But what a reality it was. The desert, his Impacta, everything he had not had on his person was gone, and in its place stood a battlefield, barren, tortured, and deathly silent. There was a single building, a festively decorated shop covered with neon and freshly planted alfalfa. He recognized it. It was Leon's House of Gifts. A sense of dread filled him.
He entered. The place was immaculately clean, as if it had not yet even been open for business. Leon was standing at the sparkling new register, standing at attention, actually. "Leon," Sissy-boy asked, "I know he's been here. What happened?" Leon smiled broadly and collapsed into a giggling heap of repulsive proprietor. "Too late!" he guffawed. "No refunds! Hee hee!" He waved a slip of paper around manically. It was a cancelled reality check. "He's gone! Down to the river! Hee hee!" Sissy-boy pondered this, and headed for the door.
But Leon was there before him, as if by magic. He wasn't laughing any more. "You must make a purchase, Mr. Johnson, if you wish to return to the same outside you came in from. Those are the rules," he intoned harshly. "I have nothing to pay you with, and you have no merchandise here anyway. How can I buy something?" Sissy-boy asked. "Be reasonable." Leon began to hop up and down, screeching "Rules is rules! No refund! You must purchase or leave to elsewhere!"
Sissy-boy's mind raced furiously, and settled on the one thing of value he had - the grain of sand. He wondered what this creature might do with it.