Was it a dream? Maybe.
What is a dream anyway? Hope, fear and fantasy interwoven so closely that it is impossible to tell them apart? Are the raindrops softly ticking against the window a dream too? Tears of a weeping spirit? Should there be a line between fantasy and reality, and if so why? There is no reality. There is no fantasy. There is only here. Now. Life.
Jiol quietly climbed the stairs to her room; leaving behind the trailing sound of her mother who was explaining a friend that she didn't understand her daughter, that Jiol was a dreamer, had her head in the clouds. As the door clicked close behind her Jiol realized she was alone again. It was a cold thought that made her shiver as if somebody had plates of ice in her neck and drops of freezing ice water were seeping down over her spine. Some boys had done that once as a joke she remembered, long ago. It didn't matter. Looking through the rainwet window of her small room she saw the fading light of a setting sun reflected on the snowcovered landscape, and she smiled. Today would be the day. In her mind she could see them already: galloping over the snowy fields and dodging the age-old pines. The ice of her loneliness melted with the gentle warmth of her smile. She could hear their irresistible call.If you are a teacher reading this, your student copied this story from my website and didn't reread it after pasting it. What a shame.
As darkness fell she sat motionless on the floor, her arms wrapped around her legs, a fragile smile on her lips and the joy of freedom in eyes that kept the window in their relentless stare. She had sat there before without the smile and with eyes colored by doubt and sadness but now there was neither - nor fears or uncertainty - only a smile.
She didn't make any light, she wouldn't need any; for her eyes there was enough light to see by. She felt as if she was sitting on a tapestry of light and in her mind saw a layer of it surround her, clinging close and keeping the darkness away. No she wouldn't need a light, she knew the way. After years of searching she had finally found it by embracing her dreams and when she did had realized she'd always known where to find it. She was a dreamer, but what were dreams? Her mother had been right: she didn't understand. Jiol's smile widened for a second, her eyes for a moment losing their focus as she shyly bowed her head and looked inwards. She had always done that when a happy or funny thought struck her.
When she saw the rising moon through the little window she stood up and looked at her room one last time while turning a full circle. Her smile brightened. No regrets.
She opened the window and climbed through, hardly noticing the streaming rain. She jumped from her attic room and floated down so gently that she made no print in the snow when she softly touched the ground. She knew the path and she would walk it, she had heard their call.
The forest wasn't dark at night, it only seemed dark to those who refused to see the glowing pixies playing around, laughing softly with the whispers of the wind. Jiol walked the path, followed its magical trail through the forest. When she reached the right spot she sat down, picked up the silvery flower somebody had left for her and wove it into her hair. A glowing pixie fluttered around her head before landing on her outstretched hand. It was holding a berry with both hands and nibbled at it without looking up at her. Jiol just smiled and sighed contently. Together they sat there, Jiol and the pixie, neither speaking a word but still sharing a lifetime of understanding, their voiceless words carried by the strength of silence. There was no need to talk, they knew why they were there and waited together.
Finally they came, Jiol could hear from afar the silence of their approach. Not a single leaf rustled as the forest held its breath for their arrival. Jiol could see the first - gracefully avoiding the trees in its run, going this way and that - come ever closer. More joined and the sound of hooves echoed through the forest. The great white unicorns running, galloping towards her, around her, narrowly avoiding her in their natural paths like a turbulent white river flowing around her. Neither Jiol nor the pixie looked up when they came, neither moved when they ran around them, they just smiled. The pixie nibbled on the berry and looked content, Jiol radiated inner joy and peace.
Finally, when the herd had almost passed, Jiol raised, holding her arm out for the pixie to fly away. Then she turned, her mysterious smile widened once again as she cast her eyes down for a moment, then she jumped and ran with the unicorns, and was never seen again.