I live in a castle sculpted of sea glass and sand. Soft, it is not. The walls bite into your skin when you fall against it, the wet sand around the internal waterfalls works as quicksand, taking invaders into the depths and under workings of the castle.
Beautiful it can be, breathtakingly so in fact, but as with most beautiful things the danger is apparent only upon close inspection.
Servants and staff move quickly, almost silent under the rushing of the decorative waterfalls and the crashing of the waves only steps away. Sea glass filters the bright sun and casts a hazy light show every rise and set. At night, it is so dark the shadows are gone and the eldritch horrors of the ocean and the night seem to dog your steps.
Magic is common here. Scullery maids wash dishes without ever touching the water with their hands and even stable boys use minor charms to care for the mount raiment. Courtiers walk on slipper- shod feet, whispering and consulting with their spies and attendants while warriors push their way through, having places to go and people to kill.
And the ruler sit on a throne of fulgurite, huge and dark, so massive that they sometimes fade into it. They wear silks and furs, leather and steel. Their hair, golden and bright, tumbles in wild curls down their back to tap their knees, a cloak in its own right. Their crown is jeweled and yet the edges are so sharp it can finely slice flesh without the victim even being aware.
This wasn’t originally their home. No, no. They carved their territory from crossroads and urban lands. Then they took the forest, slowly encroaching like the dawning sun through until it was all theirs from the golden bird trees by the hillside outside of the city to the distant mountains. And when they saw the failing seaside kingdom to the south, the people starving and suffering, fleeing for better places, they rose in their war-gowns and armor to conquer, taking down those necessary until they were the only one remaining to sit on the throne in a castle made of sea glass and sand. And still, the kingdom grows.
I live in a castle of sea glass and sand. It is a beautiful place, busy and full of life. The sea roars, a steady sound like a heartbeat. It is home.