September 11, 2018 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

Do it well.

That’s what the rabbit had said.

MeaZea tries to believe that San can, but – the laughter is louder, now, and it’s so hard to not look. She asks, “what’s a child of the coin?”

“Hold on tighter,” says San, in lieu of answering. His long legged walk turns into a trot, and then a run, and then something even faster. Around them, the bamboo blurs and the rest of the world follows. San moves like he isn’t bound by the laws of the universe, carrying himself forward on limber legs.

MeaZea curls around his neck, buries her face in his soft fur.

They run until the bamboo forest is long behind them. Despite having only taken a matter of seconds, it feels as though there are miles of distances between their group and the haunting laughter. San isn’t even out of breath!

He tosses his head, flicking his ear back at MeaZea. “You have a good grip.”

“I’m used to this,” says MeaZea, a little shaky. She sits up straighter and looks around. They’ve stopped at the base of a mountain path. It cuts up along warm, red stone. The path winds higher and higher, twisting around and vanishing from sight. A few out croppings of mint and honey suckle dot the stones, despite the fact that they shouldn’t be able to grow in these conditions.

The rabbit is already part way up the start of the path. Her fur is rumpled from the harsh wind. “Alright, alright, we don’t have time to dally.”

“We have all the time in the world,” counters San, and he says it like it’s supposed to be a joke.

MeaZea tightens her fingers around the gazelle’s horns. “What was that?”

“Children of the Coin,” says San, as though that explains everything. He starts up the path, his hooves clicking loudly against stone. To the rabbit, he says, “she should eat.”

No,” snaps the rabbit, her ears suddenly going flat. “We take her straight to the Caretaker.”

“They always eat first.”

“Not this one. This one is special.”

“Aren’t they all special? That’s why they end up here, after all.” Despite the protest, San sticks close to the rabbit, letting her pick out the path that they’re meant to take.

MeaZea doesn’t question the conversation, but she wants too.

Eventually, they come across a flat clearing. The plateau has a single house on it, old and carved from twisted vines, slabs of red stone, and thick coatings of black mud. San announces, “I need to rest.”

The rabbit gives him a sour look. She reminds them all, “this one’s special.”

“I need to rest,” insists San.

There’s no further argument.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author