A Hole in the Wall of the Universe
Another oldie one of my best, I think
A Hole in the Wall of the Universe
I, Aiko, have seen it since I was young. I was born in Masuda and grew up there. As a child, I learned not to mention it to my parents or teachers, or even to my friends, Kioku and Mika. I don’t see it with my real eyes, I close them and look with my inner eye, what is called the pineal eye.
When I married Ichuro, I told him, but he was sceptical, so eventually I ceased to mention it.
Since my childhood, it has always looked the same, with very little to remark. I regularly do my seeing when I first wake as a form of meditation, a calming before the day. At the beginning of this year, I noticed a new thing: a small, round shadow. Over the following months, the shadow grew to a spot, then to a circle, and finally, a hole, a definite breach, with fissures radiating outward.
If you look with the eye, out and up, beyond the sky, beyond our whole universe, if you see far enough, there is a wall: grey, like rock; apparently featureless, except now for this new thing. It appears illimitable, boundless, encompassing our universe in the widest sense. It was not so much the hole itself that attracted me as what lay beyond. It takes much concentration to get a clear view. At first, there were only colours: primary and pastel, a red disc, something like blue rippling cloth. Then, what I believed to be creatures. On one occasion, the colours moved aside and in the far distance beyond the hole, I recognised a complete form for the first time: something gigantic, monstrous; on a different scale to anything in our universe. I could not see whether they rode some other creature, as a man would ride a horse; whether they slithered, scuttled, trotted or walked. What I did see was their dress: colours, the glint of metal, perhaps shields.
The hole is growing larger. Every day as I lie before rising there are more of the creatures milling close to the opening. And last week, I saw roiling flame and smoke, smoke which drifted and hung like a black cloud in front of the formidable grey surface. Slowly, it dispersed. But in the last few days there has been more flame and smoke beyond the wall, more clouds, and sudden gouts of flame bursting out towards us. I cannot tell what this presages. Have these creatures the power to sweep down on us? What is the fire and smoke that is now so prevalent and seems to reach fingers towards us, fingers so enormously large as to beggar belief?
Today I set out for my work at the school. The weather is hot, as it always is in August. But it is softened by a cool breeze, so it is a lovely day. It is my birthday, the sixth day of the month, and I am excited because Ichuro has promised me a surprise when he returns this evening. He is a good man. When I reach the school, I am sure to be greeted by the children: ‘Watanabe-chan! Watanabe-sensei!’ They will all want my attention, want to talk, tell me their news.
The Emperor says we must be strong now we are threatened. We will be. That is the way we are.
I am walking south beside the river, through the city centre to where the school is, when something causes me to look up, a noise or a movement. My eyes are open, but I can see the wall. It is crumbling. All around our universe, the grey façade is tumbling into irregular blocks which drift away, opening my view to brilliant, brilliant, hurtful light. My eyes die, and I see the horde of monstrous figures hurtling towards us, down across the breadth of the universe. Fire fills the sky, black smoke overwhelms me and a giant wind blows.
They are come.
August 6th, 1945, Hiroshima.