Sugar Flux

''From the "Encyclopedia of Marvels, Life Forms and Other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs" by Professor Abdullah Nightingale

Sugar Flux. Cane sugar melts at a temperature of 320° Fahrenheit and congeals into an amorphous mass as it cools, becoming hygroscopic and, when it has settled, crystalline. Continuous heating at 320° Fahrenheit turns cane sugar into fructose or glucose, but at 374° into bitter brown caramel. During the summer months, temperatures in the central areas of the →Demerara Desert can exceed 200°, particularly when boosted by lack of wind. In basin-shaped tracts of land [flat valleys, dried-up lakes] this may result in the process known as Sugar Flux, during which the desert becomes caramelized for miles around, later to solidify when the temperature drops. These periods of Sugar Flux present a threat, not only to the sand eels and rattlescorpions whose favourite habitat such areas happen to be, but also to the unsuspecting traveler who finds himself in the midst of a sea of deliquescent sugar. First trapped without warning by the feet, the helpless victim sinks ever deeper into the molten carbohydrate until it envelops him completely like a prehistoric insect in amber. Either that, or – an even worse fate, perhaps – the caramel cools before it wholly engulfs him, imprisoning him waist-deep in congealed sugar and condemning him to a miserable death by thirst.

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