Object 46

The Holder of the Mirror

In any city, in any country in the world, go to any mental institution or hospital, and ask the attendant for "The Holder of the Mirror". The attendant will look at you strangely as if you had spoken in a different language. Ask again, until they finally understand, and they will lead you deep into the institution without a word.

They will lead you to a plain iron door, unlocking it and motioning for you to enter the dark hallway beyond. They will stay behind, never uttering a word, never making eye contact with you. Once the door closes behind you the hallways will be lit by an ethereal light, to reveal the walls of the hallway made of mirrors. The reflections stretch out to infinity on either side of you, but none of them show your reflection; they show the reflection of those who came before you. Each reflection shows another who sought the Holder, each shows how they died. Try not to look at their faces as the beasts devour them; try not to look at all, just walk in a straight line. If you look, if you watch, the beasts in the reflection will see you, too, and they will come for you.

If ever the light begins to dim, if you begin to lose your way in the darkness, close your eyes tight and say firmly, without fear, "The ones you seek have gone before." If the light returns, you are lucky, and the creatures that stalk you have let you alone. If it goes dark, do not run. There is no point in fleeing, nor in praying for a swift death. They will catch you, and your end will stretch out to eternity.

At the end of the impossibly long corridor, you will find another door, with hot white light shining around its edges. Knock on the door, and you will be allowed entry. Standing in the center of the octagonal room will be a figure, merely a silhouette in the half-light of the chamber.

He will pay you no heed, until you ask him the question, "What do they reflect?" Any other question, and he will fill your every pore with a thousand needles, flaying your hide and letting it fly in salt winds as he tortures your mind into insanity, ensuring you live eternally with him in the chamber, merely a shade of what you once were, every moment of existence a mad agony.

If you ask him the right question, however, he will answer you, in details that will chill you to your bones and turn your heart to stone. He will tell you what the Holders mean, why they exist, and what is to come.

After he tells you this, he will step into your vision, revealing who he is. You will see yourself, except instead of eyes your copy will have shining silver mirrors in its sockets. As you watch, unable to move in horror, your copy will dig one of the mirrors out, blood spilling thick and fast.

You will hand yourself the bloodied shard, and then you will find yourself back, outside the institution.

This bloodied mirror is Object 46 of 2538. Do not attempt to clean the blood from its surface, or your end shall be a nightmare beyond even the horrors of Hell.

It will reflect what has been, and what is to come.