SECTION 17 (For the Particularly Intractable)
i) Upon cessation of physical existence (referred to hereafter as “death”), the entity or portion of entity that persists (colloquially known as the “soul”; hereafter, “you”) will be transported by the Management to the proving facility (hereafter, “the maze”, or “the labyrinth”). You agree to incur any transportation costs on behalf of the Management, should such costs arise (please see the appendix entitled “Fees and Penalties” below).
i.a) The Management is under no obligation to answer, and will summarily ignore, any questions about the manner of your transportation to the labyrinth, or the nature of your existence while in the labyrinth, or the location of the labyrinth in relation to anything else in any plane of existence, known or unknown to you, previous to, concurrent with, or obtained after your death.
i.b) There is one way out of the labyrinth (see below).
ii) Cumulative stationary motivational elements (hereafter, “stones” or “rocks” or “pebbles”) line the paths of the maze. The stones are luminescent and very attractive. You are compelled to collect them, in a little golden bag (hereafter, the “bag”). Every stone must be collected; you are physically incapable of choosing not to put a stone in your bag. From collecting the stones, you derive a grim, joyless satisfaction.
ii.a) The Management provides the bag.
ii.b) The Management is under no obligation to answer, and will summarily ignore, any questions about the composition or nature of the bag, inquiries into how the bag works or how it was placed in your possession, or requests for another bag.
ii.c) No other bags are available. You will only need one.
iii) While in the labyrinth, you will always be hungry. At random intervals, the Management will provide food.
iii.a) This food will consist primarily of inadequate amounts of fruit and stale pastries.
iii.b) The food may be found at random locations on the floor of the maze, along with the stones.
iii.c) No matter how much food you consume, your hunger will not be sated. This is not the purpose of the food.
iii.c.1) The Management is under no obligation to answer, and will summarily ignore, any questions about the food.
iv) Once you have begun the collection process, four motile motivational elements (hereafter, “ghosts” or “spirits”) are summoned, one for each cardinal direction, but also representing the four people you wronged the most in life. They chase you as you pick up the stones. You may or may not recognize these ghosts, but you will fear them. This fear is normal and appropriate.
iv.a) If a ghost touches you, you will experience an egregious discomfort penalty, both physical and psychological in nature (hereafter, “the Pain”). Symptoms may include but are not limited to: an intense burning just underneath the skin; formidable pressure in the sinuses, throat and gastrointestinal tract; profound emotional loss; existential crisis; the sensation of being stabbed in the heart, and then the heart being burned, and then the ashes being thoroughly shamed.
iv.b) Also, you lose all your rocks.
iv.c) The ghosts are slightly faster than you, but have equal or inferior knowledge of the labyrinth.
iv.d) The Management will answer questions about the ghosts, but only through the medium of waking dreams while you are collecting stones, and the answers, when comprehensible to you, will almost certainly intensify the Pain.
iv.e) Direct all questions about the ghosts toward the ceiling of the labyrinth, in the form of an abject wail.
iv.e.1) Questions will be answered in the order they are received.
iv.e.2) Allow four to six weeks for the Management to respond, but keep in mind: within the labyrinth, time is meaningless.
v) If you pick up every single shining pebble, the walls shake and lightning flashes, and the labyrinth replenishes its rocks from the stash in your golden bag. Once the labyrinth has replenished itself, you will begin the collection process once again.
v.a.) The replenishment process is instantaneous and unavoidable.
v.b.) The cycle of collection and replenishment continues until you achieve a state of purgative enlightenment (hereafter, “your lesson”).
v.c.) Your lesson is specifically and uniquely yours. The Management is unaware of its nature and/or content. The Management eagerly awaits your lesson, which will most likely reveal itself in the form of an abject wail, or perhaps incoherent weeping.
vi) After learning your lesson, the labyrinth will dissolve. At that time, should it ever arrive, you may report to the Cashier for payment.
vi.a.) Payment is mandatory.
vi.b.) The Management is under no obligation to answer, and will summarily ignore, any questions about your bill.