Mystagogue, Pt. 14

No,” I murmured. “No, no. I was going to get a book deal.”

“It would have been a crappy book.”

“I was going to go on talk shows.”

“No one would have watched them.”

“I was going to win awards and grants.”

“For what? You’re not even fit to be devoured by gods whose very existence is hunger,” she said.

My mind reeled. “I’m special,” I said. “I’m erudite. I’m empathetic. I’m insightful. Any dark cult would be lucky to–”

“Go,” she said. She lifted her arm, pointed a finger, and the wall split open like a wound. A hallway lay beyond, with a bright light at the end and a fresh Plutonian breeze wafting through it. “Leave this place before I–”

“Before you kill me and sacrifice me to your evil god?” I said, a spark of hope briefly flaring to life in my chest.

“Before I call security and have them gently but firmly escort you off Church grounds.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but the priestess raised her hand and a tendril slapped me across my face, coiling around my head, sealing my mouth and my eyes. I tried to bite it, but to no avail. It was like trying to chew through uncooked chicken with the texture of a rubber tire. The sound of meat being pulverized filled the air and heavy inhuman hands (or inhuman appendages of some sort, at any rate) wrapped around my arms and legs. I was lifted into the air.

“Get him out of here,” the priestess said. She paused for a moment before adding, “Gently. But not too gently.”

For an eternity I was dragged through the those dim, lightless caverns (at least, I assume they were lightless. Due to the tendril still wrapped around my head and serving as both a gag and a blindfold, I was unable to tell either way. Or voice my displeasure, and I was experiencing no shortage of displeasure.) I was trapped in darkness, but my other senses seemed to more than compensate for it. I could perfectly picture the stars spinning above me, cold and distant and long dead. I could hear the priestess back at the Altar of Teeth intoning some dark incantation. I could smell candles made from the tallow of humans and things that might have been human once but had been made somehow both lesser and more. I could taste the bitter failure of my idiotic peers in the academic failure publishing papers about the Church of Starry Wisdom while I languished in obscurity.

Wordlessly I screamed. Mercifully, I passed out.


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