December 20, 2019 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The fox leads them through the building. They go down the strange, moving, changing halls, and then up – up – up what seems like an impossibly tall flight of stairs. When they get to the top of them, there’s a large door made from what appears to be bamboo and onyx.

“This way,” says the fox. He pushes it open easily, leading the dup out onto a balcony that has been carved into the side of a cliff. The golden fields of rapeseed flowers stretch out in the distance. Though there’s no way for their scent to reach this far, MeaZea almost feels like she can still smell the flowers on the wind.

WooFZee, who hasn’t had much chance to interact with the Keeper of the Coin, asks, “what is this place?”

“Your salvation,” answers the fox. He gestures to the edge of the balcony.

After a moment of hesitation, WooFZee moves to the edge and peers over. There’s another balcony beneath this one, though it doesn’t appear as if there’s any way to get to it outside of jumping down. A strange cylindrical contraption sits on it, made from the same onyx as the door and absolutely covered in glinting, gleaming golden coins.

MeaZea asks, “what is that?”

“A long time ago, I thought of going to the Lady of the Moon,” explains the fox. There is still black dripping from beneath his hood. It’s coming faster now.

Is he crying?

Perhaps.

It sounds a little bit like he’s crying.

“That was how I would reach her,” says the fox.

MeaZea asks, “are you going to let us use it?”

“I need a secret,” he says. “Just one.”

MeaZea repeats her earlier comment, “I owe you all of my secrets.”

The fox shakes his head. He takes a step forward and then, when WooFZee does nothing more but give a warning flick of his ears, the fox takes a second step. He sinks down to his knees, so he’s on the same level as MeaZea. “Tell me, when all this is over, where are you going?”

“That’s no secret,” says MeaZea, frowning. “We’re going to visit a dragon.”

WooFZee’s ears twitch.

The fox asks, “and where do you want to be going?”

A pause. MeaZea debates, very briefly, on saying exactly there.

But then she remembers their conversation before, and she means it. She owes the Keeper all of her secrets, even this one.

“Home,” she admits. “I want to be going home.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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