“Create your own civilization! Break the Laws of Evolution by building your own world! Explore the interactions and personal relationships of your very own creations as they imitate life. You can play God!”
She bought the sand farm in a novelty store where she’d shopped with her father. “Just pick something, Lucinda! We haven’t all day!” The packaging came with an order form and instruction page on how to “send the box-top with $1.59 for “living specimen to inhabit your new sand farm”. The special, fun living experiment any child could create, imagination and education right within your fingertips. She had the power to create, or destroy, at will.
The inhabitants were delivered by post in a simple brown envelope—two zygotes freeze-dried for simplicity and ease of delivery. “Each growth cup includes a guaranteed breeding pair, just add pH 7 amniotic fluid, 99.6 degree temperature, and watch them grow!”
Lucinda dropped a tiny bit of meat and cheese into the glass-enclosed capsule. She shook the container and watched for moving sand—the tell-tale sign of the occupants’ continued existence. She turned the lamp on to see.
The inhabitants of the capsule scrambled to the food, eager for the sustaining nourishment. The trails burrowed into the sand were the only evidence of the life inside. The residents dug those trails as a means to create safety and privacy, but later to find a possible exit.
Lucinda isn’t a vengeful god, just forgetful and careless. Bryon and I have been planning for the day she forgets us completely. Days go by when she forgets to give us food. We learned to dry and save it for future use, especially now that I feel the baby move inside me.
Di Ann Duffey Vulich