Object 239

The Holder of Details

In any city, in any country, find and visit an old library that is at least 50 years old to your knowledge. Find your way to the information desk, and ask them to lead you to "The Holder of Details". The attendant will be reluctant, even scared by your inquiry. They will initially tell you that such a thing does not exist in their library. Ignore this and insist to be taken to the Holder. Eventually, they will give in, though they will not go with you. They will, instead, write a call number on a piece of paper.

Take the number and begin to search for it, following the sections of the library. You will find that it leads into a section deep, deep within the library; deeper than you thought the library was. Continue searching, and do not look back. There is no turning back, the shelves will not permit you to leave and will block your path. If you persist in trying to escape, they will crush you, and bind your flesh and soul in a book that they will hold for eternity. Just keep going and keep looking for the call number you were given.

There will be whispers among the shelves, and they will grow louder as you come closer to your destination. Do not call out to them, as they are not human, and they don't like to be disturbed. Continue onward, and let them whisper without interruption. You will not find the number before you find a pair of shelves blocking the path ahead. If you turn around, you will see that another set of shelves has boxed you in. Stay where you are and do not so much as think of escaping. Any attempts to escape will be met with a quick death.

Stay put, and you will hear a raspy voice speak from the shelves. Whatever it may say to you, there is only one correct answer: "I wish to learn."

It will ask you three questions, all of which relate to your life and your loved ones. For each answer, it will provide you with painful details, all of which will dispel trust and security about their subject: all of which were in plain sight to you all along. Be it your mother, your spouse, or your best friend. These details are truth, fact. You cannot argue.

When it is done, it will go silent for a few moments, allowing you to digest these little overlooked details about your life. It will ask, "Do you accept this?"

Do not lie, for this is a difficult challenge. It can smell lies. Only if you accept these horrible things in your heart of hearts, and speak the truth; only then will it allow you to live. There is no place for the weak of heart here. If by chance you are strong of heart and survive, the two shelf sets that left you trapped will move out of the way and you will be free to leave. However, do not depart too swiftly.

A book will fall from one of the shelves onto the floor behind you, bound in a dusty, tan leather cover. On the cover is an indentation in the shape of a human ear, on its spine is the number you were given, inked in crimson. This book is the Holder, and it will gladly give you similar details; all you must do is ask.

This book, the Holder, is Object 239 of 2538. Two-thousand two-hundred and ninety-nine yet remain, and if They come together it will be on your shoulders. But who cares about the details, anyway?