Book Meme: Day 09

Wow, I so fell off the wagon and landed hard. Edits for Bluebeard’s Machine are keeping me up late and the book I’m reading is so dissapointing… and that has nothing at all to do with this post.

Day 09 – Best scene ever

Easy, peasy.

“Where have you been?” she cried. “Damn you, where have you been?” She took a few steps toward Schmendrick, but she was looking beyond him, at the unicorn.

When she tried to get by, the magician stood in her way. “You don’t talk like that,” he told her, still uncertain that Molly had recognized the unicorn. “Don’t you know how to behave, woman? You don’t curtsy, either.”

But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. “ Where have you been?” Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn’s old dark eyes that looked down.

“I am here now,” she said at last.

Molly laughed with her lips flat. “And what good is it to me that you’re here now? Where where you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?” With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. “I wish you had never come. Why did you come now?” The tears began to slide down the sides of her nose.

The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, “She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world.”

“She would be.” Molly sniffed. “It would be the last unicorn in the world to come to Molly Grue.” She reached up then to lay her hand on the unicorn’s cheek; but both of them flinched a little, and the touch came to rest on the swift, shivering place under the jaw. Molly said, “It’s all right. I forgive you.”

“Unicorns are not to be forgiven.” The magician felt himself grow giddy with jealousy, not only of the touch but of something like a secret that was moving between Molly and the unicorn. “Unicorns are for beginnings,” he said, “for innocence and purity, for newness. Unicorns are for young girls.”

Molly was stroking the unicorn’s throat as timidly as though she was blind. She dried her grimy tears on the white mane. “You don’t know much about unicorns,” she said.

— Peter S. Beagle, “The Last Unicorn

God, I love this scene. I love Molly in this scene, I love that she has a beginning right there, and I love how Schmendrick reacts when he’s confronted with something he can’t share, let alone understand. I can’t get over how wonderful this scene is, both in the book and in the movie. I get sniffly every time.

I have to admit, though, it was a tough choice between this scene and the one where Amalthea begs to remain human so she can die with Lir, and Lir won’t let her because that’s not how the story should end. OMFGHEARTBREAK. And then the part where the unicorn remembers Lir, and Lir is all broken-like because they can’t be together, and she can’t love him anymore. SO GOOD.


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