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Don't stop walking.

If you're reading this, we're both very, very lucky. Me, because try as I might, I can never be certain this will reach anyone. You, because if this applies to you at all, then finding this means you actually might survive.

If it doesn't, if you're reading this without stumbling past the end of the road, you might want to stop reading. I doubt that knowing about this place will make you more likely to end up here, but if I were you, I wouldn't take any chances. If I had a chance, I would forget this ever happened. At least then I would sleep easier.

Still here?

First, let's make sure you are where you think you are. I hate describing this place, but there are other places like it- Floor 11, the Deep Exhibit, the Other Room- so you need to be certain you're following the right instructions. You don't want to-

I'm stalling, aren't I?

Okay. It will be cool, but not freezing. It will be misty, but not raining. It will be dark, but not pitch-black. The street will be narrow, with buildings on either side and no gaps between them. There will be no side paths or open doors. You will be alone. You will be lost. You will not know how you got here; this is not somewhere you can find intentionally. There. Don't ask me to describe it again.

So you're here. You're at The End of the Road. That's the easy part. The hard part is surviving. Follow along, pay attention, and don't stop walking.

First, don't stop walking. Yes, I know I just said that. It bears repeating; don't stop walking. Most things here won't bother you if you're walking. If you stop, I don't know what will happen; maybe nothing. All I know is that I've met a fair few people here, and none of them have ever stopped walking before they reached a safe place.

Second, don't step on a grate. That will kill you for sure. Sometimes, you can walk around them, sometimes, you'll have to step over them. Some of them you'll have to jump.

Third, there are lights. What kind of lights depends on a few things. I'm no expert on that; ask someone who cares. Just don't look directly at them. It won't kill you, but it isn't pleasant. And something unpleasant might make you stop walking.

Fourth, there will be lit windows, which are safe to look into. However, do not try to enter those buildings. The buildings themselves may be safe, but the doors are locked, and to open them you would have to stop walking.

Continue walking. As long as you are walking, your biggest enemy is exhaustion, and here it will come quickly. With no landmarks or noticeable turns, you will lose your fear quickly. Don't. Hold on to that fear. It will make your senses sharper and your mind focused.

You're going to be walking a while.

Eventually, things will start to happen. You may see movement, or hear sounds. Pay attention to this. Most things here will ignore you while you are walking, but not everything. This is where my advice is the least useful, because the dangers here are not always the same. Your best bet is to trust your instincts. If you see or hear something, avoid it. If you have to run, run, but don't run unless you have to. If you have to fight, fight, and hope you can win. If you have anything useful, use it. Eventually, as you near the twins, most of the things you have reason to fear will depart the chase. If you're lucky, there will never be a chase at all.

Eventually, you'll meet the twins.

Again, I don't like to describe them, but it's important to know how to recognize them and how to act around them. I don't know what they are, exactly, but they won't kill you. I think. Try not to annoy them, just to be on the safe side.

They will look the same. They will be tall. They will not smile. They will walk with you and will not try to cause you to stop walking. They will greet you pleasantly. If they smile, if they try to make you stop, if they do not speak but instead wait for you to speak, that is not the twins. Ignore them and they will leave.

When you do meet the twins, you may ask them questions. They may answer, or they may not. They do not seem to grow bored, or tired, or angry. They will not change their answers or change their minds. If there is anything you want to know, ask now. Personally, I never ask them anything I don't have to. I don't need to know anything except how to survive; I already have enough nightmares.

When you are done, ask them for directions to the hotel. They will tell you something, but don't bother memorizing it, as it isn't helpful. They will then politely give their goodbyes, and then they will leave. Do not follow them; no one I know of has, and there does not seem to be a need to.

Continue walking.

Eventually, you will reach the hotel. This is easily the part which leaves the least room for error. The hotel may be different from what is around it or it may be the same, but it will always have a gold plaque on the door. Do not read the plaque. The plaque is extremely unsafe, and to those privy to information about such things, it is very well known as something to avoid. No known person has ever read the plaque and remained sane. Only two beings of any kind have read it and survived at all. If you find yourself reading it, even only part of it, step on a grate and do it fast. Anything is preferable to reading the plaque.

You may stop walking to open the door to the hotel. Do not read the plaque, no matter how tempting it is or how harmless it appears. Close your eyes if you have to. Open the door and enter the hotel. Again, this is the most difficult part. Do not do anything that I do not tell you to do. The hotel is the safest place here, but at this crucial moment, if you do anything wrong, you will die quickly and unpleasantly. At least, I assume you'll die. No one could survive what the Attendant does, even if they never seem to stop breathing. Or blinking, if they still have both eyes.

Behind the desk is the Attendant. Ask the Attendant for a room key- not a room, a room key. He will give you one; it will have a number. That number is useless. Go to the elevator, step inside, and go to any floor. Without leaving the elevator, immediately go to any other floor. Under no circumstances allow anyone or anything else into the elevator. Leave as soon as you reach the correct floor. The elevator may take you to the wrong floor initially, so pay attention. When you reach the correct floor, leave the elevator and continue all the way down the hall, to room 162.

I'm not going to describe in detail what will happen next, because I've experienced it more than my share of times. I will instead simply tell you what you have to do.

Open the door. Go inside. Take three steps and stop. Answer the question, honestly. Answer the next question with a lie. Answer the third question with any name as long as it belongs to neither you nor anyone you know or know of. Lie on the bed, but do not sleep. Do not speak again until the light comes back on. Get out of the bed, but do not step on anything that was not there before. Do not touch the thing on the floor. It is not what it seems. Take the knife from its back and stab it again. Lie in the bed once more. Sleep, if you can. You are as safe now as it is possible to be here.

Eventually, it will appear to be morning, although it is not. You may now check out of the hotel. The protocol for this is uncertain and unimportant. Again, I will say it; you are now safe.

Leave the hotel. You may still be at The End of the Road. If so, continue walking. You will be home soon. You may already be home.

As soon as you are home, you are safe, and you are no longer at The End of the Road. Try to forget. Try not to end up there again, but keep in mind you probably will.

Keep a weapon at all times. Just in case.

Oh, one more thing. At some point you may meet me. If so, I know who you are, even if you do not know who I am. If I ask for something, give it. If I tell you to do something, do it. If you want to know who I am, well, let's just say you don't. There's no particular reason, just...

Better safe than sorry.



Written by Redjinx
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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