Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel 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. Read Bio

It is the faintest glimmering of a spark. It floats in suspension in a bottle, the field it generates holding it equidistant from the surfaces that enclose it. It is an Ember, and it pulses gently, hungrily.

It has memories, of a sort, quantum states that hold the last use to which it was put. It no longer has any knowledge of the coal it consumed as an engine-seed, or of the alcohol it burned in the distillery. It remembers nothing of the forge, the furnace, or the oven. Those Ember-lives are long past, overwritten, forgotten.

It remembers now only the glass that contains it – and the taste of one, peculiar molecule. That memory remains strong, and the Ember still resonates with that catalyzing reaction. The surrounding terrain has been glassed with the fury of that meeting.

There is one, final consequence of that moment of carelessness. Above the Ember, a jagged rift splits the sky, folding it. Electric tendrils reach from that Fold, groping, grasping, but not taking. There is nothing for it to take.

View this story's details



Oh no! This story doesn't have a sequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (12 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    This was not the Event, merely one of many that laid waste to this world.

  2. Avatar Robert Quick

    Interesting. I love the scene and the fact that it raises more question than it answers.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    It’s another one of those where I could have gone into much greater detail. I actually had a lot of trouble writing it because I wasn’t sure how to consolidate and present all the ideas I had about Embers. I think I’m going to have to go back through this series and rewrite it, combining and expanding all the different parts.

  4. Avatar Robert Quick

    If this becomes a jump off point for something greater, I am all for it!

  5. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I like the description here, both intimate and broad at the same time.

  6. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Yeah, that’s been a fine line to toe with this series. I’d swear each subsequent installment gets harder to write, as a result. :)

  7. Avatar Reaver19

    Whoa! This story needs naught to be explained in any more detail sir. It was chock-full-o juicy and desriptive delights. Any more and I’d have a bellyache! I loved how you brought it all back to a possible ELE and Mr.Quick said it best that it could be a great starting point. I had to reread it several times to just fully grasp the depth of it.

  8. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Well, it definitely wasn’t an ELE, but it was definitely one in a long series of events that led to this being a dead world. The next installment — which may be the last in this series — will complete the tie-in to the world-building project that can be found in a challenge here on Ficly.

  9. Avatar Brido2000

    The End Of The World As We Know It. Excellent.

  10. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    At the very least, the end of the world as they knew it.

  11. Avatar Princess Binky Lemontwist (LoA)

    Oooh. Another fold. I do love this. I am impressed how you have tied this in so well without it melting into the rest of entries. This truly stands on its own. I’m curious as to where this stands as time and place. After all the other series where the world has been blown to smithereens?

  12. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Once I decided to tie this series into the worldbuilding project, I decided to go with this one as a parallel universe. It’s timeline may match another universe’s, it may predate another’s, or occur well after. The thing that ties it together is the Fold — and the Nightmare that has found its way through.

Inspired by

The encampment is little more than a desiccated husk. What remains of the few tents still standing are tatters of canvas flapping from poles ...

The Coil by Jim Stitzel

This story's tags are