Written by Amanda Ranowsky | Oct 29, 2013 4:03:00 PM

**Chapter One:**

Jim’s life was dull. So, so dull. He spent his days surrounded by piles of sieves – his glamorous job was to calculate the ratio of particles left in the sieves of each stack after a sample of his company’s product was run through the stack using a sieve shaker. It was a job much like the one his cousin Hiram had, although he seemed to remember hearing that Hiram had found an easier way to do it.

Jim hated his work. He had to painstakingly brush out the contents of each sieve onto a balance and note the weight, hoping that the total would add up to the original sample weight so that he’d know his ratio calculations were correct.

They seldom were. He often came close, but those pesky sieves insisted on keeping some of the product held tightly in their mesh nets no matter how long or hard he brushed them. Then there were the calculations – those endless strings of numbers that set his head spinning.

Jim was a smart man – he’d never have gotten the job otherwise – but after hours upon hours of staring at numbers on a paper, some of them would start to jump around. It was understandable to everyone, except his boss.

“Particle size analysis is the key to our manufacturing process,” his boss had said. “We can’t afford to get it wrong.”

His day was going much like any other. Monotony. Struggle. Confusion. Jim thought he felt a headache coming on.

But all that changed when his phone came to life…