A Wonder Material.

Kirsten Krone-Wilson

Written for the Cambridge Fiction Award with the topic "Sand."

Indestructible, hygienic and one hundred per cent natural! Sit on it, sculpt it, blast it, melt it into glass. Use it to weigh down paper, smooth your bannisters or displace water.

Its grains are limitless and abrasive and it can be quick or shifting. Lone and level it stretches far away. Long and level it is the track for land-speed records.

It is part of history. Lawrence rode camels across it. Zenobia's camel cavalry ruled a land of it. The Partians massacred the Romans in it. No civilisation has been without it.

It is part of everyone's childhood and everyone's holiday dreams. In dunes and drifts it is constantly ab-zorbing. Pick it out of your shoes to remind yourself of better times.

Cheap and versatile, its uses are limited only by your imagination.

Spread it around your piano and write surfing songs!

Dance beside a pile of it to amuse your friends!

Name a script after it!

Make it into pits in which your children can play or for testing software!

Mix it with cement for all your ugly construction requirements!

What else can both stop run-away trucks and measure time?

Invest in Sand! Tomorrow's material!