Hyandai had been in this dream before. She was in the woods near Embalis, her home village. One thought burned in her mind: Find the golden helix. She did not know why she sought it, nor what it even was, but she felt it was imperative that she find it.
She ran in slow motion through the woods, the same trees slowly glided by her in the misty background. Her dreamscape was the same each time she had this particular dream.
She came into a wide clearing, with a glittering pond in its center. By the side of the pond stood a stark white unicorn. It turned to her, its silver eyes flashing in the odd not light but not dark of her dream. She walked nearer to him, as she always did.
Hyandai was no virgin, and he would bolt, as he always had, even when she was a maiden.
Another step closer, and there he went, and she knew he would. She ran after him, her long, slim legs covering the ground in huge strides as she sprinted. The thrill of running took her, as always, and she laughed at the pleasure the release of simple exertion.
I will awaken soon, she thought, it is almost the time. The beautiful stallion with the white horn turned about and lowered his head, almost threateningly. This is it.
She did not awaken, she ran up to the horn, and at the last fraction of a heartbeat, he lifted his horn and head. Hyandai ran into him, knocking the air from her lungs as she impacted with his broad, muscular chest. Her arms automatically went about his neck, grappling the massive animal and clinging to him. She, after twenty years, had caught him.
Hyandai expected that the unicorn would break loose and flee her again, but he did not, he simply stood there stoically and let her embrace his heaving chest. Her own breath was short, and cooling sweat covered her in a slick coat of shining moisture.
What do I do now? she wondered. His great head came down and rested upon her shoulder, and she stroked the sides of his face. His silvern eyes bored into hers and she saw a cunning intellect behind them, and a mind of ancient power and wisdom. Her fingers brushed over the horn atop his head, growing between his long ears and from among the strands of his silken mane.
Of a white beyond white it was, though now she saw, with a start, that it was not pure white. Wrapped around the core horn, which appeared to be smooth as glass, was another, smaller horn, of gold. As she moved her fingers over the golden horn she realized it was a helix, wrapping around the tapering cylinder of the main horn.
The unicorn looked at her harder and seemed to be studying her very soul.
"Why do I need this?" asked Hyandai, running her slender fingers over the ridges of the golden coil. The stallion nuzzled her neck and warm air washed from his nostrils over her pointed ear, sending a tremor down her spine. She leaned back, smiling. "You are magnificent and beautiful, fey steed," she said.
The unicorn seemed to pose for her, lifting his head and looking down at her slight person. She giggled at this display of vanity, but surely he was allowed to be somewhat vain, for he was both magnificent and beautiful.
She sat upon a fallen tree trunk, and he walked over to her, moving slowly and lowered his great head to her lap. She stroked his neck and behind his ears and cooed to him, then began to sing, for it seemed appropriate.
Her elven voice rose into the trees overhead and filled the clearing. A breeze picked up and made the boughs dance with her words and she smiled up at the scuttling clouds overhead. In the smoothest soprano, she lifted her voice higher and the unicorn simply listened, twitching his long ears this way and that, trying to capture every sound that came to them.
Again, her fingers brushed over the golden horn twined about the white, and when they touched it, her voice gained, miraculously, in clarity. Suddenly, it was a sound that caused even her own ears to fill with music not there, tones within the tones became unique notes and carried their own melody. She smiled as she sang at the sheer beauty of her own voice.
The song ended, and still the stallion held his place upon her lap, and she again stroked his neck. "I am bidden, by someone, to take that horn, you know?" she said to him.
His terribly intelligent eyes again lifted and regarded her. He lifted his head and stepped back a pace, then nodded, snorting as he did so.
She giggled. "You know, do you not?" asked Hyandai.
The unicorn nodded again, his silken mane fluttering behind the motion.
"May I have it?" she asked.
He shook his head, sending his mane into a shimmering silver-white cascade over his neck.
"Then my quest is ended, and I should awaken," said Hyandai, standing from the log.
Again the unicorn shook his head, stepping toward her again and pushing his great head against her chest. She sat back down and looked at him. "You wish to give me the helix?" she asked.
He nodded, his eyes flickering again with the dream illumination.
"But you cannot?"
Hyandai was at a loss. She looked down at the ground, her expression falling. He nudged her with his nose, pushing her back. She braced her arms behind her on the log and looked up at him with a weak smile. "Careful, Silkmane, or you will tumble me over the log."
He pushed again. Hyandai fell back onto the wide log and looked down at him. "What do you seek?" she asked.
.... There is more of this story ...