Mystagogue, Pt. 9

The priestess advanced on me, my attention split evenly between her heaving bosom and the dagger in her hand. I raised my fists and adopted a defensive stance taught to me by the Shao-fu monks of Tau Ceti Prime Rib Buffet and Zen Garden. I was confident that I was more than a match for a waifish girl with an overglorified butter knife, but even so, I took a step back. It’s important to have a firm sense of your environment before engaging in fisticuffs.

Unfortunately, I stepped into the wall. I was dimly aware that this should have been an impossibility as I had just stepped out of a hallway and I had walked in a perfectly straight line. Perhaps the walls had grown shut to trap me in. It didn’t matter. I was more than capable of defending myself. I drew in a deep breath and let loose a kiai shout.

“Back off, man! I know, like, seven different kinds of martial arts!”

The priestess paused. Her eyes went wide in surprise, but the expression lasted for only a moment before it was replaced by a smirk.

“I’m serious! I’m a black belt! I’ll kick your ass, man! I’ll destroy you!”

The priestess shook her head. “The hundred and eleventh wisdom,” she said with a smile, “is that we have all already been destroyed. All of us.”

I felt something grab my ankles. There was a sucking sensation coupled with a wet suppurating noise and I realized my assessment of the floor had been correct. I looked down to see the soft, fleshy surface growing over my feet, pulling me into itself.

Eating me.

I didn’t even have a moment to scream before two tendrils burst out of the wall and wrapped themselves around my wrists, burning my skin with corrosive spittle.


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