Object 434

The Holder of the House

In any city, in any country, go to any house and ask to speak to its Holder. You may have to search through thousands, perhaps millions, of houses before you reach your goal. If and when you do, though, when you ask for "The Holder of the House", the person you talk to will address someone out of sight and beckon for you to enter.

When you actually get inside, do not try to make sense of your surroundings, unless you want your brain to explode. You may look at any area that is bathed in some form of light, no matter how dim, but you must not look into the dark hallway, because you will be too fascinated, and therefore distracted, by what you encounter in there that you may not ever get out. You are also advised to not focus on anything in the house for too long; the house knows you have arrived. You will be tapped on the shoulder. Now you may focus on who tapped you on the shoulder. It may be a man, a woman, a child, or something else; do not show any fear, surprise, or disappointment in response, but always face the person you are talking to. Ask this person, "What is Their dwelling truly made of?" This tale is not one of fear, however, it will fascinate you beyond anything you have ever known. It is far more than a crash course in architecture; it describes how a house can be sentient, even if it doesn't seem to show it.

The test for this Holder is simple, but still difficult; at a certain point during the tale, something on one of the walls will move. Every Seeker reports that it took place on a different wall, or on a different spot, so be alert. Do not take your eyes off the Holder's eyes for an instant while this happens. If you look at the thing that moves on the wall, it will grab you and pull you into the realm beyond the dark hallway, and that will be the last anyone ever sees of you. The Holder will finish their tale with these words: "So it is everywhere." At this point, you are advised to close your eyes, because the Holder is off to the kitchen to produce the Object. Again, all of the (very few) Seekers who ever made it this far have reported that they closed their eyes when the Holder stood up. Nobody knows just what happens when the Holder leaves the room. Do not object to your hands being grasped and moved while the Holder places a small, cold metal object into your hands.

The tiny ruby embedded in the fork is Object 434 of 2538. They are weary. They are hungry. And they want to come home.