Have you ever dreamed of...absolute power? Of course you have. So has the entire human race. It's not unusual to fantasize about a world in which you are in control. And I mean complete control. You could govern anything you'd like. You could make anything happen with the mere snap of your fingers. You could have anyone, go anywhere. It would all become possible.

It seems almost fake, doesn't it? A fate you are truly in control of. Too good to be true, right? Wrong. There is a way to get to the point of absolute personal majesty. You can reach this described level of satisfaction and eternal joy. However, only the most willful of readers will complete the simple but required "game" associated with gaining such power.

If you are of utmost courage, read on, for you may be deserving of such contentment.

The first thing you will need to do is isolate yourself. If there are other souls sharing a home with you, make them leave. I repeat, MAKE THEM LEAVE. Be forceful if you must. Do whatever it takes. Send them on errands, provide money for meals, tell them it's an emergency. By any means necessary, just get them the hell out of that house. Be sure you'll have a time frame of at least two hours to yourself. More time is preferable, but this is the bare minimum.

Once you are certain everyone is gone, lock all the doors and windows in the house, taking care to make sure you have locked EVERY door and window. This may seem a bit excessive, but if you miss even one lock, the worst is yet to befall you. Once you have double checked to ensure you have locked every lock in the house, retreat to the main room and recover the following materials.

• Salt (this is not needed to complete the ritual, but good luck managing without it)

• a Polaroid camera (if this does not work, a digital camera will do)

• a lengthy scarf, or rope

• a knife

• a candle (and something to light it) or a flashlight

• a carrying bag, to place all the prior items into

Simple to gather, really. Nothing too out of the ordinary. If you can, make sure you now have all of these items in your possession. Place the bag on your shoulder. You will be carrying it with you.

Now, turn off all the lights in the house. As stated before when detailing the locking of doors and windows, it is essential you turn off EVERY light. You may use your candle or your flashlight to see where you are going. However, all other sources of light or electricity are prohibited. You do not want to let them see you.

Once you have ensured EVERY light is off, you are going to retreat into your room—or whichever room in the house you typically slumber. You may find it oddly peaceful, as though you are content with absolute calming solitude. And you very well may be.

Let the tranquility fill your mind. Soon, it will render you exhausted. This is good.

Now is the time to use the salt you have stowed into your bag. Place a circle of it around your bed, or your sleeping place. This will not only protect you, as you've certainly heard in legendary tales—it will repel them.

DO NOT lay in the bed yet. First, I would advise you to take the salt container out of your bag and HEAVE it. Do not worry if it makes a loud noise or bounces off a hard surface. If extra salt comes out, that will not affect you. Just make it known as clearly as humanly possible you no longer want it in your possession. This is not only a key part of the ritual, but it represents strength. If you could not acquire the salt, skip this step altogether. May they have mercy on your soul.

Pull out your camera and take a photograph of the dark room. If it is indeed a Polaroid camera, resist the urge to look at the photo. Rip it to shreds, and once again throw it across the room. If it is a digital photograph, delete it immediately without glancing down into the screen of the camera.


It has begun.

Now, at last, you may rest. Keep your bag on your shoulder and keep all your garments on. As you fall asleep, chant the following:

"What is mine was always theirs,

What is mine was always theirs,

What is mine was always theirs."

Again and again until your speech begins to distort. You will notice it, but don't be afraid. And for the love of God, don't open your eyes. Please don't open your eyes.

You will be asleep soon.

If you have played by the rules described to you so far, your sleep should be soundless. It may appear to be the most peaceful, fulfilling, refreshing nap of your entire existence. Your rest will feel as though it is a full eight hour sleeping period, but in actuality it will only last five minutes. You will not have to force yourself to wake up. It will come naturally; they will do the waking for you.

When you first open your eyes, it will appear that you are in the same familiar room you first fell asleep in. The same four walls, the same floor, every detail untouched. Soon after you have returned to a conscious state, you will hear a choir of echoing, booming voices.

Stay put. Do not be afraid.

What they tell you is going to vary, depending on the mortal who dares to play their game. For some, they are kind; to others, they are relentless and merciless. You will have to find out for yourself what it is they think of you. However, some of their speech is universal.

They will most likely tell you, in plainest English, that you are now the last person on Earth. It seems like a horrific fate, because indeed it is. This is where breakdowns occur. This is where various souls are prompted to quit the ritual, to buy a firearm and off themselves, to scold their psyche for even trying this in the first place. In truth, if you have gotten to this point, there is absolutely no going back.

The voices will tell you to exit your home. Listen. You may now unlock the front door to let yourself out. Do not worry about locking it back up; leave it wide open.  

As you walk outside, you will notice it is now twilight, regardless of whether or not dusk had yet made an appearance when you began playing their game. The streets will be empty and the streetlights lifeless. You will feel more alone than you have ever felt, than you are likely to ever feel again. It won't be long after you are outdoors that the voices begin to speak to you once more. As previously stated, this experience is different for all participants. Surely, nonetheless, some parts of it are universal. And those are the parts I will detail to you.

The voices will ask you to sprint to the nearest liquor store. A grocery liquor store will work just as fine as an independent, weakly trusted, storm-damaged liquor store. It does not matter. The establishment simply must distribute alcohol. Do as the voices say immediately. Do not hesitate for even a fraction of a minute. If you are unsure of where the nearest liquor store happens to be, don't worry. You will carry yourself there. You will know the way. It is a way you will never forget again.

Once you've opened the door to the liquor store, you will see there is no clerk, much less anyone else inside. No patrons, no drunken men paying for cheap vodka, no middle aged women buying booze for a bridal shower. Just you and clear bottles lining the shelves.

Now, you must drink.

It doesn't matter if you are underage. Rules don't apply in this state of consciousness (apart from the rules I have given you), and that's the number one thing to remember. As the voices will instruct you, you are to drink until you nearly ache. It is advised to reach a state of intoxication that would be recognizable to any other mortal, if any other were to be present. You have twenty minutes to accomplish this.

In your new, hazed state, the voices will begin to sound further and further away. KEEP CONTROL. Do NOT lose them. If you drift from focus or disobey for more than thirty seconds, your throat will be cut open by seemingly invisible forces almost immediately.

The voices will now lead you to the nearest park to your current location. You will recognize it, as it is in proximity to the place you live. However, it will be extremely run-down and tattered in comparison to the commonplace park you once knew. Walk over to the swing sets. If the park does NOT have swing sets, a tree branch will work all the same.

The voices will then instruct you to tie a noose around the top of the swing set or tree branch. You must not fail. Use the scarf or the rope you packed with you at the start of the game and do as the voices command. Once you are certain the noose is perfect, and a decent size for a human head, close your eyes and do not open them until the voices have instructed you to do so.

Be aware...once you have once again opened your eyes to greet this new world, before you the park will be in flames. You will see, hanging from the noose you tied, the person you love most. They will be choking, nearly dying. They will call to you. They will look deeply into your eyes, tears staining their cheeks, and beg you to save them. Now is the time for you to collect yourself. Assemble all the discipline you've ever gathered within your life.

At this point, the alcohol in your system will be taking a great toll on you. You will begin to feel a crippling sickness. Self-control is the most important ingredient at this moment, because if you vomit, there is a more than likely possibility you will vomit up your vital organs.

Grab the knife from your bag. If you have forgotten to bring your knife along, you're screwed. You will be swallowed by the flames. If you have done the noble thing and played by the rules, your knife will guard you. Walk through the raging fire toward the person you love, screaming and sobbing as death collects them.

This is not the real soul you adore so deeply. This is simply an impostor, a replica. Do not be drawn by your infatuation. Do not be sidetracked by your guilt. Take your knife and cut open their stomach. Proceed to cut and stab and injure them until they have grown completely limp and lifeless. Leave them hanging from the noose you have tied. Once more, do not vomit. You have not killed. You have played the game well.

Place the knife back into your bag.

If you manage to make it past this stage, the voices will commend you for your courage and your obedience. They will deem you ready for the final test. If you attempt to refuse this test, you are doomed to suffer the eternal fate of the hanged entity you defeated.

If you have made it this far, congratulations. You are on your way to winning. To a life you can at last call your own. Free from command, from stress, from strife.

But there is a final round to the grand game they like to play.

By now, you should be coming to understand that you are truly NOT alone in this alternate realm, this separate sphere of existence. You have seen a "ghost," as some may call it—this you are certain of. You have traveled with voices guiding your every move. And you have done fantastic work. But what must you accomplish to ultimately claim your prize, once and for all?

The voices will lead you, nearly hijacking your body so they may use it themselves, to a place you have never seen before. To some, it may appear as a shack, worn down and ruined with the passage of time; to others, a mansion, immaculate in shape and color and untouched by filthy hands. It does not matter how the exterior appears—the interior is the same for all who dare enter. Whatever the outside of the place looks like, it will be enough to entice you. You will simply not be able to resist.

The voices will lead you inside the arcane building. You will find yourself in a tight, uncomfortable room, with no light except for that reflecting from the multitude of mirrors covering every surface.

The voices will grow louder. And louder and louder and louder. It will seem as if they have begun shouting at you, hollering unkind, dreadful phrases and sexually objectifying you. You will want to die. Your will to live will dramatically decrease, regardless of whether or not it was there to begin with. Do NOT scream. Do NOT react. Stand still. Do not cover your ears or dare try to close your eyes. Keep your eyes fixed forward and try to blink as seldom as possible. If you have managed to make it through the verbal torture without the slightest hint of a physical reaction, good. You will hear the voices quiet down until they have reached utter silence. Keep looking ahead of you, at the mirror straight across from the current direction of your gaze. If not, you will be doomed to this inescapable room for all eternity, or at least until you've starved to death, with no companions but the quickening, fast-paced voices spitting curses into your brain.

If you have made it past the voices and their grand mental purge, you will soon begin to see another form of yourself in the mirror. They will at first appear to look just like you, except wearing a different expression and different clothes than you are. Soon, their eyes will turn to black. When they begin to speak, you will notice that their voice sounds just like the voices you have been hearing throughout this entire game. Stay calm. Listen to what they are telling you.

Your double is going to begin asking you questions. They are going to be tough questions, often uncomfortable and personal. They already know the answers, so don't lie. Also, do not hesitate or stutter. Just answer as if the questions are no big deal and nothing to dwell on. The more collected you are, the better the chance you have of earning your prize. If you appear nervous or refuse to answer a question, your double may maul or injure you; however, you may be well enough to move on to the next step. If you instead choose to lie, well...I don't think there's anything worse you could do.

Once you have answered all their questions, they are going to ask you to play a card game with them. You cannot deny. If you attempt, they will simply begin shuffling anyway. Ultimately, with a grim, never-changing smile on their face, your double will lay three cards down on the table appearing in front of them. Though you cannot physically touch these cards, your double will ask you which card is the correct card. This is the final stage of the overall game you have been playing since the ritual began. There is no way of knowing which card may lead to which fate. Your double is intelligent and keeps hold to no patterns. Choose wisely. One of three things is going to happen.

If you choose the wrong card, you will be doomed to this world for all eternity. You can never die. You will forever be immortal, but you will be stuck here. The voices will come to visit you on occasion, but their visits will be brief. Indeed, the world will be your own but you will be the only one living in it. You will be consumed by loneliness and immune to death regardless of the circumstances.

If you choose the horribly wrong card, you will be tortured in the worst ways imaginable until finally you have met with death. You will never know an afterlife, only darkness and nightmares. You will suffer. Your last moments will be marked by suffering, and when the police find your body back on the ordinary Earth, your death will be ruled a cardiac arrest, or another logical yet tragic accident.

If you choose the right card, congratulations! You will be transported back to your room. You will have twenty-five minutes to turn all the lights on and dispose of the materials you have used. Burn the bag, including everything inside of it (you should only have a knife, which will now be cleared of all blood, and a source of light remaining), along with the salt and the camera. Dispose of the ashes somewhere you will never again find them. If you fail to do so, you must replay the game in order to secure your freedom. If you do not fail, the world is now yours to own, and anything you wish will be automatically manifested by the sources of the universe. The individual you hold dear but were required to harm so mercilessly will be alive and well, greeting you with open arms on the next occasion you meet with them. Say goodbye to suffering, goodbye to unwanted bad luck, and goodbye to long periods of waiting for things that may never happen.

However, there is a small catch.

The voices know who you are now. They know you have called upon them. They know you have crossed into their sanctuary. Fear not; they are not going to make you play their game ever again, unless for some reason you would so choose.

However, they will be watching you. Collecting information, noting what it is you wish for, sometimes visiting you in your dreams.

You must never recite the chant you were taught to recite when you began the game again. Otherwise, you will be inviting the voices to come in and take over your body. An offer they could never refuse.

They will be the one thing you cannot wish away.

Do not panic, though. I doubt you will even really notice.

Besides, we're all being watched by some unknown overseer, are we not?