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Holder of the Firstborn

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In any western nation, in any neighborhood, enter a family home. Should you encounter a woman, ask to speak to the “Holder of the Firstborn.” If you encounter a male, calmly leave the house, and try another home another day. If you do ask the woman, she will look at you as if you’re lying to her, and lead you through a darkened hallway, silent save for the strange sighing of the ventilation at your feet.

She will lead you to a closed door, with faint light emanating from the bottom. Take a deep breath, for your next reactions require you to have your wits about you. The woman will dismiss herself, but not before declaring “Son, you have a visitor.”

However, should you turn to look at her, you will find nothing, only an endless path into the darkness from which you came, along with the sad cooing of the vents. Take care not to gaze into the blackness for too long, as the emptiness instills a deep sense of longing and lonesome that will prove fatal. It is best to keep your gaze upon the door.

Steel yourself, and firmly grasp the knob of the door in hand. With your free hand, knock on the door exactly twice, and pause. Quickly, before you hear a voice, you must ask, “Why were they jealous?” Quickly open the door, enter, and scan the room within one blink. If the room appears barren, you must quickly back out of the room and shut the door firmly behind you.

Do not flee yet, as you will not escape the darkness intact. Instead, press your back to the closed door, and apologize profusely. Should a young man’s voice reply, “You’re not allowed in my room,” you will know it is safe to leave. You must find your way out of the darkness on your own. Should you make it out, you must leave the house and continue away on foot until the sun rises again. If you were foolish enough to drive there, consider your vehicle lost. It is his now. Do not stop, unless dismemberment is among your favorite pastimes.

Should you enter and find the room inhabited, remain and make yourself comfortable. The hard part is over, and the threat has passed for now. Inside you will find a young man in his mid-to-late teens, sitting in a chair, holding an unplugged electric guitar. Though he strums it, no sound comes out. He will stare at you condescendingly, and will only respond to one question: “Why were They jealous?”

You must stand firm as you ask this. Do not waver before him, lest what you seek be forever beyond your grasp in this life. Hold firm, and he will respond: “They wanted what They were not yet ready for.” The young man will set the guitar down, and leave you in the room, alone. Temptation will set upon you to touch the guitar, but you mustn't. If you do, your life will end, and begin again as a newborn to the family of the house you entered.

Leave the guitar and instead investigate the room. You will discover something. This thing is never the same, but you’ll know it when you find it; it’ll take the form of an item you coveted as a child. As you set hand on it, your skull and stomach will feel as though they've been struck with blunt force. Try not to cry out; any sign of weakness and you’re finished, a world of pain ahead.

When you wake up, the object you found will be in your embrace. Whenever it was that you entered, it is now the first day of autumn.

That Object is 208 of 538, a grim reminder that brotherhood breeds contempt. Though they must never reunite, it longs to be together again.

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