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In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit “The Holder of Song”. You will be guided to a single door leading to a long winding staircase. It will seem to take you up higher than the building should stand. There will be a door at the top of the stairway that opens into a dim hall.
Heat will wash over you. Proceed down the hall, and at one point, it will suddenly get much colder. When this happens, you must stand perfectly still and make no sound. If you hear a baby crying, turn around and run away. The baby’s cry will follow you. If you hear it for the rest of your life, you’re lucky, for when it stops, your first-born child has died.
If there is no cry and the heat returns, proceed to the door at the end of the hall. Open it.
The room will be awash in green light. In the center will be an old woman turning a music box that produces no sound. Her legs have both been severed at the knees. When you speak to her, you must look her in the eyes. She hides a spear fashioned from the bones of her legs, and if you break eye contact, she will impale you and leave you in agony to bleed to death. She will respond to only one question. Ask her, “What was the song they used to play?”
The old woman will begin singing. The song is in a different language, but the melody is beautiful; serenity will wash over you. You will be presented with the image of children playing and singing. Things will turn grimmer. The children will begin fighting, then killing, then disemboweling each other with sharp rocks. The image will continue of children spreading death and destruction more horrific than you could ever have dreamt. But still, you will remain calm and peaceful. You will see a naked boy drenched in blood, singing with delight as he runs through a hellish wasteland, pursued by unspeakable monsters. They find him, and mutilate him utterly. Still, the song will continue from his dead lips.
An intense pain will stab at your chest. Your heart will feel like it is about to explode. But still, you must not break eye-contact with the old woman; if you do, an exploding heart would become your happiest dream. If you don’t shift your gaze, the pain will cease. The woman will stand up (you will know not how) and place the music box in your hands.
The music box is object 6 of 538. When its song plays again, they will all come together.