Flying to the Beetle Kingdom took less than she expected but lasted longer than she could bear. Batul grew five times his size and carried her on his back. She hesitated at first, feeling the roughness of his shell, but with encouragement felt it wasn’t so uncomfortable as long as she wasn’t alone. Far far away they flew over many different lands. Every time they saw something new Batul would explain who, what, where, when, and why. She learned much during their travel, so much so that by the time the duo settled just outside the front entrance to the Beetle Kingdom, the once lonely girl was quite different. Far more worldly and outgoing, but still in need of slight refreshment, for flying tends to tangle ones hair.
Four female beetles, her newly hatched servants, escorted her to what she learned was to be her temporary room until further preparations could be made. Until she should move into the King’s room, is how the she interpreted it. Not to say she was offended by such a presumption. By now she had held many conversations with Batul, who she considered to be more like a father than anything, about what would happen once she met the Beetle King. She knew fully what was expected of her, and she did not mind. That is why she came after all. Following a much needed dip in the most luxurious pond water the girl had ever smelled and a cordial change of clothing, she felt as if she were newly born. As if the person who existed before had been lost somewhere along the way never to be found again.
The Beetle Kingdom was indeed glorious, and the girl had a difficult time walking straight as she neared the main hall. To think, this was her home now. Her servants didn’t say much but were respectful. Unused to the treatment, the girl smiled shyly at one. She smiled encouragingly back. It was time to meet the king.
The room was filled with attendees, but the King turned out to be the biggest amongst them all. She had suspected as much, but was taken aback by his impressive crown and cape of glass. Oddly enough she detected some apprehension from him. She noticed how his very back legs tapped nervously as he stood to greet her, and she instantly thought him cute and took pity upon him.
“Hello,” He stood up on his back two legs and smoothed his belly. “Welcome to my kingdom.”
“It is lovely to be here,” The girl smiled and curtsied as Batul had explained was customary.
“Ah, please,” The Beetle King reached forward. “Don’t bow. You are my guest. It is I who should bow to you.” With that the entire room, servants, lords, officials, and one king, all kneeled down and bowed to the most humble of persons.
Their wedding took place but a season later, at the break of the frost, when the first flower bloomed. The rays the sun sent down warmed the earth and acted as a blessing on the union. The girl walked down the aisle escorted by her rescuer and her dearest friend Batul, whose large family she was now fully integrated and comfortable with. She favored the second to youngest of the offspring, though she of course would never admit to such emotions. The Beetle King awaited his queen with nothing but open arms. She could feel his heart beat as she drew closer. Seeing him in his most regal of attire she could not help but smile.
Cheers roared as the ceremony concluded. Finally, finally, she was not alone. She had an entire kingdom to love and be loved by. There would never be a time when she was far away from anyone ever again. She had found a place to be, to live, and to grow in. She even had a name, given to her by the people as a wedding present. Celeoptera. For that is what she was now.
Though happily ever afters rarely find their way into the real world, they do occasionally pop up in the most peculiar of places. The lonely girl was no more, and never would be again.