The Hands by Richard Sternbach

the-handsRichard Sternbach (also known as Rick Sternbach) is an illustrator who helped to create and define the imagery of the 24th century in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which in turn was featured in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

The Hands  is a very short public domain story written by Sternbach. It’s so short it probably doesn’t count as short and is more like a footnote. A footnote about the state of humanity I might add.

“He was a gigantic figure, sitting there atop the mountain. He could have leaned over and dammed the river below with a finger.”

He bent his head in dismay and disappointment, and a muffled cry reverberated down the hillside and through the valley. He looked down upon those who would destroy each other instead of trying to live and survive together in peace.

“Try again, father,” the smaller one said. The old one shook his head. “It would be the same.””Give them another chance.””They would do it again.””Just once more.”

The old one sat and shook his head while they both looked down upon the fires and the destruction. Explosions rocked the ground and the mountains that stood on it.

At last, at the end, the old one reached down and scooped up some clay from the bank of the river. He held it in a huge, gentle hand, and the younger one smiled.

The younger one was reluctant to give up on those who caused such chaos, pain, torture and destruction. Perhaps just one more opportunity?

“You are good to give them another chance, father.””Not them,” said the old one.

The son asked what his father meant.If not them, who or what would be given a chance to try again or rather do better where others had failed.

“Something else,” the majestic figure answered, starting to knead the clay. “What shall it be?”

I kind of adore this shorter than short wee story. The moral of the story is relevant regardless of whether you have faith, follow any type of religion, are more scientifically inclined or don’t believe in anything at all. Hmm I think there is an unintentional oxymoron in there, but hey it’s the thought that counts, right?


Read The HandsGalaxy v38n01 Showcase or Galaxy v37n04 Deviation from a Theme by Richard Sternbach.

Read and download Here Comes Trouble, Just Look at The Pretty Pictures, HeidiThe Galaxy PrimeAvoiding GermsService with a SmileCorruptionThe Disintegration Machine, Just a wee bit of Arthur Conan DoyleDelightfully Dippy DetectiveIn the Year 2889ThemSouth Sea TalesThe Master MagicianLove InsuranceHappy Turkey DayHorror and Spice, and all things niceWonders of the Invisible World, Prelinger Part 2: Healthy HabitsThe Last Man, Prelinger Archives Pt.1 Teen Feelings, Wuthering HeightsClassical Music and the Public Domain.

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