One day, a young girl named Lily who loved to collect seashells was on the beach. She came here when her parents were fighting. She preferred the sounds of the ocean to yelling. As she was searching the sands, she found a beautiful seashell that was unlike any she had ever seen before. It was a deep shade of blue and had intricate patterns etched into its surface in gold that glistened in the sunlight.
As she held the seashell in her hand, before bringing it up to her ear. When she did, she heard a voice whisper to her. "Keep this shell close to you, and good fortune will come your way."
Lily was surprised but intrigued. She decided to keep the seashell with her at all times, hoping that the voice was right and to her surprise, it was.
Days turned into weeks, and Lily started to notice that good things were happening to her. She aced her tests in school, made new friends, and even won a prize in a talent contest at her school. Her parents fought less and less each day. She felt like the seashell was bringing her good luck so she decided to go out and look for more.
That day, as she was walking alone on the shore, she heard the voice again which startled her. "Dear child, follow my voice and I will show you something."
Lily hesitantly looked around and saw no one but she couldn’t satisfy her curiosity until she investigated the mysterious voice.
Lily heard the voice again. “Fear not. I mean you no harm. Don’t be afraid. Come.” The voice did not sound scary.
She tentatively walked along the water looking around cautiously and was shocked when she saw a beautiful mermaid sitting on a rock. The mermaid had long, flowing hair black hair, sun kissed brown skin and a multicolored shimmering tail. A collection of seashells hung around her neck, draping over her chest. She smiled brightly at Lily. Making Lily gasp.
Then the mermaid spoke to Lily. "Hello. I am the guardian of the seashell you found. It is a magical shell that brings good fortune to those who possess it. It belongs to me. I must have misplaced it.” The mermaid laughed. “You look like a you’ll do good with it but it also comes with a price if you want to keep it.” The mermaid warned.
Lily was confused. She didn't understand what the mermaid meant. “W-What price, ma’am? I am only a girl. I don’t have money.” Lily stammered.
The mermaid smiled warmly and continued. "The seashell belongs to us and the sea, and it must be returned. If you keep it, you will lose something precious to you until you return it.”
Lily was torn. She didn't want to lose the good fortune that the seashell had brought her, but she also didn't want to lose something precious. What would the sea take? Her parents? Siblings? She loved them far too much. If they were to be taken away from her, she didn’t know what she would do.
The mermaid saw the conflict in Lily's eyes and spoke again. "You have a kind heart, and that is precious. If you return the seashell to me, I will grant you a wish."
Lily thought for a moment and then made her decision. She slowly walked towards the mermaid holding the seashell in front of her until she was close enough to hand the seashell to the mermaid. Then she shut her eyes and made her wish.
She wished for happiness and love for herself and for those around her.
She heard the mermaid laugh warmly. “You are truly a good person. You will get what you wished for. Thank you!”
The mermaid smiled and granted her wish. Lily felt a warm glow in her heart that overcame her whole body and she knew that she had made the right choice.
And with a splash, the mermaid was gone. Lily waved as she swam away. She sat down on the sand and wondered if she’d ever see her again.
Lily still comes to the same beach spot on the beach each day hoping to catch a glimpse of the mermaid again. Every once and awhile, she’ll catch a flash of a multicolored tail in the distance.