Scratched From Dreams is a short story anthology by Kurt Mitchell in
which he pays stylistic homage to some of his favorite authors. From
Bradbury to O'Connor, from King to Serling, this collection runs
slightly to the darker side of things. Each story is illustrated by a
well-known illustrator; all are friends of the author.
One day about 40,000 years ago, somewhere in the south of France,
Og and his brother Howard were hard at work decorating a client's cave wall
with painted pictures of horses, cows, and bulls. Og turned to his brother and
remarked, "You know... I wish we had something to turn off at the end of
the day so we would know that it was time to go home..." And so was put in
motion a quest for power, and the lack of it, that continues to this very day.
Our universe is full of atoms, tiny little things that
clump together to form what we know as "stuff"... and when we look
even closer, we see that these atoms themselves are comprised of tinier
subatomic particles- protons, neutrons, and electrons- that cling to each other
due to inherent qualities called charges. Protons possess positive charges;
electrons possess negative charges; and neutrons have no charge at all (they're
just not into possessions.) Positive and negative charges are said to be
"opposite" of each other, and these opposite charges attract each
other. Imagine your right hand and left hand clapping. Easy, right? I know! Now
imagine your two right hands clapping... not so easy, huh? That's because
"like" charges repel each other... they're just not meant to come
together. We can use these charged states of attraction and repulsion to pull
and push electrons between neighboring atoms. If the neighboring atoms are of a
conductive metal and pulled into long thin wires, we can move electrons along
quite easily. Movement of electrons is known as an electric current, and
depending on how we manage and manipulate their flow we can use electrons to
light our homes, cook our food, make our music, and tweet our friends.
...And to think it all began 40,000 years ago because
Howard's brother wanted to turn something off and go home. Cool.
-The preceding essay was sent in the pursuit of another high-end rejection letter, and proved to be very successful.