Object 24

The Holder of Color

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 "The Holder of Color". The warden will glance up at you and give you a shy smile before holding out his hand to you. You must wait precisely eight seconds before taking it, or the colors themselves will deny you, and you may not enter.

The warden will stand and lead you to a cell, opening the door for you and motioning for you to enter. Inside the cell, you will find two little boys, both garbed in shades of gray, and their skin and hair will appear as if all the color was drained out of them. One has long hair and wears a white dress, while the other wears a black suit and has hair cut short. Only look into the white one's eyes, for they are normal, and the eyes of the black-clothed boy will lead you into madness. Each will wear one glove and hold out both their hands to you. Take only the gloved hand of each, for should you touch the black-clothed boy's flesh, you will be plagued with the worst agony in all the universe but you will not die and he will not let go. Should you touch the white-clothed boy's flesh, you will feel more pleasure than you have ever experienced, but he will soon pull his hand away, and you will never feel that pleasure again, no matter how you yearn for it; your lust will kill you.

The boys will look at each other and nod once; should they shake their heads, close your eyes and quickly say, "I am not what you seek, but I can change the tides." Once you say this, they will both giggle and pull up your hands, opening a trapdoor in their cell and descending into darkness. The boys will speak in unison, endlessly bragging about their riches, all the things they have. They will ask you many times if you are jealous; each time you must simply answer "Yes." Your fate now lies in the hands of these boys.

The stairs you descend are long, and grow ever narrower, until finally one boy will go in front and one in back. Should the boy in black go in front, consider yourself lucky; life now is at your back. But should he go in back, your death will be agonizing and he will throw you from the stairs to the abyss below.

After what seems like an eternity, you will reach the end of the stairs, and both boys will push you to a large glass door. They will stare after you, tears streaming down their faces, and tell you they can go no further, but point to the door. You must enter.

The room is pitch black, save for a single beam of light at its direct center. Standing in the light is a woman, much like the boys, completely stripped of color. Her hair and gown both reach the earth, each as white as her flesh. Her eyes are only whites, staring blankly at you. If she should smile at you, you have amused her, and she will light up the entire room with her light and you will become one of the writhing bodies that makes up the collection beneath her glass floor. Should she frown at you, she will turn her back and light up the part of the room behind her, awakening seven other beings: a cackling man who wears just black, a weeping man garbed in white, a snarling man with piercing red eyes, a grimacing woman who wears only pink petals, an emotionless girl enveloped in green, a sickly man with silver hair, and a smirking gentleman covered in riches. They are to be your judges. You must pick the one that you feel will do you justice and walk toward them, asking along the way, "When will they strip you of this earth?" Should you choose the wrong color, the one you have chosen will stand very still and smile at you eerily, and you will soon feel yourself slipping away into nothingness. Should you have chosen the correct color, they will respond with a hideous screech, pointing fearfully at the woman in the center of the room. The others will scream curses at you in many different languages and you will feel piercing pain rip through your body. Soon, the one you have chosen will step forward to embrace you, and whisper in your ear their sickening tales, the stories of your demise, of the demise of the world when every breath will fade away. Do not move.

The curses will stop and the room will be lit, the seven all staring at you. Where the woman was there will now be a small feather, like that of a dove, changing its color continuously.

This feather is Object 24 of 2538. With it, you can take away what was theirs to give.