Timeless time capsule message

About 250 years ago, careful hands shovelled dirt over the rusty, metal capsule.

I know this because the date was written on the letter that lies among the treasures it contains.

It is small enough that I can easily pick it up with both hands, as I carry it in to place on my table.

I leave the holographic scanner off, because I feel like something this old should be treated the old way.

Expecting it to come open with a simple twist, I find that I have to go through a lot of prying and yanking before the lid loosens and slips from my fingers, clattering loudly on my floor - too loudly for the soft, sophisticated environment we live in now.

I pull out each object and set them on the table.

The last thing I pull out is a letter. Its original crisp, white paper has faded over time.

Running my fingers over the parchment, I marvel at the way that the ink from the sender's address has leached out.

The imperfections of old writing on real paper makes it so perfect. I slip my finger under the lid of the envelope and peel it back, cringing as the paper rips slightly.

While I unfold the handwritten letter, I notice an unattached photograph as it flutters to the floor. I carefully pick it up and rest it on my palm so as not to leave fingerprints on the screen-print.

A young girl smiles back at me, too happily. Her expression is so fake but she wears it anyway.

As I sit down, I turn my attention back to the letter and the way the letters are linked together in a way the computers and androids of today never do. Still I can decipher the text with relative ease.

Dear Friend, (We can be friends, right, because you are probably the only one who will remember me now, and because you hold all my dearest possessions.)These are the only things left of me, so please treat them with care.

Most importantly, I have given you my heart upon a chain, so you can carry it wherever you go and you are reminded that love is forever.

Also important is the CD of Lorde's music because I doubt you have any tunes as melodic as Buzz Cut Season or Royals now.

I also presume you don't use anything as space consuming as a CD player, so there's one there too.

May the music make you happy and remind you that you are not alone.

Thanks dearly, Samara.

I place the letter back on the table and stare out the window. Not at the backyard but through it, imagining the girl beyond, sitting at a desk perhaps, scribbling away at her letter.

I wonder if she ever imagined someone like me reading it.

I turn over the other objects on the table, and after examining the three explained in the letter, I am left with five more items. Five things that mean nothing to me now, but meant everything to her then.

First, a paperback book, the likes of which I've only ever seen in museums.

I briefly flick through it and the occasional coffee stains make the pages seem every bit more read-through, more real.

The Fault In Our Stars, it was called.

My eyes skim the pages and I realise that the cancer this character would die from can be so easily cured today.

Beside it, another book lay, this one a Bible.

The cross on the cover portrayed what this book was before the title did.

My hands hover above the cover, cautiously.

People nowadays say beliefs like Christianity are foolish and were made up simply to bring hope when there was none.

I have always wondered otherwise though.

After all, how could a world this detailed and intelligent be created purely because of a scientific coincidence.

As I stare at the Bible, I know that I will sneak it out to read another time when my parents aren't home. It's more than just curiosity, I think.

Second is a greying teddy bear.

My guess is that it wasn't always that worn colour.

I take him to my room and set him down on my bed, even though he looks so out of place in my tidy, white sterile room.

I don't mind because his small face and his literally loved to bits look makes me smile.

Though my next discovery, an older than antique looking phone, doesn't even turn on.

Its battery's been dead for an age now. I don't mind because the last item draws my attention away.

A sketch pad. I don't know what to expect. Sketches of places, clothes maybe, that were popular when this girl lived.

But no, when I open it, I'm greeted with page after page of smiling faces.

Drawings of friends, family, even famous people, perhaps?

The faces look so real, as though they are actually there looking over me, just as I look over them.

This is stupid of course, because each subject of every picture died over a century ago.

I flick over to the last page, but instead of another face looking at me, three words bore into me.

A shiver rushes down my spine.

We are infinite.


• By Samara Marks, Year 10, Kaikorai Valley College

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