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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Murder Most Fantastical - Chapter 5

Chapter 5
A Brief Personal History of Our Suspect

Francis 'Bud' Finnegal wasn't born a unicorn. He never intended, or dreamed, that he'd ever become a unicorn.
Not that he was one now, not fully. Not yet. But soon, if Fredrick's experiments were to be believed. For now, Francis existed somewhere between the human he was born as and the animal he was slowly becoming.
Another thing Francis wasn't was a murderer. Well, not until recently when Fredrick started sending him out to keep the nosy people and the bill collectors off their doorstep. The bodies added up to several dozen over the last year or two. Most of those had fallen into the latter category. The two of them didn't make much money, one being a renegade scientist and the other a transitioning unicorn. Bill collectors didn't seem to care much about excuses, so they had to pay them anyway they could.
Fredrick preferred to pay them with Francis' horn through their heart.
This job and Fredrick had turned him into the professional killer he now was. The neon orange sludge at the back of the lab sink may have helped some. It was about the time the sludge appeared that Francis sprouted the horn and hooves.
If only he hadn't applied for the job under Fredrick. He needed the money at the time, How was he to know that Lab Assistant, No Experience Required would lead to a life of crime and unicorn-hood? But two years later and that's exactly where he was.
Monkeys in the lab next-door set up a shrieking cacophony, marking the end of a normal workday. In the hall, chatter from lab assistants and scientists who lived by the clock filled the air as they hurried towards escape. An escape not possible for Francis.
Since the sprouting of the horn, Francis had been forced to stay hidden. Most of the time he lived in Fredrick's lab, undisturbed. During inspections or the rare time when a top-secret project was being worked on somewhere in the building, putting security on high alert, Francis was expected to wait the time out in his sewer lair.
Lair. A unicorn with a lair. Weren't unicorns meant to have forests or glens or something more open? Who ever heard of a unicorn with a lair?
Then again, how many unicorns were running around free in the world? By Francis' count, only one; Him.
Francis let out a sigh. His whole life he wanted to be different. Seemed like everyone he knew was special in some way and he was only average. Well, he had his wish. You didn't get much more different than being a unicorn.
Only one problem now. As with so many others before him, Francis realized the folly of his wish coming true after it was too late. For the first time in his life, Francis wished to be normal.

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