Object 497

The Holder of the Internet

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. That's the formula. That's how they always start, right? That's why it's an entertaining, creepy story. It's frightening, but only if you instigate it.

My friends and I were out at the mall. Game stores, bookstores, clothing stores. We decided to duck into Spencer's Gifts, even though I was kinda hungry. We made our way to the back where they keep all the sexy things, just for giggles.

While we were browsing, I noticed this person hovering in my peripheral vision. I say person because to this day, I still do not know whether it was male or female. Despite this hovering creep, my friends minded their own business, almost as if they didn't even notice the new presence.

A ghostly white hand passed in front of my eyes, holding an elegant business card. It was printed on a near-black tone of red on a white card with gold trim. The script was elegant. On the front, it said, "Entrusted to your care. Give it only to the one who passes. He will want it."

And on the back, it said in the same script, "I want to be with the others."

I should have noticed it then. My hunger disappeared and my muscles relaxed. When I looked up from the card I found myself in a cylindrical room, with a chair in the center. As I stepped further in, the walls illuminated with images. A keyboard ascended in front of the chair. The internet. The walls were filled with screens from the internet. One screen dominated them all.

The rules. What I could and could not do. How to determine someone worthy. When I could leave and who was allowed to see me. The question I was going to be asked. I fell to the floor; half-laughing, half-crying. It couldn't be real. The Holders, they were just stories. And even if they were, you have to seek them out. No. Not this one. This one seeks you out. And I am its... I am its... I...

I typed the question into the console, then pressed enter: "Why are new ones made when the old ones are brought together?" The answer felt like someone drove their fist into my chest.

Save me from this, please. I don't want to be a Holder. None of us do. It's maddening. I'll tell you everything I can, just get me out of here, please!

In any city, in any country... it feels so wrong, writing this from this side. Go to any enclosed mall you can get yourself to. If one of your friends ever asks "Do you forgive?", you know the answer, don't you Anon?

That room is Object 497 of 2538, the Nexus. Not all stories follow the formula.