Category Archives: A Handful of Sand…

A Second Chance

There they were, thrown together from every region of the planet inside the mothership and clearly confused. There was a shepherd from the Pyrenees, a rice farmer from Southern China, a sociology professor from Canada, a fire fighter from Tasmania and a housewife from South Africa among many others. Why this motley crew of human beings had been suddenly beamed up to the mothership was just as puzzling as anything else that had been happening over the past few months. Literally, out of the blue the aliens had appeared one day and, without anybody really understanding how, had taken over ... [ Read More ]

The Student

The pitch-black clouds had come rolling in the entire afternoon. Slowly rising higher and higher, they eventually covered the entire sky and darkened the earth. One could literally feel the pressure building up. As the humidity rose, so the noises coming from the school building and the adjacent olive tree grove subsided. The teachers had stopped their various lessons and all students had gathered at the front of the School of Philosophy. A storm of this magnitude was a potent reminder of the all-encompassing power of nature (according to some teachers) or the gods (according to other teachers). Finally, a ... [ Read More ]

The Choice

When I was 19, I lost my girlfriend because she decided to swallow something at a party just to go along and not be boring. I was trying to finish an assignment that night and, by the time I was called, she was already dead. Afterwards, I felt like being enveloped in some kind of fog and just kept on moving forward without being able to push through. I remember glimpses of the funeral through a haze of tears and heavy-heartedness that dragged me down physically – like wearing a weight belt of pure lead. I drifted in and out ... [ Read More ]

Dear God,

I trust that in the 15 billion year history of your cosmos (give or take a few hundred million years), you have received a great many letters of complaint. Through the ages, innumerable sentient creatures on worlds unimaginably (to me anyway) different to mine must have written to you and, I believe, complained about basically the same issues. There is, of course, the age-old question as to why a presumed omnipotent creator has allowed suffering to be such a defining feature of this cosmos. Two fellow Homo sapiens sapiens by the name of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace recently ... [ Read More ]

…Is an Anthology of the Universe

It had been an exhilarating presentation. The audience rose and applauded enthusiastically. The news as such was marvellous, but to hear it from the man who had made the discovery topped it. The Professor bowed politely towards his audience. With a coy smile he acknowledged the admiration of the many people, who had clearly been captivated by his talk. The reaction had been the same in every city and town he had been to over the past six months. Wherever he went, the by now world-famous Professor, patiently explained how the device he had built had found unambiguous proof of ... [ Read More ]

Food for Thought

The disturbance had arisen from somewhere along the edge of the small, warm pond that had been home to the colony of algae for almost a full moon cycle. The Collective Thoughts of the billions of microscopic plant cells searched somewhat irritated for the source of the commotion. After all, it was a beautiful, sunny day and everybody was busy basking.   It was unheard of that the harmony of the Collective Thoughts of a growing population of algae was disturbed. “This better be good” permeated the Collective Thoughts to every individual to make it clear that it was annoyed. ... [ Read More ]

What Must Rise Must Fall

It had been a fierce and merciless battle in front of the enemy village. What had once been a field of wheat almost ready to be harvested was now a corpse-strewn, blood-soaked wasteland. A large number of Roman soldiers had surrounded the few remaining enemy warriors and in bitter fighting killed them off. With the very last of the enemy falling, the Roman horn blower signalled victory. The battle had lasted more than an hour and the exhausted veteran slumped down on the spot. He breathed deeply and slowly to ease the tenseness with the routine of a battle-hardened legionnaire ... [ Read More ]

A Winter’s Day

Somewhere behind the dense, dark-grey wall of clouds the winter sun had risen. The thick blanket of freshly fallen, pristine snow covered what had once been fields, meadows and well-tended orchards before reverting to woodland a long time ago. Through the naked forest trees, the irregular silhouettes of the ruins of the city could be seen in the distance, now mercifully covered by the same white blanket that ran uninterrupted as far as the eye could see. The grotesquely shaped outlines of the former houses, shops and factories were clearly visible. The two gnomes hiding in the woodland sniffed the ... [ Read More ]

Death of a Barnacle

The fertilised egg was released like millions of other such eggs into the water column off the island of Bali. Following its purpose, the egg developed into a barnacle embryo. The microscopic ball of cells developed rapidly while the warm water current off Bali carried it along the island in an easterly direction. Quietly dividing and growing, against all chances somehow the larva evaded the gaping mouths of small and large predators all perfectly adapted to feed on the teeming broth of minute organisms that lived in the upper column of seawater. The larva started feeding on the massive amounts ... [ Read More ]

Time Out

O hello, sorry to interrupt. May I sit in this seat? Thank you. Well, that feels very pleasant. Especially, since I haven’t sat in a seat for quite some time. I must say the standard of comfort in trains has gone up significantly since… Ah, don’t you just love how the landscape whizzes by when you’re in a train? You know that is basically how Einstein conceived of the theory of relativity; just thought what the world would look like if you travelled on a light beam. Me? A physicist, no. I used to be…well, it is a bit of ... [ Read More ]