June 7, 2017 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures
It’s slow going, getting up the invisible steps. WooFZee cannot remember the last time he was so utterly terrified of a task that MeaZea had laid out before him. But this? This is like something straight from a nightmare. They are hundreds of feet above the expanse of black ground, now, and the wolf knows that one wrong step will send them both plummeting down to their doom.
“Okay,” announces MeaZea. “I’m going to find the next one. You ready?”
“Just make sure you pick the right direction,” growls WooFZee, uneasily. His ears are pinned back flack, hackles raised, and tail tucked between his back legs. “BE sure you pick the right direction.”
“I’ve been correct so far,” responds MeaZea, ever confident. She uses the blade of her katana to feel around, stabbing and slapping at the air until the metal comes into contact with something solid.
WooFZee shuffles to face the supposed next step. His legs are trembling. The muscles in his back are wound so tight that they hurt. Carefully, he puts one paw out in the direction of the step.
It touches something solid.
There is no relief. Only the anticipation that this will be going on for what seems like a very, very long time.
Luck must be on their side that day, for MeaZea and WooFZee do, eventually, come upon what appears to be the last step. It’s a good twenty feet away from the nearest asteroid. The mermaid’s katana won’t catch on anything. There is nothing but space around them.
WooFZee whines, “now what?”
“Give me a moment,” says MeaZea. She sheathes her katana. “Let me think. There’s got to be a way over there.”
A strange, tittering sound fills the air. “Of course there is! I’m surprised you made it this far, considering you don’t know the secrets.”
WooFZee’s stomach lurches. He can’t smell anyone, and that realization is terrifying. “Who’s there?”
“If you can’t see me, maybe I shouldn’t say anything. After all, you’re being very rude. Trying to get my name before giving me your own? That’s just silly! And dangerous. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that names were powerful?”
MeaZea runs her fingers through WooFZee’s fur. “If names are so powerful, why would we give you ours without knowing what yours is?”
“Because these asteroids are my home, says the mysterious form. “And you’re in dire need of my help, if you want to come up here and visit.”
WooFZee narrows his eyes. He says, “don’t tell her anything.”
MeaZea frowns – hesitates – and eventually nods.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author