188-The Purple Room

Enter any of Canada’s railway hotels and check in. Bring no luggage and ask specifically for The Purple Room. After a few moments of insistence, the porter will acquiesce and lead you into the elevator. Using a special key, the porter will open the elevator panel and press a concealed, unmarked button. The elevator will open directly onto a parlour furnished in Edwardian finery. Everything in the room: the marble, the chairs, the doors, even the maid who greets you will be some different shade of purple. Ask to see the master of the House.

The Master of the House will be indisposed, as will his elder son, but his youngest son will come out to meet you. After excusing his relatives, he will answer any three questions you ask. Unfortunately his answers will only make sense in retrospect. The young man will leave after extending an invitation to spend the night. Accept and turn in early. Around midnight, the Master’s daughter will come into your bed and try to seduce you. Refuse. Her father’s slightest gesture could seal your fate.

Instead, ask her to tell you about herself. What she wil tell you is the story of Earth but not of man. The story of creation and destruction. The story of the world itself from the beginning to the end. The telling will take all night, after which she will leave you. Leave the room and check out of the hotel without speaking to anyone else.

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