Oana-Maria Coja participates in the “Short prose” section of the International Literary Creation Competition, 4th edition, from Toplița, Romania. Oana-Maria is 18 years old. We thank her for her participation and wish her success.
Coma Wall I am standing on the edge of the bed, feeling like my heart and mind cannot take it anymore. I am terror-struck by the deep horrors that my mind produced, so much that my stomach is now contracting hard, trying to keep that rock-like thing inside my throat, a screech, from getting out of my convulsing body. I feel poorly, as I try to calm myself down, constantly repeating the same thing in my petrified mind: “This cannot be real! I should not be this scared, thus this is just a dream”. But I have been so wrong… I have never believed in such a thing as sojourning in an unseen life, with far different nature from the one here, on Earth; I could never be convinced that the ephemeral memory of a dream could be more than just a hallucinatory creation of our minds. Notwithstanding, my nights have been disturbed by the most bizarre visions since the unearthing of the Great Wall. It was not long ago, in the cold November of 1989, when I started recording my dreams, after my two friends, Margaret and John, from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre of Astrophysics, gave me this enthralling idea. At first, everything seemed quite simple. After I would wake up from my slumber, I would press “record” on the audio recorder that I have gotten, and the small device, placed right on the bedside, would listen to me quietly. It quickly became a habit of mine. But after their great discovery, an immense galaxy filament, doubtless one of the biggest, everything changed radically, as my mind was shaken deeply by the astral structure. The axonometric representation was the final straw that drove me into madness… At night, as some people suggested to me, my “spirit” would wake up and walk into another word, one that is not visible for us, humans, and because of those weird dreams that I kept having, this idea slowly became much more realistic, especially after I took the decision to analyze my night visions. Methodically, I started from the first dream that I have ever recorded; then, I would listen carefully and write or draw anything in a notebook, so I could keep track of any small detail. In the end, I looked over the papers again, and again, and again, until something terrifying and strange was revealed right before my eyes. Almost every dream was related to a colossal, bright tree that would have its roots deep down into the cosmos, with its crown reaching for the dark heavens of space. Was it possible for that thing to be real? The next morning I rushed to my astronomer friends and explained everything, as their amazement (mixed with some confusion) grew bigger with each word. Margaret then took me into her office and showed me the axonometric representation of her and John’s latest discovery, that they have decided to name the Great Wall. I could feel my head spinning immediately, as I took another closer look at it and then at my drawing. “No… This cannot be!” I thought, as it became difficult for me to breathe, and my knees couldn’t hold my weight anymore. I found myself floating, or like a scientist would correct me, slowly falling in space, and just before my own eyes a massive tree made of walls of light, that seemed connected with one another… The same tree from my dreams, the galaxy filament that was just found by my friends. Affrighted, but nevertheless in awe, I could not and I should not take my eyes off of that cosmic creature that I had the chance to get in contact with, as I felt that, if I would have done such a tremendous thing, the celestial monument would either collapse or destroy me to bits. Since then, I started having the same dream; a never ending cycle of me going to work, coming home and getting in bed, just to have that vision every night. In one moment I was falling into the abyss of thousands of galaxies linked together, waking up, sweating and tearing up from the horror I was feeling, and in the other, far away from the great structure in space, calm and still as amazed as the first time - either way, my imagination was stuck on this concept. It became maddening, and I even took the time to go to some psychologists to help me with this bizarre mental state that I was in. I was desperate to forget the fathom that took over my wit. But over time, it altered itself into reality… It was not only real, but it was alive. That structure, that Great Wall was not just an ordinary galaxy filament, but a being… Only late, too late I would say, I found out that I have been in a deep coma for years. When I first woke up from it, my friends’ signs of aging were more visible than before… I could remember little, but the sight of that cosmic creature was still bright. Then, I started hearing the strangest stories of the time I was gone, of how once my hand drew the shape of a tree, unconsciously, on some documents that the nurse left on the bedside, or how I talked in an neverheared language almost every night, with something unseen. This, dear listeners, is just the truth behind it all. No one would believe me if I told them about it, wouldn’t they? About how its voice echoes in my mind, how its light makes me feel free, but terrifies me at the same time, or how I could feel its warm light around me… But it didn’t want me to live much longer, as it wanted me part of its body… The last dream I had was far worse than anything, far worse than the weird patterns before, than the axonometric representation, than the coma I was put in. The tree… The creature began to move, but not like anything I have ever seen before. It was floating, like bubbles in the air, and liquefying, like molten lava, both at the same time, in an abnormal way. It was reaching for me, going through me, taking parts of me and melting them into it, mirroring me with its light… I could myself transmute into that… My hands, slowly disintegrating… No! I cannot look anymore! I am standing on the edge of the bed, feeling like my heart and mind are not mine anymore. I am terror-struck by the deep horrors that my mind produced, so much that I see my hands slowly dissolving from this existence, and a bright, golden, yet reddish shifting light coming out from my convulsing body. I feel poorly, as I try to calm myself down, constantly repeating the same thing in my petrified mind: “This is real! I have been so wrong, thus this is not just a dream!”.