Millions just fell from the sky

The now-defunct site ficlets.com had a fea­ture called “Inspi­ra­tion”, which would offer you an open­ing line, an end­ing line, and a smat­ter­ing of CC-licensed pic­tures from Flickr to try and give you some­thing to write about. One time the end­ing line I got was “…mil­lions just fell from the sky”, and here’s what result­ed:

Take a per­fect sphere of some ide­al­ized mate­r­i­al, col­ored black, and heat it up. It’ll start to radi­ate in the infrared, heat. Add more ener­gy to it, and even­tu­al­ly it’ll glow in col­ors you can see: dull red first, then orange, yel­low. Heat it long enough and it’ll glow bril­liant blue, like the hottest and youngest stars there are.

That’s how stars work, in the­o­ry. In prin­ci­ple gas­es and dust and maybe inter­stel­lar inva­sion fleets get in the way, block­ing cer­tain lines as they absorb spe­cif­ic spec­tra of light.

But this isn’t an astron­o­my les­son, this is a fable. About how my father died, and yours too, prob­a­bly. There aren’t many of us left since Wish­ing Day.

The mag­ic drag­on woke in his cave at the mountain’s sum­mit, and saw X, the man who’d climbed near­ly into space just to make his wish.

“I wish,” X said, not real­ly think­ing it through, “that sun­light was diamonds.”

Ten tril­lion dia­monds flew out into space, most of them miss­ing Earth by hun­dreds or mil­lions of miles.

Mil­lions just fell from the sky.