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Games, Diversions & Perl Culture by Jon Orwant

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Chapter 47. The Fifth Obfuscated Perl Contest

Felix Gallo

Nathan Torkington

The Introduction was written by Nathan, and the Results were written by Felix.

Twelve times the priest’s hand rises and falls, and twelve times the knife takes life from the white-clad sacrifice. Moonlight spills over the scene like the virgin’s blood over the altar, and your heart races. For you are next.

The priest turns to you, as the robed assistants carry away the last participant. Beneath the hood you can see only the priest’s sinister mouth, curved into a bitter smile. The crowd’s chanting increases in strength, and you take two paces forward.

“Have you an offering for L’rep Evif T’niop Xis, most holy giver of time and deliverer of all that is good?” The priest’s gravelly voice, eerily magnified by the stone platform and marble altar, makes your chest resonate and you feel the ball of fear in the pit of your stomach.

“Yes,” you say.

“Then step forward and deliver your offering to our most bloody god.”

You take another two paces forward, until you are at the altar. You can see the last supplicant’s blood still dripping, slowly, from the sides. You clear your throat and recite:

( $ ,, $ ")=("a".."z")[0,-1]; print "sh", $ ","m";;";;"

The crowd gasps, breaking off their chant. The priest does not say anything, silently moving his lips and frowning. The only noise that can be heard is the sound of blood drip drip dripping onto the stone platform. All are motionless, and then…

The priest gives a signal and cries: ...

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