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Where You’ll Find It
Some say there's a treasure, or a treasure-like thing, hidden in the city.
Nobody knows who put it there or why it even exists, but everyone seems to agree that the treasure is real. Many have tried to find it. Or everyone is trying to find it whether they know it or not. A very few people are strong enough to resist the pull of the treasure altogether. As the story goes, the treasure will bestow great powers upon its keeper. The specifics of the powers are unknown to the general populace but, judging by the acts of those who have claimed to know the treasure firsthand, the outcomes are potent indeed. They include, for example, the ability to believe fully in yourself to the extent that you cannot even comprehend the possibility of failure. The ability to arrange cities into grids or move great quantities of people via subterranean passageways. The ability to conceive of large corporate entities and subsequently generate more monetary bits than there are atoms in the sea. The ability to manipulate and coerce and inspire your fellow man, woman, child. The ability to laugh at your own jokes and trust wholly in the validity of your day to day output. The ability to invent something and then replicate it for consumption on a magnificent scale. The ability to order anything on the menu and choose, without undue interference from external sources, how you will pass your time.
Yes, the treasure is powerful.
The manner in which one obtains access to the treasure is a matter of great dispute. Some who seek it will work to the bone until their dying day, while others seem to be born with the treasure in hand. Some embark to find it via intricately woven patterns of self-discipline, while others claim to have discovered a roundabout path involving passive meditation. Musicians and dancers often laugh at the mere mention of the treasure as if the whole enterprise is an elaborate ruse. Politicians keep their key in hand by convincing many that the treasure is already disbursed. Teachers prefer to defer the topic until the next term. Meanwhile, writers and scientists furrow their brow.
This has been the way of things, more or less, for a long while. The treasure has been an irrefutable part of our lives throughout the past decades and despite the overwhelming uncertainties regarding its true merits, the treasure's aura alone is enough to stir our anxieties in perpetuity.
One boy is different. Yesterday he stumbled upon a recipe for the antidote to the treasure. Well, not a recipe actually but a map –– so long as a map can consist solely of a set of directions with no visual aid.
Here is the map to the antidote for the treasure:
Choose a sunny afternoon when you are free to do whatever you want. Go to a part of the city that has always inspired you but that you rarely visit. Watch the people there until you have a feel for how they move and why. Find a corner and go around it. Follow the wall, the one dappled by sunlight. Walk past the first pillar, staying close to the wall so that you can enjoy its warmth. You will then come to a pair of pillars, side by side, with an unmarked door between them. The door bears no handle. Simply knock when you are ready.