The Scientist's Dilemma - an exploratory tale by J.C.L. Faltot

Professor Grant Reed is a well-educated, highly driven man; one who's sole goal in life is to make “the discovery of discoveries.” His passion for science and his pursuit of ultimate truth motivate him to solve this ongoing dilemma. A dilemma he plans to solve before his time is up. Middle-aged and seemingly tormented by his own self-fulfilling prophecy, Grant’s journey has turned him into a hardened man. One who seems forced to find peace in the loneliest of places, like the lens of his university’s high-powered telescope, searching for an answer somewhere in the stars. But, one night, his familiar routine is rocked by the visitation of an otherworldly being who informs Grant that he must cease his search immediately or pay the consequences.

Grant is a character that came out of my own desires. He’s someone I’ve been or imitated several times in my life: searching for truth, wanting resolution, and desiring peace of mind. It’s an understanding people work towards daily - even if they aren’t consciously aware of it. However, as I’ve often discovered, the pursuit can seem admirable, but it can also steal a person’s joy if he's consumed by it. I see Grant’s dilemma as a familiar one, even after his world is forever changed by the presence of something otherworldly and altogether unnatural. But, it’s in those moments - when routine is abandoned and familiarity is lacking - when we discover the greater truth that is waiting.

This short story was intended to be a closed work and on the whole, it’s more contained than most. My hope is to provide a fun and engaging tale that makes the reader question just what it is he is asking of himself and what he wants for his life. We all make mistakes in this life, but ignoring our heart is not something we should be in the business of doing regularly.