Object 378

The Holder of Thirst

In any city, in any country, go to any blood bank or plasma center you can get yourself to. If you are a regular donor, you won't have to wait as long, but in any case, donate the amount of your body's fluid that the center calls for, and instead of receiving your payment after you are finished, ask to speak to "The Holder of Thirst". The worker will insist on paying you in cash; you must be even more insistent on speaking to the Holder. If you are in the right place, and are appropriately aggressive, the worker will walk to a vending machine and buy you a bottle of water. It will have no label, but do not concern yourself with this.

No matter where you are - even if you are in the rainy Northwest United States, the door the worker takes you to leads to a vast, arid, dry desert, with not even a cactus to mar its immensity. You must cross this desert without drinking from the bottle in your hand. No matter how tempting it may be, leave the lid on the bottle. It is not for you to drink from.

After miles and miles of crossing desert (the speed will help), you will come to a verdant oasis. If you don't lose yourself in the oasis, you will notice a woman sitting on a chair fashioned from the palm trees, surrounded and pampered by other women. Offer her the bottle of water. If she accepts it, you may proceed. If not, well, at least you made it to the oasis. After she finishes drinking it, ask her, "Will their thirst be quenched?"

"Their thirst can never be quenched. Only when they are all brought together will they ever know themselves, because they were never meant to be separated as they are."

A fierce, cold wind will begin to blow. The desert will vanish, and you will be back in the center, holding the empty bottle.

The empty bottle is Object 378 of 2538. It is unknown just what substance truly belongs inside, for it repels all known liquid.