Beyond The Holders
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The Holder of Pride
In any city, in a developed country, go to any homeless shelter you can get yourself to. Stride in arrogantly, and to the first staff member you find, demand to see the Holder of Pride. The staff member will smile shyly, before offering you a bed for the night. Thrice refuse his offers, and choose a bed of your own to retire to. From this point forward you have ten minutes to fall asleep or the staff member will return to pluck out your eyes and deposit you on the street for your arrogance.
If you should fall asleep succesfully, you will wake up precisely seven minutes later. The first thing you should notice is that there are no signs of life in the shelter anymore, save for a strange wet garbled sound coming from across the hall, and a heavenly chorus singing praises from some distance away. The stonework and architecture also look heavily dilapidated.
From this point on if the garbled sound stops before you reach the source, pause for a moment and say in a clear, authoritiative tone, "They will be mine. I deserve them. None other shall claim them." If there is a muffled cackling followed, fear not, you are safe for now. If however there is no sound, your only hope of escape is to return to the bed from which you awoke and tear out your own eyes. Failure to do this will result in the emaciated corpses of all the homeless ones to have lived awaken in the macabre shelter, and begin to tear your flesh off strip by strip so they may have a meal, all the while taunting the foolish one who roused them with barbs strong enough to shatter the strongest psyche. If you pull the strength of will to take your own sight you will be returned to the natural world, forever relying upon the charity of others in lieu of your lost vision.
For the lucky ones, the sound will lead you down a series of corridors that end in a baroque looking door. Performing any other actions other than laid out here will result in the door becoming animate and devouring the person in front of it to be absorbed into the building's walls, forever a tortured observer in the surreal sub-existence that it is. Knock twice, and wait for any sound from the other side to stop, be it cackling or garbling. You will hear an elderly voice tell you to go away. Ignore it, and knock again three more times. The voice will threaten you with bodily harm. Cough twice, and open the door forcefully, swinging it in a wide arc. If enough force is put into opening the door, it will knock away an old man who will begin whimpering in pain. Ignore his pain, but take not your eyes off the old man, for he will gladly forego his agony to return it on you a thousand times worse.
The old man will ask of you your purpose here. Thrice refuse to answer him, and in return ask him precisely, "You are the Holder of Pride, am I correct?" in an imperious tone of voice. Should this tone lack sincerity, the old man will start cackling again, and you will feel numbness accelerate through your body. Looking down at this point will only cause your sanity to shatter instantly, instead of over a long period while you are confined to a void of nothingness, floating as an insubstantial ghost for the remainder of your natural lifespan.
If the man's face instead become welcoming, he will offer you a piece of unspecified meat. To accept is folly, as those who do are returned to the world with an insatiable hunger for the flesh of man. If you again thrice refuse his offer, he will scream at you, demanding to know why. At this point you must say. "You do not deserve it, you no longer hold what you claim to hold." Saying this will cause panic to grip the man, and his body will begin melting. His skin will drip off, followed by his muscles, sinew and bone, until he is nothing more than a puddle of malformed matter on the floor.
At this point you are required to reach into the puddle, do not worry about it's depth, and do not think about it too much, for it may drive a lesser man to ruin and grasp for a piece of material. You will pull out a bracelet. If it is black, whatever god you worship is no longer on your side, and you begin to share a similar fate to the holder. If it is as white as the driven snow, you may put on the bracelet return to the real world, awakening safely in the bed you demanded, bracelet secure on your wrist.
This bracelet is object 514 of 538. The wearer of it believes he can do no wrong.
|Last modified on 2009-03-25 22:38:11Average Rating: 4.5 / 5 (2 votes)Viewed 9324 times|