Object 82

The Holder of Purity

In any city, in any country, go to any large school or university you can find. Once you locate the visitor's desk, walk up to it and ask if "The Holder of Purity" showed up for school today.

If the worker nods, your fate is sealed - your quest is already known, and nothing you can manage will let you even get as far as the front door. However, if the worker shakes his head and goes back to his work, you are safe. For the moment, anyhow.

Casually sweep your gaze around the school lobby where you stand. No matter how it looked before, it is now beautifully decorated, with delicate draperies over precious, strange stone walls. Look around until you spot a door that stands starkly out among the design - a crudely built door of waterlogged, rotting wood. The handle is rusting away. Bugs unlike any this earth has ever seen crawl through the wood.

Immediately upon seeing the door, every fiber of your person will want to walk away and never look at it again. But if you truly wish to go through with this, you must overcome yourself and walk over to the door. Students, teachers, and staff will try to get your attention, try to get you to do something, anything other than opening that door, but ignore them. Get over there as fast as possible and rip open the door.

You may catch a glimpse of a darkened, twisted shop classroom before something unseen grabs you. The shrieks of the students and faculty are heard as black, grotesque shapes pour out of the room and your unseen captor pulls you in.

You won't be able to see anything for about five minutes. Lucky you. A sickly, pale-green light will snap on and reveal your current position - strapped to the table of an enormous black drill press. High, high in the darkness above, a high-pitched, warbling whine is heard. The drill press is on, and your captor from before is slowly lowering it - and the enormous drill bit attached.

Very nearly any noise, any action, will cause your captor to shriek and slam the drill press down, impaling you with the whirling bit. Despite whatever massive damage that might do, you won't die - which will only enrage him more. He'll rip it back up, move you so that a different part of your body lies under the bit, and slam it back down again.

Only one question will not bring about your endless torture - "Why did they change?"

The lights will snap on, and the drill press will fall silent. Squeeze your eyes shut and do not open them again, for to stare at that corrupted room and its lone occupant for any length of time is to join them.

Your captor will sigh, then give you an answer so simple that it will seem impossible that no one has figured it out already. You will hear one more quick shift, then the drill press screeching down one last time. No matter your resolve, the pain from this will be unbearable.

Scream and open your eyes. You are lying on a bench on the top level of a parking garage two miles from the school. The part of your body that got hit by the drill press last will still be throbbing with pain and feel swollen beyond belief. Sit up and check the supposed lump - it will come loose from its taped-on fastening and fall to the ground.

The rusted handle from the woodshop door, which you now hold in your hands, is Object 82 of 2538. It longs to be back in its proper place, but its destiny draws it to another.