Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
There are times in ones life where one feels unsafe. Insecurity permeates their being, and despite their best efforts they cannot quell the fear that builds within them. They seek some form of solace; a refuge against the tumultuous and unpredictable storms that seek to overwhelm them. Some weather the storm stoically, holding to some deep-rooted faith, divine or otherwise, that this moment will pass. Others lose what vestiges of their sanity remain, their paranoia evolving into madness…a thunder of sorts to match the lightning of this overpowering gale. But there is a third option, one known to only a few. The Taiwanese call it the Ritual of Gai Kao.
To engage in this age-old rite, you must first be riding the waves of sadness driven before this chaotic storm. When you feel you are at your most desperate, seek out a place that is often frequented by many people at once. The patio of a coffee shop, a bowling alley, an RV park…any place where the traffic of humanity has left the residue of souls. These are places of great power, and will aid greatly in your efforts. It is also easier to do just prior to 8:24 PM on October the 26th, as that is when the Kao is at his greatest strength.
Once there, sit calmly and engage in a mundane activity. Reading the newspaper, stirring your coffee, something like this. Do NOT speak to anyone, or your efforts will be in vain. You must be in a meditative state, engaging in only such mindless activities so that your mind can focus on the worry at hand.
Soon you will become keenly aware that the sounds of the world have dulled. The crappy coffee shop music is gone, the sound of crashing pins has faded, the engines of vehicles lost in the void. At this point you MUST look down. This symbolizes the approach of Gai Kao, the spirit of security, and to not show your reverence by averting your gaze will result in the most dire of consequences. From this point on you must do EXACTLY what I say. Do not deviate; I will tell you what will happen later if you do.
After a few moments, you’ll hear a heavily-accented voice bid you to raise you eyes. When you do, you will be looking straight into yellow, slitted reptillian eyes. Everyone else who was in the room will be gone; you will be the only one who can see this creature. Do NOT gasp in fear, and do NOT speak. The creature will have a yellowish-green, scaly hide and speak around a gross, oversized tongue in its mouth.
The creature will engage you in a few lines of small talk. Do not speak unless you are answering a question. If he deems you worthy, he will then tell you the remedy to all of your current problems. He will know you as well as you know yourself, though whether he is reading you thoughts or not is unclear. Feel free to ask clarifying questions during this time, but always begin your statment with “Great Kao”. NEVER, EVER thank him for his answers, or he will depart.
After he has addressed your every worry, he will begin to speak of nonsequitur events once more. This is important: DO NOT LISTEN. He will talk of things that interest you, offer to discuss real-life events, anything to get your attention. Instead, avert your eyes as before and wait for the noise of the room to return. Once this occurs, you may look up to find the room just as it was and no time will have passed. You may then go forth, and feel comforted.
But be warned! Should you in ANY way deviate from this process, and the Kao will put upon you a curse. This is a curse of degeneration; you will slowly regress the evolutionary path. You will sprout hair from your knuckles and brow. Your teeth will go awry as your jaw reforms and your forehead takes a neanderthal-like appearance. This is an insult from the Kao; a cut at your humanity and an insult to your intelligence.
If done correctly, your every care will be comforted and you will once again feel joy. However, from that day on you will feel the Kao’s presence upon you. He will observe you to note your contentment. You will never shake his gaze. The gaze of those large eyes. It will always feel like somebody’s watching you…and you get no privacy…