August 22, 2016 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

“What do you mean you can’t leave?” WooFZee stares at Pao in disbelief. “I thought that you wanted to go see the real world?”

“I do,” says PAo, seriously. “I want to see it more than anything else in the world. But I can’t go and have my fun, knowing that it’s cost your friend her freedom. When I came here, I didn’t realize that there would be such a fuss. I thought I could fall to earth, meet the Elder Star, and leave without consequences. But this – this isn’t what I wanted, WooFZee. If you believe nothing else that I say, believe that.”

There’s honesty in his eyes, and sorrow in his voice. Pao looks towards the cliffs, towards the sea, and WooFZee does too. It’s a dark sky, and a dark sea. They are nothing more than a thin line in the distance, on the other side of the glass valley.

That’s where they need to go. That’s where MeaZea is.

They do, eventually, make it back to the beach. It’s a different section of sand, away from both the scene of the original crime, and away from the tide pool. A few large rocks lay at the edge of the surf. There’s a neon pink starfish clinging to one of them.

WooFZee shifts the scale under his tongue. It’s rough but not unbearably so. He glances at Pao, who walks beside him. “Can you breathe under water?”

“I don’t need to breathe at all,” says Pao. He reaches out and takes a fistful of WooFZee’s fur. “Lead the way, WooFZee. You know her better than I do.”

“I don’t know anything about the lands under the water,” admits WooFZee, but he steps into the water all the same. A faint blue glow envelops his paws where the water touches him. The scale tastes like copper in his mouth.

It should be cold, but it’s not. It should fill up his lungs when the sand gives beneath his feet, but it doesn’t. WooFZee breathes the water like he breathes air, and his powerful legs propel him easily through the water.

Pao swims beside him, enveloped in a white light of his own. The water is black around them. The scale has not yet gifted WooFZee with sight; that will come later; that will come deeper.

WooFZee nods.

A chasm, he thinks. She’s in a chasm. That means that I need to go deeper than ever before!


Katelynn E Koontz – Author