Beyond The Holders
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To access the Un, one must be prepared for a few surprises that probably won't happen. It never was counted among the others for one simple reason: it can't be. The Un, and the plane it exists on, never really "existed" in a common linear sense, nor will they ever come into being if you're lucky.
At any given crossroads, you can't find the Un. That's quite alright, really. The Un can't truly be found anyway. But if you travel far enough from enough crossroads, down the wrong roads and through strange territory, you'll find a store - small thing, red with white trim, and a wide porch. I won't give you any nonsense about if the house isn't red, run and keep running, yada yada yada, because if you do see this little store, it's because you were meant to. You'll never find it if you weren't. You'll simply wander.
You'll go inside, and the bell above the door will ring - it won't be locked because visitors are scarce in this particular neck of the woods. There will be the warm stale smell of dust and sweat inside, and after your eyes adjust to the dark interior of the place, you'll see what seems to be a regular general store... one that seems like it got stuck in the 40s and never left. In the corner by the counter will be an ancient television set, slightly dusty, made of bakelite, the sort of black and white thing your grandparents may have once had. From personal experience, I can promise you that it only shows old episodes of The Twilight Zone. Go figure. There'll be a bell on the counter. Go ahead and ring it if you want; the end result won't be any different one way or the other. Bell or not, the proprietor of this establishment will soon appear - an older chap, if experience has any relevance here, with a slightly dirty apron, thin grey hair, and a pair of round glasses. He's friendly, I promise - it's all he knows to be.
You'll probably try and ask for "The Holder of the Un," as that seems to be the general thing you do in such circumstances. He won't be surprised. After all, the only people who manage to find this store are Seekers. He might laugh at this, and point to the store around you. "We might have what you're looking for in here. Check our catalog, take all the time you need." Then he'll probably go back to watching Rod Serling narrate about a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. Don't interrupt his program. No hellhounds or demons or what have you will devour you if you do; it's just impolite.
See, the thing is (should you ever understand this) he wants you to find what you're looking for. He is, for all intents and purposes, your friend - a rare thing for most Seekers. But as you look back into the store, you might come to doubt that. The packages on the shelves are all labelled one through five hundred thirty eight, and somewhere in there will be what you really seek. Not some strange item or ancient book, but the things you've given up along the way. Your honor, all nicely canned. Your sense of family, properly pickled. A box of salted souls. All there for the taking. Should you know enough about what you're looking for, you can find the things the Holders will try and take from you, tear out of you like tissue paper out of a box. It'll save you more than a world of pain, if you can find what you're looking for.
But when you come to the counter, you'll find your pockets empty of coinage. Your money wouldn't be good here anyway. "That's alright," he'll say, as he reaches under the counter and pulls out a piece of paper. "We'll put it on your tab." He'll jot down the name of the item, your name, and the date on the paper and hand it to you. All he wants is for you to come back to him once you've used what he's given you. Maybe bring some coffee. Play some chess. Spend some time with him.
What he likely won't tell you are the implications of your purchase. Should you fail in your quest - as, I must confess, so many have over the millenia - you and he will both be given mercies. He, the shopkeeper, will finally be allowed to close shop and pass on, after eons of sitting alone in the store. You will be spared the tortures the Holders would gladly bestow upon you, and you'll take up the apron and pull up a seat behind the counter. Rod Serling will keep you company.
Till the end of time.
Categories: | The Forgotten And The Unknown |
|Last modified on 2012-10-02 21:30:42Viewed 3943 times|