“How was your climb in the Himalayas? Did you get to the top?” It was yet another of his fellow medical students asking the same questions. Craig’s answer was always evasive. He didn’t want to talk about the climb, but more importantly, he didn’t want to talk about the hallucinations.
That’s what he decided had happened. No one sees unicorns, not once but twice. Everyone else on that first occasion on the mountain had missed the total eclipse because of the weather conditions. He had not only seen the eclipse but the two unicorns had come and licked his gloved hands.
He had later touched his fellow climber who had been injured, with his gloved hands. Ben’s health had miraculously improved.
Days later, when they had reached Lukla he had doubted the whole experience. When everyone was a sleep he had sat alone in the fading light, behind the stables where the yaks were kept. As he heard the yaks moving and smelt the hay, he looked up at the mountain he had so recently climbed. The unicorns had come to him again. First the white stallion and then the golden mare. This time he had not had his gloves on and the unicorns had licked his bare hands. He had felt saliva from their tongues as they licked him. He again felt the mythical creatures were blessing him. He felt total inner peace, as if they had taken him to some magical place. It was timeless and Craig never know how long he had sat there. He could never tell his fellow climbers of his experience. They would think he was mad.
The following day he had flown with the rest of his group back to Kathmandu. The City of Temples was well named. During the days he had spent there he had wandered the city visiting Pashupati and Change Narayan Temples. Enjoying the sight seeing, he had blanked out the events on the mountains. It was only at night the thoughts returned.
He had convinced himself in had all been an illusion. An X-ray had shown that Ben had indeed broken his ribs. It must have been the rest and the breathing exercises Ben had done as they waited for the other climbers to return from the ascent that had helped his recovery. It could not have been magic.
Craig, because he was a medical student, decided to visit a hospital, he wanted to see how the hospitals worked in Nepal. The staff welcomed his interest. He had been asked to sit beside a girl, who the staff had described as being life limiting. No one had visited the unconscious orphaned girl. He knew unconscious patients could sometimes hear voices. He had assumed that the child would speak Nepali, so she would not even understand what he was saying. Craig held her hand and leant forward slowly and quietly recounted the story which Ben had told him. In his mind he was in the two-man tent on the mountain. He told the story of how the unicorns had been created and his experience. No one would question him, no one would understand what he was talking about. It gave Craig peace to talk about the unicorns. That feeling of peace came back to him. Time slipped by as he talked about his experience. He felt relief at being able to speak, even if no one but the girl could hear him. Just voicing his thought gave him a sense relief and of peace.
Later the nurse came and took the girl’s blood pressure and quickly left. The doctor came and examined the girl. Craig curiously asked the Nepal doctor about the girl. The Doctor could not understand her recovery. The girl’s vital signs had been fading they had not expected the girl to last the hour. But her vital signs had improved, the doctor knew that all Craig had done had been to talk to her. Perhaps, that because someone had taken time to talk to her and had held her hand, had made her rally. Her condition was now stable but she was still unconscious. She had probably just gone into remission.
Craig looked at his hands and wondered. Two people had improved after he had touched them. It had to be coincidence, not some magical cure. Medically there must be some explanation.
On his final day before, he flew home, he visited the hospital again. The girl was sitting up in bed. Craig could not believe it, when the girl smiled at him. He did not stay he was too confused.
He was now back in his halls of residence ready for the start of term. He had become subdued as he anticipated the coming days when he would start his hospital placements. What if everyone he touched magical recovered? How would he explain it? It had to have been coincidence? The high altitude must have caused him to hallucinate. Yet why when he thought about the unicorn did he feel that sense of total peace.
The phone rang. It was his sister. “How was the Himalayas?”
“Beautiful and peaceful. I will show you the photos when I see you next. How are you? Are you at the stables have you been riding?” Craig respond, anything to change the subject.