Object 444

The Holder of Serpents

In any city, in any country, seek out any park or public garden. Find the exact geographical center of this place, and wait. You will know for how long. She will come to you, and embrace you like a lover, and ask you: "What is Eternity?" If you answer in any other way than this, she will swallow you whole, and the pit of her gut, with the rest, shall be your tomb. The way is this: "Eternity is an illusion. The serpent bites its own tail, and, in time, he will finish swallowing."

She will let go of you, as if you were a vessel of plague. She will hiss, and leave you in disgust.

And you will wait again. You will know for how long. Nobody must move you from your position, especially yourself. You may not sit. You may not sleep. If you are moved, if you rest yourself upon the earth, you are doomed.

The time of waiting will always end at night. You will look up into the night sky, and see the good, round earth hanging there in the stead of the moon. Encircling it will be the serpent, biting his own tail. His writhings pitch up tsunamis, his breath stirs the very stone with hurricane winds. From behind the earth's disc shall rise one of the old gods, in his chariot, with his hammer. The cosmos shall swirl and rage about him as a storm, and eternity will be in his eyes.

You must tell him this: "Though the serpent's head shall be crushed beneath thy hammer, come the time, your victory shall not be complete. The venom that spills forth from every broken tooth and rent scrap of his flesh shall be unto you like an ocean, where you shall sink, and drown."

If you survive his wrath, for he is a proud god, he will give you his hammer. The serpent, coiled in the symbol of infinity, is embossed on both heads. This is Object 444 of 2538, and they must never come together.