Grow Up

by MJ McGinn

My dad murdered my unicorn in front of me. Took his knife to her throat saying I was too old for magic, too old to believe in unbelievable things. He’s the kind of man who thinks his multi-tool can save the world and who only takes his boots off when he’s getting into bed.

The unicorn’s name was Jasmine and her blood was purple glitter and anyone who knows anything about glitter knows that once it’s on you, it stays on you.

My dad picked purple glitter out of his beard hair and shirt pockets and butt crack. Glitter here. Glitter there. Glitter everywhere. But for every fleck of purple magic he picked out from under his fingernails, three more appeared. In no time flat the whole house was dusted. Our clothes, our furniture, our carpet. Glitter blood in our frozen turkey dinners, melted into the instant mashed potatoes.

It got so bad he even bought a special glitter vacuum on Amazon that claimed it could clear an entire continent of glitter. He set the vacuum loose in our house but no dice. The vacuum was dead in a day from swallowing too much of that purple sparkly magic. He kicked the thing down the street until it was a pile of wires and circuit boards and broken glass, and then he kicked it some more. Problem is he hit the vacuum sack square with his steel-toed boots and caught a face full of glitter, a mushroom cloud plume of purple.

Back to square one, he’d sit in the shower for hours, days even, cursing under his breath. Hoping against all hope that the water would wash away his purple nemesis, but nothing.

Nothing my dad did got rid of the glitter and the more he fought the more glitter would appear. Until one day, I tried to push open his door, to wake him up, to tell him I was going to be late for school, and the door wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t move an inch. The fire department came, split his door down the middle with an axe and glitter spilled out like treasure.

They never found his body. Just his boots and the knife.

I got sent to stay with an aunt I didn’t know I had. She was awful nice and after a few weeks, Jasmine showed up again like she was never gone. Like my dad never slit her throat from ear to ear. 

All my cacti have died, making me less hospitable than the desert. When stretching, I’ve never been able to touch my toes.
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