I realize this may be a hard to answer question but we are currently studying current in our school. One thing that struck me was why the heck doesn't it flow when the wire's closed?
When you connect the positive terminal of the battery (But do not connect the negative terminal) to a conductor, the loosely bound / free electrons in the conductor should be attracted to the battery's +ve terminal. This should create a chain reaction till every atom in the conductor has donated the maximum it can and no further flow is possible due to the atoms now strongly attracting their remaining electrons.
Why doesn't this happen? There should be momentary current and the wire should become positively charged. Why not? Why does it only flow when the circuit is closed?