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Holder of the Heart

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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 to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the Heart." Should a look of disinterest appear on the worker's face, be persistent and ask him again, but with a more determined tone. Don't let that tone fade from your speech for a moment.

They know you're here, and they won't hesitate to kill you where you stand. Once he gives in and gets up from his desk, follow him to the entrance of a very odd corridor, and he will stop. He will hand you a mask that has half of an odd symbol on one side and all black on the other. It's best to put on that mask first before entering, as you don't want them to see your face; they can tell you apart from a crowd pretty well. He will stand there, but it won't be to help you.

Once you get to the end of the corridor, you will arrive at a wooden door styled in the times of peasants, kings, and knights. Knock twice, and say this exactly: "I wish to be complete, I do not mean to intrude." Should you say anything else, that door will explode open, shattering to pieces, but you wouldn't want to know what was on the other side. If you did say the right thing, however, the door will slowly open itself, and you will be pushed through by an unknown force.

Don't bother looking back, for there's no one there. Yet. You will have arrived at a large clearing, and the door you were pushed out of will have disappeared from sight, with nothing left but a pile of ashes. Look around: you will notice a large castle - or what was left of it - beyond a humongous clearing. Starting from where you have entered this realm, walk until you get to that clearing and keep walking to that bare castle. Sleep where your body falls, and keep your mask on at all times. It's the only thing that's protecting you right now. It will be days, weeks even, before you reach the Castle; keep walking until you get to a bolted door. Knock twice, and say, "I have come for my Heart."

There will be a sliding panel on the door, and it will open, revealing bright amber orbs in the darkness. Ask this only: "Do you have what I seek?" Ask anything else, and that door will open. You will never outrun what is on the other side. Should it grunt, it means that you have access to the Hallway. Enter, and the door will shut. The thing that possessed those eyes is nowhere to be seen. It's better that way, for your own sanity. Here in this Hallway, everything is safe, so you are free to remove your mask and look around. On the left side of the Hallway, there is a beautiful mural that depicts very odd events and fights. On the last panel, you see yourself, but you are missing your face, and behind you is a horde of unspeakable things. Do not scream at what you see on the right wall, however, for that door that closed is now locked on the inside, but not on the out. And not even that mask will help you.

Take a good look at your mask after looking at the right-wall mural. The symbol on your mask should represent your purposes for seeking this Holder. Now look for it on the gruesome mural and say in a whisper, "I wish to erase this moment." Some paint and paintbrushes will appear beside you, and you must paint over the symbol from your mask with the appropriate colors. Should you fail to match the colors or ignore this step completely, the demons that will break in soon will take notice, and they will know who you are. Once you are done and you are ready to receive the next object, take a good long look at the insignia on your mask. You will have to recall its name once you are face-to-face with him, if you can recognize it at all. Put on your mask and go to the door at the end of the Hallway. Knock thrice, and say, "I wish to obscure the sunlight."

Say anything else, and the door will lock, the aforementioned front door will break, and not even the holiest of people would be able to save you from your fate. If you have said the right thing, the door will open, and the murals on the walls in the Hallway will have vanished, all but the object you have painted over. Close the door behind you and lock it with as many of the locking mechanisms as you can find. The room you entered is scrawled on with words, all having one cryptic message pointing to another, and another, and another. Don't bother trying to understand these messages, for they will leave you mad and your understanding of life will have crumbled to pieces. Instead, look at the Holder before you. He is sitting on the floor, writing something incoherent with a quill pen and crimson ink. It seems to have just a bit left.

No matter how long it takes, wait until his ink is used up. Interrupting him will result in that very quill jabbed into your chest, and your blood will be drained from your body and used as the Holder's new ink supply.

When he is finished writing and all his ink is gone, ask, "Why must the innocent suffer first?" He will get up, looking straight at you with ominous red eyes and then come so close to you he could rip the mask right off you. He will then explain to you, in great detail, the tragedies and deaths of people you know, people you don't know, and people you wish you'd never known. When he is finished, he will step back and ask what you are. If you misunderstand the question and answer incorrectly, you'll wish that the demons from outside had reached you first. Your answer must be "I am a ______!", with the blank as the name of the insignia on your mask. He will then react horribly, his skin melting away and his eyes falling out with the membranes still hanging onto the eyeballs, then finally disconnecting themselves; his hair will all fall off, and his tongue will be forcefully ripped out.

His flesh, or what remains of it, is now all pitch-black and his sockets glow bright yellow, and his size would make even the largest demon tremble, but do not cower at his true form; he attacks only the cowardly, after all. With pride in your voice, shout again your answer, and he will knock a hole in the ceiling. A bright light will shine through and land on him, and the Holder will melt into a small puddle of black liquid. All that remains of him is a small keychain, with a shining red heart dangling from one of its ends. In front of you will appear an unlocked white door. Quickly pick up the keychain and step through the door with your eyes closed shut, as hard as you can. For about a minute or so, you will feel a falling sensation. Do not open your eyes, for you don't want to know what you're falling through, and doing so will trap you there for eternity. When you are face-down on what seems to feel like concrete, and you feel warmth on your body, you can open them. You are now outside the institution or halfway home, the very same one that you stepped in to, moments ago. The mask you are wearing will falls off, be burned by a black flame into nothing but ashes, to be blown away by the wind.

That keychain is Object 89 of 538. When you have figured out its purpose, you will have one chance to end it all.

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