As I reached up to pull the string and turn off the attic light, a pile of dusty papers rolled off of the shelf and landed on my toes. I hesitated with one hand frozen in the air and the other clutching a yellowing lace wedding dress. The top paper slowly uncurled and I got a glimpse of funny looking shapes surrounded by blue.
I hung the wedding dress on the end of the shelf and scooped up the pile of maps. In the far corner of my attic was a hideous hot pink and neon yellow lazy chair with several tears. Eyes trained on the map I made my way to my chair to examine the maps closer.
“North America, Europe, Asia, Pacific Ocean…” The names sounded familiar, but foreign like I heard them in a dream or stumbled across them in an outdated textbook. My grandmother was a teacher and her idea of toys were bulky textbooks. I got them every year for my birthday and most of them I read or tried to read.
I had heard the word “oceans” before, but I couldn’t recall the meaning. Creak! I glanced up and saw a shadowy globe in the corner spinning faster and faster. My spine tingled, and I jumped to my feet. “Hello? Jazz?” My sister must have been playing a trick on me. I was taking a long time to bring her Mother’s old wedding dress…
I approached the globe and rested my hand on top of it to stop the spinning. “Jazz, I know you are hiding up here.” I snickered.
Under my hand the globe began to spin again. My muscle tensed. Cold sweat dripped down my back. “Jazz?”
The smell of daisies wafted to my nose. My grandmother used to smell like daisies. A wave of calm crashed over me and I swayed back onto my heels. The globe halted. I examined it. Right in the middle of the ocean, a pin-prick sized blob labeled “Hawaii” was circled in red ink. Beside it was a sticky note. I read the scrawling handwriting aloud:
“Date: December 15th, 2016
Dear Future Generations,
I am Mika Theabe. I am originally from Hawaii which is a state in the United Stated of America. The United States of America is a country on the continent North America on the planet Earth. You might not know what any of these words mean because where I’m going there will be no continents, no oceans, no countries even.
I have successfully completed the NASA training necessary to go to Mars. They say we will be colonizing there so I assume I will start a family up there. Future family, this note is to you. I will take a photo album to Mars with me so that you will never forget the beauty of Earth.