Short Story – The Message

Note: Originally Published on June 13th 2017

The Message

It had started out as just another regular day. I had become accustomed to a sort of, routine, that I would carry out without fault every single day. I had woken up to the sound of some birds chirping at the window of my room inside the cozy single-storey house that I lived in. The dog was once again barking at them, just as per usual. I got up out of my warm bed & got changed into one of my usual outfits. I proceeded down the hallway & made myself some breakfast, then walked into the lounge room & sat on the plush sofa. I decided to watch a bit of television before my morning walk, something I usually wouldn’t do, but hey, it was past time for a slight variation to my morning routine. And so I turned on the television, intending to watch something interesting, maybe just something fun, something that would humour me slightly. Maybe just watch the news or something, although there were always without fail distressing & depressing stories aired on the news, with some feel-good ones scattered between them. It was probably a waste of time really. So I went on to the TV guide built into the television, & scrolled through the various channels featured until I came across a sci-fi television show that I’d seen once before, but hey, it was entertaining, so why not? And so I clicked the remote, fully intending to witness some supernatural stuff. And boy, was I in for something else.

When I hit select on the remote, the television changed channels to show me the sci-fi show I wished to view. And yeah, the show did play & was good entertainment, for about ten minutes at least. Ten minutes in, just as the action was getting good & the tension was building up, I witnessed something that was absolutely astounding. The show stopped midway, the screen went black, & then there was a flicker & some words appeared on the screen that seemed out of this world. It was a message, one that read ‘Hello, you have been in a coma for eighteen years. We have managed to develop a new technique using newly created technology, capable of delivering messages such as this to comatose individuals who have shown no sign of awaking any time soon. We don’t know where this will appear in your dream, or even if it will actually appear. But if it does, & if you are reading this, PLEASE WAKE UP.’

I couldn’t believe what I had just read. What was this? Was it true? Was I really comatose? Was this ‘reality’ that I had been living in just a dream? Was it all inside my head? And if it was true, how would I wake up? It was all so confusing. I could barely get my head around it. So I decided that it wasn’t worth pursuing. It wasn’t worth a throbbing headache. And so I decided to just switch off the television & get to my morning walk. So I grabbed the dog’s collar & lead & fastened them around his neck. He was a good little pup. He jumped up & down as soon as he saw me grab the lead, & so he was bounding & ready to go when we walked outside. I locked up & off we went on our daily walk through the streets of the little town we lived in. Trance hopped along in front of me, sniffing out all those familiar smells he’d identified each day we took our walk. I decided after about fifteen minutes of walking that I’d grab a coffee from the local café, & so that’s where we arrived about five minutes later. And as fate would have it, it was there that I bore witness to more strangeties.

I had ordered a cappuccino, & as I sat there waiting for my order number to be called, I quickly flicked through today’s paper. Everything was pretty much just same old, same old. But then something caught my eye. As I was rustling through the pages, I came across an article titled ‘Man In Coma For Eighteen Years, Doctors Attempt Wake Up Using New Technique’. I was astounded. Twice in one day. And yet it wasn’t over, because just as I had decided to ignore the article & throw the paper in the trash, I heard something on the café’s radio. Someone was talking about motorcycling accidents, how they were becoming all too common, & how some were resulting in comas. I thought nothing of it until they just happened to mention a man who had been involved in one such accident who had been in one of the longest comas that medical professionals had ever witnessed. Eighteen years. That’s when I began to freak out. What was happening? Just as I had gone into a flurrying state of nervousness, my order number was called out; number eighteen. I went over to grab my cappuccino, & saw that the workers here had apparently employed one of those coffee artists. There was a little drawing that had been done on my cappuccino. It appeared to be an image of a motorcycle driving along a road which had the number eighteen in a sign at its end. Ok, that was it, now I was in full blown panic, chaos, whatever you want to call it.

I ran out of the café, leaving my cappuccino behind, & quickly taking the lead of little Trance. Wait a minute. The dog’s name. Trance. Did I name him that? I don’t remember calling him that? Wait isn’t trance another word for a sleep. Oh great. As if I needed addition to the panic that was already bubbling over inside me. I ran, with the dog of course, even if he wasn’t real he was still cute & I wasn’t just gonna leave him behind. I made it back to my home in ten minutes flat. It was then I noticed something I’d never thought about before today. My house number was 18, 18 Fantasia Drive. Well this was just great. What was I supposed to do now?

At this point, I almost fully believed what was being conveyed to me through these messages, these little hints scattered everywhere, all over this world which seemed real, but was potentially just a fantasy, a hallucination, an image that my extraordinary mind, my avid imagination had conjured up after the accident. Even though I believed all of this now, & I had discovered the truth, I came to a very sudden & scary realization; I didn’t know how to get out of here. If this ‘reality’ was all just a dream, how was I supposed to wake up?

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