[Pt. II] Ch. 38: “Dude, you left a dirty magazine sitting out.”
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Mon, Sept 14th, around 1AM
My room

There was someone knocking on my door. “Hey Mark, wake up.” It was Joel.

“I’m awake, give me a minute.”

Once I’d put my glasses on and turned on a light, I opened the door.  “What’s up, Joel?”

“Either I had the weirdest dream, or something even weirder happened to me.”

“Wait,” I said, putting up my hand. “Let me guess, the Obdresti patron deity just visited you?”

He looked at me wide-eyed. “How did you know?”

“I either had the weirdest dream, or the local patron deities just visited me.  They told me about it.”

“Crud,” he said, or a much stronger word to that effect. “That can’t be a coincidence. Mind if I sit down?”

“Sure, why not?” I stepped back and set down on the bed.

He was about to sit down when he said, “Dude, you left a dirty magazine sitting out.”

“What? I didn’t even bring any.” I might have brought a few videotapes, but that was none of his business.

“It’s right here,” he said, picking up a magazine and showing it to me.  It had not been on my desk when I went to sleep. The title was Jackie’s and I at once knew why that was.

Jacklamina had said to look on my desk when I woke up, and Joel had gotten to it first.  The cover lacked any text but the title and featured her leaning part way over a desk wearing sort of a sexy-librarian outfit, with one hand raised over her mouth in an “oops” gesture.

“That isn’t mine, and that’s the goddess Jaklamina on the cover.”

He turned it around and looked at the cover.  “It does kind of look like her statue.  What’s it doing on your desk?”

“I asked them to leave some proof that it wasn’t all a dream, and I guess she’s got a weird sense of humor.”

“That’s a very weird sense of humor.  Take a closer look at the desk in the picture.”

It looked an awful lot like my desk.  No, scratch that – it was my desk, right down to where the computer and textbooks had been sitting there since last night.  I shook my head, and then said, “I’m not sure I want to see what’s inside there.”

“Of course, you do – but save it for when I’m not here,” he said. After sitting down, he went on, “So the two who visited you told you about Tennia coming to visit me?”

“Yes.  They said their main reason for being nearby was to keep an eye on her.”  I went on to tell him, as best I could, what they’d talked to me about.

When I finished, he said, “They sounds oddly casual for a couple of gods, but more fun than the one who came to see to me.”

“How did that go?”

“It was kind of heavy.  She had a long list of things she was annoyed with me for, starting with not knowing her role in Obdresti history, and ending with my taking so long to pay my respects.”  He sighed and gritted his teeth before going on. “I was half convinced she was going to tell me to buzz off back to America by the end of it.”

“She didn’t?”

“No, that’s the funny part,” he said. “After all that, she had a bunch of questions for me about my mom’s life in our world.  At the end, she said she was glad to have part of her family back, and that she hoped I’d make a good king.”

“That was it?”

“That was it.  It was a pretty long talk, although time seemed weird there.”

“Sounds like it.  I think I was only talking to the other two for a few minutes,” I said. “So nothing at all about fate or destiny?”

“Not at all,” Joel said, “and I don’t much like what they seemed to be saying about great or horrible with nothing in between.”

“Assuming I’m not losing something while passing it on, I can’t blame you. Are you going to talk to Dormer about this tomorrow?”

“About what Tennia told me, yes. Do you want me to get get his take on the two who visited you?”

“Nah, I’m good. I’m just going to chalk this up to ‘weird stuff happens here.’”

He shrugged.  “I’m going to try to get back to sleep.”

I said good night, and when he was gone, curiosity got the better of me, so I checked out the magazine.  Despite the cover, there was nothing salacious inside, which was completely unrelated – what appeared to be a travel magazine.  Obscuring part the first inside page was a note, in a clear, rounded handwriting: “Naughty boy!  You couldn’t wait to see more, could you? – Jackie”