November 9, 2016 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

“She went through it,” gasps MeaZea. “I don’t believe it!”

WooFZee snorts. “Everything we’ve done here, and that’s what you choose to believe.”

“Don’t be rotten,” scolds MeaZea. “That’s not normal, even for this place. There’s been some level to balance in everything so far. Up might have become down, but that’s only after down has become up. And this – ”

“If the wall is a door,” says WooFZee, padding over to the place where Elbath vanished. He nudges at the wall with his nose. It feels solid enough. “Then maybe the doorway has turned solid.”

MeaZea looks back, but the entrance they came through is far too dark. The shadows cling to the stone like the veil on a mourning woman, making it impossible to see through. “Maybe,” she says, but it’s clear that the mermaid has her doubts.

“It’s our only chance out,” says WooFZee, and then he takes a deep breath and steps into the stone.

It’s not cold.

If anything, it’s blazing hot. The warmth seeps, not just into his fur, but into WooFZee’s very bones. It wraps around his joints and surrounds his muscles – but it’s gone, just as fast as it appears.

With the heat, the blackness of stone also vanishes. Instead, WooFZee and MeaZea find themselves standing in the night sky itself!

Stars criss cross the air around them. The light is blinding. Some of them form the very starts of a constellation, but are too spread out and seemingly unfinished.

Elbath looks as though she is right at home. “I’m glad that you chose to follow me. If we hurry, then we can make it.”

“Make it?” WooFZee’s ears flick in unease. “Are we on a time schedule?”

“Yes,” says Elbath, simply. “The world is always on a time schedule. Right now, we must get to the gate before the moon closes it.”

“The moon – what are you talking about?”

“The moon is a fickle man,” says Elbath. “He thrives on routine. Every day, when the sun rises, the gate must be closed. If we don’t get to him before it, then you’ll miss your exit.”

Confused, MeaZea asks, “can’t we just go through the next day?”

Rather than answer, Elbath turns on her hooves and starts walking. There is no ground here. There are just strips of solid air seemingly attached to WooFZee’s paws. It’s unsettling.

MeaZea is captivated by the stars. She tilts her head back and laughs when a comet streaks past them. “Did you see that? Amazing! Elbath, what is this place?”

“The essence of night,” says Elbath, sounding pleased and proud and sad, all at the same time. “We are passing through a kingdom that few seldom see. And soon, you will meet a man that few have ever gazed upon.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author