to do something when we get home.” Becky’s mom looked a little suspicious, but just answered, “ok sweetie.” On their way back, Becky did her homework, so she didn’t have to do it later.

When they got home, Becky zoomed into her room. She didn’t want her mom to see that she had a unicorn book. She finished reading and took her flashlight. She went down the stairs and outside. She ran to the steel pegasus. She went around it to check for anything else. She opened her book to the chapter “Steel Unicorns.” The unicorn stood there, not moving a bone, or whatever held it together. Becky tapped its face to see if it was alive. It didn’t move. She tapped it again. It still didn’t move. “Huh,” she thought out loud, “Is it some camera?”. She re-opened her book to find a subchapter, “Camera Unicorns.” Her eyes went back and forth, reading the lines of words carefully. “Camera Unicorns are typically in woods and try to chase woodland creatures. Such as pegasus, unicorns, deers, horses.” She looked up to the unicorn and then back down at her book. Becky started to sweat. She was breathing heavily and couldn’t focus.

She ran to the lake to clear her head. She saw a woman she recognized. It was Ms. Flax! “Um, excuse me, Ms. Flax?” Becky said. “Oh! Hi Becky!” Ms. Flax uttered. “What are you doing here?” Becky questioned. “I saw a deer hurt, so I came back to check on it,” Ms. Flax said suspiciously. Becky looked at her and then returned her gaze down to the lake water. “Where is this deer?” Becky asked. Ms. Flax looked worried.

“I’ll show you,” Ms. Flax said.

While she was walking behind Ms. Flax, she recognized the footprints of the pegasus. When they finally got to the deer, Becky took a little peek at it and saw it was the pegasus. She worried. Ms. Flax and Becky looked at each other. “I know that this is a woodland pegasus.” Becky whispered. “You know?” Ms. Flax whispered back. Becky nodded her head. They both approached the pegasus.

Bella R. is a Level 2 student who lives with her family and dog, Kona, and likes to put ranch on any food, especially pasta.

Publishing work by students at Alpha, a K-12 school in Austin, TX. Learn more at www.go-alpha.org.