Object 128

The Holder of Memories

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 with a grin to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Memories". The worker will cock her head and narrow her eyes, as though she isn't convinced you are being serious. Ask again, but this time appear less at ease. The worker will still appear incredulous. Tell her, with a sheepish grin and an embarrassed demeanor, that you thought she was in on the joke, then excuse yourself in a flurry of apologies.

Once you have exited the institution, begin walking eastward. If the street does not run eastward, then walk northward. In either case, you should eventually come across a fifties-style diner that was never there before. Enter it.

The diner should be bustling and busy, even though there appear to be no customers. You will notice that all of the employees are exactly identical to the worker with whom you spoke at the institution or halfway house. The meaning of this is not clear. Regardless, take a seat, preferably one from which you can quickly and easily bolt to the exit if need be.

Do not look at the menu yet. A waitress will come and take orders for drinks. Order any drink at all, so long as you order something; it is best one does not know what happens should no drink be ordered. When the waitress has returned, tell her you need more time to decide on your meal. You may now peruse the menu.

You will find that the menu is in fact a long, winding narrative about your life from the moment you were born. Read it carefully; it may take many, many hours. You will find that you have many memories, especially in your early childhood, that are long-forgotten. These are memories all humans share, but nobody remembers them; the mind deletes these memories for sanity's sake, so hellish are they.

When you read the description of these memories, however, they will return to your mind with full power. You may well snap at the ferocity of the experiences you never knew you had, but you must not show any sign of weakness, for they are watching.

As you read, the waitress will come by periodically to ask if you are ready. Tell her you still need more time, and she should leave. If she doesn't leave and instead remains at your table, then they have become impatient. Your only hope is to dash IMMEDIATELY for the exit and out the door, and to keep running, down the street, out of the city, and on and on until the city is far, far behind you. If you value your life, you will never again set foot in that city.

But if you manage to read through the entire story safely, you will find that it ends rather abruptly at the point where you enter the diner, then give way to a rather mundane-looking menu listing that features hamburgers, French fries, milkshakes, and the usual fare of such themed diners.

The next time the waitress comes by, order "Joe's Hamburger Special", even though such an item is not listed on the menu. The waitress will turn 360 degrees, and when she faces you once again she will somehow be holding a plate with a monstrous hamburger on it. When she gives you the hamburger, begin eating it. You may notice that the hustle and bustle in the diner has stopped completely, and all of the carbon-copy employees are now intently spectating your meal. Pay them no mind and wolf it down. When you are done, the waitress will ask, "Would you like the check?" to which you must nonchalantly reply, "Why do they flee from their memories?"

As soon as the words have escaped your lips, all of the identical employees will suddenly double over and, while emitting grotesque, painful sounds, vomit blood. A moment later, the entire diner will shift rapidly, and you may realize that the entire place is acting as though it is being sucked into a vacuum. When this happens, grip tightly to the table and do not let go, for the table at which you sit will not be sucked into the vacuum. The pull is immensely powerful, and it will be nearly impossible to keep your grip on the table through the ordeal, but still, you must hang on, for there is no hope for you should you be drawn into the vacuum.

It will feel like an eternity, and the entire process will be violent and powerful, but eventually, everything but the table will be gone without a trace. You will find you are clinging to a table in the middle of an unoccupied field several dozen miles away from the city in which you started.

That table is Object 128 of 2538. They want so badly to forget, but you know better than to deny your past.