December 31, 2019 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The tree line shouldn’t be this far away. A few steps, and WooFZee should be able to cross the threshold.

But it’s not.

It feels like he’s running forever. At any moment, the shadows could catch him!

Zen pushes out of the forest with an audible pop. WooFZee runs so fast and hard, his legs ache and his paws burn. A shadow reaches out, unshaped claws grabbing at his tail but – he makes it! Pushing out of the forest is a little like pushing out of a bubble.

There’s pressure around him, and then an audible pop as he breaks out into the other side. The air here is clearer and sweeter. It’s like an entirely different world. Actually, it looks like one, too. The silver and white is only scattered around in spots, these splotches of brightness against a dark, shadowy back drop. The flowers are shades of gray, monochrome darkness that looks nothing like the previous world.

WooFZee’s legs give out. He hits the ground, hard. MeaZea rolls off his back and into the long, swaying grass.

Zen scrambles over to them. “It’s okay! It’s okay! This is normal! I was hoping that we would be able to get through that mess without having to deal with the shadows, but this is normal! It’s – well, not what I expected, but what I should have expected, I suppose.”

WooFZee cracks open one eye. “I’m fast growing to hate you.”

MeaZea, sounding exhausted, and with her voice rough and hoarse, says, “don’t be mean, WooFZee.” To Zen, she asks, “where now?”

“Now we walk along the dark side of the moon,” answers Zen.

For a while they rest there, until WooFZee has recovered enough to let MeaZea onto his back once more, fingers curling in thick fur. She says, “it’s so much colder over here.”

“All the light you see here is false,” explains Zen, leading them through the tall grass. “It’s made by magic, and magic, as we all know, can’t give off heat. Or anything, really. It’s just an illusion of light.”

“Why does the Lady of the Moon live out here?” MeaZea can only compare it to the darkness of the deep ocean, where everything was so very cold and still.

“She has too,” answers Zen. “Those are the rules.”

WooFZee asks, “the ones made after she ran away?”

“The very same,” says Zen, a strange note of seriousness to his voice. “It was thought that this would stop her from running away again. And yet, it has only done what she was already upset over. Made her lonely, and sad.”


Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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