099 - The Supermarket

There’s an independent supermarket in the far northwest. Although it’s just as big and well-stocked as any of the city’s chains, it remains completely and totally devoid of life. There are no workers, no customers, no one. No one seems to question this, as though the store itself is a part of the city’s geography that their minds simply smooth over. If you should find it despite the blind spot we all seem to have for it, do not enter without a lemon and an egg.

The market is still and silent as a tomb. Proceed immediately to the back of the store and enter the employee break room. Put the egg and lemon in the refrigerator and close it. Say “An egg for protein and a lemon for zest” aloud, then leave the room. When you return to the store proper, the second layer of illusion will be lifted and you will see it as it truly is: empty and desolate. The carcass, half-gnawed, of a failed seeker will be laying behind the meat counter. He forgot to bring an offering. The blind spot is a defense mechanism, this place is like a venus flytrap.

The shelves will be empty, save for empty boxes and bones, except for one. The herb rack is the best stocked in the city. Exotics and inedible herbs and spices of all kinds, all of them useful in the craft and many of them extinct, are all sitting in the rack in clearly labelled flasks. Take one and leave. Do not look back and do not take more than one. There is plenty of room in the freezer aisle.

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