A Moth In The Nebula

To escape their pursuers, a ship and its crew plunge into a nebula with a rare feature that they hope will protect them, even as it threatens to destroy them.

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 43 seconds. Visual and sound effects using Windows Video Editor. Digital drawing.  A spaceship shaped like a moth, seen from its starboard flank, flies along the border of a nebula. The colorful streaming gases of the nebula and the spaceship are both oriented at forty-five degrees from horizontal from left to right. Scattered stars twinkle in the distance. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Science Fiction” 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: “‘Countermeasures depleted,’ the ship said. ‘Shields holding…for now.’ The ship hurtled toward the hourglass-shaped nebula. The temperature in the cabin dropped suddenly as they entered the outer “skin” of the nebula. They were plunging right into the core.” The title reappears at top just as the last line appears. 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

This spin, the Wheel of Fiction landed on S.T.E.A.M. Before I started trying to generate an idea, I went searching for something on my tablet and instead found references to a few interesting science articles I’d come across a few years ago. One of them was about the Boomerang Nebula. According to the article, the nebula was first discovered in the 90’s and it was observed to be colder than ambient space. But they didn’t know why. In 2017, scientists gathered some additional data that helped to provide a likely answer (the article is linked below). In the fictional world of my story, the scenario put forth in the article is assumed to be true, and the protagonists enter a nebula formed in the same way as the Boomerang, resulting in another nebula that’s colder than space.

Reference: ALMA Returns to Boomerang Nebula

[Video Description: Duration, 10 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, (alternating questions marks and asterisks), (question marks). The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 12/4/21. 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 S.T.E.A.M.]

Genre: Science Fiction


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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