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Jim Stitzel

Joined February 2010 and calls jimstitzel.com home.

142 stories, 4 challenges, 1208 comments, and 57 friends

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I’m a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do.

Stories

  1. Trigger

    Smoke wafted past his face, curling upward in lazy tendrils that carried the acrid scent of spent gunpowder. The gun itself was still warm in his hands, but he barely noticed. He held it loosely, on the verge of dropping it, not understanding how it ha...

  2. Universal Seed

    It is the barest speck, a mere subatomic particle floating through the darkest reaches of space. And yet, it is the marker of certain and inevitable doom. According to mechanics understood by nothing in this universe, tendrils of energy — so fine...

  3. Traversal: Knock Knock

    Harking looked at the RO, who shook his head. No additional radar contact. He cycled through his displays for a moment longer, assimilating the data they contained and attempting to assess their current situation. His concern was that a blockade waited...

  4. Traversal: Ghost

    Seven minutes from the jump point, Harking spoke again. “Operations, any noise on radar?” he asked. So far the traversal had been uneventful, which was the way he liked it. “Nothing, sir,” came the reply. “Passive is quiet...

  5. Chess: To the Victor Go the Spoils

    The demon hissed. He now saw it as plainly as I did. “Mate in four,” I declared, unnecessarily. The demon’s eyes flashed. The game was all but over. The demon’s King was situated to be forced through a series of closing moves, e...

  6. Payload

    The weapons bay is a shambles. Steamer trunks are strewn about the floor. Many are broken, lids gaping wide. Most of the trunks are empty, the ordnance they once carried having long been delivered to their respective targets. A few, however, remain pac...

  7. Dirigible

    The dirigible floats a hundred fifty metres above red sand and twisted metal. Engines that haven’t fired in a dog’s age are corroded and quiet, and the craft wanders the sky aimlessly, the shifting air currents the only thing now to give it...

  8. Race

    Grotesque. That was the only word Georgette could think of to describe the mountain of a man standing before her. The blacksmith-turned-airship-captain was a disfigured hulk, made all the more repulsive by the stub that was all that remained of his lef...

  9. Chess: Endgame

    The next several moves were made in silence. White’s Bishop moved here. Black’s Knight developed there. A Pawn exchange opening a file for Black’s Rook. Black’s Queen marched across the board to attack. The demon’s grin re...

  10. Chess: No Concession

    Panic clawed at my belly. A drop of sweat slid into my eye, burning fire. I blinked, rubbing my eye with the ball of my hand, then turned my attention back to the board. There had to be a way out of this mess. There was too much at stake. She was at st...

  11. Deepest Regret

    Dear Daddy, I can still feel the hole inside the day you left. It pains me greatly every day. Sometimes I double over and wish to die, the agony is so great. I don’t know why you did what you did, only that somehow I must have been the cause. Why...

  12. The Lonely God

    He walks slowly, each lumbering stride carrying him a dozen leagues. Entire villages are crushed beneath his feet; whole nations are shaken by his passing. He cares not one whit. He strides through them like they are grass. They are insignificant in hi...

  13. Called

    Allandra stared at the stone that lay on the ground before her. It was flat, round, and perfectly smooth — and it hadn’t been there a moment ago. Now, it nestled among the wildflowers she had just been picking. A thrill of excitement made h...

  14. Time-Thief

    He sits across the room, watching her, arm folded across his chest. She can’t see him, of course. His technology prevents interaction. He watches her write in her journal, pen scratching across paper, ink stretching out in long, black ribbons beh...

  15. The Clockwork Mannequin

    Sand blew through the broken glass and ticked against the metal skin of the clockwork mannequin behind it. Dressed in a tattered waistcoat, its gears and joints shrieked and popped in the dead air as it attempted to pivot on its rusted pedestal. “...

  16. The Clockwork Mannequin (Draft)

    Sand blew through the broken glass and ticked against the metal skin of the clockwork mannequin behind it. Dressed in a tattered waistcoat, its gears and joints shrieked and popped in the dead air.

  17. Traversal

    The tiny craft’s re-emergence into real space was unremarkable in every way. No flash of light to mark the rift it tore in the black, no radio or gravity waves, and even the EM radiation typical to subspace travel was dampened so as to be indisti...

  18. Story in a Tweet: Arbitration

    Divine fire, poured from heaven, another village burns. Retribution for one of God’s fallen angels. Penalty. Sacrifice. It is not enough.

  19. Weaver

    “How long has he been there?” The general stared dispassionately at the monitor. “Just under six hours, sir.” The technician glanced up and saw the general wince. The man on the screen before them sat center in the blast zone, l...

  20. Zombie Wife

    I can hear her shambling around downstairs. She keeps knocking things over. I wonder how long it will be before she figures out how to make it up here. I should have recognized that something was wrong sooner. It’s not like we were unaware of the...

  21. Psychic Assault: Recovery

    Derrick feels the barriers go up and finds himself able to breathe freely for the first time since this ordeal began. He knows without looking that the woman — Morgan, he thinks — is still alive, and so he turns his attention to the other o...

  22. Listen to Ava: Flock-mind

    Thousands of birds swarmed through the sky like a great, migratory organism — swelling, shrinking, pulsing according to an invisible rhythm only they could feel. They flew over the countryside, darkening the sky for long moments where they passed...

  23. Listen to Ava: Unnatural (Mature)

  24. Listen to Ava: Supplicant

    The cast-off tennis shoe lies discarded in the gravel by the side of the road, its white leather dry and cracked. Just beyond it stands a sign delineating, in large block letters, a speed zone of 30 MPH. Atop the sign a black bird, smaller than a crow,...

  25. Evolution

    The universe died long ago, succumbed to the certain and inevitable heat death that is the fate of all universes. All fuel sources eventually ran out, all stars died, all light and energy and forms of heat eventually swallowed up by the void. The unive...

  26. Story In a Tweet: Wealth of Riches

    Wings shorn off, feathers dispersed, and the market is rich for a day. My job here is done, until another angel comes to avenge his brother.

  27. Story in a Tweet

    Knife dragged. Blood trail. Rolling head, falling limbs, and screaming women and children all that mark the passing of yet another angel.

  28. Psychic Assault: Wave

    The woman’s Break builds like a coming storm, and Derrick feels the inevitability of it. A second ticks past and the Break explodes from her mind like a terrible pressure wave, catching Derrick and the woman ahead in its undeniable energy. He scr...

  29. Retribution

    Jacob eased back on the controls and killed the engines, settling the Retribution on its decades-long voyage between here and nowhere. They were well out of Earth’s gravity well now and the Retribution had already hit the peak speed mankind had b...

  30. Shoot the Messenger

    Smoke drifted lazily from the barrel of the Ladysmith. “You didn’t have to do that.” Kathryn’s gaze fixed on mine. I glanced at the body sprawled out beside her and chuckled. “I know. It’s just kind of fun.” Th...

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