August 19, 2020 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

MeaZea asks, “do you have a name?”

The elk-centaur answers, “I’m Ragon.”

“And…you can tell us what’s going on?” MeaZea scoots as close as she can to the elk-centaur, mindful of his long, long legs. “You said that it wasn’t safe to talk on the tour?”

Ragon snorts. His elk ears flick back. “This place used to be a haven for everyone in the lands. The hot springs have been here for generations. Not even three months ago, the fire elementals showed up. They claimed that they had a right to the hot springs because their magic fueled them, and then – they built this place! A supposed utopia.”

WooFZee says, “there’s no such thing as a utopia. People are always going to disagree.”

Ragon says, “if you disagree here, you’re not allowed to come back. You have to follow their rules and praise their magic and their city, or they won’t let you into the hot springs. I broke a leg a few years back. The springs are the only thing that make me feel good enough to work!”

MeaZea asked, “what’s this about a gift shop? About having to buy something from there?”

“It’s a cash grab,” says Ragon. “That’s the only reason they’ve come here, if you ask me. They’re looking for a quick way to make a lot of cash.”

WooFZee says, “I don’t understand why there are so many of their own people here, going on the tours?”

“I’m not sure,” says Ragon. “That’s what I’m trying to find out, though. My whole herd, we live just on the other side of the vale. This used to be our spot. We’d bring our kids here, our elders! But now they make you walk through the tour first, and then you have to pay?” Ragon shakes his head, making a disgusted sounding noise at the back of his throat. “I’m supposed to be trying to figure it out…but I’ve been here every day this week, and I can’t figure out why the fire elementals are paying to be here!”

MeaZea and WooFZee exchange heavy looks – and a silent conversation. Neither one had been looking to get caught up in a problem like this so soon after their space adventure, but they can’t just leave Ragon here to figure it out on his own, either!

WooFZee flicks his ears, and gives a single nod.

MeaZea grins at him. She reaches out, putting her hand on the curve of Ragon’s soft, elk shoulder. “We’ll help you figure it out, Ragon. After all, three heads are better than one!”


Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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