January 2, 2020 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

Stepping through the veil is a little bit like surfacing after being under the deep water for a very, very long time. It’s not an unpleasant feeling, but it’s a strange one – as if, in your absence, the very air and sun had changed.

Once the group surfaces on the other side of the veil, a castle is visible. It’s crafted from white stone, and surrounded by black grass. Pale gray roses burst out through the grass, spattering it like freckles, or craters.

“Wow,” breathes MeaZea.

WooFZee is far less impressed. He asks, “so what do we need to know about these guards? How hard are they to get past?”

“For someone my size, not very hard at all,” answers Zen. “Someone your size might have more problems, though. The guards are lamia. That means – ”

“We know what that means,” says MeaZea. “A human body, but a snake’s tail. They’re like the mermaids of the jungle. What are they doing all the way out here?”

Zen huffs. “If you want to stop interrupting me, I’ll tell you.”

“Right.” MeaZea looks down, sheepish. They linger just inside of the veil, so there’s no chance of running into a guard before they know what they’re dealing with. “Sorry.”

Zen’s ears flick. “Anyway, the lamia here aren’t like ones you’ve met. They’re made of star shine and moon shadows; an ancient race of creatures that have lived here since always, and sworn loyalty to, not just the Lady of the Moon, but the Council as a whole.”

“Are they more loyal to the Council than the Lady?”

“Yes. The Council is the one with the final say in all manner of life. The only ones above them are…The Man in the Moon, and the Shadow of the Galaxy.”

“Shadow of the Galaxy?”

Zen turns and start scurrying towards the Council. “Unimportant right now. Let’s just get going! We need to move quick, and silent if we want to get past the guards!”

And just like that, they’re off, moving through the black grass, the white flowers. Moving through a land that they shouldn’t be a part of and can’t get away from.

And then WooFZee stops completely, lifting up his head and opening his mouth. “I can smell them. Four guards, just up ahead.”

MeaZea frowned. “Why can’t we see them?”

“Because they’re in the grass,” says Zen. “It’s okay. I’m small enough, I can see them. All you have to do is trust me.”

“Right,” grumbles WooFZee. “That’s going to be easy to do.”

“Oh, hush,” scolds MeaZea. “We trust you, Zen. Lead the way.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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