Object 384

The Holder of What Never Was

In any city, in any country, go to any hospital or large clinic that will permit you unquestioned entry. To the first person who offers help, ask for "The Holder of What Never Was". Their calming demeanor will vanish and they will point to a door that wasn't there before, a door that will sometimes be in the middle of an empty hallway, or a door that leads into the ground. By the time you have examined the door, this person will be gone. Their fate is similar to yours should you continue on.

Entering the door will cause you to feel an immense amalgamation of emotion. Guilt, sorrow, and regret will flood your mind. Relief and success will arise as well. You will not know what to feel. Do not let this phase you. Anything you do feel will not matter soon if you don't keep walking. You will not feel like walking. You will not be able to see anything other than your own body; surrounding you will not be any earthly hallway, but a void that is neither lit nor shadowed. Far in the distance you will see a figure slowly tumbling back and forth in a worn rocking chair. It is a bearded man wearing jeans and a white tank top.

As you silently walk down the hall, a voice that seems like an old man will start to become audible. He is laughing, reminiscing about things that will not make sense to you. Do not ponder them. Do not ask him about what he is saying. The man will merely look at you and nod if you try to communicate with him. He will laugh and shrug. It is almost comforting.

He will only speak coherently if you ask him this question: "How did it become?"

The old man will slowly stop rocking and stare into your eyes. Stare back or you will never leave this place. "Can you feel it? Surely you have before? The regret? The choices? Not knowing what could have been?"

He will laugh. And sigh. And he will reach into his pocket and produce a seemingly empty vial.

"This is the world's collective sigh... the reflection of what is in fiction, in false memory."

He will sink back into his chair and sigh once again.

"Do you remember? Did you remember? You can't. You know. You don't know. It never was, is, will be."

He will laugh, shaking his head, quietly rocking back and forth. It will be comforting. It will bring a smile to your face.

You will be back in the hospital, lying on a cold bed. If you are lucky, you are in the morgue.

The vial is Object 384 of 2538. They must never have existed.