10 Oct The Gatekeeper
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"The Gatekeeper"Written by
Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
If you’re reading this, you probably think that it is just another fake story. Well, it could be. But if you wish, you can take a risk. Follow my instructions. See what happens and maybe have your life become so much better. Or so much worse. It’s really up to you.
First, you must go to the mountains. It doesn’t matter where you live. Any set of mountains will work, as long as you can find a cave. Big or small, unknown or well-explored, vibrant or dead, it doesn’t matter as long as it extends further than the sun’s light at sunset. The darkness is important.
Sunset is an important time, when the bonds between worlds weaken as the Earth sinks into twilight. This band of weakness allows one to exploit the natural weak points in the fabric of space and time. I’ve learned this by experience, as have many others. Not many of them are still where they could even be contacted, however.
You must stand at the mouth of the cave as the world sinks into darkness. The timing here needn’t be perfect: as long as you begin at sunset, you will not encounter any complications. You must not have any technology or religious paraphernalia on you. The technology will stop you from beginning the process. Religious paraphernalia…well they simply don’t like it when you go in there with protection of that sort. It won’t help, so don’t even try.
When the time is right, take off your shoes. This is a sign of respect. They like that. Then close your eyes and begin to walk forward. Don’t worry about falling; they will keep you moving. If the cave you chose was short, you may notice that you don’t hit the end. If this happens, the floor will seem to level out regardless of the cave’s layout. You’ve been set on a path to the same place, and it is vital that you not open your eyes. If this doesn’t happen, don’t worry. If you had no technology and followed the previous instructions, the ritual is not for you. The fates have another destiny in mind for you, one that cannot be altered by a ritual such as this.
You might hear whispering around you, may feel cool digits trailing across your back and chest. It will be so cold that it burns when they touch your bare skin. Do not react. They are simply curious to see one of bound flesh crossing through their realm. Unless you offend them, they will not do any intentional harm. Stay silent, keep your eyes closed, and continue moving forward. The whispers will grow louder as you go, angry voices rising above their whispered words, almost recognizable as English. It is especially important here that you do not react. This voices’ owners do not belong there. They are the poor souls who lost themselves in this realm, straying from the path yet not offending the hosts before they were beyond harm. That is why you must continue in a straight line. Stepping off the path will sever your soul, binding it eternally to a realm of shadow where the denizens do not want you.
My own experience has shown that this walking seems to last for an eternity. But as long as you stay on path and ignore the distractions, you will be alright. When the smooth, level ground that you have been walking on suddenly becomes the sloped and gritty floor of a cave again, you can open your eyes. In front of you is a tunnel. The floor covered in grit. It will be lit by four sets of torches attached to the walls by wooden sconces. Crystals, even precious gemstones, will dot the walls every few feet. Feel free to touch them; they are not cursed, though you will not be able to separate them from the walls. At the end of the hall will be a door. Its appearance will vary, but it will always be out of place in the underground place you find yourself in.
While it will not explicitly harm you, I do not recommend turning around. You adventurous souls who might actually do this will find it hard to resist the temptation to follow the glow you will see. The path you arrived through will be gone, replaced by two branching pathways. The effects inside them will vary, but the glow will remain. If you do feel tempted to go down them, do so at your own risk. The torch-lit tunnel is the only exit once you have made it this far, and it is not going to be there when you come back. And, if you see a shadow across the wall in either tunnel, run. For the love of God, turn tail and flee to the door. Unlike the natives of the twilight realm, these creatures are entirely intent on bringing harm to you. Only he can protect you.
The he whom I speak of will become apparent as you pass the third set of torches. A seemingly-human male will just pop into existence against the door, hands clasped in front of him like an attendant at a hotel. It will be like he was always there. When you pass the fourth, he will see you and smile. Not one of those ‘I wonder what your insides will look like sprayed across the wall’ kind of smiles, but a genuine ‘Ah, it’s good to see you’ smile.
He will note your missing shoes with a polite nod, and offer his hand for you to shake. If he has a glove on, feel free to do so. If not, don’t. Touching his skin will have you take his place. This only happens when you have offended him in some way, such as by speaking before he is ready. He won’t take offense to you not shaking his hand even if he is wearing a glove.
He will greet you with a few simple words. The phrase he uses will vary depending on your nationality, though it will always be polite. It bears no significance on what follows. He will ask two questions, one will be simple. “Where do you wish to go?”
Think long and hard on your answer. Because, if you do not offend him through lies or simply being impolite, that is where you will be when the door is opened. Specify the time frame as well, for that will make a difference. No matter what you have in mind, he will not do what you suggest unless you are specific. It’s a monkey’s paw effect, really. If you aren’t specific, you may end up in a bad situation. Such as being deposited in that spot, during the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods. Or after all life on Earth has died.
You could specify an area in a fictional universe, or a different real world. You will be taken there, such is the power and benefit of this ritual. But remember: you will not be changed in the transit. Suddenly showing up on an alien planet with no record of ever existing tends to be bad for your health.
The second question will be the most dangerous part of this ritual. He will ask a question, a personal one. Your answer must be the truth. Do not be hasty; the question may seem simple, but it is not. You might think you know the answer, but make sure. Odds are it might be on something that you have lied to yourself about for years, or that you only half remember. If you answer correctly, he will happily deposit you in the position of your choice. If you lie, whether intentionally or not, he will happily open the door for you still.
Unfortunately, this time the destination will be much less pleasant. This gatekeeper has access to places so much worse than you can imagine. And if you lie to him…well, he can put you in any fictional world that he so desires. I’m sure you people are creative, so must I really spell out the result for you?
Credit To – Ozymandeos