Object 102

The Holder of the Soul

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 Soul". Should a conspiratorial look come over the worker's face, he or she will raise one finger to his or her lips in a gesture of silence, and hand to you a small glass ball.

Should you choose to look at this glass ball, you will see that half of it is pitch black, the black of deepest night, while the other half is made of the purest, soft, golden light of a happy summer day. The funny thing is that no matter how hard you stare, you will never be able to tell which half is which.

Now is your last chance to leave. Should you throw down the glass ball, it will shatter, and you may leave and continue a normal life, but never again will you have this opportunity. Should you decide to continue, enter any door that you see. You will find yourself at the beginning of a path.

The path itself is made of the cheapest stone squares. They barely fit together, and weeds spring up between the cracks, but it is not the path that will attract your attention. To the right of the path, you will see scenes of happiness, joy, and love. However, if you look closely, you will see that these scenes are not nearly so pure as they seem. To the left of the path, you see scenes of misery, deprivation, and hopelessness. However, if you look closely, you will see that these things are not as bad as they seem.

You must follow the path. It will curve off to both sides from its starting position, but never will it fully enter either set of scenes. Should you be fooled by either of the scenes and step off the path, you will be stuck in the scene forevermore. Take care not to trip.

Should you reach the end of the path, you will find a large oak door. The door will have no hinges, knob, or any sort of decoration. Speak aloud the phrase, "The Sides are the Same," and the door will disappear. Say anything else and the door shall not move.

Upon entering the room you will see nothing, but feel as though you are being watched from all sides. Say to the invisible presences, "I walked down the Middle." Should you say anything else, half of the unseen creatures will rip you to pieces.

If you spoke the correct phrase, you will hear them. Half will scream, boo, or hiss. The other half will try to begin to tell you of your foolish mistake. However, if you listen carefully, you will hear a small applause. Close your eyes and walk toward this applause. When all sound stops, you will find yourself outside the door you first entered, holding the glass ball.

That glass ball is Object 102 of 2538. Now you must judge for yourself which side is black and which is white. There is no wrong answer.