January 25, 2019 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

It’s meant to be a comment that strikes fear into the heart, but MeaZea feels only sorrow. She can’t imagine what that would be like – what this poor creature has endured over the years. Grief can be the biggest enemy of all, you know. It sinks claws straight into the heart and often refuses to let go, so the heart scabs up over top of the grief.

It heals all wrong. It makes people do bad, awful things.

But – MeaZea catches hold of the fox’s paw all the same. She grips it tighter, this time, so it can’t be pulled from her grip.

He falters, just for a moment – and in that moment, MeaZea sees her victory.

“My name is MeaZea,” she tells him. “And my companion is WooFZee. We have met many strange and lovely creatures during our travels, but those that live in this in between Realm of Night are the strangest of them all. I have done wrong in the past, and I will no doubt do wrong again. But that doesn’t change the fact that my heart is good.”

The fox goes so stiff that it looks as though someone has grabbed him. His whiskers push so far forward that they’re visible through the shadows of his hood. “What?”

“You may be a thief of names and a stealer of secrets, but you have nothing to steal from me. I will gladly share with you the stories of the deep, and the stories of my travels.” MeaZea is so earnest when she speaks. Her smile is gentle, careful.

There is hair in her face, but she doesn’t dare release the fox’s paw to brush it away.

“All I ask,” says MeaZea, firm and soft all at the same time. “Is that you give WooFZee the chance to share his secrets, too. And then we can talk about fixing the watch.”

A heavy moment of silence passes between them.

The fox thinks it over.

Finally, he asks, “you’d just give them to me.”

“Yes,” says MeaZea. “Secrets have no meaning to me. I’ll tell you all that I’ve seen, and I know that he will too.”

Softer, then, quieter, the fox asks, “you aren’t afraid of me.”

MeaZea wants to hug him, but she can’t reach. Her tail is very sore. “No,” she says instead, and tries to pour as much love and affection and kindness into the word as she can. “I’m not afraid of you.”

And, like a puppet with his strings cut, the fox falls to the ground.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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