Object 437

The Holder of Innocent Laughter

It is me you are looking for. Finding me is not the hard part; many have. It's keeping me and escaping unscathed that will be your life's work. That is, if you can escape at all. Believe me; my warning is not for dramatic effect. Many foolish people have come looking for me to fulfill their silly mission only to be wiped away from history one cell at a time. Their screams and fruitless cries of help will forever ring in my being. But if you still wish to find me, then I will tell you how.

Go to any daycare center. I don't care which city or country; if your heart really is set on finding me, you'll find me. Go to the person in charge of the daycare center and ask for "The Holder of Innocent Laughter". If her eyes glaze over in a dreamlike trance, then you are one step closer to finding me. But if her mouth drops open, then run and keep running until you reach your house, and lock yourself in your bedroom. Come morning, you'll see if you've been spared. If you pass this test, the daycare lady will lead you to a door that no one else there seems to notice. It will look out of place in the room; it should be made from the bark of a tree. The daycare lady will leave you there. You must then press yourself against the door and hum a lullaby, any will do. The door should open by itself, making you fall through the threshold. If it does not, then whatever is on the other side will consume you.

You've made it this far, I commend you. But don't think it's over yet. You are now in the room of my keeper, The Holder of Innocent Laughter. He is a young boy, adorable too. But don't let his looks fool you. He is a Holder, after all. The room you are in is decorated like the perfect nursery. There is light that comes from nowhere and all different kinds of toys scatter the floor. The walls are painted colorfully and the carpet is soft and plush. You should feel calm but don't let that underlying feeling of fear leave you.

Approach him slowly and begin to play with him using me. I am a stuffed red dinosaur doll with button eyes. If you cannot find me, then I am afraid you've failed. Prepare for the worst, but I doubt it can help you cope with what you're about to feel.

If you find me, then play with the little boy until he gets bored. Then ask him, "Why don't you laugh anymore?" He will show you all the suffering that children have been through, are going through, and will go through all at once. Don't turn away; you've made it so far. He will then start to laugh. His laughs should echo in the room, getting louder and louder while the light in the room consumes everything. The sound will become unbearable and the light will blind you but do not flinch or show any pain; he will not like that. If you are still there by the time the sound dies down and the light goes away, the boy will be gone and you will be back at the daycare center. You should have your reward. Me. And with me, you will forever hear the facing echo of a laughing child.

I am a stuffed dinosaur and I am Object 437 of 2538. Pray the laughter never stops.