November 21, 2017 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The mines are not too far away from the Singing Stones.

Or, perhaps, they are miles away? It’s hard to keep track of the passage of time in this strange world. MeaZea spends the walk to the mines running her fingers through WooFZee’s gray fur and humming the tune of the Singing Stones to herself.

They don’t talk.

WooFZee is rather irritated with the whole ordeal. This is something made even more obvious when they get near to the mines. The abandoned site has been carved into a rather large section of asteroid; a dark chasm of black that opens up like some sort of mouth. Rusted railroad tracks lead into the opening of the mine, and there’s an over turned cart laying a few feet away.

“It doesn’t look like anyone’s used it in a long time,” says MeaZea, softly. “Do you think we could be at the wrong entrance?

WooFZee’s ears prick forward. He lowers his head, tilts it, tries to catch the faint sounds drifting out from inside of the mine. “No…we’re in the right spot. I can hear them.”

The entrance into the mine is well lit. Strange torches hang on the walls, each one placed several feet apart. A golden crystal has been affixed to the top of the torch staff. Brilliant yellow flames surround the crystals, seemingly capable of burning forever.

WooFZee shuffles over to the wall so MeaZea can pluck a crystal torch out of its bracket. She asks, “can you smell anything?”

“Rot,” says WooFZee. “Mold. Wet things. I don’t like this place, MeaZea. It doesn’t have a good vibe. And…can you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

WooFZee tilts his head. His ears swivel and twitch as they walk down the main path of the mine, following the forgotten rail track. “The bells. Or…I guess they aren’t bells, per say. But it’s metal against metal. I don’t like it.”

MeaZea frowns. “I don’t hear anything.”

Eventually, they come across a fork in the path. Neither line is lit by the crystals. It doesn’t matter if MeaZea and WooFZee go to the left or the right, they would be walking into darkness. Stones protrude from the ceiling, making it look like the tracks vanish into the mouth of a beast.

“They’re on the right path,” says WooFZee. His tail droops in between his hind legs. “MeaZea, it’s not too late for us to turn back.”

“We can’t turn back,” says MeaZea. Then, a moment later, she asks, “is it that bad?”

“It sounds like they’re calling for us,” says WooFZee, voice little more than a frightened growl. “It sounds like they already know we’re coming.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author