Stories abound. They are everywhere. Some stories are massive and glorious like a monument, a structure of marble and stained glass. Some are humble and simple like a puff of cloud or a puddle of water. And some stories–most perhaps–are somewhere in between, small, but complex, more than first meets the eye…like a feather.
Everyone has stories. Here, I will tell you some of mine.
There’s something you should know about me, and it’s not that I’m a plankton.
I mean, aren’t we all? Plankton, floating around in the great pond. Except, I don’t just float.
See, I was born with some pretty powerful flagella. What is that, you ask? Flagella, they’re like…like long limbs, protruding from all over my body—hey, don’t make that face, they’re not gross. At least, my parent told me they’re not. Some days, I show ‘em. Most days I don’t. But they’re not just for show. See, I’m a paramecium. We’re only supposed to have cilia, short little hairs that let us kind of get around. We’re not supposed to have flagella. They let me do what most plankton can’t do. They let me decide where I want to go. Instead of letting the Drift decide for me.
What is the Drift, you ask? Boy, you multicellular organisms sure are curious.
Every day on my way to my desk, I passed by a door with the words “PERMANENT DAMAGE” written on it.
No one ever went in or came out—not that I’d seen anyway, and I’d been working at the firm for about a year. I asked people about the door, and the sign. They said there used to be another firm occupying our floor and the two below it. That door supposedly led to a defunct elevator that shuttled executives between the floors, leading directly into what used to be their fancy offices. Or it led to a laboratory space. Or some sort of obstacle course? The rumors abounded. Now those spaces were claimed by other firms. The words referred to the project that resulted in the shuttering of the company.
Arthur strode into his kitchen with the black-and-white mutt following. In his right hand, he held the cause of the grin on his face. The fist-sized device looked like an ordinary gate clicker or car alarm controller.
“I wonder if the name ‘Bandage Beam’ is taken,” Arthur said, as he reached for the freezer handle.
She was far too kindly, and therefore looked upon with disdain by her fellow gods. The other gods feared that the balance of power was being tipped too much toward mortal creatures, to whom the kindly god had given many gifts. The kindly god argued that what she had given the mortal creatures shifted the balance by such an infinitesimal degree that all the gods could give what little she had given to the mortals, or else she could give all her power, and it still would not equal what the gods possessed.
To teach her a lesson, the other gods diminished the kindly god by half.
She did nothing to earn her beauty. It was given to her. And as with many such gifts, beauty was both a boon and a burden to the girl whose name was Imelda.
She was doted on by some, guarded by others, coveted by still others.
Imelda’s mother, who both loved and feared for her girl, spent many sleepless nights wondering when her child would grow old enough to be passed into the protection of another. For she and her husband were humble folk, as their child too would have been. But Imelda’s beauty—while it may not have impressed in a city or even a large town—was quite surpassing in their little village. Surpassing enough to catch the eye of those with greater means. The girl wished to be learned. She wished to explore.
Perhaps her beauty could make it so could do what she dreamed of doing.
[Video description: Trailer. Duration 31 seconds. Music plays: Casual Arcade Track #2 (looped) from GameDev Market. No sound effects. Eight slides appear. Between each is a blur transition. First, center image of a medieval-looking bard playing a string instrument and singing. The image is framed by a soft circle. The Six Days of Love banner sits in center before the image. Second, Title “The Ogre and the Elf Go To Honeymoon City” appears at top. Image is an elf and ogre sitting across from each other under a chandelier. Third, Title “The Everwalker” appears at bottom. Silhouette of a tall woman with a staff midstride. Fourth, Title “ The Merchant and the Magician” appears at bottom. Centered candle with a rainbow flame. Fifth, Title “The Prisoner Under the Sea” appear at top. Humanoid face with fin-like ears, scaly skin, and large irises. Sixth, Title “The Bard of Trilenkary” appears at bottom. Silhouette of a tree with bar branches and a man playing a fiddle sitting at its base. Seventh, Title “Six Fools and the Dragon” appears at the bottom. Six characters are running away from a dragon breathing fire at them. Website URL appears at bottom until the very end where it fades as eighth slide appears. “Storyfeather.com” swipes up from the bottom and stays near the bottom. Behind it, the Storyfeather bard logo floats up to middle, and “Find these short stories and more at” fades in at the top.]