Object 104

The Holder of Hearing

In any city, in any country, go to any nightclub you can get yourself to. If you can muster your courage, seek out the DJ booth. Knock thrice on the door, but do not wait for a reply before opening. Once inside, do be sure to close the door behind you. Please know that under no circumstance should you let the DJ speak for he is a trickster and would love nothing more than to lead you to a most gruesome fate. He was once a Seeker like yourself, you see, and would do anything to be free once more. Ask the DJ to play "The Holder of the Hearing". Should the DJ ignore you, then leave the club as inconspicuously as you can. The patrons, failed Seekers all, will soon know your presence and try to make you stay through whatever means necessary. Should the DJ smile grimly, on the other hand, you are free to try for this Object. He will point to a black trunk in the corner you will not have noticed before. Open the trunk and climb inside. You should thank the DJ; it never hurts to be polite. Close the lid and shut your eyes as you begin to fall.

In the all encompassing darkness you should feel your feet hit solid, albeit vibrating, ground. You are not yet safe, though, and you should not open your eyes. It is not certain how long you will wait in this blackness, but do not open your eyes or show any sign of impatience. This Holder is studying you, judging you, and it is your doom should you be found wanting. The only time you should utter a sound is if the vibrating beneath your feet stops. At this point quickly throw your left arm out, palm up, and shout, "Continue the song, I implore, lest it be ever silent!" The vibrating should come back. If it does not, then I would suggest keeping your eyes closed.

If the vibrating comes back or is uninterrupted you will eventually hear a woman humming by your ear and stroking your hair as a mother would her beloved child. Open your eyes, but continue facing forward even though you see Her lithe fingertips in the corner of your vision. Any hesitation or incorrect question at this point will be your undoing. Steel your resolve, and in a gentle voice ask, "What do They hear that We do not?"

A piercing cry will ring out all around you ever-growing in magnitude. From the black plane in front of you a hand, fetid and gray, will break through the darkness. Out will crawl a woman's corpse screaming with the voice of every victim and mourning lover. She has been long dead and awaiting this question from You, dear Seeker. In her haste to get to you, she will tear her flesh and break her bones, but do not step back or show the repulsion you will surely feel. Ask again your question in a tender voice, though your heart breaks at the sound of her cries, and your stomach churns at the sight of her rotted form. She will crawl up your body and cup your face in her hands. Her eyes, long dried, will roam over your face, and her jaw will quiver with the pain of a childless mother. "I will give you the means to know, but do not begrudge me what you learn," she will say as she presses her putrid lips to your own in a most passionate kiss. You will pass out.

You will wake up in a burned-out shell of a building. In your hand will be a pair of headphones emitting a murmured hum. If you listen very carefully, you can make out what sounds like words.

These headphones are Object 104 of 2538. You can now hear Them, but do not let Them hear you.