Giraffes, hipsters and… unicorns? Oh my.

This is probably the strangest thing that will ever be posted on here. A week ago I decided to run a little experiment over on Facebook, giving the first sentence to  a story and seeing what people made of it. What resulted is told below. I’m considering doing something similar to twice a month. I know this doesn’t fit in with fantasy reviews and all that, but I’m of the opinion that something a bit different can’t hurt, if you guys enjoy it,  and it does contain fantastical elements.

Back in the 70’s, giraffes hadn’t been a very common sight. One would think that such creatures would fit in perfectly like New York, where the buildings give off a surreal yet appropriate backdrop to the long-necked animals. But for some reason, despite their stately stride and elegant necks, they had always jarred ones eyes in a way that was, once again, strangely appropriate in its reminiscence to the now-extinct race of hipsters that once populated the area.

It had been a sunny Tuesday afternoon in late July, when one hipster had decided, as hipsters are want to do, to make a spectacle of himself. He had been wandering around aimlessly, searching for the perfect gesture of irony, when he spotted it there in Central Park: a huge, majestic giraffe, munching quietly on an oak.

The hipster exhaled his latte with vehement surprise, and for a moment, he could not speak. He noticed the peculiar patterns traced upon the oak by the teeth of the giraffe and recognized, written in the script of the elves of Middle Earth, the words of Sartre! The words were ominous indeed. Predicting the comeback of female-giraffe only pop bands. He shivered as he recalled those dark days.

Ensnared by the giraffe and mesmerised by its pose, he approached it gingerly — the ginger meaning he had ginger in his hand with a frying pan and the finest of cooling oils. Giraffe burger would make a rather hip meal, the hipster thought.

Suddenly, a vegan hipster burst from the bushes to his left and threw herself at the giraffe, chaining herself to its leg. The giraffe looked curiously at the vegan hipster now chained to its long legs, before deciding the puny hipsters were not worthy of its time. Except for one small taste of each. Vegan definitely tasted better.
It’s funny what goes through your mind when a giraffe is nibbling on you. Why am I here? Why does this not worry me? Oh, the irony. I spend my life saving animals and an animal has chosen me… as dinner. Maybe the giraffe should switch to an all vegan lifestyle, like me. Now imagine what would happen has the giraffe had the ability to use the frying pan and ginger.

These thoughts and many more danced through the brain of Willow Pleck and she dribbled blood on the grass. She was so absorbed in her musings that she didn’t notice the giraffe had stopped chewing and walked off until twenty minutes later.

So, she was standing there lost unto the world, until the giraffe returned with two of its mates.
“We present to you a challenge.” The giraffe said. “If you win, you may have all that your heart desires. If you lose… You must submit yourself as our feast.”

What would you do? Risk it all for the chance to have everything you’ve ever wanted? I dare say it would be enough to make this young vegan’s head spin… but what should I do? Should I submit and risk my own life? Are my dreams worth everything? I just don’t know…
“Yes.” she decided finally, after moments of weary contemplation. For what can you live for — what purpose is there in going on, day after day, if not to follow your dreams? Dizzy from blood loss, Willow knew that death would come to her — if not today, than tomorrow. Who was she, to pass up on the opportunity to risk it all for one thing she desired most, when most people never got the chance?
“I never got to go to Disney World.” Not realizing that the loss of blood was making her giddy and unable to form a coherent reply.
“I would love to be on the cover of Vogue Magazine… have an article published in my favourite Vegan newspaper.” It seemed as though her chances of surviving this encounter were fading before her eyes. If only she knew the clever ruse behind this not-so random encounter. The vegan hipster, the mortal wounds they suffered at the hands of the giraffe and his mates and now this, the impossible challenge.

On the outside it had appeared simple, she would be given a golden spear with a silver laced tip and be tasked with fighting off three magical combatants in open combat. However, when she saw her first opponent, a tall Unicorn with a rainbow coloured horn, she knew her hipster combat skills would be put to the ultimate test. She put on her chainmail jacket — before it was cool — and prepared for the fight to begin.

Suddenly, out of the blue, jumped in another man. This was the hipster from earlier, the Red haired guy dressed in a casual T-Shirt and jeans. He glanced at her, then threw himself on the Unicorn, impaling it with a knife that he carried in his right hand, and with his free hand, he tore the magnificent Beast’s Horn apart. Using the same horn, he stabbed the Unicorn over and over, again and again, and drank it with glee.

A part of her brain watched the blood flow with sickening delight and her own taste buds began salivating.
Suddenly, her forehead breaks out in sweat as she fights against the transformation. Her face starts to elongate into a muzzle while the bones of her legs start to show their metamorphosis into powerful haunches.

Only with every shred of self-control and will that she possesses is she able to contain her transformation into a werewolf.

She lets out a sigh of relief as she regains control, and any semblance of self-respect. Werewolves, of course, are far too mainstream.
With that first opponent out of the way, and the knowledge that she killed a Unicorn before it was cool, Willow prepared herself for her next opponent: The Bearded Sphinx of Kathmandu!
The trees all around went in a hedonic sing-song. ‘Another one bites the dust’
She looks around nervously, not letting the red-haired hipster out of the corner of her eye. Doesn’t he know that t-shirts and jeans are so passe? He should’ve tried rocking a kurta with those skinnies. Go all Sufi, which would have clashed magnificently with that fiery red on top of his head.

The sing-song voices in the trees are distracting and she barely registers red-head’s sudden movement and spins around to face whatever has him startled.

Before them stands a gargantuan creature with the slanted eyes and this features of a Nepalese woman, but with the addition of a well-kept chin beard. Her body is that of a well-muscled lion, and her claws look ever-so-sharp, not to mention…. manicured.

‘So, like, are you going to be my next prey? Cuz I’m pretty hungry and you don’t look too fattening because I have a party this weekend and Steph’s and I’m trying to get skinny enough to fit into this dress I bought that is SO CUTE because it makes my tail look AMAZING and Tommy is gonna be there and he is SO HOT and I know that slut Shelly is after him, but she better back off because he’s TOH-TALL-EE mine.’
Before she could think of what to do next, the Hipster next to her…well there were no other words for it…he shimmered, his entire form rippled and he veered into a humongous fire-breathing Dragon. His snout itself was bigger than the huge Giraffe who’d bled her earlier, and his body stretched high, as if reaching for the stars above. Covered all in red, glittering scales, dark and shining with a mesmerizing energy, he glanced at her once, a huge eye the size of her entire being winking at her, and then in a flash burned her opponent to a crisp and ate it (or to be precise, burned ‘her’, as it was more like a woman than anything else) and chomped down, in a snarling and hungry manner reminiscent more of wolves than Dragons. Not that she’d ever seen a Dragon before. She was better than one to believe in such myths. Except now one was staring down at her, the size of a huge tower and giving her a sly grin…’She should not have eaten those toadstool mushrooms last night’, this was the last thought she had before darkness took over and she fainted.

She awoke to the taste of kiwi-infused spring water of a fair-trade origin. Slowly blinking her eyes awake and shaking her head, she regained some semblance of her former composure. Her head was gently tilted forward, and the red-headed wannabe-hipster-actually-dragon (heh. hipster-ception?) was looking at her with relief on his face. The sun did wonderful things to his hair, and turned his normally dark green eyes into the color of dazzling emeralds.
‘Thanks for killing the shemale-valley girl-sphinx’
‘No problem. My head would have exploded if I’d heard anymore.’
Friendships have formed on much less than a guy killing a unicorn for a girl, and then turning into a dragon for her. This was love at first sight. Erm, murder. Barbeque. You get it.

So the hipster girl spent the rest of her adolescence teaching the red-headed-wannabe-hipster-dragon that’s ok if he’s just a hipster dragon, and that t-shirts are far too mainstream. She tried to make a vegan of him, but that didn’t quite work. Neither did the relationship, for long, since in all his naiveté, hipster-dragon (Whose name was Romulus, by the way) totally misunderstood when she asked him to ‘make her hot and eat her’.

Things pretty much went downhill after that.

Le Fin.

 

*I made minor edits to the original story, though nothing too big.

Contributors:

Mohammad Ali
Julia Nepper
Joe Kawano
Kunal Garg
Muthu Kumaran
Rebecca Lovatt
Ian Martin
Shannon Jones
Roger Bellini
Pritesh Patil
Narah Castling

Want to join in on the randomness? ‘Like’ us on Facebook, depending on what people think of this idea, we may run it again.

What are your thoughts on this idea? (Not specifically on Vegan hipsters vs giraffes), but of the occasional short story? Leave a comment and let us know!

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7 responses to “Giraffes, hipsters and… unicorns? Oh my.

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