A stumpy figure in blue robes stood bent over a ledger, fat fingers directing a quill in messy, chicken scratch writing. There was a thump as a large crystal orb fell from a shelf behind him, striking him squarely on his flat, stone head.
The Emporium began to tremble and quake as a crystal by the register began to flash rapidly in different colours. Grant dropped his quill and ran to the doorway into the storeroom as the shelves and display cases shook violently.
“Tim! Tim! The sensors are goin’ wild in here, man! Somefin’s up! Tim! TIM!”
There was a swish and a flash as the casperian appeared in the doorway, an expression of surprise upon his tentacled face. Grant’s deep-set eye sockets were wide with fear.
“Quick quick, grab the fragiles, a’ll check the readings, seems like some kind of, ah, cosmic turbulence!” Tim said, gliding across to the counter and peering at the flashing crystal.
Grant ran to a shelf at the far end of the shop, attempting to catch the various display items now violently throwing themselves from their resting places. “Tim what’s goin’ on?!”
Tim was hunched over, focusing intently on the crystal. “Seems like, ah, the, uh, entire multiverse is, uh—watch the orb!”
“The Annih’lus Orb!”
Tim turned swiftly up from the crystal, his eyes glowing and facial appendages writhing as he suspended a green marble in midair with thought alone. Grant looked at him, mouth agape, a bundle of mismatched items bundled in his stumpy arms.
“I’m not grabbing somefin’ called an Annihilus Orb!”
“Grab et! Just be careful like! Don’t go smashing et!”
Grant reached out and retrieved the green marble, a cascade of items falling from his hands to the floor. There was a sound of shattering glass.
“Did you smash et?!”
“No, man, no! That was just, uh, somefin’ else.”
“What was et?!”
There was a cloud of purple smoke billowing around Grant’s feet. Tim looked towards him and let out a cry of exasperation.
“Awhhhh! Not that wan!”
“Yeah, fink so yea.”
A low tone was rising in pitch and volume. The very walls seemed to keen with it.
“Unbelievable! Debu’s gonna kill us!”
Grant dove onto the floor, slamming a lid back on a small box as a long claw began to poke its way out. “What was you saying about the multiverse, man?!”
“Et’s rearrangin’ itself!”
In the northern corner, something exploded.
“Rearranging itself! Whole fabric a’ time and reality unravellin’ and reravellin’!”
Grant let out a wordless scream, lost under the crescendo of the trembling shop. “Well, why is it doing THAT?!”
“I dunno!” Tim was standing underneath a shelf, numerous wands, crystals and rings held in his tentacles, trying to hold the quaking construction up with his weedy purple arms.
Grant ran towards a nearby bookcase, tripping swiftly on his blue robes as he approached. He looked up as it teetered over, vomiting its contents on top of him. Some of the books coughed and flew away.
Tim turned to watch the elemental press himself to his feet, and as he did so the walls of the shop seemed to bend and distort. Time slowed, and a split second stretched out to infinity before the building snapped back to normality, the rising tone cutting out abruptly and a stillness descending over the room.
There was a guttural noise from the storeroom, and Tim and Grant both looked at each other, eyes wide.
“Did you feel that?”
“…Ahead of expectations.”
“…She’ll want to know.”