Object 242

The Holder of Insistence

In any city, in any country, go to the nearest racetrack and approach one of the jockeys. Tell the man that you would like to see the horse with no name. A sly look will cross his face, and he will lead you to the stables.

As you enter, the light from the doorframe will die, and the only sounds that will resonate are the sounds of horses stomping their hooves. The jockey will have disappeared, and you will be left to continue on alone. At the end of the stable, a ladder will lead up to the loft, you should take it.

As you proceed up the ladder, be careful to count your steps. At the thirteenth step, call out that you are going as fast as you can. If you fail to do this, then the ladder will turn to dust, and you along with it. At this point, the ladder's lower rungs will be overswept with darkness. The darkness will begin to rise up, one run at a time. You must make all haste to the top of the ladder, for if the darkness touches you it will drag you down into suffering for all eternity.

If you can scramble up the ladder before the darkness manages to touch you, then you will find yourself in a cramped loft. The jockey from before will be holding a stopwatch that flashes the number of seconds it took for you to ascend the ladder. He will grin at you with blackened teeth. You may ask only one question, "How long will this go on for?"

He will snort, and snap back, "Too long." He will then toss the stopwatch to you and jump from the loft window. A rope will hang from the loft to the ground, slide down it and continue on your way.

The stopwatch, perpetually flashing your finishing time, is Object 242 of 2538. Your time is the only one that matters.