Castle, Cave, or Cloud

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Digital drawing. A castle at center with three main spires flying pennants, battlements, and flanking symmetrical towers. The castle stands in front of a cave opening through which light pours. Moss grows along the cave walls. In front of the castle is a bank of clouds.

She remembered darkness.  And she remembered her name.  That was all.

Spark zoomed into a heap of advancing clouds, grinning and gasping at the sensations of cold and wet, reaching out to touch what could not quite be grasped.  She emerged on the other side, and spotted a colossal formation of rock and stone with three spires so high they topped the clouds.  A mountain!

Maybe there, she thought. 

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Five Days of Felines

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Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with curved corners. Rings of colored light emanate from the center. Text over the rings reads "Five Days of Felines." To the right of the text is a glowing silhouette of a cat's paw.

Greetings! Nila here, interrupting the regularly scheduled story posts with a showcase.

There are hundreds of stories on the site and a good number have been made into podcast episodes. The showcase is one of my recent efforts to help readers and listeners find the stories that they might be most interested in.

Between 5/11/21 and 5/16/21, I highlighted five cat-themed short stories right in this post.

In the full post, you can see the trailer for each story, a brief description of the story and how it came about, and links to the stories (and podcast episode when applicable).

I’m open to suggestions for future showcases. If you have one, please feel free to comment in this post (or you can email me at nila@storyfeather.com)

Here’s the main trailer. Please do check it out!

Genres: Fantasy, Fable, Mystery, Mythology

Main trailer narration is a clip from the podcast episode for “The First Days of Moonlight”

Music: “Palaver” by ROZKOL

Scroll down for details and separate trailers for each story. Or click the button to jump to the bottom of the post where you can get quick summaries at a glance, and go straight to the stories.

[Video description: Trailer. Duration 55 seconds. Music plays: “Palaver” by ROZKOL.  Center image of a cat’s right eye, surrounded by a burst of fur. Over the eye, an elongated rectangle with curved corners, circles of color radiating from the center, and text lies above, reading “Fives Days of Felines” with a cat’s paw symbol to the right of the words. The image recedes and a series of six images from the featured stories appear in sequence. First, the silhouette of a seated cat, three-quarters view, facing left. Second, the same image in four quadrants.  Third, a robed figure with a cat’s head and arms upraised, standing under a full moon. Sparks of light stream down from the moon into the open mouths of cats in the foreground seen in silhouette. Fourth, a diffuse shape suggesting a cat’s head with a glow around it and bright red eyes. The head shakes, then fades. Fifth, a cat with patchwork fur sitting down on all fours with tail wrapped around itself and looking over at a mouse who stands on hind legs. Sixth and last, the face of a tiger staring forward. The final image expands slowly, and shifts color. Text boxes appear throughout at bottom in time with narration: “We’re fascinated by cats, aren’t we? Cats on the internet. Pictures, videos, memes. Cats in our homes. Ancient civilizations shaped statues of cats out of gold, ebony, and bronze. They have been associated with magic, with evil. They sometimes seem aloof and uncaring. Sometimes charming and playful. Sexy. Dangerous. Mysterious.” A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom center throughout, fading at the end when the poster image appears. Over the tiger’s eyes, the word “Storyfeather” appears. At bottom appears text, “A showcase of five short stories featuring cats.” Below the tiger’s eyes at a slight upward angle from left to right, a banner displaying, “May 12 to May 16 2021,”]

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All the Magic Left the World

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Digital drawing. Various winged animals in the sky positioned at a diagonal from bottom left to top right. At bottom left a snake emerges from glowing clouds. The snake has two arms and is holding them out. The left arm appears to be disconnected. Outspread wings appear from just behind the snake’s head. Behind, above, and to the left of the snake a giant turtle swims through the air toward the viewer with outspread wings emerging from behind the forelimbs and smaller wings emerging from behind the head. A spider crawls on the turtle’s shell. The spider bears eight wings. Behind the turtle at some distance an elephant descends. Faded feathers fall from the elephant’s wings. Behind the elephant, the glowing outline of an owl’s head in three-quarters view, facing left, is just visible.

Three spheres comprised the world.  The waters, the earth, and the skies.  Upon first glance, it would seem that every creature lived in its own sphere.  The creatures of the waters lived in the waters.  The creatures of the earth lived upon or beneath the earth.  But the world was not so sharply divided.  And one of the spheres was not truly inhabited by any creatures.

The creatures of the skies did not live in the skies.  They soared and fluttered, sometimes for long stretches of time, but a time would come when they need descend and perch.  

Some creatures lived where these spheres meet.  Some creatures lived part of their lives in one sphere and part in another. 

Once, in a long-forgotten age, every creature could live in every sphere.

This was so because of an energy, a force that spun around and through the world.

Continue reading

Portals and Trailers Are Here

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Hello,

First, thank you for your interest in Storyfeather!

I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled storytelling to present a couple new Pages I’ve just added, to help navigate through the (perhaps daunting) waves of stories crashing all around us.

The Portals page and the Trailers page will present more information about the stories, both new and old.

You can find the links at the top of this post, and on the main menu (to the left on desktop view and at the top of the page on mobile view).

PORTALS

You’ll find buttons that link to the latest podcast episode and the latest short story. Coming soon, you’ll also find links to some combination of the following:

  • Older short stories and podcast episodes showcasing a specific theme (a holiday, a season, a profession, most popular, least popular, my faves, etc.)
  • Random Button results—I’ll click the Random button, see where it leads me, and talk about that story or page
  • About and other

I’ll be adding an update to my About page soon, and have a few plans for…other stuff (she said, cryptically).

TRAILERS
You’ll find trailers of the most recent short stories and podcast episodes. The trailers for the short stories will reveal the genre and tagline. In future, I may add quotes from the story. The trailers for the podcast episodes will include an audio excerpt from the episode set against the episode art. And many of the trailers will include animations, transitions, or other minor visual effects.

Why am I making two different pages, instead of putting all of this onto one page?

The Portals page will serve as a landing page for people who find me from other places on the internet where I’ll be posting my trailers.

For some strange reason, I’ve only been posting trailers on Instagram, instead of posting them here first. Well, partly it’s because I didn’t know how or where to put the trailers on my site until now. I’m also trying out embedding a podcast player at the bottom of both Pages, which will allow visitors to listen to the three most recent episodes directly from the Page.

So, I invite you to take a look at the Portals and Trailers pages. And please let me know what you think.

You can comment below, DM me on IG at @storyfeather or reach out to me through email at nila@storyfeather.com.

Thanks!
Nila

Storyfeather Year 7

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This week’s story will be posted soon. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s seventh year!

The Year of Prompts is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Seven.  Take a writing prompt and write a short story from it.      

Thank you to everyone who read even a single story. Thank to you everyone who liked or commented. Thank you for your time and interest, and for being a part of Storyfeather, especially Year Seven.

A lot happens in the seventh year stories.  An inventor builds a time machine out of a jukebox.  Three friends do their science project on a forgotten novelty invention, a self-peeling banana. A small team of marine explorers search for a mythical jewel that fell from the heavens. A family is haunted by a demon that is not satisfied with collecting the fallen teeth of their children. And a young drummer commits the crime of “creativity without a license.”

I’ve written over 350 stories now. And I posted my 150th podcast episode (I’ll soon be wrapping up Season Three, in which I’m narrating stories from Storyfeather Year Three).  Year Seven was a worthy challenge, but I’m glad to be moving on.  Sometimes I “cheated” and deviated by just writing a story based on a dream or a notion (and reverse-engineering some kind of prompt from that).  It’s easy to find writing prompts.  There are free apps and sites.  But what I found challenging was to find a prompt with the proper level of specificity.

Storytelling is still my true love, still my destiny, still my path.  And this year in particular, storytelling has been and still is my haven.  And my hope.

Year Eight is on the horizon.  Here’s to seeing what stories I’ll be spinning up (that’s a dorky clue to the theme).  I hope you’ll come along.

I have stories to tell you.
Nila

The Juggling Ghost Crab

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Four unlikely friends were frolicking in the ocean one day.  They were the Ghost Crab, the Blue Marlin, the Jellyfish, and the Nautilus.  The crab and the marlin splashed about on the surface, and dove back down, while the jelly and the mollusk bobbed gently under the surface.

Overhead, there passed the shadow of the Seagull, who watched the friends with great interest, a great interest born of a keen hunger.  Here she saw a variety of sweet and juicy treats for her to feast on.  She could easily carry off the crab, the snail, and the mollusk.  But that marlin was another matter.  He was a giant next to her, and he would surely swipe and skewer with that bill of his.  And being how fast he could swim, if he knocked the Seagull into the water, she would surely become his lunch. Continue reading

The Hippocampus and the Menagerie

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At the center of my memory is the image of a horse, a horse the color of orange cream, rearing up, and glancing at me, with an oceanic glint in her eye.  She has wings.  She has fins.  She is fast.  I remember.  She was fast.  Slicing through the water like a ray of sunlight.

So I don’t know how it could have happened.  But I have to do something.

I must free the hippocampus. Continue reading

The Cat That Haunted the Mouse

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Rinidra’s ears went flat and her tail went stiff.  The mottled blur moving toward her was fast, too fast.  If she had heard it a fraction of a heartbeat later, she wouldn’t have even seen it.

Her heartbeat.  It was hammering now.  A surge of raw force filled her chest.  In an instant, her body unfroze.  Her legs sprung beneath her.  They swept her to the side.  The mottled blur zoomed past her.  She felt its whiskers brush her side. Continue reading

The Reptilian Vaudevillians

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The Reptilian Vaudevillians arrived every ninth full moon, and their performances were so mesmerizing that beasts and creatures of every ilk would come and gather by the swampy stage to watch, to be awed, to laugh, and buzz, and hiss, and rattle.

Waiting nine full moons was not a trying task for some, like the turtles.  But for my kind…we didn’t live long enough to see a second performance.  We are but mayflies.  We are not meant to laugh or buzz or hiss or rattle. Continue reading