I sat on my front porch, eating a grilled cheese sandwich. It was just after sunset and my store was now closed. I had had a pretty productive day. A man had showed up, asking for a book on djinn. A couple had showed up, asking for a psychic reading on the future on their marriage. I had done a tea reading for them, and according to my results, they would be divorced in just a year. The couple left the store arguing quite loudly with each other.
Jiayi was still living with me. He hadn't found a suitable lair to replace his old cave yet, so he was still chilling out in my basement. He had fully recovered from his vicious beating at the hands of Mictlantecuhtli.
The dybbuk had shown up VERY early this morning, nearly giving me a heart attack when I awoke to find it standing over my bed. I was true to my word, and handed the Limbo scroll back to the dybbuk. It was heart breaking to do that, but I was a man of my word. Besides, I think I had the spell memorized.
I sipped a glass of soda clutched in my hands. It tasted good. I should have been at peace and letting myself relax. But something kept nagging at the back of my skull. Something that wouldn't let me be at ease.
"Something on your mind, Anton?" Jiayi asked. He was sitting next to me, wearing his new jacket. I had bought that for him today, as a replacement for his old jacket that had gotten destroyed in the battle. He had decided not to have me bring him a lawyer and that the jacket was good enough. (That was good, as I really didn't want to have to kidnap a lawyer and toss him in my basement for Jiayi to eat).
"Yeah, something has been troubling me," I responded, setting my glass of soda down. "Do you remember how Mictlantecuhtli said barriers were weakening?"
"Yes, I do," Jiayi replied, drumming his fingers together.
"Well, if that's true, then that's really, really bad," I said. "If the barriers weaken enough, monsters and evil deities long imprisoned could get loose. They could attack earth, causing untold amounts of death and destruction. Worse still, they could get into the pantheons realms. Nothing except the gods of their own pantheon and those who they allow in can get into specific realms. But if those weaken, then a war could break out between the gods and the monsters they've kept long imprisoned."
"That is bad," Jiayi said. "That could disrupt the whole balance of the universe. However, are you positive Mictlantecuhtli wasn't lying to you? He could have just said that in order to divert you from his real goal."
"I'm pretty sure," I muttered. "I could see the truth in his…er…hollow pits where his eyes should be. He wouldn't lie about something like that."
"What do you plan to do?" Jiayi asked.
"Nothing yet…" I said, taking a bite of my grilled cheese sandwich. "We'll start to notice if the balance has been upset. Like monsters start showing up in greater numbers or the weather beginning to go crazy. We'll find out."
"And one more thing," I said, swallowing the hunk of sandwich I had just eaten. "This isn't a natural event. Mictlantecuhtli implied someone was behind this."
"Who?" Jiayi asked, narrowing his eyes. "Who would want to weaken barriers and potentially cause so much destruction?"
"I don't know…" I muttered. "I don't know at all…"
We fell silent then. I stared straight ahead. In the far distance, storm clouds were approaching.