Amazing Kids! Magazine

Shellfish Legion – Thistle’s Legacy

By Sarina Patel, Contributing Writer


“Thistle Starfish, I now appoint you Commander of the Shellfish Seashells Legion!” Commander Darian Barnacle grandly celebrated the mermaid queen’s coronation. Not two hours earlier, the flamboyant sea creature ordered anyone who didn’t celebrate arrested.

‘Congratulations, Thistle,’ the mermaid told herself. ‘You’ve grown up. There’s no one left to claim this medal, so you are. Yay!’ Thistle Starfish had waited 21 years to get to go on a quest.  Well, 21 whole years had passed, and now was her chance to break free. So why did she feel so deeply unsettled on such a glorious day of celebration?

‘Oh, I don’t know, airhead,’ she sarcastically reminded herself. ‘Bubble brains. Maybe it’s because Father thought you weren’t responsible enough to go on the quest. Maybe it’s because Mother died trying to warn you not to ascend the throne. Maybe it’s because your older sister Aqua died, Marina went on a quest and never came back, and the dead weight is losing her babysitter to the same fate. Maybe it’s because you’re leaving a ditzy princess who doesn’t know how to even spell the word bubble in native Starfish, who can’t read or write, who only knows about boys and clothing, and who can’t learn Ufazi, the easiest language ever and the language of the giant squid. Or who doesn’t even know about humans and their pesky Morse code!

Anyway, everybody seemed to be happy for her. The Firewaters family cheered boorishly. They’d known her since she was 12. And the Aguafish family thunderously clapped the alphabet, not wanting to be shown up by potential competition for showing excessive gratitude. How…delightful. She didn’t want to be rude, but she had a sea carriage to be prepared, and things to do, and why were there so many people in her way exactly? Not like they cared about anything more than their meager Ceremonial Attendance Fee, anyway. A couple sand dollars is why they attended, Thistle. Most kids didn’t even know your name until yesterday afternoon. Not that she expected them to- she was the middle child. Just like how everyone remembers Grandmother Ariel. But nobody remembers Grandma Ariana, her missing relative. The grudge, who was rumored to have plotted her own daughter-in-law’s death, just to get her hands on the sand dollars which would pay for a nice royal scale-shining.  ‘My mother, the Queen’s life, reduced to cheap cold cash and a trip at Serendipity Scales? Thistle crushed the sand dollar between her fingers with a grinding force, barely suppressing her rage. She felt her mother’s hand, tantalizingly out of reach. Taking her hand and holding it. “No thanks, Mom,” she growled out loud, eyes pure orbs of fury. “Your little girl has some unfinished family business with her Granny.”