A Dream Unto Death

When a young woman’s nightmares seem to be drawing her into the realm of death, her last hope may be someone who can do no more than observe and record her journey.

Music: “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 41 seconds. Music: “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy. Digital drawing. Sketch of a structure roughly shaped like a tree but made up of disproportionately sized animal bones. The trunk is the bones of an elephant leg. Sprouting from above the foot bones are curled horns, labeled at right “horns of a markhor?” At the top of the trunk are the bones of a human hand, fingers splayed out in the suggestion of tree branches. Extending from some of the branches are the bones of cat tails and bat wings, one at right labeled “bat wings.” Capping two finger bones are the skull bones of a penguin, labeled at left “penguin skull (reminiscent of plague mask).” A third penguin skull sits atop the bones of a cat’s tail. To the left of the sketch is written the following in a calligraphic style: “25 October. Her dreams grow ever more frantic, ever more heinous. I have attempted a sketch based on the details gleaned from her latest nightmare.” A watermark of the word “storyfeather” lies over the image. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Horror & Fantasy” and the story title are displayed in front of the image. The title card and story title fade. Lines from the story appear over the image: “The waking dreamer was lucid on the day that I met her. They had first summoned doctors to her bedside, then clerics, supernaturalists, and finally even charlatans selling potions.  Only after all of that did they turn to me. ‘I have been waiting for you.’” A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom right throughout.]

Welcome to Year 9 of Storyfeather

Every year’s short stories (mostly) follow a theme. This year, I will turn the Wheel of Fiction to help me decide what to write. There are thirteen spokes on this wheel. Eight are occupied by the eight themes from the previous years of stories. One is a prompt to turn the wheel again. One is a wildcard (hmm…curious). And three are covered only in question marks. I suppose I’ll find out what’s beneath those questions as we go along.

Welcome to the WHEEL OF FICTION

On this spin, the Wheel of Fiction landed on CREATURES, giving me the opportunity to use one of the images I drew for the art challenge I did back in January of this year. The prompt for the image was “Tree of Death.” So my idea was to draw a mockery of a living tree made from the bones of six animals. To give the image an extra touch, I presented it as a page from someone’s journal, someone who seems to be making observations about a girl or woman who’s having nightmares. This already gave me the basic premise for the story. The questions then followed. Who is the person making the observations? And why? Who is the person having these nightmares? And why?

[Video Description: Duration, 8 seconds. Choice wheel made on the Spin the Wheel application. Thirteen spokes or slices in various colors, labeled as follows, clockwise from the top: Objects of Power (the “of Power” is not visible), Prompts, Definitions, Turn Again, Elements, Creatures, S.T.E.A.M., Wildcard, Revisitation, (alternating question marks and apostrophes), Challenge, Draw!!!, (question marks). The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction V2” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 2/12/2022. At top left corner is a flag icon labeled with the letter “F.” This represents a function of the application which interferes with true randomness by reducing the probability of receiving the same choice twice in a row. The wheel turns and lands on CREATURES. As the wheel stops spinning, a skeleton hand rises from bottom, index finger pointing to the center of the wheel.]

Genre: Horror, Fantasy


Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with rings of colored light emanating from the center. Text appears over the rings, reading "Storyfeather Year 9" and below it in larger font, "Wheel of Fiction."

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