Mystagogue, Pt. 10

I felt myself being pulled backwards, the tendrils dragging me like ropes. My feet slid through the floor like it was mud. My body came to rest against the wall, and I felt it growing, groping at me, covering me, burning me with whatever vile fluid it was secreting.

My heart sunk into the darkest pits of my stomach. I knew that there was no amount of kung fu in the solar system that would free me from this situation. The last group that would have known how to overcome menacing tendrils, the Schoolgirls of Mars That Was (a misnomer, as the culture included women, men, and even an artificially sapient panda at one point) had been dead for centuries.

The priestess watched me with the soft eyes and warm smile of an adoring fan. How many others had there been, I wondered. How many inquisitive fools and wide-eyed adherents had wandered these hallways, hearts filled with wonder and anxiousness, only to meet an unspeakable end within this room? The “altar,” for lack of a better word, spoke of obscene rituals and blasphemous rites (a phrase which I use empirically and without a single trace of moral or cultural judgment.) Doubtless it had had blood spilled on it before. Doubtless this room had seen many grizzly deaths.

The burning sensation had come to the front of my body at that point. I looked down as best as I could, given that wall seemed to be sucking greedily on my scalp and pinning me in place, to find that the wall had covered my stomach and was growing up over my chest and towards my neck, my face. I was reminded of slime molds, and how they would grow in the most efficient path to consume food.

I could feel the flesh needling its way towards my mouth, my nose. I took a deep breath, as if that would save me.


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