‘Luella the Beautiful’ by Chelsea Harris-Semmler: Gawler Short Story Competition Junior Section Winner

If you look up in the sky at night you may see a beautiful girl in the stars, with sparkling eyes and flowers in her hair. This is her story.

Long, long ago when the great king Menio ruled the kingdom Allian, a lovely young girl named Luella lived in the castle with her father Lucin and her three brothers, Keece, Frin and Bolio. Her father was the king’s trusty adviser. The king had no children, so when he knew that he had to retire; he had picked Luella to be the next queen. The townsfolk loved her as she was kind, caring, and fair, but also, she was the most beautiful girl in the kingdom.

Now, when a young queen comes to the age of 17 in Allian, they must find a boy to help them with their duties. Her father Lucin and the retired king Menio thought that this was the perfect time for Luella to find a future husband. They sent out flyers, letters, notices and even the castles cooks, to tell the country’s princes and peasants alike, the beautiful young queen Luella needed a king.

In a kingdom far west there was a young prince called Rion, who had formed a crush on the young Luella. When he heard the news, he raced to his father Juen to ask for permission to go to her kingdom. However, Rion’ s father was a very wicked sorcerer who loathed him and made him work every day in the fields, even though the boy was of royal blood and should’ve been doing his duties around the palace. When Rion asked his father, he surprisingly got permission to venture to the castle. Rion packed a small suitcase, grabbed his faithful horse and raced of down the dusty track quickly, just in case Juen changed his mind. What Rion did not know was that his father had a horrible, nasty plan in mind. When Luella had fallen in love with Rion, Juen was going to convince his son to take over the throne for him so that Juen could be king!

As Rion approached the castle he saw that there were hundreds of young men lining up in the huge entrance to try and win the princess ‘s hand. He found a palace guard and put his name down for the trial. All he had to do was to introduce himself and tell Luella, the king and her father a bit about him.

In a few long and boring hours, he was at the front of the line. The prince in front of him, who had strutted his stuff in the interview room, (apparently he was excellent at dancing,) had come out looking rather sorry for himself. Rion gulped and went in. As he spoke, Luella had found that this boy had taken her heart, as he was not only handsome, but kind and modest. Also, she quite liked his awkward charm! After everyone had left, she told Menio and Lucin that her heart had been stolen by Rion. They both agreed and said that he was the best for her and that he was the nicest and most polite out of them all. They arranged for him to meet up with her in the flower park in their Kingdom. Rion was delighted and hurried there the next morning.

Luella and Rion strolled around the park, and later settled down for a delicious picnic. The whole time they talked and shared stories, every minute falling even more in love with each other. They arranged to meet up the next day for another picnic.

The next day as they had stopped by a lake, two hands reached down and grabbed Rion; they then pulled him behind a nearby tree, causing him to fall down on the grass. He stared up at the hooded figure as it pulled of its cloak. Looking right back at him was his father Juen. He asked slyly whether Rion had made Luella fall in love with him yet, when Rion answered that he was not sure, Juen flashed a nasty grin and slunk back behind the tree again. Rion got up and went back over to Luella. When he asked her if she loved him, she giggled and put her head on his shoulder, answering “I do”.

Suddenly, Juen jumped out from behind the tree and sent fire shooting out from his fingers. Rion grabbed Luella and ran way, but still Juen’s fire bolts hit them. Luckily they weren’ t strong enough to seriously hurt the two. Rion told Luella to run, but she stayed right behind him. Juen seized Rion by the shoulder and dragged him down to the ground. He put his foot on his throat and thanked Rion, saying he could take the throne from here. He released his foot and Rion jumped up and threw himself at Juen, but he jumped sideways, causing Rion to fall over flat on the ground. Juen pointed one long finger at Rion and blasted a silvery bolt, but Luella hurled herself in front of him and got shot back on the grass. Suddenly, something strange happened, the bolt hit Luella, but bounced back and shot Juen in the eyes, causing him to scream with pain and then vanish … He was dead.

Rion ran to Luella ‘s side, to find that she was sadly lifeless. He threw himself down on his knees and cried. He cried for hours, kneeling next to Luella’ s limp body. By the time her father and the king came running into the park. Rion had wept so much that he could not weep anymore. He told the two men everything as they sat sadly on the grass. When Rion had finished, King Menio stood up solemnly. He raised his hand high into the air and said, “Luella will live, but she will forever live in the stars” and with that, he waved his hand and Luella ‘s body vanished, and as it was getting dark, she formed in the starry sky.

From then on, with King Menio and Lucin’s help, Rion combined his home kingdom and Allian, so that he and King Menio could rule them both together. Every night, Rion went out onto the highest balcony and sat and talked to the beautiful Luella in the stars all night long. During the day, Luella looked down on the kingdoms and watched Rion, but sadly, as you cannot see stars in the day time, she could only watch, not speak.

Eventually, as everyone does, Lucin, Menio and Rion passed away, leaving the kingdom in the capable hands of the cook’s family. But Luella lives on as a star constellation, forever watching over the kingdom of Allian. So, the next time you look up in the sky at night, remember Luella and her story.


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