Hailing from the far away land of Riverwoods, Illinois, Niki Koclanes is a sophomore at St. Norbert College. She is an early child/ middle adolescent education major with a language arts minor. Niki took this class to rediscover her love of fairy tales. Some of her hobbies include swimming, water polo, golf, and watching movies. Her original fairy tale was inspired by a short film between two volcanoes that features the line “I lava you,” which she found while scrolling through Facebook. Following the story of a lonely Castle, “The Wish upon a Moat” reminds us that everyone deserves love. - Heidi Swanson
There once was a castle not on a hill, but in a moat. You could say that the Castle was always in a rut, but it tried its hardest to stay afloat. To help make the days alone feel shorter, the Castle bore flags that were as bright as the sun to impress all the people that lived in the small village a ways away.
This Castle would watch all the town children gallop through the long tall grass. As those children grew, it would watch them fall in love. The children's weddings were held in the glorious Castle. To prepare for these love enchanted days, the Castle cleaned up the mold infested ashlar bricks, filtered out all the green mossy algae that layered the tops of the water, and then to top it all off the Castle placed the finest flags on top of the bastion. Right before the now grown children arrived for their special day, the Castle opened its dusty giant doors, unlocked the rust-covered chains, and let down the drawbridge. On top of the walkway, the Castle rolled out the finest red silk carpet that the seven kingdoms had ever seen.
Throughout the lovely night, the Castle was shining bright lights for the happiness that had arrived to it. For once, the Castle felt as tall and important as a castle on a hill. There was dancing, music, and great people from all around the world gathered here in this Castle in a moat. The Castle was gleaming and radiant to be the host of such times. As night creeped in, all the people started to file out of the castle and back to their village a ways away. As each visitor left, the Castle’s lights grew more and more dim. When the married couple took their last step off the red silk carpet, they turned around to admire the Castle in all its beauty. The Castle was too busy staring at the stars wishing upon each and every single star to one day have love like they do, to realize the couple talking, and pointing. As the Castle came back to reality, the couple started walking away, and as they took each step towards the village the drawbridge would go up with each step the villagers took towards the village, the drawbridge slowly raised, marking the end of the Castles happiness.
The following day the Castle woke up with a heart overflowing with hope and love that the drawbridge slammed down to the ground, and a lavender rug rolling out, and lavender flags to match. The Castle was brimming with excitement and hope that the couple would soon return or even new visitors would come to see this Castle in a moat. As hours passed, the Castle grew cold from the strong wind blowing through the raised drawbridge. To stay warm and prevent the chains from freezing together, the Castle gave up hope and slowly started to raise the walkway.
Every morning, the Castle woke early to prepare for visitors and laid out a brand new color of flags and runners. Sadly, no one ever came. The Castle spent its days waiting, and spent its nights wishing upon the stars for a love of its own. As each day passed the Castle stopped trying. The flags grew dull, and started to rip from the cold and unforgiving wind. The Castle dreamed of a time that soon one day the people from the far village would come back, or its wish for love would come true. Days and months passed, and the Castle started to become ruins, resulting in the castle sinking into its own moat.
One sunny, summer day the couple returned to the castle to celebrate the anniversary of their wedding day to come find the breaking Castle, fast asleep in its own sorrow. The couple decided to plant their routes and work days on end to help repair the beautiful Castle. As each morning passed, and nights grew the couple was layering brick on top of brick. As summer started to come to a close, and the Castle still fast asleep, the couple finally finished their creation. They resolved to wake up the Castle and restore hope again.
The couple cleaned up the mold infested ashlar bricks, filtered out all the green mossy algae that layered the tops of the water, and then to top it all off they placed the finest flags on top of the bastion. Soon, the Castle started to move and wake up. As the Castle woke up, it believed that it was seeing blurry, but the couple’s creation was waiting. Right next to the Castle was another Castle. The couple had built a castle right next to the other, and decided to move there. The Castle was brimming with love and happiness due to its wish finally being granted that it decided to celebrate.
Throughout the night, people poured in both Castles to celebrate the homecoming. Both of the Castles shone lights into the sky to thank them, and for bringing happiness into their lives again. The Castle peered upon the other Castle, and determined that it was even better than a foolish castle on a hill. It had so much more than a typical castle on a hill: a giant moat that they shared with its beloved and a couple that cared so much they granted the Castle’s wish for love. All it took was for someone to notice. As years passed the Castles continued to grow, and the villagers built a town around the two castles. In the end, the town was a prosperous village, and thousands of visitors traveled far and wide to see the two Castles in their glory.
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