Object 56

The Holder of Reality

In any city, in any country, go into any mental institution or halfway house you can get into. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Reality". The receptionist will lead you up a flight of stairs that run much higher than it seems the building should be, before finally coming to a top floor, where you will find nothing more than a single door. As you approach the door, the receptionist will make herself scarce. At this point, you could turn around and look for said receptionist, but doing so will only get you lost in the halls of the mental institution forever. Instead, open the door, and continue inward.

Inside that door, you will find a man sitting on an office chair, playing a game on a game console that you have never seen before. The console is a bizarre design, with a case made out of wrought iron, etched and painted in twisted, demonic designs. In the game, he is torturing a person with methods too horrifying for words. Once you come to the inevitable realization that his unwitting victim is in fact you, you will become your avatar in the game, and be forced to endure any torture his mind may devise, until the game finally ends.

The game can only end in one of two ways. You probably will go insane, in which case he will tear your very soul apart purely for his own delight. However, you might successfully endure the torture, and be granted the privilege of asking him a single question. If you ask him why you are in the game, he will force you to relive the entire game, in its entirety, repeatedly, for all eternity. Instead, you should ask him: "Why do you play?"

With that question, he will scream in agony, and the console will reset. You will now be sitting on the office chair, the game console and controller resting on the floor next to you. He will be staring at you through the TV screen, a look of unspeakable fear on his face. However tempting it may be, do not play the game. It probably is best to not even touch the game controller. Simply switch the console off, remove the game cartridge, and take it with you, leaving the console behind.

That cartridge contains Object 56 of 2538. You were in it once; remember that before you think of playing.