The first thirty words are true

"Very well, you may have your extended lunch."

As she stomps from the room, I take my seat, the pile of letters and envelopes before me twin towers of agony.

Another worthy foe.

As if they can read my thoughts, the two piles suddenly lunge upon me, sharp edges biting painfully into my skin.

I cry out, fumbling my blade in the process. It clatters to the ground, ringing clear and true. My blood stains the edges of my dual foes, their fibers drinking it up eagerly.

"Justinian!" a shout sound from another Temp. Her own pile of paper rests on her table, aflame. Groans of pain issue from it, but she doesn't hear. She is intent on me, gliding past stunned faces in her haste to rescue me. As she runs, she holds out a hand, glowing.

I cry out once more, falling to the ground to rest beside my blade, blood seeping from thousands of wounds.

I hear above me a battle cry, then a terrible wail overlaid with the cackles of flame. Cinders fall around me, ash floats down like snow.

Slowly, I rise to my feet, blade clutched weakly in my hands.

"Justinian, are you alright?"

The Temp stands in front of me, sweat upon her brow.

She is beautiful.

"Yes," I manage, softly. "I am fine. 'Tis only a flesh wound."

She nods. "They are rather shallow. The paper-beasts are vicious, but almost incapable of causing great harm."

"What is going on here!?!"

We both turn, the whole room turns, at the sound of the voice. The cow has returned, and the dying embers of the paper-beasts echo the raging flames in her eyes.


The End

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