January 9, 2017 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The Kingdom of the Night is a vast and spiraling thing. It stretches out in all directions, taking up the entire sky and then some. The stars vary in size and shape. Some of them are distant things, like the specks you see from earth. Others appear to be only around the bend, giant and blazing.

MeaZea and WooFZee are given a map and then sent on their way. away from the door that leads into their reality. It’s still strange to step on the empty air, and even more strange to use constellations as their guide. Yet that’s exactly what the brave duo find themselves doing, as the start the seemingly long journey to the starshine waterfalls.

“I still think this is ridiculous,” mutters WooFZee. He’s not really angry, just concerned. There are no stories about this realm, at least none that he’s ever heard. There’s something about walking blind that makes the wolf on edge. “We have our own problems to worry about!”

MeaZea has known him for far too long to be offended by his harsh tone. She pats him on the side of the head, scratches just beside his ear. “Our problems our their problems. We’re supposed to be helping people, remember?”

“We’re supposed to be on earth,” says WooFZee, in answer.

The mermaid laughs. “Earth? WooFZee – earth is over rated!”

On and on they walk, until there is nothing around them that can be recognized. Starshine floats through the air. It is something special, ethereal. MeaZea is so entranced by the sight that she almost misses the place on the map marked Orion’s Belt.

From earth, Orion’s Belt is an asterism within the constellation of Orion. It is made up of the three bright stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Looking for Orion’s Belt in the night sky is the easiest way to locate Orion in the sky. The stars are more or less evenly spaced in a straight line, and so can be visualized as the belt of the hunter’s clothing.

Here though, in this world, it’s not just the stars that show up. It’s also three rather eccentric sisters, who can be seen dancing over the light of the stars from which they’re named. The eldest, Alnitak, leaps down in front of the duo. She lands in a pile, one arm stretching out a moment later.

“Hello, young travelers. How strange, seeing you here.” Alnitak gives them a pretty little smile. Her dress resembles that of a ballerina, but the cloth is crafted from thousands of long-forgotten galaxies. “I must ask – why are you here?”

MeaZea says, “we’re going to the starshine waterfalls.”

A dark shadow crosses Alnitak’s face. “Oh,” she says, voice dropping down low. “Oh, my. I wouldn’t suggest doing that. Those waterfalls – people don’t go there anymore. Not since the starfire.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author