Author : TJMoore

Virgil crept through the vent blinking as the hot, humid wind caused tears to stream from his squinted eyes. The condensation caused him to slip and slide on the smooth, sweaty metal as he lifted himself up into a side shaft. The constriction made the air howl and Virgil had to push hard against the sides to keep from blowing back into the main vent.

Virgil rounded the last familiar bend and squeezed through a small rend in the screen. He caught the flick of a familiar tail at the far end of the vent.

It was Jarl.

Virgil crept up behind Jarl in the roaring torrent of moist air. He reached out and tweaked Jarl’s exposed tail with his major pincer. Jarl jerked, lost his purchase and hurtled, cartwheeling down the vent as the wind whipped him from his perch. He smacked hard into the screen and, after reorienting himself, glared up at Virgil’s mischievous grin.

“You didn’t have to do that!”

Jarl clawed his way back up the pipe to where Virgil waited and waved one of his secondary appendages at the exposed opening and the chaotic maelstrom beyond.

“It’s a pure underwear load!” he yelled excitedly over the howl of the constant wind.

Virgil snapped his head around and peered into the melee whirling around in front of him.

His mouth watered at the sight. Jarl pushed in next to him and started jabbing his primary into the turmoil trying to snag a bright pink sneaker sock that was near the center of the tumbling pile.

“Those will stain your teeth you know!” Virgil shouted even as he considered making a try for it himself.

Jarl gave a triumphant cheer as he snagged a frilly white piece of cloth that whipped by in front of his face.

Virgil laughed and pointed at the flimsy material fluttering on Jarl’s claw.

“It’s a dryer sheet you moron!” he laughed.

Jarl shook the inedible sheet off his claw and gave Virgil a snide glance.

“I thought it was lace panties.” He grumbled as he wiped the smelly softener residue off his pincer.

Virgil took the opportunity to snatch the pink sneaker sock from the turbulent tumble of clothes in front of him. Jarl’s insults echoed behind him as he hurtled down the vent and slipped through the screen.

“Hey! I don’t want any static from you!” Virgil laughed loudly as the air pushed him away with his prize into the darkness.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow