September 5, 2017 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

Cheech makes a great deal of flying in several circles around the asteroid. Finally, though, she sits MeaZea and WooFZee down on the rough, stone surface.

WooFZee looks down at his paws. “The stone is warm.”

“Oh, yes. This is a special place. Have you never been on an asteroid belt before?” Cheech perches on the stone just to WooFZee’s left. She looks amused.

MeaZea shakes her head. “We were just supposed to be passing through here, but we ran into a problem. I’ve never been this close to an asteroid before.”

Cheech asks, “then you don’t know about the creatures that live here?”

WooFZee answers, “I’ve heard that they can be dangerous.”

“Some of them.” The fruit bat takes flight again. She swoops a circle around MeaZea and WooFZee, only to land on the nearby invisible stair. “Some of them are mean and some are friendly. You’re going to want to be careful of the stob-goblins, and the Asteroid Queen can have a very short temper. She doesn’t like my games, and neither do her people. But if you’re looking for springs, that’s where you’re going to want to go.”

MeaZea tucks a piece of hair behind her ear. A determined look settles over her. “Which way is the Asteroid Queen’s kingdom?”

“Just follow the belt,” says Cheech, with a laugh. “Or I can show you, but you would have to win another game.”

“We’ll pass,” says WooFZee, quickly. “I’m too tired for anymore games.”

Thankfully, the asteroid belt is a fairly simple place to navigate. Each asteroid is relatively barren. Strange, stone formations crop up every now and again, carved statues with no clear figure, visages in the dark stone that can only barely be made out. But there are no forests, no cities, and no real diversions.

Each asteroid is very, very large. There’s no way to tell the clear passage of time, but WooFZee has to stop for a rest twice before they finish the first asteroid, and three times before they finish the second. The third asteroid is different, though.

“Something’s changed,” says WooFZee, shortly after stepping onto the third asteroid. “Can you feel it?”

MeaZea nods. “It’s like…the air here is hotter. Or thicker, maybe?”

“The stone feels different, too. It doesn’t burn but…it still feels a lot warmer then before.” WooFZee’s ears prick forward. “Do you think this is the one with the kingdom on it?”

“I hope so,” says MeaZea. “And if it’s not, I hope we can get off of it quickly. Do you have any idea what a stob-goblin is?”

“I’ve never heard of it before,” answers WooFZee, starting across the asteroid. “But I hope we don’t run into them. Not here, at least. Not on this asteroid.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author