June 24, 2020 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures
“We’re going in there,” says WooFZee, sounding resigned.
“We’re going in there,” says MeaZea, sounding excited.
She gives WooFZee a reassuring pat, and then a scratch between the ears. WooFZee wags his tail. “Alright, fine. Let’s get this over with. I guess that I want to see what’s going on, too.”
And so they step down the slope, towards the city of fire. The closer they get to the city, the hotter the air becomes. There’s no smoke, though, nothing that chokes or stings the eyes.
Just steady heat, a little past being pleasantly warm.
At the very start of the city, there’s a man wearing robes of blazing reds, oranges, and yellows. He jumps to his feet, clearly startled by the sight of them. His large, bat like ears twitch. “Hello?”
“Hi,” says MeaZea. “We…saw your city. From the distance. I thought – “
“You thought that you would come check out the stunning streets of New Heatland! That’s absolutely understandable,” says the man. He grabs a handful of his robes, swishing them about in a clear greeting. “We’re all the rage in this part of the world! The heat magic employed in the creation of this city is a stunning thing, and many curious passerby’s come in to check on it! Wait just a moment, if you would! You can join the next tour group!”
And then he’s bustling into one of the buildings born of fire, and the door swings shut behind him.
MeaZea says, “oh, this is going better than I thought it would.”
“Which is a good thing,” says WooFZee, just a little testily. “If it had gone bad, we would have been lit on fire.”
“Maybe,” says MeaZea. “You don’t know that. It going wrong could have done something totally different. It could have been – “
The door opens up, and the man returns. “Alright! We’ve got stunning news! There is room in the tour! You’re just going to go stand right over there, and Bellum will pick you up on her way past!” When he claps, fire sparks from the tips of his fingers. “That’s lovely, right? She gives the absolute best tours! In fact, she’s often requested by people who come back for a second tour!”
MeaZea and WooFZee are shooed off to stand and wait for Bellum. From here, they can see the flickering glowing blaze of the city, the way it casts light on the mountains around them. The snow has been melted away, the water gone too, and all that remains is fire and stone.
It’s stunning. But…it’s also unnerving.
MeaZea needs to know what’s going on.
She has a bad feeling about it.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author