Do you believe in fate? Well, whether you do or not, it exists. And it does seem to have a will of its own. But it also seems to be a reasonable beast, willing to flex and bend to those who prove themselves worthy of breaking from the default path they were assigned in life. Of course, it is the best of friends with karma, and together they are merciless and cruel towards those they feels deserve it.

Sometimes in life, we feel directionless, caught like a bug in water spiralling down the sink. War between nations, a global pandemic, intolerance towards different people. We didn’t ask for these things to happen, but the paths that be lead us there. You may be unsatisfied with your own life, frustrated or depressed with where you see it leading to. Or perhaps you have no clue at all, and are just letting fate take complete control and going along with your environment, because you feel you have no power over your destiny, because you’re scared you’ll make a mistake and ruin everything. Or maybe you just don’t care anymore. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Find some pieces of paper (grid or white), a black marker, some thread and a needle, and some matches. Since this ritual is dealing more with your mind’s strength and less your physical body’s, the symbol must be marked slightly differently, but it is of very simple design; a circle with a cross running through the centre. An example has been provided. There are two options to mark the symbol down. The first is to draw its shape on both of your eyelids, as you cannot draw on your eyes (safely) and therefore this is the closest you will get between the channel of interpretation and your mind. You may use a mirror to help with this. However, should this be too difficult (or should you be lacking eyelids, possibly after having failed a previous ritual), you must then use your own body’s essence. Prick your finger with the threading needle to draw the symbol with your blood on the paper. Regardless of how you drew the symbol, the ritual will now recognize you as the participant.

On the paper you marked with blood (or just a separate piece of paper if you used your eyelids), write down a goal, an objective, something you want out of life. It has to be something very true and dear to your heart - not “what outfit to wear tomorrow”, or “find $5 on the sidewalk someday”. It has to be a destiny strong enough to sway fate into humouring you with a chance for the duration of the ritual.

Once that’s done, it’s time to prepare the main part of the ritual. On the other side of that first paper, begin drawing squares with your black marker. If it’s on white paper, the squares must be one inch by one inch (1”x1”), and the spaces between them should be a quarter inch wide (1/4”). If you are using grid paper, each black square should be 4 units by 4 units, and the paths between them 1 unit wide. You can do this on as many pieces of paper as you wish, but you must only connect them as minimally as possible, with thread and needle on the corners of the pages. You want to keep the paths between the squares as clear as possible, but clear tape is ill advised should you fall into a certain pitfall during the ritual and need to end it quickly.

You can do this ritual at any time of day or night, but the room must be enclosed. And no other witnesses; you’ll learn why shortly. Make sure there’s adequate lighting so that the white and black stands out from each other easily, and that no part of the paper(s) is/are shrouded in darkness. You will want as much clear vision as possible.

Now, an explanation: there are those who died trying to either trick fate or refused to accept their destiny. And now, their spirits wanders the infinite roads of time, witnessing all of the living who follow their own destinies, causing these souls to suffer - either through seeing people like them trying to cheat their futures, only to fail in the end, or envying those who follow their own roads to a good and bright destiny. What you have created is a replica of the crossroads, where people’s paths intertwine and affect each other - whether for better or for worse.

To begin the ritual, close your eyes for ten seconds, breathe in and out deeply, and then stare at the first intersection of white lines you see. Stare there, and wait. Soon, the intersections around the one you’re staring at will begin to fill in with the ghosts of the crossroads. Do not be alarmed; they won’t harm you… yet. It’s a labyrinth, and they are just as lost in there as they were in life. However, the longer you stay, the more they will begin to recognize your form as not one of their own. Your mind is now connected to this maze, but it is a necessary connection.

One of the spots adjacent to your intersection will appear darker than the others; this is the spirit that will lead you to the future you desire, as they once wished for the same thing, or something akin to it. And watching the paths of humanity for eternity, they have learned the way to attain it. Shift your gaze to the intersection with the ghost. It’s likely that the ghost will disappear, leaving a brilliant white spot instead. And a new intersection will be the darkest. Your task is to follow that darkest spot from crossroads to crossroads, until you can stare straight on at the ghost for ten whole seconds. When you are ready to end the ritual, crumple up all of the paper into one ball, then take it somewhere safe and burn it completely (hence using thread over tape).

There are some important notes to be wary of. First; the number of squares you draw determines how long you’ll have to catch the ghost. You must end your search, either successfully or unsuccessfully, look away from the maze and destroy it before your time is up. Each square will give you five seconds of safety during the search - meaning every twelve squares will give you one minute. How many squares you choose to draw is up to you, but more crossroads means more time to chase your guide down.

However, this comes at the risk of your mind becoming too involved with the puzzle, too obsessed in catching that spectre. If this happens, and the time passes you by, the ramifications will eat your mind away. Even if it’s only for a few seconds, it’s enough to bring on the rot. You’ll be pissed that you couldn’t find it, and your brain will think that if only you had a few more seconds you would’ve gotten it. It will gnaw at you, being this close to changing your future, only to come up short. The black and white image will flash on the back of your eyelids, unable to escape its glare even in your sleep. You’ll redraw the maze or use the old one and scan it again, and again, and again, with no chance of succeeding. You’ll walk away from it time and again, only to return and try once more, knowing that this will be the one, this will be the attempt that makes it. But fate’s good fortune has fled from you, just like the elusive black spot on the intersection.

Soon your obsession will overtake you, until your form begins to wilt away from lack of self-care. Food will not satiate the hunger to catch the ghost; drink will not quench the thirst for a better tomorrow. Your skin will stretch across your ribs and shrink-wrap itself to the shape of your skull, sunken cheek and all, but it will matter not to you. Only that black dot will fix things, and once you find it, you’ll never have to worry about your future ever again. So for that, you’ll accept the supposedly temporary price of pain and madness, with the final attempt ending in your sticky, rotting skin becoming one with a maze of your own design.

Second; if you try to be clever and cheat fate, it will know. You cannot do this ritual in someone else’s place if they are too scared to do so. It is your own will, and you must sway your own fate. Only drawing four squares to create one crossroads will not work out well for you, along with any other method of cheating. Words will begin scrawling themselves across the paper, and you will be forced to read them. These words will describe events that have either faded from your memory or have yet to happen - horrible, heart-wrenching descriptions of lies, betrayals and sins that you and the people around you have done and will do. Fate will tell you of every horrific moment of your life, and it will make sure that this is the only path you will ever be able to take.

Third; if anyone else tries to help you hunt the ghost, it will become completely impossible to find. Even if you coordinate your efforts, not only can the wills of separate people confuse the ghost you’re looking for, it will make them begin to shift far more rapidly. And if fate’s feeling particularly cruel that day, expect to both be punished as shown in the last note.

Fourth; if all of the roads begin to turn black, stay where you are until only the intersections show any shade. Once the roads clear, you can continue onwards. If they continue to blacken, immediately look away and destroy the maze. Don’t look at the paper if you can try, for its entire exterior will have turned into the shade of a starless night sky. This means that the ghosts have fully recognize your presence, and want to tear your mind out and put it in the maze to replace themselves, so that they can get a second chance at living a life with a better destiny than the one that fate punished them with.

And finally; if all of the intersections suddenly turn as white as the one you are staring at… well then, this ritual is no longer of use to you - since all of humanity is about to meet the same fate.

If you do succeed in capturing your ghost though, close your eyes and focus on the image of the maze you just had, until the words you wrote on the first paper appear in your mind. You can then end the ritual. After destroying the maze, you will suddenly feel refreshed, with a sense of purpose. Your goal will be clear as day, and you may even have an idea or two on how to start walking the road to where you want to be. When opportunities arise that can further advance your goal, you will get a feeling in the gut that tells you the action to take. It’s not easy to describe, but you’ll know it when you feel it.

However, sometimes you may question the actions fate makes you take. You might not even appreciate the future you picked out for yourself. If this is ever the case, and fate senses your displeasure, you’ll be punished for your lack of appreciation for the sacrifices that had to be made. And one by one, you’ll watch the pieces that hold your current life together, reducing you to a destiny that is most undesirable. So show some thanks, and stick to what you wanted in the first place. You already changed your future once. There are no take backs.

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Written by RedNovaTyrant
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