Forever Ember

Submitted by Ralph E. Shaffer

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Travis and his wife enjoyed sitting by the hearth on cold winter evenings, warmed by the burning logs. They especially liked the heat from the embers after the flames had disappeared and the hot coals glowed on. The problem was that the glow did not last long enough.

Travis experimented with various commercial additives, but these only changed the color of the flames and had no effect on the length of time that the logs would glow after the fire had gone out. So he decided to develop his own mixture. The various concoctions he added to the coals had interesting effects but did not add to the length of time that the coals glowed. That is, they didn't until after many previous failures, he finally found one that kept the embers red hot until it was time to go to bed. In fact, the embers still glowed when Travis and his wife retired to the bedroom.

Friends and relatives who saw the results of his effort tried to pry the secret formula from Travis. Only on his death bed did he finally reveal it, in a weak and halting voice he mumbled:

Absinthe makes the hearth glow longer

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