By Mary E. Gerdt
All rights reserved 2012
Alice knew today was the day, the day the envelope would be opened. Alice carried the envelope all over and now, seeing the name of the nameless clairvoyant through a tiny tear, she knew there was no turning back.
Her mother always said the clairvoyant had no name, adding to the mystery of the story.
In fact, Alice strained now to remember the story she heard when Susan was tired, feeling vulnerable, down on her work. Susan would say, “It was meant to be, the Seer said.”
The Seer, now Alice knew as Margo, was nearly as mysterious with only one name.
The commercial break was nearly over.
Normal could wait.
Alice was going to stick her neck out, gamble, for the first time, well, ever.
Her heart pounded, she made a conscious effort to breathe deeper, as she went off script,
into the ozone of uncertainty.
Gigi‘s voice beamed, “We are back.” Applause…music…
For a pilot turned radio host, Gigi was fully competent and clearly loved the attention.
Alice jumped in, ”I have a surprise.” and she paused, eager to continue but looking for the nod from Gigi. It was her show after all. Alice was respectful of that much. They were the ones stuck on Mars, that red desert island.
Gigi shrugged. Looking puzzled at her microphone. She closed her eyes, as if that could help her explain the mystery that this clone girl was cooking up. Gigi did not like surprises. She preferred as few variables at any point in time. Zero or less was her preference. “Go ahead, “ Gigi said hesitatingly.
“I have an envelope from my clone Mom, Dr. Susan Wolf. Today I am going to open it. (Alice cannot hear the applause on Mars) In these years after Mom is gone, well they have been very difficult, like anyone losing a Mom, she was my Mom and Dad in one. It is hard to explain, like I have told you before.”
On Mars, a mesmerized crowd shared a private moment, the envelope they imagined. It had been so long since they had seen an envelope, and the emotions it could contain.
Gigi was equally as mesmerized, and what of this surprise, why now, why open the envelope here, now?
Alice thought the same thing.
Alice ripped open the envelope so the Mars contingent would have no doubts.
“My first discovery is that my mother reveals a fortune teller’s name who Mom knew and who predicted my birth as the first clone.
Gigi plays along, “And her name is…?”
“Margo” Alice answered.
The Applause went on until the signal split up, solar flares and static took over, and Alice and Gigi signed off.
Alice, relieved by the interruption, took her envelope to her room where she planned to read it with another Japanese beer. She savored the moment, and at the same time it was part of her growth and development. Her Mom wrote her a letter. So rare even on Earth here. Handwritten, in the old cursive style, hard to read at times.
Dear Alice, she read quite plainly, and unexpectedly burst into tears…..
On Mars, Gigi thought about Alice’s discovery.
Who was the fortune teller named Margo?
What did the rest of Susan’s letter say? Gigi was uneasy a little. Trying to recall what she and her old roomate Susan might have shared. Was it coming out in a posthumous note? Gigi shook her head, no, there would be nothing incriminating. After all, Susan and Gigi went to college in 2040, not like the kids of today, 2064 that was more like Alice’s generation.