• Eric "Aspen" Marley

Geoff's Station: An Awakening

Geoff’s Station

The sun beat translucent light into the room where Geoff still slept, snoring. How long he had been there was anyone’s guess. But since he had arrived, he had done nothing but sleep; sound, solemn, deep sleep.

Time passed, and he finally stirred.

“Ah,” he said as he stretched his back. He blinked his eyes and a weary smile crept across his face. The smile faded almost as quickly as it had started and his eyes closed. His breathing deepened once again.

A little while later, however, Geoff’s eyes sprung open as if he had been jabbed in the backside. He did not move, but lay there in his bed.

“Oh, I wish I could go back to sleep,” he thought to himself in his groggy mind.

Just the memory of the rest he had experienced brought a dimming smile to his face. But Geoff could not go back to sleep. He was certainly awake. He shifted back and forth in his bed, but it was as if it had grown too small for him. His covers seemed tucked in too tightly in the edges. He swore softly as he struggled to be free of their suffocating embrace.

“Come on…what the...?” as he struggled to get one of his arms free, which he couldn’t do, try as he might.

Geoff stopped struggling for a moment, panting. The covers held him tightly as before. Feelings of claustrophobia swept over him, but he did his best to bat them away.

Geoff looked up to the ceiling.

"Curious," he thought. It seemed to be much closer than it should be. It showed a steady, dim glow from no source in particular. It was as if the whole room was made of thick paper. Oddly, no point of the room was either brighter or darker than the other. Also, he noticed, the covers on his bed were the same color as the walls. The entire room was monochromatic.

“Some decorator,” Geoff thought to himself. “At least the bed is comfortable. Or was,” he thought wistfully.

Geoff tried a half-dozen more times to free an arm, either arm, from the bed’s grip with the same result. He lay back in bed, resigned for the moment, panting. His mind raced. He felt bound and he began to panic. This time he was unable to brush his feelings away.

“This must be what it’s like to be in a straitjacket! I have to get out of here. This is too much. I can’t handle this anymore!”

With this thought, he had an idea.

He would bang his head on the ceiling, which was now right in front of his face. He couldn’t move his arms, but his head and neck were free enough. His plan was to move his neck, flex it backwards as far as the bed would allow, and then fling it upwards to bounce his forehead off the ceiling.

This he did.

The result, at first, was painful. His head throbbed, and he wondered if he would bleed. However he persisted. Finally, as he was in the act of flinging his head upwards with his might, to his surprise his right arm broke partially loose of the covers.

His struggles against the ceiling ceased for the moment as he concentrated on freeing his right arm, which he only accomplished through great effort.

A look of relief spread over his face. He now felt he could get more leverage. Alas, he was wrong. The room was so tight against him now that he could not get his arm up in front of his face in such a way as to be able to push with very much force.

“Ah!” he yelled, and once again banged his head with all his might against the ceiling.

To his terror, a crack appeared.

It wasn’t the fact that there was a crack in the ceiling that caused the terror. It was the light that came in, which was harsh and blinding. Although he had been breathing hard from anxiety and exertion of the situation, he now held his breath as he closed his eyes tight. But the light seemed bright even through his eyelids.

After a while, when the surprise and pain of the light subsided, he was able to think clearly and look at the crack through squinted eyes. He could see nothing beyond the fissure. The light that came in prevented it.

Geoff lay in his bed, breathing almost normally once again. The light beat down into his eyes and onto his forehead, maddeningly. A small bead of sweat started at his hairline and coursed into one of his squinted eyes, stinging. Geoff fought off another wave of panic, but his conclusion was the same.

“I have to get out of here,” he thought, “Why would this happen to me? What did I do?”

He had these thoughts even though he was afraid of the light, as bright as it was. He had never experienced anything so bright! In the end, however, his fear of staying in the tight bed and room overcame his fear of any light. He resolved to get out of there, no matter what.

With that, he made another frantic push with his head against the ceiling. And to his surprise, his whole face stuck up through the ceiling, framed.

“What in the world?”

The fact that his head was held up in the ceiling gave his right arm just enough space from below his body to permit a tremendous shove against it. This tore away a large chunk of the ceiling, itself.

His head, right arm and shoulder were now out of the confining space. His left arm held him from below, and his right arm supported him from outside the confining space. Sensing a new quality of air, he inhaled, deeply. The air tasted sweet; sweeter than anything he had ever tasted.

Now, he was able to survey his surroundings, his eyes finally adjusting for the first time.

Geoff couldn’t believe what he saw. As monochromatic as his room had been, this world was not. Colors he could not even comprehend massaged his senses. He stared, gape-mouthed, at his surroundings.

“I can’t believe I ever wanted to go back to sleep!” he exclaimed joyously. “I’ll never sleep again!”

Green grass, white-tipped mountains, blue sky, brown soil, dark woods, and an azure ocean were all within Geoff’s line of sight. He took a deep breath of the warm air, and smelled ripe fruit mixed with an oceanic breeze, welling up to the top of the hill where he was.

He was home.

His gestation now complete, Geoff smiled broadly. And, with a final, mighty shove, he pushed away the outer shell of the egg, freeing himself completely.

--Eric Marley

For all of us who

Growing out of our confinement

Are brave enough to find

The new horizons

Made of love

That await.

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