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  “I certainly am,” I cheesed out with a big grin on my face, “Especially if you would deign to impart what passes as general knowledge for your kind.” This was my shot, maybe my only shot to figure what the fucking hell was going on.

  His handshake was mountainous. This ant got to shake hands with the boot. I opened the door and invited him in. In about ten minutes, I had the bar cart from the dining ladled with all of mine and Sarah’s favorite drinks, Jack and Coke, Jameson and Ginger, Vodka martini and an Epic Screwdriver. I also had a 24 pack of Guinness just in case. To top it all off, a plate of Sarah’s homemade triple chocolate fudge brownies with the last of the vanilla ice cream that I had been saving for myself. Couldn’t believe I was going to feed this fucker my absolute favorite dessert.

  “Sweet Heavens!” my guest moaned as he sampled everything while laying on the couch, his feet on my tree-lady, “This is better than Aphrodite’s teat!” Leaving brownie crumbs in his beard, he turned and said, “Well, infant sorcerer, I’ll answer two questions for you. And if I can’t answer it or don’t know, I’ll let you ask a replacement.”

  Seeing his feet on my woman made me want to test out my new spear on a god. I knew who this dude was, Hermes, or Mercury. The wings on the lighter were my main hint, plus the fact that I could not even sense him. That either meant he was out of phase with this reality, or he was so powerful that I didn’t have what it takes to register him. And if our mythology had anything right, he was the god of messengers, basically the intelligence wing of the pantheon. Not somebody you want to fuck with. Time to real this fly in with honey.

  “I am afraid that I’m going to have to plead ignorance as I’m honestly not really sure what to ask,” I replied as I sipped my own drink, “Most people are gone and I really don’t understand to where or how, and I also don’t understand what exactly changed with the laws of our universe, I mean, I know magic is real now, and some creatures that only existed in stories actually walk around but the only reason I have any power at all right now is due to my liquid courage at the time of the Ripple. Also, I don’t know what you mean by the Great Rending or Elder races.” I was very careful to make statements instead of questions.

  He looked at me without saying anything for a long moment. Downing the last of his drink, he opened the bottle of Guinness on the table in front of him and took a long pull. “We gods have not been able to walk this earth in many thousands of your years. It does feel like yesterday to us as time means nothing immortals, for what is a million of your years when I shall see a million more of those? It’s also why we hold grudges for eons, because we never go away, except for here. Here is where magic left, or rather, where your earth left magic. The greatest shamans and magicians of your time somehow managed to split this earth from the multiverse, into its own dimension. You remember scant stories of before and of us. The ‘Ripple’ as you call it, was the death of one of the gods of Change, one whose Name you aren’t even capable enough to hear. The fight causing the death and the death sent out waves of pure change and uncharted Chaos, destroying the inverted seal and reverting your Earth and its surrounding bodies to their former state, one with the multiverse.” He finished the Guinness and went for another, deftly popping the top and draining that dry in two pulls.

  “The meaning you understood from the Ripple is your fractured genetic memory resounding from the return of MAGIK.”

  The last word blew my short hair back and knocked several pictures off the wall. My shield barely held back the shockwave. My right hand slowly inched towards my spear that I had propped up on the wall. He put his hand up, trying to placate me, “My apologies, I am a guest in your home and you have treated with me well. I meant no harm.” I stilled my hand. “The energy here in your house is raw and pure, unusually so. I did not know the name of Power would react that way.” He set his drink down and sat up, facing me directly. “Let me remove the stain from my actions by giving you this.”

  Opening his hand revealed a small seed. “This is an acorn from Yggdrasil, the world tree whose smallest branches and roots now entwine with the soul of this plant. I do hope this is satisfactory recompense for my actions.”

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