They fought side by side, valiantly, their swords ringing on shields.
When had that been? An hour ago, or a year? All she knew was she was lost. And that something had happened to her. Something...bad?
They vanquished their foes, sending each other a flash of a smile and gulping down healing droughts.
That wasn't bad. She dismissed it, turning her mind to other things. She stopped at an intersection and stared. There were three possible ways to go. Which one had she taken before? She didn't remember. She couldn't remember most things, except when they surprised her in a flash of clarity.
They opened the next door--the last door--and gazed on their prize. The fabled statues of Alistamista, forgotten goddess born of Fitch and Weth. The wall behind them was carved into the top half of a woman, her arms coming to rest on the ground on either side of the group of statues, her face looking down on them wearing her holy mask of a blank face. The statues all wore the same mask, and stood the same straight-backed way.
She felt her back straightening as well. She took the right fork. She used to have a system, always following the...but she couldn't remember which wall she always followed, left or right. What did it matter which way she went? She'd never find her way out anyway.
As they widened their sacks of endless holding space to slide them down over the statues, the mask on the first statue began to turn. They paused to watch it. The mask tilted toward them, and they could see underneath. It was standing on six bug-like legs which ended in sharp points. After she felt a chill of dread but before she could do anything about it, the mask launched itself at her partner, landing on his face. As he screamed it dug its claws into his flesh, drawing the mask into place.
Ahead of her there was a light. She walked toward it, and found herself looking through an archway to the outside world. The long grass sighed under the wind, which was warmed by the rays of the sun. And yet she didn't feel what she'd expected to. What had she thought she'd feel? She'd forgotten. Because after what happened...
Rooted in place, she glanced at the statue without its mask, and then couldn't look away. There was little left of a face. The eye sockets were empty, there were gaping holes in the cheeks, and the top row of teeth had been knocked out, the lips there torn away. And she knew she and her partner were dead. Another mask began to turn, and this time it jumped at her.
Why did she care to get out? That part of her struggling to feel and remain autonomous...what purpose did it serve? She turned back from the archway. The others were more interesting than the outside. She'd go find them.
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