December 29, 2019 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

Just like the rest of the world here, everything is white and gray and gleaming silver. The shadows stretch on too far, moving over the land as though following the second hand of a clock. It’s hard keeping track of Zen. Without WooFZee’s sharp sense of smell, there’s no doubt that they would be lost in the forest.

There’s literally no way that MeaZea can keep track of the small critter. It keeps vanishing into the under brush, the shadows, white on white and gray on gray. There’s a brief thought of that pelt shouldn’t change color but it’s quickly lost beneath the thrill of the run.

On and on it stretches. Zen was right. This forest is far bigger than it should be, or maybe it’s just the ever changing shadows. Either way, there comes a point where MeaZea gasps, “wait! We need to stop!”

Zen skids to a stop, WooFZee following suit.

WooFZee asks, “what’s wrong?”

“I’m just…” MeaZea trails off. She presses a hand to her forehead, closing her eyes, hard. “So dizzy all of a sudden.”

“It’s the forest,” says Zen. “Staying in here is only going to make it worse. We need to get out.”

“I’m not sure I can go anywhere right now,” admits MeaZea. “It’s taking all I’ve got to stay on WooFZee’s back.”

WooFZee suggests, “if we have to keep moving, I’ll do it slower. No more running. Maybe that will help.”

It’s the only suggestion there is.

MeaZea slouches forward, burying her face in WooFZee’s fur. “Alright. Let’s give it a shot. I think…I think maybe not having to look at the shadows might help. It’s just that they’re moving so fast.”

“We have to leave,” says Zen, a note of panic tinting the words.

At the same time, WooFZee says, “the shadows aren’t moving.”

“What?” MeaZea tilts her head to the side, so she’s only just barely looking at the world around her. The shadows are still spinning. “They are! Look at them!”

“We have to leave now,” insists Zen. “The forest is playing tricks on her already. We have to get out of here before it starts playing tricks on you, too.”

There are so many questions in that, things that still have to be answered. But there appears to be no time for it. Rather than staying and trying to debate on it, they just follow Zen again. WooFZee moves at a much more sedate pace, picking his steps carefully so as not to jostle his mermaid companion about too much, and MeaZea keeps her head tucked down in his fur.

It spares her an awful lot of the dizziness, but it also means that she’s totally unable to see the golden eyes that appear in those twisting, moving, spiraling shadows.

Something is watching them, and it’s not friendly.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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