An old man picked up a tiny pine cone. He had been looking at it a bit before picking it up, apparently deciding if it was worth keeping.
He continued down the mountain path, pine cone in hand, stepping carefully from rock to rock. As he left the mountain trail, he noticed something else on the ground. It was an old button. He dropped the pine cone, picked up the button instead, and wandered away from the mountain.
A year later, a new tree had grown at the end of the mountain pass. It would turn out to be somehow more disease resistant than the other trees on the mountain. Maybe it was a new species.
A young lady walked into a shopping mall.
She was dressed just well enough to fit in, so nobody batted an eye as she walked into a store. Inside, she wandered around a bit and apparently slipped into the backroom when the clerks weren't looking. She picked up a spool of thread and left an old button.
A few days later, the store owner was making calls about the button. Apparently it was something made by the old masters using some technique that was now forgotten. Eventually the button ended up on display in a museum, though many wealthy bidders had wanted to purchase it as a centerpiece for their tailored clothing.
A burly man walked into a fishing store.
He picked up a fishing net and looked at it briefly before nodding quietly to himself. He walked right past the cash register and out of the store, fishing net in hand. The cashier noticed this and ran after him, shouting. The man turned around, looking surprised, and then with a look of realization, took a spool of thread out of his pocket, put it in the hands of the cashier, and seemed to disappear before the cashier could figure out what was going on.
A year later, scientists were still studying the spool of thread. They had already made many copies of it, all stronger and lighter than previously known versions of industrial thread, yet none were as strong as the original. They were still learning new things about the material every day by examining its molecular structure.
A soldier returned to his base one day, and walked into the personnel office.
As he walked by, people gave him puzzled looks because this wasn't where he was supposed to be. He was carrying a fishing net with him for some reason. He opened the door to an old supply closet and took out a dusty typewriter. The clerks there were surprised to see it, considering they had switched to computers decades ago.
The soldier disappeared and was never heard from again, but they found a strange fishing net in the supply closet. The threads of the net seemed to glow with some sort of bioluminescence. This was not a material anybody could replicate, but when combined with the latest high tech industrial threads, they somehow made the material unbreakable, unless they separated the threads again.
A strange girl showed up in the mail room of a medium sized magazine.
She was struggling to hang on to a heavy, but pristine old-style typewriter. Her clothes were of a very poor quality. It looked like she might have just stolen the typewriter. She threw the typewriter aside. It made a clanging sound as it hit the floor but did not seem damaged. The girl began rummaging through everyone's mail slots. She was lucky nobody else was there at the moment. She picked out a letter from the editor-in-chief's mail slot and calmly walked out of the building.
When the employees discovered the typewriter in pristine condition, they couldn't resist trying it out. Something amazing happened when they sat down in front of it though. Not only did all their words come out spelled perfectly and without grammatical mistakes, they were able to write about their lives in ways they never previously thought possible. The typewriter quickly became a hidden secret among the employees of the company as the magazine tripled its circulation in two months.
A golden retriever bounded over the lawn of a retirement home. There seemed to be a letter in its mouth.
Someone opened a door to leave the building and before he could react, the dog had slipped inside. It seemed to know exactly where it was going but was leaving a trail of knocked over chairs and books in its wake. It jumped on to the bed of a disabled man, dropped the letter, picked up a picture of his family on the nightstand, and quickly disappeared.
The man, though confused, found the letter addressed to him, so he read it. Within a week, everyone at the home was in almost perfect health, and the contents of the letter were being spread throughout the medical community.
A hooded woman came into my foster home, carrying a picture frame.
It seemed to shine with its own light. She set the frame down on the ground and immediately all the other kids were gathered around it.
Was it a portable TV? A tablet? Apparently what it was showing was so amazing that my foster parents were already offering money for it.
The woman refused but instead pointed at me. "I am here for this child," she said.
But it seemed nobody was listening except for me. "What good am I?" I asked. "Nobody likes me. I can't make friends. If I'm not hurting myself, I can barely stop myself from lashing out at others. And then they hate me more. I'm completely worthless."
"Because once I was you," the woman said, offering me her hand.