The Emporium

The two girls turned and looked at one another, confused.

“Was that always there?” said Sara.

“I don’t think so. I don’t remember seeing it before,” Cass replied.

Across the street, a small sign swung gently in the breeze above a small blue door. “Wise Debu’s Emporium” it read, in an elegant golden font.

The two friends stood where they were, watching the foot traffic coming and going on the busy street.

“Should we go in? What do you think’s in there?”

Cass shrugged. “Sure.”

The pair wove between the moving crowd, making their way across the street and to the door. They looked at each other, then Sara pushed the door open slowly. A bell jingled.

Inside, an expansive storefront opened up, far larger than the unassuming doorway would have suggested. The walls were lined with shelves holding all manner of curios, great glass display cases with swords and crystals and strange gizmos. The two girls looked around, awestruck, before a voice from the corner interrupted them.

“Hey. You aren’t…how did you two get in here, man?”

Behind the counter, a hulking figure made of earth and stone stood, stumpy hands on his hips. He wore a long blue robe, covered with a thin layer of grit and dust. Two pale blue lights were set in deep eye sockets, that looked to be narrowed. Cass and Sara looked at each other, wide eyed. Neither responded.

“I’m talking to you, man, yeah. Me. Big rock man. How’d you get past the screening wards?”

Cass spoke up. “Well…we were outside, see, and then we looked across the street and there was the door and the sign and we hadn’t seen this place before so…”

The stone figure blinked slowly a few times. “Yeah, no, man, that’s not meant to happen. See that doorway is an extradimensional gateway to this sort of, um, pocket universe. You’re not supposed to be able to see it unless you can afford anything in the shop.”

The two girls looked at one another, confused.

“I’m Grant, by the way, nice to meet you. Do either of you have, like, a lot of money?”

The girls shook their head.

Grant scratched his head with a fat finger. “Well that’s, like, really weird, man, that’s not meant to happen.”

The stone man reached under the counter and produced a thin wand. The girls looked confused. “Hold still, please,” he said, then there was a spark of white light and the children vanished in a puff of smoke. He turned and called into the back room of the shop.

“Hey, Tim? Get Debu to check the wards when he gets back. Kids are getting in again, man.”

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