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

Zen leads them to a small stream, just as monochrome as the rest of the world. Silver pebbles line the bottom of the stream. “Here we are! This is the stream!”

MeaZea frowns. “It doesn’t look like there’s any mud here. The grass gives way straight into water.”

WooFZee agrees, “I’ve never seen any water this clear.”

He walks to the very edge of it and peers into the waters. His reflection stares back at him, tongue lolling out. It blinks. WooFZee does not.

Startled, the large wolf scrambles backwards. “What is this?”

“Don’t be scared,” says Zen. “It’s just an echo. The water’s here all do that. A long time ago, you looked into a stream somewhere and blinked. It’s just echoing up here.”

MeaZea makes an uncomfortable sound. She doesn’t like the sound of echoes. As someone who’s been in the water all of her life, there’s so much that could be echoed up here. She’s careful not to look too hard into the waters. Instead, she asks, “okay. Let’s be quick about this. Where do we get the mud?”

“We shouldn’t be quick about anything,” says Zen. “It’s a bad habit. All that rushing will do is get us through something halfway, and end up with us having issues at the end of the day.”

WooFZee barely bites back a growl. “Where’s the mud, mouse?”

The mouse gives an unhappy chirrup. Then he walks along the bank of the stream about twenty feet and announces, “right here. All you have to do is roll in the water. When you get out, you should be white enough that the Zeebs won’t be able to spot you.”

MeaZea asks, “and then we can go to the castle?”

“Then we can go to the castle,” agrees Zen.

WooFZee walks over to the designated spot of the water. Rather than stones, thick, white silt lays on the bottom of the stream. The wolf slowly dumps MeaZea into the water first, and then gets in himself.

It’s cold. The silt is sticky and thick. It clings to WooFZee’s fur, and to MeaZea’s hair, and to her scales, and to his paws.

Then, carefully, MeaZea climbs back onto WooFZee’s back, and he steps out onto the other side.

Zen scampers over as well, careful to avoid the silt himself. “Alright! It’s not perfect. I can still see some of the color through the mud. But it should work for now! We just have to be careful and try to stay out of sight!”

MeaZea looks up, scanning the sky. She can’t see any sign of birds or Zeebs or whatever else might be up there. But she doesn’t want to get caught by them either.

If Zen says that this is what needs to be done, MeaZea’s certainly willing to listen.

“Alright,” says MeaZea. “Lead the way.”

And Zen does.


Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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