Monday, 3 November 2008

Seven Grand Residences


There was a rich man once and he decided to go into property. He knew a thing or two this man. Occasionally he thought the thing or two he knew was everything. He had a wife, a charming young woman who had once been the belle of her school, then the beauty of her university in which she learned a thing or two herself. She had married the rich man because, to her amazement she loved him. She had a business of her own and it did very well. She was unsure about going into property, but she loved her husband so she thought she'd talk to her grandmother about it.

Now the city they lived in was near the sea and it was said that at night, strange and beautiful people would come from the sea with shining dark hair and bewitching eyes. The young woman's grandmother knew all about them and told the young woman,

"My mother was a selkie* and although she got her sealskin again, she still comes to see me now and then. Go and ask her advice, she knows all about you, for she gave you a blessing when you were born."

The young woman was delighted and that night she went down to the sea and called for her great-grandmother the selkie to come to her. A very old and very beautiful seal came up to the beach and sloughing off her sealskin, she hid it well. Then she came upon the shore, an old yet still very beautiful woman. This was the young woman's great-grandmother and when she heard what the young woman wanted, she whispered a word and told the young woman,

"Tell your husband to build seven grand residences. Six for sale and one for the selkie-folk. That last one is not to be for anyone else, if it is given or sold or used for anyone else, bad luck will come to your husband and it would be as if you ought never to have married him."

The young woman heeded this well and returned to the luxury apartment she shared with her husband. Her husband was unsure about all this, but agreed.

"Don't forget my great-grandmother's warning tho'," she told him.

He promised he would not forget it and the next day he hired an architect and a builder. The building went steadily up and looked wonderful. There would be marble floors in the lobby, grand and beautiful doors to the front and grand sweeping stairs leading up to the first floor. Big elevators would take people up to the six apartments. Right at the top, the seventh apartment was fitted out as luxuriously as possible. The rich man wanted to show his gratitude to the Selkies. It did not last long this gratitude.

It was not long before people began to notice that there appeared to be only six grand residences for sale, not seven. Questions came thick and fast and the rich man would not say why only that the seventh residence was not for sale. Well, it happened that an even richer and more highly respected man approached the rich man the day before the building was complete and offered him seven billion for the seventh residence. The rich man tried not to cry but refused. The following offer was seventy billion and the third offer 100 billion. When he was offered seven hundred billion for the seventh residence, his natural business sense took over and he agreed. The two men walked down to see the building, but before they could get there, a large wave from the sea came flowing up through the streets around the people and cars until it came to the rich man's building. In a sudden, the wave washed away the building as if it were a castle of sand upon the beach. Then the wave returned to the sea.

The young woman drove up having heard the commotion and quickly took her children and left the rich man, furious with him. The rich man was ruined. He went down to the sea to drown himself, but the selkies took pity on him and led him away through the sea to only they know where.


*The selkies are seal-folk. They come upon land at night and shed their sealskins becoming like human beings, with dark hair and mysterious shining eyes. If you can find the selkies sealskin the selkie is in your power. Many female selkies have been married as a result of men finding their sealskins and not allowing the selkie to have it, marrying them instead. If the selkie finds her sealskin again, she will return to the sea, but will always remember her children and swim close to the shore to see them.

5 comments:

madameshawshank said...

ah, gratitude..'n how long it lasts..

Griffin, the money offered! Funny the value placed on $s 'n $$s 'n $$$s...as if the more will guarantee some joy or happiness or power or whatever it is..the man had a slight feeling of whatever at the sale for a few moments..but deep down in that place he'd prefer to ignore..deep down he knew..something was to come..broken promise and the reason for the breakage

am imagining the wave weaving its way from the coast..Bondi wave? Bronte wave? Tamarama wave? Coogee wave? all the way to Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Photo taken a week back, from Hyde Park..a wet evening..still we joyously feasted on scrumptious food at the Night Noodle Market..

Griffin said...

Definitely a Bronte Wave! Emily for preference!!

madameshawshank said...

The suburb of Bronte took its name from the estate which faced Nelson Bay, also named after Lord Nelson

In the mid 1880s a beautiful house was built..Bronte House..it faced Nelson Bay..named after Lord Nelson..who happened to be the Duke of Bronte (Bronte as in Sicily Bronte)..so there you have it G..Bronte Beach is a little south-west of Bondi..stunning coastline!

Rima said...

Another wonder Griffin... I have always loved Selkie stories :)
As to your kind question of story stealing .. hehe! I'm afraid I'm keeping it for meself... for one of these fine days when I can put pen to paper. I'm flattered you thought my idea worthy of one of your fine tales tho.. thank you!

Griffin said...

Hmm, well in that case, you should write a tale for it. Perhaps the spoon eared child has a fork nosed brother...!