December 28, 2019 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures
They wait for what seems to be a very long time before Zen shows up, looking harried but whole and all in one piece. He rubs at an ear with a front paw and says, “that was close!”
WooFZee growls at him. “You’re telling me that? We nearly got killed! I thought you said – ”
“Stop that,” scolds MeaZea. The two of them are lounging on the bank opposite from which they’ve come. Her tail flicks through the water. “There’s no reason to fight. We just need to get moving and get out of here.”
Zen bobs his head in agreement. “It’s going to be okay. This next stretch of forest is almost totally safe.”
WooFZee growls, the sound low in his throat. “Almost?”
“Almost,” says Zen. He makes short work of crossing the river. “Come on, then! We’d best hurry if you want to get there in time!”
WooFZee climbs out of the bank. He shakes himself off, thick gray fur sending water and silt flying in all directions. “In time for what?”
“For whatever it is you need,” says Zen, as if that’s the obvious answer.
WooFZee crouches down, so MeaZea can haul herself up onto his back. As hard as she’s trying to be grateful for the guide and hopeful that things will hit an upswing, it’s hard not to be leery. She eyes the forest, trying not to count all the times that thick groves of woods ended up being a very bad thing for them.
MeaZea asks, “how long does it take to get through the forest?”
“Longer than it should, if we keep standing around and talking,” answers Zen. “Now, are we going? Are you ready? You’re the ones that wanted to go so – ”
“You’re acting strange,” decides WooFZee. His ears pin back. “What’s in that forest?”
“Nothing much,” answers Zen. And then, before WooFZee or MeaZea can ask anything else, the little critter turns and takes off for the tree line.
“Go fast,” says MeaZea, leaning forward and hooking an arm around WooFZee’s neck.
The big wolf protests, “I don’t trust him, MeaZea! I think this is a bad idea. There’s something about that forest that he’s not telling us!”
“I don’t think you’re wrong,” says MeaZea. She arranges herself so that her tail is more comfortable. The position is familiar and helps put her at ease. “But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got no idea where we’re going! This isn’t a good thing, WooFZee. Just – don’t lose sight of him, alright?”
And though the wolf still doesn’t agree, he takes off after Zen all the same.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author