Small Blue Sphere Called Earth

By Charles Sundt

Mr. Potts looked out of his apartment blankly surveying the grey cityscape that filled his only window. He longed for something different. A change. He hoped for that impossible event that would shape the rest of his life for the better in one short moment. He knew it wouldn’t happen. He was wiser than to think otherwise. He was stuck like this for the rest of his dreary life...

An opaque dark blue sphere wandered towards the bustling city below. The sun shone on it brilliantly from above, slightly off-centre, illuminating its plain, smooth surface fantastically. It was a bit smaller than a soccer ball, and looked heavy, and yet it fell gracefully slowly. It floated closer to the highest buildings, just gently falling, like a big round blue leaf.

Mr. Potts’ vacant expression very slightly broke. His brow wrinkled, ever so slightly. His eyes had seen something they were not used to seeing. A ball, like a large marble, had slowly crossed the length of his window, and dropped slowly out of sight by the building. Oh well. Why the hell shouldn’t it?

The ball arced slowly towards the Earth, and people started noticing it. It swooped downwards, speeding up to the pace of a jogger on the ground. That jogger saw it slowly overtake as it hovered along above him, and he stopped, letting it silently move by. He just gaped, panting. And laughed!

Mr. Potts stared, his slow mind working on self-pity. Then it hit him. The outrageous nature of a beautiful blue sphere minding its own business, floating on past his apartment window inspired him to motion. Suddenly he got up from his seat, leaving a dent in the cushion the size and shape of his ungainly rear end. He waddled at an almost enthusiastic pace to the window and looked out. He could still see the sphere, being chased by a small child, the jogger and a businessman or two.

The ball, as if it noticed it was being trailed by an ever-growing group of zealous locals, slowed down and allowed itself to be the subject of inspection and curious scrutiny, hovering an arm’s length out of reach, still moving horizontally, apparently aimlessly.

Mr. Potts’ face lit up. Never had he seen something so amusing in his entire life. A group of people, all ages, chasing an anomalous flying sphere across an otherwise dreary, smoggy and generally depressingly normal day in the city. He rushed to his apartment door, looking through the window until the last second.

The sphere was being reached for by an immense amount of people now of all ages, cultures and professions. Hundreds of hands extended to the fingertips, trying to touch this wonderfully unusual spectacle. People were crying out, shouting enthusiastically. Though nobody could hear it, for it was drowned out by the sea of sound, the sphere began to hum as it cruised along.

Mr. Potts ran down the stairs of his apartment building, smiling and laughing, hands extended, with a new mood that he thought he had lost forever. His depressed apathy changed from careless to care-free as he inexhaustibly ran for the beautiful blue sphere.

A car slowly pushed its way through the thick crowd, as one of the occupants started climbing out of the sunroof. As it neared the sphere, the crowd quietened down. A strange mutual suspense was increasing in intensity, an unspoken wonder. The man who had climbed on to the car crouched and his vehicle drew him nearer. He seemed sure to touch the sphere.

Mr Potts was halfway down the apartment building he had just left, jogging down the fire escape so he could keep his eyes on the wondrous blue sphere. He slowed to a halt and sat, agape, on the banister, watching the man on the car stand up, reaching for the sphere.

The man on the car waved his arms, reaching for the sphere, which apparently wasn’t trying to evade him. The mass of people that had built up so quickly fell silent so that there was no sound but the subtle rustle of the wind, and a gentle hum.

Mr. Potts dangled his feet off the edge of the banister, not afraid of the danger of the long drop, for he was astounded by this incredible vista. A dull cityscape, so recently the dole of his life, had brightened and changed. An enormous number of people had gathered from all over, sitting atop high balconies, or standing amongst innumerable others. But there was no fighting for a better view, no background murmur, just an intense concentration on one point. The man on the car.

The man on the car had one purpose: to touch the sphere. By this time the car had stopped, for the driver had to see what was going to happen. The sphere did not, however, drift away. It stopped, then appeared to survey the man on the roof of the car. His hands were extended, but still. His expression was one of the utmost anticipation. The sphere moved. Agonisingly slowly, towards his outstretched fingers.

Mr. Potts leaned forward. Had he noticed, he would have panicked at the danger of falling he was putting himself in. But an inexplicable energy held him up. He wanted so much to see what happened, he could not possibly fall. It would disrupt everything.

The sphere edged closer. An inch away.

Mr. Potts leant further, more ridiculously close to overbalancing.

A centimetre further...

Mr. Potts jerked back with a sharp intake of breath as the massive energy of the climactic cheer hit him. The man had leapt forward and brushed against the sphere. The two had touched. The sudden outbreak of white noise caused the man from the car to topple into the crowd, where he was caught and cheered, and touched, and held. The overpowering sense of mutual ecstasy... Mr. Potts felt nothing less than exhilarated.

Those who were not busy congratulating the man on the car were waving goodbye to the sphere as it flew quickly now, and still gracefully, out of sight over the skyscrapers.

The blue sphere sped out of the city limits, moving fast a few metres off the ground, so everyone could see it, but it was too tricky to follow. It flew over hills and past houses, off into the night. Many a family got woken up to see the strange object being indicated by a mother or a neighbour. It was almost glowing. Its dark blue hue obtained an almost fluorescent touch.

The newspapers commercialised it with a certain inevitability. It became known as "The Globe", a fantastical incredulity witnessed by a nation of sceptics. There were many attempts to predict its path, but it seemed to have a mind of its own, as it wandered seemingly aimlessly across many lands.

Pictures were taken, films that were shown all over the world, but the sphere was never touched again. Surprisingly few people tried. It seemed so out of reach, as if from another dimension. The man on the car’s happiness was distorted by fame, but he seemed to have an underlying sense of fulfilment which made the media give their Globe healing powers.

This was the beginning of a sad end for the sphere. After it had aroused so much public interest, it eventually occurred to that group of people in every society who are considered simply evil by nature, that this Globe was a potential mint. The moneymakers got hold of the idea. And some of them had the resources to do something about it.

The sphere was hunted. Hounded by everyone who couldn’t see its wonder. Scientists, journalists, whoever could keep up a decent chase, they were all grabbing for The Globe. Helicopters crowded around it like flies on a carcass, and people were lowered, nets were tangled, even bullets were fired.

It became a global issue. Conserve The Globe. Don’t let it be caught. The campaign didn’t last long. So few people understood why a blue sphere should deserve so much attention. No-one enjoyed it anymore. The sightings became rarer and lost their publicity. Its hum and its glow were drowned out by the noise and light from the ever-present swarm of helicopters.

It seemed able to fend for itself, it could easily outrun the helicopters, though it usually kept a leisurely pace, as if allowing itself to be scrutinised. It slowed down more and more as it moved in increasingly erratic curves and dives. It had lost some of its grace and glint.

Soon even the helicopters left. No-one could be bothered with it anymore. It became no more special than a sunny day. People still pointed at it when it passed but the wonderful sense of Unity with its presence had gone.

It still slowed, as if tiring. Gently, and with a final effort for grace, swooping towards the surface of the Earth. It landed unnoticed in a distant field, scratched, scarred, with a layer of dust and dirt. It lay there, forgotten. Passers-by ignored it or dismissed its unique form to be a lost children’s play ball, or a discarded ornament.

There it lay, neglected. Destroyed by the very people who had once marvelled at it and sustained its wonder.

The earth and Time buried it, and if it was ever found again, nobody knew or cared. The once beautiful sphere with impossibly fantastic properties had been left to die.

Mr. Potts sat, looking out of the small dirty window with an expressionless face. He looked out upon a typically dreary city. He looked out upon the rest of his life. If only...


Copyright 1995 by Charles Sundt

In his own words:

I am Charles Sundt. I am a 16 year-old, currently suffering my A-level years at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey (England). My GCSE results lived up to my expectations, thank you very much. I am vastly intelligent, and therefore cynical and slightly insane; as well as being unsurpassably modest. My hobbies include reading, writing, piano playing, bowling, go-karting and tennis. And the skull in my room is really human. Visit my FICTION on the WEB site at

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