Pointy Problem

This is the third story to be generated by the 'September Madness' post and was inspired by a prompt sent in by John Wiswell (aka @Wiswell).

If you want to see the current list of prompts or (even better) add your own then click here. Remember I'll only accept prompts that come in before the end of September.


“Where’s my normal doctor?” asked Yaser.

The small, suited stranger smiled apologetically. “I’m afraid they’re not available at the moment.”

“Doctor Evania didn’t want to see me did she?” Yaser flicked his head right, then left. “This always happens. She’s the third one! Is it me? Is it something I said?”

“No, no, nothing like that. Why don’t you come in?”

Yaser cantered nervously in the doorway. “I don’t see how you’re going to do the operation in here.”


“Yeah, I need you to get this thing off of me! It’s driving me crazy!”

“Let’s start again shall we. Why don’t you come in and sit down.”

Yaser trotted in and sat awkwardly on the couch.

“Much better. Now, my name is Doctor Moriba. I understand you’ve been having problems for,” he glanced at his notes. “Six months now?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s right.”

“Would you mind telling me how it started?”

“Again? I’ve been over this two times already.”

Moriba’s eyes were gentle behind his glasses. “I understand. It must be very irritating for you but I prefer to hear it straight from the…” he coughed. “I’d rather hear it first-hand.”

“Alright, fine. So it was back in November. It was cold last year, lots of black ice. There were all kinds of weirdos about so I was careful. I’d gone to see Janice.”


“Yeah I know, ugly name. Poor kid’s got a tough start there. But don’t let that fool you. She’s a beauty, pure you know, like the ones in the stories, a real princess.”

“I’ve never heard of a Princess Janice.”

“Of course you haven’t, nobody has. That’s not her true name.”

“I see. And why were you going there?”

“You ask lots of questions, I like that, makes me feel like you’re paying attention. Evania never said anything. I’d just talk for hours and hours, trying to fill the gap, keep things nice and she’d just stare at me. Now I think about it she was one creepy lady.”

“You were telling me about your reason for visiting Janice.”

Yaser lifted his head proudly. “I’m her special friend that nobody knows about. I normally stop by every three months or so.”

“But something went wrong this time?”

“I walked the rainbow path through to her room like normal. The nightlight was on which was a shame as I could see the crappy bear pictures her mum had hung up everywhere. Seriously these parents have no class, no class at all. Janice was awake and smiling. She has the cutest smile. She’s going to be a total prince slayer when she grows up. So I go over and lower my head respectfully being careful not to poke her with my horn. And then…”

“And then?”

Yaser’s eyes screwed shut. “She likes to shake it up and down, like a handshake. I’m expecting to feel her little fingers pull my head up an inch, then down an inch and repeat three times. It’s our little ritual. But she doesn’t do that and after a while I look up and she’s giggling and I don’t understand and then I see it!”

Moriba’s pen paused over the paper, waiting patiently.

“She’s put a pencil sharpener on the end of my horn! A frigging pencil sharpener! Who leaves a pencil sharpener with a four year old for goodness sakes! Those things have blades. She could have killed herself!” Yaser tossed his head angrily. “I try everything to get the bloody thing off; jumping, shaking, butter, everything! But it won’t budge. You gotta help me doc, I’m going out of my mind here. I need an operation.”

Moriba said calmly, “Yaser, look up to the top of your horn and tell me what you see.”

“I see a silver pencil sharpener wedged on and…oh my stars, is that rust on the blade? I think I’m going to be sick. You gotta operate now!”

“We did operate. Look again. There’s nothing there.”

“It’s invisible!”

“It’s not invisible. There’s nothing there.”

“Then why can I still feel it?”

“It’s a phantom sensation, caused by the trauma. You’ve convinced yourself that it’s still present even when the evidence tells you otherwise.”

Yaser stood up. “You’re just a bad as the others. If you’re not going to help me the least you can do is give me some medicine for the pain.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Why don’t we try something else?”

“Not the chant!”

Moriba ignored the eye rolling. “Repeat after me: I am a happy Unicorn.”

“I am a happy Unicorn.”

“My horn is pure and undamaged.”

“My horn is…Oh forget it. I need pills, strong ones.”

“I’m sorry, that wouldn’t be right.”

“Come on Doc, I’ll make it worth your while.”

“No I’m sorry.”

“I can make you live longer. You don’t fancy a few extra years? Or I could help you find your true love. All I need is a few tabs of the good stuff.”

“I’m already married.”

“Doc, I’m not talking about marriage I’m talking about love. Tell you what, you pick who you want your true love to be and I’ll make them fall for you. Who do you like?”

“No, this is completely inappropriate.”

“Kylie Minogue? Angelina Jolie?”

“Please stop.”

Yaser closed his eyes, tilting his head to listen better. “Ah, I’m getting it now! You like them younger. Sorry, I’d just thought given your age that, never mind, Megan Fox it is! She’s yours, just give me the pills!”

Moriba sighed sadly and pulled a bottle from his desk. “Here, take two.”

Yaser gulped them down without water. “Thanks Doc, I think you and I might get on after all.” He turned and cantered towards the door, lurched three paces to the right and passed out.

After Moriba called security he sat down to complete his notes. Delusional Unicorns were the worst liars but he’d check to see if Janice was a princess, just in case.


(Original prompt: I would very much appreciate a flash fiction about a unicorn that got itself stuck in a pencil sharpener and suffering panic attacks over how to dislodge the thing.)

25 responses to “Pointy Problem

  1. I can imagine that would be a real problem! Really sweet story, Pete.

  2. This was FUNNY! Princess Janice is gonna be a Mean Girl, I think. I love how the unicorn's so freaked out over it, he needs to see a shrink.

  3. Hahahaha! Adorable use of the prompt. And I agree, Janice sounds like she may grow into that name in a mean way!

  4. Brilliant! I'd forgotten what John's prompt had been right up until he mentioned the pencil sharpener.

    Subtle build up to the unicorn, which I really liked, and then the bit where he's trying to bribe the doctor is so funny. Fantastic little flash, Pete. ^_^

  5. That was one of those…of those. Good story to Chill with, Pete abso-lutely lurved it even. Don't want to compare u with adored one. So I won't.

  6. I bet John W thought he had you with this prompt but no, a superb little story very clever. We liked it a lot!!

  7. Ha Ha. Great prompt and great story!

  8. Thanks Peter, this one really made me smile. 😀

  9. I just wanted to mock a unicorn's defining trait, I didn't mean to force him to pills! The guilt!

  10. So cute, made me laugh, loved it Pete!

  11. Ha! This is so great, Pete. Fabulous use of the prompt! "I’m not talking about marriage I’m talking about love." is my fav line.

  12. A-w-e-s-o-m-e use of the prompt Peter! I had a good laugh, and much fun reading this story.
    I have to admit I had forgotten how nicely your writting connects with the reader. It's magic 🙂

  13. Hi there Pete – you did, indeed, manage to hit your brief. A unicorn? A pencil sharpener? That evil Mr Wiswell…

    but it worked.


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