How an Unattended Suitcase Predicts the Fate of Our World

The future is suspicious and mildly irritating, and we are too wary and inclined to procrastinate.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
4 min readMay 17, 2024
Photo courtesy of author

The story begins, insofar as it has an identifiable beginning, around a week ago with my wife's nervous shriek as she looked out of an upstairs window.

She is not prone to drama, so I went upstairs to investigate.

“What is that doing there?”

The suitcase — medium-sized, purple-metallic, and nondescript — with flight tags and baggage labels still attached, was sitting on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.

Unattended and seemingly abandoned.

The steady rain hadn’t stopped for several days, and the winds had come to play with the grey skies, framing this unwanted artifact in a shadowy light. It stood alone on the sodden sidewalk, a forgotten relic of modern life — a mystery begging to be unraveled.

“What is that doing there?” I echoed her exclamation. “It wasn’t there when I came home.”

“Don’t you think it looks suspicious?”

My wife operates her catering business out of an airport.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.