The Holder of Catharsis

In any city, in any country, go to any single-structure retirement home you can find.

Tell the receptionist you need to see the Holder of Catharsis. The person will say nothing--if they move to show you the way, follow; otherwise, take the nearest obvious path further into the building. Seek the nearest restroom: it'll be empty, with one or more mirrors.

Approach the mirror and gaze into your own reflection. Make eye contact, but maintain an awareness of your reflection's facial features. When, slowly, the visage's countenance changes, force a similar expression. The mask on other side of the glass may exhibit a smile, grimace, scowl or sneer. As the expression becomes more and more extreme, mimic it as best you can. The smell of death will begin to fill the room, but do not abort this procedure midway. If you do, there's no guarantee where you'll find yourself once you exit.

The walls and stalls behind your mirror-self will proceed to darken. Still, maintain eye contact. When the face's expression, as well as your own, promptly snap back to a blank stare, you'll know you've succeeded.

Aspects of the room will be in disarray. As you exit, you'll find the corridor empty and dimly-lit.

Stand outside. Begin to breathe slowly, utilizing your full lung capacity as best you can. Begin humming softly in a low tone as you exhale. Listen for the sound of footsteps, and glace in that direction. In the distance, you'll notice a dim, transient figure, its physical boundaries vague, drifting away from you. Begin to walk in the opposite direction. Do not run, but don't look back, either. In the dim lighting, the passage's end will not be visible. Continue humming.

There will be rooms on either side of the corridor. As you proceed, from the closed doors you'll hear mumbles and possibly faint cries. Look straight ahead; don't falter. The noises will certainly grow louder--from some doors your name will be called, and from others, you'll hear cries for help in the voices of loved ones long dead. Pay them no heed. Eventually, the doors and their voices will grow sparse, replaced by bare walls and various sounds of clawing and dulled thuds. Again, do not look back. Continue humming.

The door at the end of the corridor will be partway open. Moonlight will shine in through a lone window, illuminating a chalk circle drawn on the hardwood floor. Sit in the circle, facing away from the door. Continue humming.

A harsh wind from the open door will usher in familiar voices in unfamiliar, unsettling timbres. Friends and family living and dead will cry your name and decry your being. The voices of those you're closest to will unleash criticisms formerly unspoken in their love of you: words so cruel in their truth, so true in their cruelty, your heart will feel as if it is being torn apart. Tears will stream down your face. Don't stand up, don't look behind you, and with every fiber of your being, keep humming.

If you stop humming or leave the circle, they'll slowly file into the room--familiar faces bearing unkind, contorted expressions and hostile tones--and even the circle will not save you.

When you feel drained of the will to live, the wind will cease. You may stop humming. Stand up, and look behind you; laying on the boundary of the chalk circle, there will be a small flute carved from the fibula of a newborn. Hold it in hand, and speak aloud, "Where is the Sanctuary?" The voice will answer, and immediately you will know it speaks the truth.

Play the bone-flute. Despite seeming too small to produce any noticeable sound, it will produce the sound of your own humming--followed by the sound of a heartbeat, and blood flowing. The first scent you ever grew familiar with will fill the room. You'll collapse from exhaustion shortly thereafter, remembering the meaning of catharsis.

You'll awake nearby outside, Object in hand. Likely less than an hour will have passed since your entry. Playing the Object will bring an intense calm, reminding you of where you came from, and of the safe place you still hold within yourself.

But you'll know in your heart you cannot remain There. Within a week, find a patch of dirt and bury the Object, else, the view of your mind's blue sky will turn dark; the rivers flowing in your inner space will cease to churn, and soon grow stagnant. Stay too long and you'll cease to exist as an individual, losing your sense of self completely. Restlessness and insanity are guaranteed to follow. Discarding the object will feel like discarding a shard of your being, or voluntarily forgetting your own nature.

The Bone Flute is Object 411 out of 538. Know your origin, but move on.

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Last modified on 2012-09-21 12:00:37Average Rating: 5 / 5 (2 votes)Viewed 8206 times

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