January 26, 2016 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

MeaZea’s lips twist into a frown. She leans over the side of WooFZee, running her fingers over one of the dark red poppy flowers. It’s solid beneath her touch; not coarse like a ruby, not fluid like water. “How can this be anywhere else? It’s ridiculous, thinking that there are two fields like this out here.”

“It must be the riddle,” answers WooFZee. He picks each step carefully, unwilling to go tumbling down into the caverns again. The hole in the center of the clearing is deep. There doesn’t appear to be any end.

The mermaid nods. “Though eyes I have, they have no sight. I can’t be seen in black of night. If I move left, then you move right. In looking glass, I come to life. That’s not a riddle that I’ve ever heard before. But…if I move left, then you move right. That part.”

WooFZee’s ears twitch. The hole is filled up with water. He blinks, but the image in the hole doesn’t move.

“It just gave us the answer,” gasps MeaZea. “WooFZee, that’s the answer! It has eyes that can’t see, it moves the opposite way that we do, and there’s no way to see it in the middle of the night! The answer to the riddle is our reflection!”

A great roar fills the air. Southbound wind rips the flowers from the ground, and the earth crumbles beneath WooFZee’s paws.

They wake up standing, as if they hadn’t just come tumbling from a field. The forest is gone. Instead, MeaZea and WooFZee find themselves standing on the edge of a precipice. The stone is hard beneath WooFZee’s paws, and the cold is coming down in a light dusting.

Again, the boy’s voice fills the air.

“What can run but never walks.”

A river of sapphires and diamonds can just barely be made out through the dense emerald tree tops below the mountain.

“Has a mouth but never talks.”

The crash of a waterfall fills the air.

“Has a head but never weeps.”

Someone is crying.

“Has a bed but never sleeps.”

It sounds like the boy.

And MeaZea, she wonders, what exactly they’ve just stumbled on. She wonders if this is the right way to go, and if the secrets hidden on this island are even worth discovering. The riddle is repeated twice more before the world goes silent, save the roar of the waterfall and their own steady breathing.

“Another riddle.” WooFZee snorts. “I hate riddles. Why do they all have to talk in tongues?”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author