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Jim Stitzel

Joined February 2010 and calls jimstitzel.com home.

140 stories, 4 challenges, 1202 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. Encounter in the Black

    The exterior floodlamps were out, like most of the other ship’s systems. Under normal circumstances this would have been a problem. Space is a very dark place. Without external illumination we shouldn’t have been able to see much of the hul...

  2. So Long, Jack

    It was a small memorial, only two to witness the laying of the casket into the ground. “So long, Jack. We hardly knew you,” one said. The other quirked up an eyebrow. “That’s it?” he asked. There was a note of amused incre...

  3. Desperate Measures

    The ship pitched, and for one wild, vertiginous moment we fought to keep our seats as the artificial gravity and the planet’s gravity battled for supremacy. One of the pilots half-turned to call back. Fear and desperation twisted his features, an...

  4. Emergence and Violence

    The turbulence on emergence was enormous. “Gravity well!” one of the pilots yelled. As it turned out, we’d emerged from jumpspace near a planet — far too close. The physics of jumpspace is simple — there is no physics. Whe...

  5. Cartocommunication

    That sense of being investigated pressed in on us again, and this time it was invasive. The intensity of the probing made my head swim, and for a few brief minutes I lost all sense of time and location. The moment passed, and I shook my head to clear m...

  6. Flight

    He soared. He had always wanted to fly, and now he was doing just that. He had no feathers, no wings, but he was flying just the same. The special magic that fathers possessed had made this possible. He laughed with the euphoria of the moment. The wind...

  7. Delivery

    Fog drifted, wet and heavy, over the short mall between the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Stanley Coulter Hall. Six tall lampposts bathed everything in an eerie, orange glow. The hour was late, and the campus was deserted — deserted but f...

  8. Bite Your Tongue (Mature)

  9. Golem

    Rain lashed down on that ravaged plain in furious sheets. The broken earth drank it up through ragged cracks that went down forever. At the center of the plain, a gaping maw of a hole sucked down water in great, sodden gulps. Perversely, gouts of flame...

  10. Chess: Gambit

    My attack was two-pronged and subtle. I had the demon’s King – my prize – backed into a corner. It was a brilliant, tactical solution. He could block check from one direction, only to open up a line of attack from another. Capture the...

  11. Pinnacle

    He stood, shirtless, before the sink and mirror in the public restroom. His hands rested, palms down, on the corners of the sink, fingers curled downward around the sides. Beads of sweat stood out on his brow, cheeks, and upper lip. His dark hair was p...

  12. Clean Underwear (Mature)

  13. Duplicate (Mature)

  14. Blood Rite

    The albino stood on the platform and dragged the knife down his forearm. Blood ran in scarlet rivulets over his hand, his fingers. It dripped the sidereal pattern of his god onto the wooden planks around his feet. Before him the air shimmered as it str...

  15. NavComm

    I peeled myself out of that reality and sat rubbing my temples for a moment. It took that long for me to realize that everyone was looking at me. “Well?” Harrigan demanded. I sighed. “It’s… complicated,” I replied. &...

  16. Clanks at Midnight (Mature)

  17. Wooden Acupuncture

    “Comfortable, Mr. Purtry?” Jake turned his head to look at the nurse. “I’m half-naked and strapped to a table.” He paused. “Are the straps really necessary? I thought acupuncture—” The nurse looked up fro...

  18. Skin Deep (Mature)

  19. Symbology

    I studied the symbols again. Their architecture was clearly alien, and yet their sense of familiarity was unmistakable. They meant… something to me, but I wasn’t sure yet what that was. Cartography was part of it, certainly, but there was m...

  20. Magic In Unexpected Places

    Claire found the hat half under a bush, half out. It was the sort of hat one might wear while working in the garden — woven straw and wide-brimmed. Claire turned the hat in her hands. The top had been torn out, leaving ragged edges and a large ho...

  21. Broken Accord

    The Arch known as Bar Gabriel stood in the shadowed room and spoke with muted vehemence. “This is unacceptable, Dur Goldath. Accord was broken long ago. How then can you aid its fall upon us once again?” The Kako grinned impishly, savoring ...

  22. Complete

    Left: your leg. Right: mine. Completion.

  23. Entranced

    Your eyes. Beautiful. Captivating. So delicious. -————

  24. Meat-Eater

    In hindsight, Trista realized she probably shouldn’t have fallen asleep under that tree. - Pus dripped into Trista’s eyes from the multiple infected sores on her scalp. She wanted to wipe it away, but the tree held her fast, pinning her arm...

  25. Investigation, Communication

    We floated in a sea of light. It surrounded us, suffused us through and through. There was a strange sense of intelligence about the light as it, well, the only way to describe it is that felt like it was investigating us. It wasn’t invasive; it ...

  26. The Unknown

    We drifted. When your entire frame of reference has been removed, there’s little else you can do. There were no stars, no constellations, no dust clouds, nothing visible anywhere that could give us an idea of where we were. It was dark in every d...

  27. Attacked

    He helped her up from the floor. She was bruised, bloody, and shaken. Whatever had happened here, it had been violent and traumatic. The room was a study in chaos. “You alright?” he asked. No response. Her gaze was distant, focused on somet...

  28. Route to Nowhere

    A request. After the rather hostile takeover of our shipboard systems and my own mind, a request from the overseer for instructions seemed almost laughable. I swiveled my chair and let my fingers do what came most naturally to them. “What’s...

  29. Next Moves

    The lights on the command deck were off, with just our stations providing illumination. It was all we had power for. Vec broke the silence. “So. What now?” Valid question. Once the code had stopped generating, it had begun a cascading compr...

  30. Theories

    Harrigan had me checked over again. Visual inspection this time, given the incident with the nanosurgeon. Whatever else it had done, the nanosurgeon had fully optimized the implants. It wasn’t a weld; it was better. They released me with a provis...