March 14, 2020 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

The stairs let out into an empty room, and that empty room lets into another empty room. This time, there’s a door, and Zen rushes over to it. “This leads to the Lady of the Moon’s room!”

“Then let’s get this over with,” says WooFZee. He moves close enough that MeaZea can open the door, and then they step into the final room.

It’s not like anything else in the castle. This room has white marble floors and columns of carved soap stone. Flower tendrils cling to the walls, wrapping around them, baring a plant that WooFZee has never seen before. Like a hibiscus, but cream and white, on a vine and not a bush.

It’s like an entire house in one room; a canopy draped bed, a small open stone hearth for cooking, a bathing area with a curtain of shimmering star light that wraps around it. And a window with bars of magic steel, unbreakable to all.

Most magical of all, though, is the woman.

The Lady of the Moon turns to them, with her brilliant moon shine eyes, and her space black skin. “Oh! I’m sorry. I don’t…do I know you?”

Zen rushes forward. “It’s me, my Lady!”

“Zen!” A look of pure joy crosses her face. She kneels down, scooping up Zen. Her gown is crafted from a fabric that appears to flow like cream around her, satin and liquid all at once. “I have not seen you in what seems like so long. And you brought guests!”

“My Lady,” says MeaZea, giving her a sweeping bow. “We’ve come seeking your help. The Man in the Moon – “

“I cannot help you,” says the Lady. She stands up, bringing Zen with her. “I cannot leave, and I am not allowed to use my powers. I’m sorry, young ones. You’ve come all this way for nothing.”

“It can’t be for nothing,” says WooFZee. “We need your help. You’re the only one that can get the door open again! I can’t leave if it doesn’t open!”

The Lady of the Moon casts her gaze to the barred windows. “The last time I used my magic, it cost me my freedom. I don’t know that I can do it again.”

“You’ve got too,” sas WooFZee, ears pinning back.

And she does, of course, but MeaZea knows that force is not the way to deal with this. Instead, she tucks a strand of auburn hair behind one ear, and thinks back to what the statue said. Smiling, MeaZea asks, “my Lady, would you mind if I told you a joke?”

The Lady of the Moon’s face lights up. She looks truly ephemeral. “I would love that, miss mermaid. I would love that very much.”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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