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The Junonia Shell

Everything comes with a heavy price because all that glitters is not gold

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished 21 days ago 3 min read
Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash

“Coral, where are you going? I’ll tell Mom and Dad you left me alone!” shouted Lily as she watched her teenage sister walk away from where they were building sandcastles.

“God, Lily, I’m just going to stretch my legs for a bit! I’ll be back before you know it”, Coral assured her nine-year-old sister.

Coral had an obsession with seashells so their parents would bring her and Lily to the beach every Sunday evening.

Leaving the sisters at the beach, they would spend their evening at their friend’s house not too far away from there. They would always be back for their daughters before nightfall.

Coral was frustrated because most of the seashells she found today were broken. She kept walking, hoping to find more.

She must have walked further than she had ever before because she reached the mouth of a cave.

She turned around to see how far she had walked. Surprisingly, Lily was still visible. Coral was wondering how come she had never noticed this cave before.

Curiosity got the better of her as she walked towards the cave entrance. As she was about to enter, she spotted something gleaming on the sand.

By Aaron Burden on Unsplash

She picked it up and it was the most beautiful seashell she had ever seen. Despite being partially buried in the sand, the seashell seemed polished.

She examined it much closer. The more she looked at it, the more magnificent it seemed.

She recognized the shell as a Junonia. It felt like she was holding a piece of treasure because Junonias are extremely rare.

“Hello”, said a female voice.

Coral quickly turned around but there was no one behind her. She only saw Lily doing the finishing touches to the sandcastle and it wasn’t her voice.

“Helloooo”, cooed the female voice again. The voice was so musical.

She looked at the seashell in her hand. Had she lost her mind or did the seashell actually speak to her?

“Did you speak to me?” she asked the seashell, feeling dumb.

“Yes, I did, my dear” answered the seashell softly. Alarmed, Coral dropped the seashell.

“Careful, my dear, I’m fragile. My name is Antaura and I can grant your wish” said the seashell.

Picking up the seashell gently, Coral asked, “Are you saying that you’re a Genie?”

“No, I won’t call myself a Genie. We have our similarities and differences. For example, we’re similar because we can grant a person’s wish. A Genie can grant any general wish whereas I can only grant sea-related wishes”

“Whoa, that’s so cool! I love everything that has to do with the sea!” Coral exclaimed.

“I know, hence I chose you. So, what do you want to wish for? Oh and unlike with the Genie, to make a wish with me, you have to start with, ‘Antaura, please show me…’ and continue to state your wish”.

“I’ve always wanted to see mermaids. Are they real?” Coral asked.

“Of course they are!”

“I’ve never been so excited in my life! Lily is going to be so jealous. Antaura, please show me the mermaids!” Coral wished.

“As you wish, Coral!” said the seashell as Coral saw lights of varying brightness and heard sounds of varying volume at the same time.

It stopped as soon as it started. Now Coral couldn’t see or hear anything.

She thought she was dead; she felt like she was in another dimension. Her eyes then began to adjust to the darkness and she could make out some shapes and figures. She was underwater!

She realized she was still holding the seashell in her hand. She heard giggles and looked up.

In front of her, she saw the most beautiful mermaid. Then another emerged from behind her, playfully tugging her hair.

By Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Coral couldn’t believe it. She was interacting with mermaids!

Suddenly, Coral realized that although the seashell said it could bring her to see the mermaids, it didn’t make sure she could breathe underwater. She desperately needed to breathe.

“Antaura, please show me the seashore!” Coral wished. Only bubbles came out of her mouth. Nevertheless, the seashell understood her.

“Oh didn’t I tell you? Unlike the three wishes you get with the Genie, you only get one wish with me!”

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About the Creator

Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

I'm a Certified Nutritionist 🌱 and these are what I mostly write:
〰️ Fiction (Horror/Thriller)
〰️ Non-Fiction (Nutrition and True Crime)
〰️ Poetry

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (70)

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  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)a day ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story✨🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Ashley Lima6 days ago

    Loved the ending. Great work 👏

  • Colt Henderson11 days ago

    Good twist.

  • Roy Stevens11 days ago

    "Are you saying that you’re a Genie?” This is a funny line delivered with solid timing. Your end twist works very well in this story. Liked it!

  • Rachel M.J13 days ago

    Oooooh it was so sweet that that ending really took me by surprise! Well done

  • Chloe Gilholy13 days ago

    I thought this was great didn’t expect the ending twist at the end.

  • Fabulous job!

  • An enjoyable flash fiction piece! Would make a great story for an episode of a show like The Twilight Zone! Loved this!

  • JBaz15 days ago

    Never trust a free wish. In so few words yet an entire story was told. Great work and great story

  • I love the way the initial description of the similarities and differences between genies and Anataura ends up being a major plot twist.

  • I love the genie angle with this. Another great story!

  • Good story ❤️💯 Something about mermaids 🧜‍♀️ ✨🎉😉

  • Wonderful as always!

  • Adamu Salisu18 days ago

    Good and wonderful write up.

  • Kristen Balyeat18 days ago

    Woah, brilliant!! Congrats on well deserved top story! Loved it- the end was chilling!

  • Amber Annabelle18 days ago

    A great read, a well deserved top story 👏

  • Nikki Clam18 days ago

    "The Junonia Shell" is a hauntingly beautiful tale that transports readers into a world of magic and mystery. The author masterfully weaves together themes of loss, grief, and acceptance, all while building a captivating and otherworldly setting. The use of vivid descriptions and evocative imagery creates a sense of immersion that is sure to leave readers spellbound. Overall, "The Junonia Shell" is a must-read for fans of horror and fantasy alike.

  • Call Me Les18 days ago

    Oo I love the twist at the end. So tricky! Congratulations on the top story 💛

  • Babs Iverson18 days ago

    Fabulous!!! Horrific ending!!!

  • Lori Melton18 days ago

    Wow, you gave me chills! Great job and congrats 😊❤️

  • Caroline Jane18 days ago

    Oooooooo you had me trying to breathe for her!! Nicely done!!

  • Tiffany Gordon 18 days ago

    What a talent you are! What a great read Shee Shee! 👍🏾

  • Thavien Yliaster19 days ago

    Antaura is a Greek demon of migraine headaches? Goodness, well, makes sense. I should've know You would've picked a delightfully deceptive name for a horror story. Still, when I read about a seashell I thought this was going to be about the cone snail. People also call it the cigarette snail. Once stung, You have enough time to enjoy a cigarette. There's still no cure for the venom as of today. Yet, a wish granting shell? I knew that this was going to end up like a monkey's paw sort of thing. Also, why did Coral wish for a seahorse instead of being brought to the surface to breathe? That part confuses me, unless You wanted her to escape her watery death by riding a hippocampus. Now I wonder if the mermaids would be like the ones in sailors' tales about drowning and eating people. If they're more benevolent, I wonder if they would've taken Coral to an air pocket, the surface, or would have to exchange their breath with hers via kissing (like what they did in the Amazing World of Gumball, here's a link to laugh at: https://youtu.be/tJlbjn33IhU). As always, be careful what You wish for, and before making a wish, understand all of the ramifications. Imagine somebody wishing for a guidebook to wishing to mitigate the consequences, then anybody who wishes to use the shell to make a wish has to sign a contract with the owner of the book first. Making it a whole legal document series.

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