The Gigantic Fluctuation


Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

This is an oddly funny story about a man who becomes the "focus point of all miracles in the world", a "gigantic fluctuation". He somehow appears to attract extremely improbable, but possible, statistical events (like generating a magnetic field out of the blue, having a woman close to him fly away due to a freak atmospheric phenomenon, etc) and thence considers himself to be a phenomenon of extreme fluctuation in Nature. The story is set as a late evening conversation on a beach between a boy and "The Fluctuation". There is some discussion about probability and coin-tossing along the way. He finally walks away to ensure the boy does not get hurt because of his own improbabilities. The Fluctuation describes the rules of probability that he seems to be violating and, when asked if he is a methematician, replies:  "How can I be a mathematician? I'm a fluctuation."'

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