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The Last Memories of Earth

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Adaleigh stood on the ship, looking out of the window, remembering. Earlier that morning, the last survivor from the first generation, besides Adaleigh, had died. She was now the final human alive who still remembered Earth, the planet her people used to call home. Of course they had outdated photographs, movies, and holograms, but it wasn?t the same as really being there. Adaleigh still envisioned her former home every time she closed her eyes.

She had lived in a small mountain cabin in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Summer mornings (Adaleigh?s favorite time of year), she woke to feel the warm sun caressing her cheeks. She opened her window and heard birds singing and the creek laughing as it leaped and tumbled over smooth river rocks. She smelled the fresh, green leaves as the playful wind caused them to dance in the trees. She had been a young girl when she and the rest of her family left Earth, but she still remembered running through the luscious green grass. She could recall the feeling of icy cold water hitting her skin as she jumped into the river on a sweltering summer day. She recollected cozy autumn nights with her family huddled around a midnight bonfire, telling stories. She and her older sister used to love the excitement of racing outside on the morning of winter?s first real snow and having snowball fights, building snowmen, and sledding until dusk, when they would come home to steaming mugs of hot chocolate. In the spring, Adaleigh missed listening to the crickets chirp and the many starlit nights she spent catching fireflies. She wished she could bite into a newly ripened strawberry and taste its juicy sweetness once again.

Instead, tonight, the only lights were artificial. The water had a metallic taste. The only animals on the spacecraft were humans. The urgency of their evacuation had not allowed for the extra supplies needed to accommodate additional, non-human passengers. There were bird songs every morning from seven to eight, but everyone knew they were only simulated recordings. She would never again experience the seasons, or, for that matter, any variance in climate. The temperature was set at a constant sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. All the ship?s food was nutritionally adequate, but bland, tasteless, and dehydrated.

Adaleigh was the last person who still held these precious memories. The chance that humans would ever be able to return to Earth was very slim, and it would certainly not happen in Adaleigh?s lifetime. She was very old, and she could feel that it was her time to die. She was tired; she didn?t try to fight. She lay down and dreamt of the wonderful life she had long ago left behind. Slowly, she slipped away, longing to feel soft, damp grass beneath her feet one last time?





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NNB said...
Mar. 26, 2009 at 2:20 am
Good job, Cassidy. It's stories like this that might help save our planet like the Native Americans have tried to tell us. Keep it up!
 
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