September 20, 2017 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The third asteroid is just like the one before. It is impossibly large, with strange stone statues protruding from the surface of the asteroid. WooFZee makes sure to keep his head down, jaws parted to try and prevent anyone from sneaking up on them. The thought of some strange beast catching him off guard is unsettling.

What does a stob-goblin look like? What does a stob-goblin do?

He doesn’t know. And that’s the worst part. WooFZee asks, “do you see anything yet? I still can’t find any trace of a kingdom.”

“It’s got to be on this one,” says MeaZea, even though there’s no proof of that past a strange feeling in her gut.

WooFZee nods in agreement. “I think so, too.”

There’s no sign of anything inhabitable – and so, on they walk.

Some time later, WooFZee comes to a stop so sudden that MeaZea nearly tumbles off his back. She yelps, “careful!”

He asks, “do you hear that?”

MeaZea gets herself repositioned on her companion’s back. “Hear what?”

WooFZee doesn’t say anything right away. He tilts his head to the side, ears pricked up.

MeaZea listens too. After a moment, she says, “I don’t hear anything. What is it, WooFZee?”

“Bells,” answers WooFZee. “We need to go this way.” He turns and starts towards the east. “I knew there was something different about this asteroid!”

It doesn’t take long before MeaZea hears the bells, too. The sound is soft and faint, like it’s being muffled by something. Excited, she asks, “do you think this is the kingdom?”

“I hope so,” says WooFZee. He picks up the pace. “I really, really do.”

WooFZee follows the sound of the bells. They lead the duo to a massive stone structure. Ten stone pillars have been erected in the rough shape of a circle. Red tinted water drips in a steady stream from the top of the pillars. Someone has carved a track in the stone at the base of the pillar, forming a path that the water trickles down; it collects in a hollowed out basin at the center of the circle.

MeaZea asks, “what is this place?”

“I don’t know.” WooFZee carefully picks his way around the trails of water. “It smells like sulfur.”

“Gross,” mutters MeaZea. She leans forward, inspecting one of the pillars. “I wonder…do you think this could be the entrance to the kingdom?”

“That depends,” says a soft, lilting voice. “Who are you, and why do you seek the kingdom?”

WooFZee reels around. A woman now stands at the center of the of the stone circle. She’s made completely out of the red water and yet her beauty is still unparalleled; her curves dripping, her eyes shining, her full cheeks dotted with specks of foam in the place of freckles.

She smiles at the duo and there is nothing but warmth in her gaze. “I am the guardian of the Singing Stones, entrance to the Chapel of Halithorn. If you seek the kingdom, it is I who you must speak with.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author