Category Archives: Short Stories

The Legend of the Hakino

Not many know about the legend of the hakino, but I know every story available.

That was why I currently resided in a small village in the heart of Africa. Every year at this time, there was always one who reported traces of the legendary creature. No one had come to me yet, however, and I had been in the village a week.

I flipped through the old notes I had scribed myself. Modern mythology ignored the hakino for whatever reason. Well. There were only a few visual references of the great beast. The majority—which were five in total—had been found in various caves across the globe. All dating back to the cavemen era.

Another visual was a silk painting from ancient China. It depicted something resembling the traditional unicorn, but the lore behind the piece was of the hakino. Though, historically, unicorn only meant “single horn.” The final visual was a banner from medieval England. But they got the hakino’s form wrong, too. Whoever created it mistakenly put a hawk on a rhinoceros’s shoulder.

Breathing in deep, I looked up at the relentless sun. Turned to the native tribe. They had been kind to me for many years as I continued my research. My translator was a village man who acted as liaison between his people and the modern world. Though they rejected modern conveniences with the exception of medicines. It was fascinating to see them preserve their culture.

But the poachers plagued them every year during hunting season.

A commotion started when the scouting party returned. Two men were on either side of a third, helping him hobble on one leg. Blood poured down his useless one.

My translator rose from his seat. Dark eyes taking in the situation of his people. “They have come.”

I didn’t waste any time. Ducking into my hut, I grabbed everything I needed for travel and threw them in my pack. Checked my rifle. Putting binoculars around my neck, I headed out.

“Taylor,” the liaison called, “be careful. Do not get yourself killed.”

Trotting backwards, I couldn’t help but smile. Even if my body died, my soul would never be killed. I followed the blood trail as far as it led. Rifle trained at the ready. The tribe had become my second family, and the poachers had shot one of them. This, I would not brook.

I moved down wind. Crouching through the tall, dry grass. Set up behind a rock. I thought I had heard voices. I listened. The afternoon insects added much ambiance, but I learned to tune them out. I held my breath.

There it was. Laughing. Drunk laughter if I ever heard it.

Creeping onto the rock, I laid flat and the lifted the binoculars to my face.

The camp was approximately sixty yards in front of me. Five men around a fire. Two standing, three sitting. A flask was passed around. One of the standing men held a gun, though he waved it around as if imitating something.

My nostrils flared. They were making fun of shooting my friend. I slowly slid my rifle in front of me. Not wishing to give up my position yet. Looking through the sight, I lined up a perfect head shot. Held my breath again as my finger moved over the trigger.

The ground suddenly shook. My gun fired, but who knew where the bullet went. The poachers were yelling and grabbing guns. I set up another shot. Again, the ground violently shook. So much so, I was thrown off my rock.

I heard the poachers continue screaming. They fired multiple times. But when I tried scrambling to my feet, I was knocked down. What was this? A freak earthquake?

A strong call, of an animal I didn’t recognize, answered me. The yelling subsided. Then, there was silence. Even the insects ceased. All I could hear was my heart thumping in my chest.

Finally, I was able to claw my way back on top of the rock. Came face to face with a vision full of white. Felt hot breath on my back. I swallowed. Daring to look up, I slowly lifted my head.

Piercing copper eyes behind a rhinoceros horn bore into my soul. The abnormally large beast stepped back many paces. Spread large hawk wings.

“The hakino,” I breathed. Moved to the seat of my pants in almost disbelief. This was it. The moment I had waited for, for so long. Before me stood the legendary creature. A white rhinoceros with the gaze and wings of a hawk.

The great beast stared me down in a questioning manner. Intelligence glimmering in its eyes.

I rose to shaky feet. “You’re the hakino. The Great Protector.” I blinked away tears of joy. “God’s Last Righteous Unicorn.”

The hakino bowed on a front leg.

“Wow…after all my years of searching, I’ve finally found you.” I ran a hand through my hair. “You’re the only one of your kind. Have been since the day of creation.”

It nodded and stepped forward. Seeming to evaluate the honesty of my soul.

I remained still. Not from fear but respect. This creature had been around since the beginning of time. Protecting those that couldn’t protect themselves. Including those hunted by poachers. It rarely revealed itself to people. Why had it chosen to reveal itself to me?

The hakino pawed at the ground. Its horn glowed as it unfurled its mighty wings.

Brows furrowing, I searched it. My confusion grew when a hollow horn materialized in my hands. I studied the horn. It had a small hole in the tip. So it wasn’t a drinking horn. Was it to signal? Eyeing the legendary creature, I held the horn to my lips. Blew into it.

The hakino crooned, matching my horn’s pitch.

I took a leap of faith. “Does this call you?” When it nodded, I smiled. “So you really are a unicorn, aren’t you?”

A loud snort was the reply.

Laughing, I gazed upon it some more. Couldn’t resist the temptation. I held out a hand.

The Great Protector put its snout in my open hand. Rumbled in a friendly manner. Then it stepped back. Using its wings for assistance, it reared. Landed on the ground hard enough to shake it.

I stumbled back to the dirt. When I recovered, the hakino was gone. As swiftly as it had arrived. But it was real. The horn was still in my possession. I had been chosen to also be a protector. I stood in silence for some time. Running what had transpired over and over in my head. Then made a mad dash to the village. I had to record everything.

For I—Taylor Rosate—had been part of the single greatest event in a lifetime.


The Legend of the Hakino: Intro

I wanted to introduce my next story as it was commissioned from me. It is the first story I have ever made money from. Thankfully, the person who asked me to make it for them enjoyed it, and they were gracious enough to let me share it to my blog. The hakino is a creature they created and wanted to see brought to life. This story is a tad longer than my normal stories I post on here, coming in at 1,130 words, so expect for a longer read. Please enjoy!


Taking of Medalia

Leven, the Outlands prince, waved a hand, forcing open Medalia’s throne room doors. Despite the heavy blockade. His silver armor glistened as much as his bright yellow eyes. A knowing smirk rested on his face.

The soldiers guarding their king trembled. They knew what the foreign prince was capable of unleashing. And his full powers had yet to be seen.

“Kill him!” King Talus cried from his throne.

Hesitating, they rushed forward.

Leven lifted a hand, and all their necks snapped at once. He stepped over their fallen bodies. Gaze trained on Talus. Holding out an arm, the peppered king’s sword came to him. “You’ve grown weak, old man.”

Talus stood with confidence. “The Medalia we know will die with me. You’ll do nothing but destroy it.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. I’m going to take it as my own, seeing how my parents banished me from the Outlands.”

“Their only lack in judgement was that they didn’t foresee you coming here.”

Leven’s grin never faded. He inspected the jeweled sword. “It’s a pity, really. How useless Medalia is now. Your generals have been slain, your son has been captured by my army, and I can waltz right in and take your throne.” He teleported behind Talus. “Your time is up.” In one swift move, he beheaded the king with his own sword. Stood splattered with blood. Looking very much like his mother with his pale skin and charcoal gray hair falling just past his shoulders.

A small gasp caught the Outlander’s attention. He whirled around. Someone was behind a pillar. He teleported to the source of the sound. Grabbed the servant girl by the neck and lifted her up.

Her thin frame quivered.

His head slightly tilted. “There is a power about you that I cannot read. How strange. But I can tell the old king favored you.”

She struggled under his grasp. Fear etched in her face.

“I won’t kill you. Not yet. You may prove interesting. But I am your new king.” He dropped her. “You will serve me, now. I will make you my personal slave. Tell me your name so I know how to call you.”

Throwing herself on the floor, she remained in the lowest form of submission. Her voice small. “T-Teckia, my…my lord.”


One Foggy Morning

It was a summer morning like any other; except the metropolitan area was covered in fog. But that was to be expected. It had rained the night before, and the temperature dropped nearly ten degrees. Nobody’s routines were deterred because of the natural phenomenon.

Alex woke up at five that morning. Just like every weekday morning. Went through her ritual of  being ready in ten minutes. It took twenty minutes for her to get to work, and she planned her morning so she could get as much sleep as possible. Traffic never bothered her. There weren’t many who traveled along the same road that early.

She pulled her double-knotted laces tight, grabbed her water bottle and morning snack, plucked her keys off the table, and pecked her husband on the cheek. Trotted down the stairs of her split level and into the garage. She was running two minutes late in a schedule accounting for every minute.

The Wrangler roared to life, the straight six engine awoken from slumber. Alex maneuvered out of her subdivision with ease. Despite the fog. Thanking Jeeps for fog lamps.

On the main stretch of road that took her straight to her job, she had to pay more attention. There were dips in the landscape where the fog gathered thickly. She looked up at the sky. No sun could be seen. Sure, it was early, but the sun should’ve been peeking over the horizon line by now. The fog and clouded over sky blended into one.

Alex shrugged it off and continued. Further ahead, the sky did decide to clear, revealing multiple cloud patterns against a pastel sky. She loved nature. Admiring the skyscape until a particular vapor trail snagged her attention. It went straight up into the atmosphere until she couldn’t see it anymore.

Again, she shrugged it off. Just her perception messing with her from the airport about forty miles east. The sky disappeared again. Her thumbs tapped the steering wheel as a random tune played in her mind. Vision going out of focus momentarily.

Red lights appeared in front of her, and she hit the brakes, slowing at a stoplight. She blinked and looked around. The fog had engulfed everything. She could barely make out the rival gas stations occupying opposite corners. Barely made out the stoplight itself. When the light turned green, she continued at the speed limit. Versus the ten miles an hour over she normally did.

After two minutes of silence, the ground lurched beneath her, and a loud bang followed. Causing her to mount the curb in a mad dash for safety. White fingers gripped the steering wheel. Her wide eyes checked the rear view mirrors. The road was still there.

A distant roar thundered toward her. She ducked and covered her head as a shock wave exploded the glass from her Jeep. Ears ringing, she slowly sat back up. Shards falling from her. She swallowed. Eyes examining the area. What on Earth?

She searched the Wrangler. Eased it back on the road. The fog had been replaced with equally dense smoke. Crawling at a snail’s pace, she moved further down the road. A few cars were deserted. Abandoned in precarious places. Some people stood in groups while others sat on the side of the road in despair.

A fire truck flew by her. Then another. Cop cars, ambulances. All from separate jurisdictions. Alex remained pulled over on the shoulder now. Studying the horizon. It glowed. Faintly. But enough.

Her wonder was startled by a man throwing himself against the front of her Jeep. His clothes were tattered, burned, dusty. His eyes almost popped out from his skull. He waved an arm. “Get out of here! Go! Don’t you know what this is? It’s the end times! A missile has struck! Leave or die!” He disappeared back into the curtain of smoke.

Alex watched him run off. A missile? She sat in disbelief for a few moments. Threw the shifter in drive and forced the Wrangler around. Flying down the forty miles per hour road at eighty. Work was out of the question. Her jaw set. She needed to get back to her husband.

It hadn’t even been twenty minutes, and everything changed. She glanced at the rear view mirror again. Who knew what would be revealed when the smoke and fog cleared.


The Guardian Demon

An airhorn blasted through the apartment. Damien then took the noise-maker into the sole bedroom, blaring it again. “Rise and shine.”

Sadie pulled the blankets over her head with a loud moan. “It’s Saturday! I don’t work. Let me sleep.”

“I made pancakes!” He let off the airhorn again.

“This is cruel and unusual punishment.”

His face dropped. “Well. I am who I am.”

With another groan, she pulled herself out of bed. Shuffled into the kitchen. Her guardian close behind. Sadie plopped into a chair, glaring at Damien. “These better be the best pancakes, or I swear, I’ll–”

“You’ll do what?” He patted her head when he set a plate in front of her. “You can’t hurt me. But I can hurt you.” He winked.

She eyed him as he sat across from her. “How did I get stuck with the likes of you, anyway? I thought supernatural guardians were supposed to be angels.”

Damien frowned. “Hey, some demons, like me, are angels. Fallen ones but still angels. I got tired of Lucifer constantly complaining about you humans. The guy never stops. Am I not allowed to work towards what I once was?”

“Like I’d know. You think I’m an encyclopedia on supernatural knowledge? Think again.” Sadie took a bite of her pancakes. Eyes brightening when she tasted them. “Wow. These are good.” She pointed her fork at him. “Not good enough to wake me up at six A.M., though.”

Placing his chin in a hand, he smiled. “I’m glad you like them. I spent all night finding the perfect recipe. It’s a good thing I don’t need sleep.”

“But I do. How many times have we gone over this? And stop writing reminders on the bathroom mirror. I’m pretty sure you use blood, and I don’t need the FBI in here.”

His hands went up. “It’s animal blood, I swear.”

She spat out her pancake. “Are you insane?”

“Well…”

“Don’t answer that question.” She massaged her temples. “All the neighbors probably think I’m some sort of psycho maniac.”

Damien rolled his eyes. “Please. You act like I have no skill. Besides, it’s from roadkill. I’m not a complete heathen.”

“How is that any better? I swear–”

“You’re not supposed to swear.”

Sadie blinked. “What are you? My ‘personal demons’ manifested into a human male body? Because you are ridiculous.”

“Uh, no. Your ‘inner demon’ is Brittany. She’s one of the populars, so I don’t step on her turf.”

“What?”

“The ‘seven deadly sins’ are Brittany. Well, for you, anyway. Each person’s inner demons are usually just one demon. The inner demons are an elite hierarchy I stay away from. They’re all a bunch of snobs with their special powers and abilities.”

“You’ve been my guardian for, what, three months now? And every single day you manage to say something completely off-guard.”

“I’m ridiculously old. I have a lot of knowledge.”

She pushed herself away from the table. “I’m going to take a shower.”

He sighed through his nose as he watched her walk away. Mumbled to himself. “Didn’t even finish the pancakes. All the work I do around here, and what do I get? Nothing.” He cleaned up the mess from breakfast.

“Damien!” came a piercing screech.

His head sunk between his shoulders. She found his fresh message on the mirror. Then his eyes widened, tearing to the bathroom. He had forgotten to clean up his writing material.


The Man of Mystery

The queen awoke with a dull sensation in her head. She blinked a few times and looked around the room. Everything seemed dull. Her gaze lingered in the other side of the large bed. It was empty. A smile crept across her face. That meant she could find the man in her dreams without anyone stopping her.

She went to her wardrobe and threw open the doors. What to wear? Perhaps red would be a suitable color for this excursion? The eye was more attracted to the color red. Yes. That seemed fitting. She also needed the finest silk. Her lips pursed as she pulled out a dress that she hadn’t had the courage to wear before. Until now.

After a soothing bath, she smelled of the best flowers and slipped into the form-fitting gown. A backless number with a precarious slit up the leg. Gold embroidery danced along the edges. A gold sash tied around her slim waist. She accessorized with a few gold pieces. Finishing with a gold circlet upon her head.

Then the queen headed for the royal gardens. Completely ignoring everything going on around her. Though she assumed many stared. But she was determined to find the man plaguing her dreams the past week. She strolled down the stone pathway. He had always shown up under the giant tree in the center.

Her eyes darted around. The mystery man hadn’t appeared yet. She walked under the harboring branches of the great tree. Looked up and sighed. Was it only a dream? Lifting her hands to her chest, she sighed again. Why did it have to be only a dream? With a wistful glance back up at the branches, she turned around.

The stood the man in her dreams. Tall and well-formed, he smiled with the grace of a gentleman. His long, fire-red hair flowed with the wind. Black symbols of magic tattooed his bare chest. “So it is you.”

The queen unusually adopted charmer, cocking one hip to the side. “Unless this is but another dream.”

He approached her in one easy stride. Swooped her down and stared into her eyes. “Have I ever done this in your dreams?”

“No.” She blushed a bit. “How did you know to find me here?”

His voice lowered to a rich tone. “Because you have been in my dreams, my beautiful temptress. You have been in this same exact spot all week. I had to know if you were real.”

“That’s why I’m here. I had to know if such a specimen of a man existed.”

The peculiar man flashed another grin. Until he noticed the ring on her left hand. “Will your husband mind?”

Her cool demeanor didn’t change, sliding the ring off her finger. Tossed it off to the side. Not caring where it landed. She matched his smooth tone. “What husband?”


The Human and the Being

“Do you really think you are alive because you are strong, and you think you can fight?”

“Yes,” the human answered confidently.

The being leaned in. “Wrong. You are alive because I saved you. I made a conscious decision that your life meant something. Do not make me regret that decision.”

The human remained silent.

“Is there anything else you wish to argue?”

“Why, then? Why did you save me? You’ve hated me from the beginning!”

“Yes.” The being’s eyes glowed with power. “I still hate you. You are not worth of my time. You are selfish, greedy, arrogant. You take the credit that belongs to others. All you care about is your own gain. Your honest coworker could have used that promotion. Now, he will not get it because you got the credit. He needed that money. Now he will not be able to afford the treatments for his dying child. He worked hard. It means nothing because of your entitled nature. The universe does not revolve around you. Can you understand?”

The human remained silent still.

The being’s power did not die. It grew. Formed an aura. “Yes. I should have let you die. You learn nothing! Yet, I am not your judge. If I did not save you, another would have taken my place. There is a plan for you. It is not climbing the corporate ladder by lying or swindling. Your plan has nothing to do with money. However, you are too dense to see past something so meaningless.”

The human watched the being start to leave. “Wait! Aren’t you going to tell me my plan?”

The being paused. “No. It is not my place. You are too deaf to hear. Ignorance clouds your judgment. You will never understand until you let go of your earthly desires. Until then, do not push your luck. Your plan may be for you to die by the hands of a bus versus that gang.”

The human could not respond.


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