Object 374

The Holder of Nod

Visit any mental hospital or halfway house in any city, in any country, but do not enter the building. Instead, find yourself an open plot of grass and soil, sit and watch the sunset. Once the sun meets the horizon and sky alights in a crimson luminescence like a sea of blood, close your eyes tightly and voice these words: "Why art thou worthy?"

Once these words pass your lips you will feel the wind pick up around you. Thunder will rumble, lightning will crack, and the earth will shudder. You must not, at any point during this tumult, open your eyes; human eyes were not meant to bear witness to the creation of the universe. Once the wind dies down and the cacophony subsides, you will begin to see things, even through closed eyes. You will soon find yourself sitting in front of a large, ivory gate; the entrance to a vast and beauteous garden. There will be a man wielding a flaming sword standing guard in front of the gate. No matter how strongly the garden calls to you, no matter how tempted you are to approach the gate, you must not. The garden is not your destination.

You must, instead, steel yourself with resolve and head unfalteringly left of the gate. You need not walk far, only a short distance will suffice. Simply walk until you can no longer hear the song of the birds within the garden nor smell the scent of the flowers, at that point you may stop walking.

Now you may open your eyes.

Against all reason, your vision will be engulfed in darkness complete. In this darkness, you will hear a man's voice. He will be speaking of gifts and worthiness, honor and transgression. He will be speaking of despair and desolation. Listen to him for a while. Once you think you have heard enough, interrupt him with the question: "Are you your brother's keeper?"

At this, his voice will abruptly cease. Footsteps will be heard approaching you, echoing as if upon hardwood floors. A figure will come into view; seeming to materialize out of the nothingness surrounding you. A man standing alone in a sea of absolute darkness. The man will look ordinary; not hideous, not monstrous. Middle-aged, tired; but normal. The only thing truly unsettling about him will be his eyes. In his eyes, you will see agony and loneliness immeasurable. You will see it and you will be forced to feel just a portion of it in your own heart. In a whisper, he will relate to you a tale of love, jealousy, betrayal, and punishment. He will relate to you his tale and he will explain exactly where it is that you are. Listen carefully.

You are standing in the land of Nod; east of Eden. You are standing in the absence of god speaking with the only person gone unloved. But a person can only survive in such torment for so long, and this man's time draws nigh. If she should die before the Objects are brought together... the absence of god shall encompass all, and all shall be lost to oblivion.

The land of Nod is Object 374 of 2538, and its Holder begs you to accept it from him.