“Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” Charles said, crawling on hands and knees around his shop. Lost product is rarely a good thing, but lost product at Modleck’s Cursed Objects and Other Enchanted Maladies usually meant something would explode or the stock boy would be have to be returned to human form when found in the morning.
Charles could not explain in any logical manner how he had come to work at such a shop, or how his boss, a four-foot tall hairy troll who loved fedora’s and tiny mink coats was actually the best boss he had ever had, but he was indeed working at a malicious magics shop at the corner of Trenton and 5th. The store was situated between a coffee shop Modleck said was, “insulting to all sirens,” and a bagel place that would often trade food for magic beans that caused digestion issues beyond anything a regular could ever strive for. It was a five minute walk from Charles’ apartment and the Yellow Line had a stop right outside, making it beyond easy to get off work and head over to his girlfriend’s place.
All of this; the good bagels, the bus stop, the kind boss, was going away if he couldn’t find the Obelisk of Tr’yl.
“For an obelisk, you sure do roll well,” Charles said as he looked under the checkout counter once more.
The shop bell sounded, letting Charles know a potential customer had arrived.
“Be with you in a moment!” He shouted from the floor. The Obelisk was no where in view. The search would have to be halted.
“No worries, take your time,” the customer said right as Charles popped up from behind the counter.
“What can I do for you today?” Charles asked as the customer recovered from the slight fright of his sudden appearance.
“Hi. I was looking for something to help me prank my sister,” the customer said.
“Well we can certainly help with that. Do you have anything in mind?” Charles already knew what the customer was going to pick. A gem that caused goblins to snap hair bands for about a week; super annoying and not actually harmful. Goblins love the work too.
“Well, I don’t want any lasting damage,” the customer said.
“I understand. Follow me. I have the perfect thing; obnoxious, but it will only bruise egos,” Charles gave the ‘follow me’ wave. “Oh! Watch your step. There’s a small obelisk rolling about. I don’t know what it does, but stepping on things in here is never a good idea.”
The customer chuckled, “I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.”
The two took a few steps into the storage area of the shop. Wooden shelves ran floor to ceiling and were full of dusty knick-knacks and bobbles that certainly brought nothing but pain and disaster if used properly. Charles began to give his goblin gem sales pitch; a speech said out of reflex more than anything at this point. His pitch was interrupted by the sudden, shrill, scream of the customer and a loud bang.
Charles turned around in a hurry to see the cause of the outburst. The customer was gone and in his place a cloud of smoke was dissipating.
On the floor, and in the customer’s path, the Obelisk of Tr’yl made itself known.
“That’s where you went,” Charles said. He knelt down to pick up the pesky ancient object.
As his fingers hit the black rock the loud bang sounded again. A new cloud of smoke filled the area.
“Where in the world did I just go?” The customer shouted.
Charles knew exactly what had happened. The customer, not watching his step as warned, had stepped on the obelisk, unleashed the horrors within and was taken to the place between places for the briefest of moments. Why don’t they ever listen to me? Charles thought to himself before standing to once again greet the customer.
“Tell you what, this goblin gem is on the house,” Charles said. “You go back up front though. I’ll bring it to you.”
Thanks for reading!