Object 417

The Holder of Crafts

In any city, in any country, go to any hardware store you can get yourself to. Go to a cash register and close your eyes. Ask the employee behind the register to visit "'The Holder of Crafts". Keep your eyes closed, do not open them until you hear the cash register open. Should you open your eyes before this happens, you will forever feel the uncomfortable urge to kill yourself with every tool in the hardware store.

After hearing the cash register, open your eyes. Everyone who was in that store with you will be gone, with the exception of the employee behind the register. Everything on the shelves behind the register will be replaced with chainsaws. All of them look rusty, with the exception of one. The employee will turn toward the shelves and pick one of the rusty chainsaws. Before he does this, quickly say: "No thanks, I'm just browsing." Say anything else - or nothing at all - and the last thing you will feel is the pain of being cut in half from the bottom up. However, if you said the right thing the employee will nod at you and hand you the one chainsaw that doesn't look rusty, and beckon you to follow him through the backdoor.

Instead of going outside, you will have entered a staircase leading to a basement. The employee will go down the stairs but do not follow him until you can no longer hear his footsteps. If at any point, you have any doubts, the only way to end it is with a quick death from the chainsaw you're holding, for all that awaits downstairs is eternal suffering. If you chose to go down, carefully descend down the stairs. Do not attempt to go back up or the stairs will collapse and you will fall into a dark abyss for all eternity. If at any point during your descent, you hear another set of footsteps, you must hold your breath and do not move an inch. If the sound stops, you may continue, but if the footsteps sound like they're coming closer you might as well let yourself fall into an eternity of darkness as opposed to suffering an eternity of pain.

If you're lucky and make it all the way down, you will find a single door. Upon entering it, you will see a table. Upon this table lies the mutilated corpse of the employee. Do not say anything but this one question: "Why were they made?" Should you say anything else, the corpse will lunge at you with an incredible speed and force you onto the table. You will lie down upon that table and remain motionless, but fully conscious for all eternity. If you got the question right, the corpse of the employee will rise, and turn its head toward you. It will open its mouth to answer your question in horrid detail that would drive you completely insane. Before it speaks, you must thrust your chainsaw into his opened mouth and quickly close your eyes.

When you open your eyes again, you will be back in the hardware store. The employee will stand behind the cash register as if nothing ever happened. In your hands, you hold a bloody chainsaw, but nobody seems to notice. Just before you walk off, the employee will smile at you. Even though you will feel a great urge to smile back, you must not! Those who smile back will take his place as the Holder. Instead, just walk outside with the chainsaw, and never go back inside.

The chainsaw you now hold is Object 417 of 2538. Should you turn it on you will hear the Holder's answer in all its maddening details.