Object 245

The Holder of Etiquette

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you approach the front desk, the worker will be busy writing a memo of some sort. Don't look at it, don't ask about it, and leave if there is no memo. Ask the worker if you could see the one who calls himself "The Holder of Etiquette". If the worker stops writing, flee to the nearest bar or social club and remain there for two days. In extreme cases, the worker will stop writing and set the pen down on the table. If that happens, you and all who have known you will perish by nightfall.

Hope that the worker keeps writing. If they do, walk around behind the counter and pick up the briefcase there. Proceed to the top of the building - let nothing stop you, and avoid the elevator. Once you step through the door that should have granted you access to the roof, you will find yourself in an elderly gentleman's house.

Sitting behind an antique wooden desk, the graying man ought to look at you quizzically, as if expecting you to say something. Tell him, "I am here to trade." If the gentleman declines and asks you to leave, you will feel yourself forced back out the door you entered through, into a world that even gods fear to gaze upon. He should, however, reluctantly agree.

He will lead you into his quaint living room and ask you to take a seat. It does not matter if you choose to or not, though it's polite to accept. You will notice a grandfather clock with all of its hands pointing to 12. The man will ask you, "What do you wish to sell?" The clock will chime once and begin ticking. You have until the hands show 12:30 and 30 seconds to convince the old man to buy your merchandise. You may use whatever it takes for him to agree to buy your merchandise at whatever cost but you may only ever refer to it as your "merchandise". From the outset, the old man will be stubborn and will refuse to buy your merchandise - you must persevere, though, for should you fail you will step into a world of unspeakable horror when you leave. If you manage to convince him to buy, however, you will be free to go when the clock shows 12:30 and 30 seconds.

Don't forget to take the briefcase with you, as this is Object 245 of 2538. Inside, each person will see a material possession that they will seek until the end of their days.