“For the love of all things random and chaotic, Cyril, what have you done now?”
The smudge in question looked sheepish. “I didn’t mean to, Trevor. I was curious, that’s all.”
Trevor sighed darkly. “You know this will mean paperwork, don’t you?”
“Lots and lots of paperwork.”
“I hate paperwork,” Cyril whined.
Trevor didn’t have eyes to roll, but if it did, it definitely would have been rolling them. “You should have thought of that before you opened that gate.”
Cyril watched the darkness as it swirled around the vortex, looking for escape. “Do you think we could get it back inside?”
“Psh, fat chance of that happening,” Trevor groused. “No, I think what we need is a patsy.”
“Yeah, you know, like somebody to pin it on. A scapegoat.”
Cyril thought hard, but couldn’t quite grasp the meaning of his partner’s words. He was still pondering when the darkness around them wobbled and stretched, streaking and lightening and gaining form to become a well-appointed room. On a nearby pallet a young woman slept.
“She’ll do,” Trevor said, releasing its grip on the middle note and fading back into the shadows with Cyril.
They both watched as the shadow took advantage of the scene shift, breaking apart into individual sins and escaping through windows, doorways and cracks in the walls.
The young woman awoke and stretched, then sat up, blinking at the open pithos in the middle of her room. She rose quietly and approached the jar. Peering inside, she saw a small opalescent winged thing, bumping against the walls. She reached inside and withdrew the winged thing, feeling suddenly very optimistic about the future.
“What’s that, Trevor?”
“It’s Hope, you ninny. She’ll be needing it now that all those sins have seeped into her world.”
“Does that mean we don’t have to do any paperwork?”
Trevor tutted. “I don’t know why I bother, Cyril. I just don’t know why I bother.”