Eleven-year-old Jessie, the protagonist of Taz Muir and Shelby Cragg's webcomic Apothecia, is the only person in the world who knows that an enormous alien lichen is trapped in a pit in the woods. It's one of the most murderous beings in the universe, but it's also the only one who will talk to her.
Jessie is a girl who is largely ignored by her peers, teachers, and parents, but has a keen, if black-and-white, sense of right and wrong. She ventures into the woods with bags of dog food to feed the grinning creature in the pit, who begs her to either free it or kill it—when it isn't boasting about the carnage it once wreaked across the galaxy. Jessie is horrified, but fascinated by the creatures' insistence that it destroys as naturally as it breathes, but in her child's heart, she believes that killing is wrong, no matter what.
But while Jessie may tell herself that she is the creature's prison guard, it is also her only partner in conversation, and it fills her head with ideas about the beauty of destruction and tempting thoughts about her own power. Jessie believes that she possesses a strong moral compass, but will the creature's words invade her mind as its spores have invaded so many worlds? Apothecia is a self-contained story and it is coming to an end, so we will see how Jessie's choices play out very soon.