Estimated reading time — 2 minutes
Any night, around 10 or 11 pm, take yourself to a flat, open area where you can walk in a straight line for two minutes or so without running into anything. Once there, face in the direction you plan to walk, with your arms at your sides and your hands relaxed. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. At precisely 11:09 and 20 seconds, start walking. Be sure to take one step every second, no more, no less. Do not open your eyes, and do not hesitate. Count your steps in your head as you go. On the one hundred and eleventh step, say the word “One” out loud, and stop. Your breath will catch in your throat, and your hair will stand on end. For the next ten seconds, you will be unable to move a single muscle in your body, no matter how hard you try. After these ten seconds, you will be able to move and breathe again – however, you will then start to feel the sensation of cold metal claws seizing each of your fingers by the base and plucking them clean off of your hand. It will not hurt. You will surely be horrified, but do not open your eyes, and do not move. If you move or open your eyes, all that anyone will ever find of you is your two fingerless hands, severed cleanly at the wrist. Once the claws have stopped, and all of your fingers have been plucked off, stay still for another ten seconds. It may help to count. After these ten seconds have passed, you may open your eyes. You will find that your fingers are still quite firmly attached to your hands. Go home immediately, and go directly to bed. Speak to no one for the rest of the night, and enter no building that you do not consider your home.
The next day, you will have become One of Them. Once per day, as long as there is even a sliver of sunlight, you may point at someone and speak the word “One.” That night, he will face the same trial that you faced. If you see that person the next day, you will know that he, too, has become One of Them. If not, then do not be alarmed if you do not feel hungry the rest of the day.