I sat over my stove, a glass cup sitting before me. The bottle was filled with a bubbling red liquid, and was making an odd hissing noise.

I reached over, and grabbed an egg from the counter. I cracked it on the edge of the cup and opened it up. The yolk fell out of the eggshell and landed with a little splash in the red liquid. The yolk was swallowed up by the liquid and it began to bubble faster. After a few seconds, the liquid changed from red to a dark green.

It had been one week since I had helped the Norse gods destroy the army of monsters attacking Asgard. There, I had become a god slayer, killing three gods, Camazotz, Chernobog, and Hecate with an artifact capable of killing gods. Currently, the artifact was locked in a box in my room, protected by several magical wards. I had the only key to the box, which was hidden in the basement of my store.

After Thor had sent Jiayi and me home after the battle, I had started watching out for any emerging monsters that might start to escape onto earth. In Asgard, Hecate, in her dying moments, had told me who was weakening the barriers between worlds. It was none other than Yaldabaoth, the imperfect copy of the Christian God, who thinks he is the Christian God. Yaldabaoth is an arrogant, cruel, and jealous being who believes he is perfect and cannot be questioned by humanity. Most people believe he is the Christian God, and thus, follow his crazy wishes without question.

I had been trying to get in touch with him and find out why he was doing this. Unfortunately, it's not easy to contact gods and I hadn't had any luck yet. I had heard several odd reports on the news, like some sort of tentacle monster being spotted in Quebec and some wolf monsters killing park rangers in Yosemite National Park. However, nothing earth-shattering had happened yet, so I had resumed tending my store. However, I still was keeping an eye out for anything dangerous.

Currently, I was making an uplifting potion for a customer. The customer, a middle-aged woman called Mrs. Grant, was currently going through a hard case of depression. She didn't want any medication, but somebody had recommended she try me. She had come to see me yesterday and I had told her I'd make her an uplifting potion.

Uplifting potions were potions that when drank, made one feel amazingly happy and have a newfound love for life. They took a while to make however, so I had requested she come back later today. I had offered to do it for free, as I didn't like to charge people suffering from illnesses.

I had created the liquid that the potion would form from last night using a magic spell. This morning, after letting it "cook" overnight, I would need to put in a number of ingredients that would turn it into an uplifting potion.

First came the egg, which I had already dropped into the liquid. Next, I needed to put in some sort of flying insect. Luckily, I had found a housefly buzzing around in my room this morning. I had caught in a jar and now, it was buzzing around inside the sealed jar next to me.

I grabbed the jar, and held it up. The fly stopped buzzing, and crawled along side of the jar. I smiled and said, "Sorry, buddy, but think of it this way, you're helping someone in need."

I held the jar over the bubbling green liquid. The fly started buzzing angrily and I opened the jar. The fly flew forward and landed with a splat in the liquid. It tried to buzz off, but it was quickly swallowed up.

The liquid bubbled again and this time, changed from dark green to light purple. It was almost finished. Just one last thing to put in.

I grabbed the last of the ingredients from the counter. This had to be a piece of animal fur. This had been hard to track down, but I had managed to stun a squirrel with a spell outside my store and clipped off some of its fur with some scissors.

I tossed the squirrel fur into the purple liquid. It disappeared and the liquid bubbling, and some light smoke flew out of it. Then, it changed color one final time, from light purple to a bright pink.

I grabbed the cup and placed it on the front counter where I sold all of my items. I sat down, and fiddled with my watch. After about ten minutes, Mrs. Grant walked through my front doors.

She was wearing a cap and had bags under her eyes. She looked very tired and moved slowly up to my counter.

"Hello, Mr. Blackstar," Mrs. Grant said, her tone sounding sad and solemn. "Is my…potion ready?"

"Yes, it is," I said, grabbing the cup filled with the uplifting potion and handed it to her. "Don't drink it until you get home. The obvious effect will wear off after an hour, but it will remain with you forever, guaranteeing you'll never suffer from depression again."

Mrs. Grant looked doubtful but took the potion anyway. She nodded in thanks and walked out of my store. I watched her go, and smiled. It felt good to help people.

There was a sudden clicking noise from behind me, and I turned. A wooden carving of a click beetle was walking across my kitchen counter. It halted around the sink, and began nudging a plate I had left there.

"Bill!" I yelled angrily. "That's the second time you've escaped this morning!"

Bill was a carving of a click beetle I had brought to life sometime before leaving for Asgard. I treated him as a pet, but he was very prone to escaping from his cage. Luckily, he was always easy to locate.

I scooped him up, walking upstairs where my room was located above the store, and dumped him back inside his cage next to my bed. He began to crawl around and I sighed. Hopefully, he would learn to stop escaping at some point.

I began to move back downstairs, when suddenly, my cell phone began to ring. I grabbed it from my pocket and put it to my ear. I wondered who it was, as Jiayi was still snoozing in the basement right now and I didn't really know anybody else. (Well, at least nobody who used a cell phone).

"Hello?" I asked.

"Anton Blackstar," A slow, gravely voice said on the other end. "I have something you want."

"Who is this?" I asked. "How did you get my number?"

"I have ways of finding out things," The voice continued. "As for who I am, you'll find out soon enough. Would you mind meeting me for lunch at the Juniper Café?"

"I might," I said. "What do you have?"

"I won't risk saying it over the phone…" The voice said. "But I'll give you a hint. It has to do with Yaldabaoth."

I halted. I gritted my teeth and said, "I'll be there around twelve thirty."

"Good," The voice replied. "I'll see you."

The phone clicked off. I put it away, and sat down at the counter. Hopefully, I wasn't walking into a trap.