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Holder of Darkness

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In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask with no hesitation to visit someone who calls himself “The Holder of Darkness.” The worker will mock you but you have to stay as calm as possible. Keep asking him until he stops denying and withdraws from his counter to guide you through the corridors.

As his behavior changes radically, stay on guard, for if you start hearing one single tiny sinister hiss, you should turn around and flee as far as you can, covering your ears, because the time was bad. If you do not escape in time, the faint sound will turn into a dreadful growling, that will soon merge into a continuous shriek of sheer pain, until madness floods you and leaves you to die in a deafening agony.

If the warden remains silent, he will lead you to a closed door with neither handles nor lock. As he pushes it open effortlessly, you will see an ascending winding staircase which can’t possibly lead to any upper floor of the establishment. The door will close behind you and you will not be able to push it back. Past this point, climb and do not turn back, or you will fall into a bottomless pit waiting for living prey to chew upon. Do not count the steps, for knowing how many there are will drive you to insanity. One will then creak, and at that point you should stop. Another door should appear on your left. If it is on your right, then pray for a swift passing.

Enter slowly into the room, and a blinding, obscuring darkness shall descend upon you. You will be required to walk straight forward, for straying even slightly will lead you to be devoured by the roaming and unknown creatures observing you with blinded and purulent eyes. You will know you have arrived when coldness grips you. At that very moment, freeze, or you will die by the hands of the holder who is standing right in front of you.

In complete darkness, even closing your eyes will not prevent you from his horrid appearance. It will form into your mind as the most outrageous monster ever conceived, and madness will try to creep into your brain as worms over a decayed corpse. His fulminating breath and constant mumbling would be enough to make you cry, but be advised not to utter anything louder than a weeping, for you might wake what must not be awakened. The only question you will be able to whisper without being torn apart will be “What do they fear?”

You will feel movements all around you, as shudders animate your opponents. You will hear what nameless and incurable diseases will strike the world if they were to be frightened, the countless terrors their own fright will unleash on those with a weaker mind than theirs. Amidst the atrocious enumeration of the endless sores the world will suffer, you might hear the simplest, almost ridiculous, yet implacable and certain truth they all fear. Do not move again. When your head is about to implode, it will stop. If you are still able to move, you will find a door in front of you which leads you outside of the ward. There, in the open, in the grass, a broken hourglass will wait for you.

You are free to pick it up. It is object 13 of 538. Your knowledge of their fears is up to you to share, but you may not want to use it as a weapon against them.

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