A young couple moves into their first house, knowing it is haunted by the ghost of a former owner, who seemingly died peacefully in her sleep…
Music: “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy
[Video Description: “Alison Weirdly” Trailer. Duration, 44 seconds. Music, “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy. Digital drawing. At center, an older woman facing forward, from elbows up. Her arms are crossed, and her head is tilted to the left (her right). She is in grayscale, except for her dark purple necklace and her glowing red-orange eyes. Her brow is furrowed. One corner of her mouth is raised. At waist level, she is surrounded by smoke or gray fog. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mystery,” is displayed at top. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “A young couple moves into their first house, knowing it is haunted by the ghost of a former owner, who seemingly died peacefully in her sleep…” Title card and tagline fade. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Lines from the story appear in sequence: “The woman’s gaze stayed on Marco. ‘Afraid of a little old lady, huh? Typical.’ Ronnie must have known who he was looking at, but he still extended his hand. ‘I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure, ma’am. I’m Ronnie. And this is my husband, Marco. We’re moving in here today.’ ‘You gave me your names…Now I have power over you.’” Site URL appears at bottom center throughout and fades at end. As the last line disappears, the edges of the image darken, the story title appears at center, and a text card appears at top that reads “Available to Read Now storyfeather.com.”]
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
The Wheel of Fiction turned and landed on Wildcard for the first time ever. What is that theme? Well, for the purposes of this year, there’s a literal aspect to Wildcard. I have a fair number of card decks—Bicycle, Tarot, tabletop games. I took a moment to randomly pull a card from the deck of a game called Monster Fluxx. I pulled a Keeper card called “The Ghost.” I didn’t want to write a scary story. The idea came to mind of a clumsy ghost who’s only accidentally scaring the residents of the house the ghost is haunting. Like the ghost’s elbow knocks over a trophy or something. But one of the “what if’s” that I brainstormed was about the ghost driving over four different families in less than a year. And I couldn’t think of how that could possibly happen unless those families were truly afraid. Yet I still knew that there must have been something else going on. Why would anyone buy the place with such a history? Maybe it didn’t seem scary at first. Maybe it didn’t feel real.
[Video Description: Duration, 7 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, Music, Challenge, Draw!!!, Traveler. The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction V4” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 7/2/2022. 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 WILDCARD. As the wheel stops spinning, a dark material sprays up at an angle from bottom right corner, turns sharply vertical, and rises until it forms a tall mound with two small eyes, and drops rising from the top.]
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