Philo looked from side to side, trying to work out what to do next. He knew that he was supposed to be heading to some sort of Junkyard to fetch some goods, but it felt like an eternity ago that he'd been informed of that assignment. Since then they had been traveling, and the way both time and travel worked in The Between made it difficult to know just how long and how far they'd been moving. There was nothing but white surrounding them in all directions, so it wasn't as though he had landmarks to judge by. Worse, having nothing to look at was beginning to weigh upon Philo's sanity.
Normally he'd be chatting with his traveling companions, but it was clear that they didn't get along very well and he felt certain by the body language on display that if they started talking, a fight wouldn't be far behind. A fight was something he'd rather avoid, though it likely would make for quite a spectacle considering the two of them were a lavender-skinned three-headed serpent named Rill and... well, he'd yet to have the opportunity to ask his other companion what she was. She had bat wings, red skin, a spade-tipped tail, and hooves. There was also something strikingly beautiful about her that Philo couldn't shake. She wore makeshift armor, which had been recently joined by a sash of tools and a bundle of burlap sacks strapped to her back. He wanted to use the word "demon" to describe her, but it struck him as the sort of term you wouldn't want to use unless you were absolutely sure it applied. Sort of like "pregnant" or "sir."
"Trixie!" Philo called out to the winged form ahead of him once the curiosity finally overruled his good sense.
"Don't talk to her," hissed Rill's left head.
"She's a rival fetcher," added the center head.
"Nnd sh's mnnn," mumbled the right head. Her lack of diction was primarily due to the fact that she was clutching Philo by the neck of his jumpsuit in order to carry him.
"Oh, sorry," Philo said.
"Don't let them tell you what to do, Champ," Trixie said, dropping back to glide beside him on the right side. "What've you got?"
Philo glanced uncertainly to Rill, who looked sternly to him, then to Trixie, and finally to the featureless void ahead.
He cleared his throat. "I was wondering, and don't take this the wrong way, but... what are you?"
She threw her head back in a boisterous laugh. "What do you think I am?"
"I wanna say demon."
She grinned and shrugged. "Demon's close enough for now. It's a little like calling you a person. Not as specific as it could be."
"So what kind of demon are you?"
"Demon's close enough for now," she repeated.
"Okay. So if you're a demon, does that mean you're evil?"
"Yeff," Right-Rill said.
"There's no such thing as evil, Champ."
"I'm pretty sure there is."
"It just looks that way from your end. Evil is a one-way sort of thing. Folks just do what's natural to them. Sometimes you're the spider, sometimes you're the fly. If you think you see something evil going on, that just means you're caught in a web."
"Easy for you to say. You're not the one dangling like a kitten right now."
Her glossy black lips curved into a grin. "The world needs flies." She swept up to him and fluttered backward, cupping his chin and giving it a shake. "And you look like a particularly juicy one."
YOU ARE READING
The story of Philo Middleton, a test subject with little memory of what exactly he's being used to test, but the near certainty that said test has failed. This story is an attempt to write an episode per week of ideas that I couldn't use in my other...