December 30, 2016 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

“I am sorry,” says the Moon Man, voice low and rolling. It sounds as though he’s talking from a very far way off, and the words can only just be made out. “I have but two jobs – to protect this realm of night essence, and to keep track of the cycle between night and day. I have failed at both.”

Elbath steps forward, dipping her head in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“My watch has broken.” The Moon Man pulls a silver pocket watch from his dark robes. The front casing is engraved with starlight, a shine that maps out a constellation with no name. At least, with no name that MeaZea recognizes.

Cautious and curious, the mermaid leans closer. After a moment, she says, “the clasp is broken.”

“It is not just the clasp.” The Moon Man says, and the sorrow in his voice is limitless. He shakes the watch just once; the front casing swings open, revealing a sheet of shattered glass and a dismantled clock face. “Without this watch, I cannot do my job. The cycle will fall out of sync – our world will crumble, and the realms outside will fall into chaos, unable to predict the path of moon or sun.”

WooFZee snorts. “You’re telling me, that watch can do all that?”

“Don’t be rude,” scolds MeaZea. Then, to the Moon Man, she asks, “what do you think happened to it?”

The old man gives a weary sigh. “The planes across the night sky are vast and many. When I was younger, it was easy to keep track of them. But now the world has grown large, and I have grown old. The countless creatures who inhabit this realm have lost track of their roles, and they have started to stray. I know not who broke my watch nor how to fix it.”

WooFZee growls, tail swishing with annoyance. “We can’t help you, not if that’s all the information you’ve got. I wouldn’t know where to start looking!”

The Moon Man pockets his watch, slipping it back into his ethereal robes that are draped over his too tall form. “The moon fae, they would know how to fix it. They live in the starshine waterfalls, just past Orion’s Belt.”

Elbath looks at MeaZea and WooFZee, eyes wide and wanting. “He can’t travel that far,” she says. “And I cannot leave him alone. Would you please help? I know this is out of the way, and I can offer you no reward. But…”

“We don’t need a reward. We’d be happy to help,” says MeaZea, firmly. She gives one of WooFZee’s ears a light tug. “Right, WooFZee?”

WooFZee gives a heavy sigh. There’s no use arguing with MeaZea, not when she has her mind set. “Yeah. Yeah,” he grumbles. “We’ll help.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author