There’s a unicorn tucked away in an old tin shed at the end of an alley. For Jessie and her brother it’s the little bit of magic in their troubled existence. Until they are not the only ones who’ve seen it… SY
It doesn’t really matter when I found the unicorn. I think it had always been in my life, waiting for me to notice it there: a tale waiting to be told, a mystery to be unravelled. Maybe it was hiding in the shadows, or perhaps I wasn’t able to see the animal until I reached a certain age, a specific point in my existence.
All I do know is that I found it there, near the old tin shed in the back lane, a few weeks after my twelfth birthday.
The following day I took my sister, Jessie, to see the unicorn. It was just after school. Not quite dark yet. She was excited when I told her that I had a secret, and that she couldn’t tell anybody what I was about to show her. In truth, I still wasn’t sure if I’d really seen it myself.
“Can Dolly come?” she asked, dragging her battered old Cabbage Patch doll along by one arm. I hated that doll—it was ugly.
“Sure,” I said. “I don’t see why not.”
We went out of the house, through the gap in the fence at the bottom of the back garden, and across the little area of waste ground to the cobbled alley. It was late in the year. The sun dipped behind the roofs of the old terraced houses at the edge of town and there was a chill in the air. Jessie held onto my hand. Her grip was surprisingly strong for one so young.
We are pleased to have this short from Gary McMahon, a successful dark horror writer from the UK. This story deals with what it means to do what others do because it is fashionable, but how you may not realise what it meant to you to begin with. Enjoy! SY
When my wife came back from the hospital with Toy, it took us both a short time to adjust to the changes in our routine.
I remember the day well. I was sitting in the conservatory, reading the daily news on my laptop, when I heard her come through the front door. I could sense the change immediately; there was something different about the air as she moved through it.
“I’m back,” she said, making a bit of a racket in the dining room behind me.
In edition 4 we were pleased to have published Gary McMahon’s short story,Toy, a compelling story about what is fashionable. In this review we are pleased to have Gary under the spotlight with some probing questions by Editor-in-Chief of SQ Mag, Sophie Yorkston. GH
SQ: What sparked your love of the horror and supernatural?
GMc: I’m really not sure. According to my mother, even as a small child I was drawn to the macabre. She tells a story about pushing me through a local market in my pram and letting me choose a poster for my room from a stall selling books, comics, posters, etc…apparently, I chose something with a man riding a giant spider and stabbing it in the eye with a spear. I actually remember that image. She didn’t let me have the poster.
SQ: Your writing has been compared to your countryman, Clive Barker. What do you think of this comparison? Read the rest of this entry