The tale of the shell castle

While I was beach combing with my husband in Teluk Batik on 15th February 2010, we found this big, beautiful seashell.

Might not be that big to all of you, but it’s very big to me, cuz when we’re doing the combing, it’s very hard for us to find big and perfect seashells.

I’ve always wanted a big seashell, but all these years, there’s not much luck. This is by far the biggest one I’ve ever found while beach-combing.

Part of the reason why I’ve been wanting to collect seashells is not just because I missed the sea and everything that’s related to it, but because I wanted to make shell castle as well.

Okay, what is shell castle, you ask me? Shell castle is this:

Shell castle is an arrangement made of seashells as well as coral debris that has been wash ashore.

You see, when I was a little girl, I used to make shell castle with my father after our beach-combing sessions. And craft making session turned into a round-robin storytelling session with my father around. I wrote the story down somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where I put the mini novella.

I still remember the story though. It started with…There’s once a princess who lived by the sea each summer. The princess often gets lonely during her summer holiday because people tend to befriend her for her status rather than herself, and so, every night, when her royal family members are busy partying and dancing away with their suitors, she would walk beneath the moonlight to search for seashells instead, so that she could listen to the ‘music’ that came from those seashells instead of listening to insincere flattery by her suitors who wants nothing but her money and status.

Many summers pass by, and her seashells collections grew, and she did not know what to do with it. She made many wind-chimes out of those seashells, and the music that came out of those seashells wind-chimes made the shape- shifting Sea Prince feel curious, and therefore, he transformed into a seagull and flew towards the princess’s window one fateful night. He befriended her, and soon after, he fell in love with her.

It’s been years since the first time the prince became her friend, and he wanted to make the sad and lonely princess happy, and so, he told her, if she made a small castle out of seashells and made a wish under the beneath the starry sky on the night of a harvest moon, her wish will come true.

And so, the princess did. She made a beautiful shell castle out of it, and wished for someone who loved her for who she is, and not what she is. And she wanted a kiss from that special someone.

The prince, who was nearby when she made the wish blushed to the root of his hair. Initially, he thought she would wish for something else and he would give it to her, and now, not knowing how to make her wish come true, he appeared before her in his human form, and told her the truth about everything…that he was actually the seagull, and he’s deeply sorry for not being able to make her wish come true.

The princess wasn’t amused by the fact that the prince had been deceiving her all this while in the form of the seagull, because she told him many personal things to him, and it embarrassed her. And it embarrassed her still because she made such wishes. Worst thing is, she fell in love with the handsome Sea Prince at the first sight as well.

She was angry with him for sneaking into her heart and deceiving her, and anger got the better of her, and she never wanted to see the prince ever again as she felt cheated.

She felt that the prince must have been having fun listening how foolishly she made wishes that might not come true, and he must be laughing at her naivety for even believing that her dreams would come true with just making shell castle.

The prince taught she was angry because he couldn’t make her dreams come true. So he latched onto her hand, and pulled her back and looked deep into her eyes. He then tell her, he could make any men fall in love with her  and be in love with her for who she is, but he is not willing to do it because he was deeply, madly in love with her, and he wants her for himself, and he couldn’t make her dreams come true because he doesn’t want to see her in another man’s arms.

The princess was shocked with his confession, of course. Initially, she thought her feelings are unrequited. And now that she knew that the prince is in love with her too, she told him to kiss her.

Much to her annoyance, he refused, and before she got mad at his refusal, he quickly tell her that he couldn’t kiss her, because he was cursed ever since he was born by his evil stepmother, and his kiss is poisonous and deadly to those who does not love him in return.

She smiled at his explanation then. And he was completely stunned and horrified when she stand on the tip of her toes and kissed him passionately on his lips before he could even stop her.

The Prince was surprised that nothing happened when she pulled away from him, except for her cheeks turning a few shades redder as a result of her bluntness. This is a first for him, as other girls whom he kissed, all dropped dead.

He smiled at her and dropped onto his knees and knelt before her. He then proposed to her. Being a cheeky princess she is, she told him that if he could make her a castle made of seashells from them to live in over night, she will marry him. And he did build a castle made from seashells for them to live in, with his magic.

The prince and the princess gets married of course, like every other fairy tale. But before they could live a happily ever after, their lives was filled with adventure… there are battles with giant squid monsters, incestuous and jealous stepmother as well as overprotective father.

There’s more to the story apart from the romantic ones that revolves around seashells and shell castles… there’s political disagreement and whatnot due to their marriage, but that’s another story to be told. But it is safe to say, the princess’s life was never boring and lonely . So I guess, all is good.

Cleffairy: To have a romantic and a long lasting marriage is just like building a shell castle. It takes a lot of patience and love to build one.


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