It is said the magician imbued the empress’s soup with a secret elixir that granted strength of mind, of body, and of character.
“You must make a chicken to peck at the wound.” The remedy man smiled as he presented the treatment.
I didn’t know much about conjoined twins, but when the professor in my embryology class mentioned the accident in cell division that led to the phenomenon, I remembered my first dream in life. Before I dreamt of becoming a Noble-prize-winning biochemist. Before I dreamt of meeting the love of my life. Before I dreamt about traveling the world. Before I dreamt about having a dog. When I was just a kid.
I remembered wishing I were a twin.
Janet’s eyes widened when she saw the four-eyed, green-antennaed, maroon-skinned biped before her that only nominally resembled one of her students. They were waiting in the wings, fifteen minutes out from the start of the next act. She could already hear people shuffling back into the auditorium from intermission, greeted by sound checks from the kids who were manning the mixing desk.
Hideous Horace was not the monster who stalked the halls of my nightmares.
The first penny Nate ever earned was paid to him by the person he respected most in the world, who also happened to be the person he loved most in the world, his mother.
This week’s story will be posted soon. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s fourth year.
The Year of Creatures is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Four (except for some straggler stories where I might have forgotten).
A huge and hearty thank you to Sanjay Patel for providing the artwork for every single story in Year Four. It was a true collaboration of storytelling. He sent me the art, then I wrote the story around it. It was challenging to write stories on topics I might not otherwise have written. It was humbling to try and write a story that did the art justice. And it was exciting to see the site looking so vibrant and badass.
Displayed above are some of my favorite images.
Thank you to everyone who read even a single story. And if you liked or commented, thank you again. Thank you for your time and interest, and for being a part of Storyfeather, especially Year Four.
I’ve written over 200 stories now. And I launched the Storyfeather podcast in October.
No one asked for these stories. No one assigned me to write them. And though I hoped to earn rewards someday if I kept at it, no one promised me any great reward (or even any small reward). I started because I have believed since I was very young that writing is my destiny. And every time I put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard, I feel, from within, the truth of that sentiment. Regardless of however a story comes out, each one proves to me that writing is part of who I am. And I’ve come to realize something else.
I’ve been doing this for four years, and I will keep doing it. That’s not just destiny. That’s love. And it’s not just any love.
That’s true love.
A lot happened in the fourth year stories. Researchers discovered something huge, ancient, and possibly mythical stirring under the Arctic permafrost. An astronaut opened a mysterious pod from an alien race that had been sending messages to humanity for centuries. An ordinary man gathered extraordinary allies to face a dragon and save his beloved. And a troubadour sang the fantastical story of how his kind came to be…
Here’s to seeing what Year Five brings. I hope you’ll come along.
I have stories to tell you.
It starts off dark, and all I hear is a low, subtle pulsing. Not as rhythmic and steady as a heartbeat, but more like, the whooshing and sloshing of a washing machine. Then I can make out the clicking. Click, click, click. Multiplied. Click, click, clickclickclickclickclickclick. I see myself. And I am myself at the same time. My shoulders are drooped. I can hardly keep my eyes open. My skin feels warm, too warm. I see myself noticing the sound and raising his—my—head. My eyes move to the left and my head turns slightly, but then stops. I need to see. But I don’t want to see.
Six fools ran from the dragon’s fire, but only one of them was her husband.
There was the wizard in blue robes with a green-jeweled magic staff. There was the armored knight who bore a shield that guarded against flame. There was the jungle barbarian and the mystical fire-cat. There was the sprightly archer. And then there was the mustachioed scoundrel, who had assembled them all. His beloved wife had been lost to an enchantment, an enchantment that was impossible to break. Impossible, that is, for a single man, even if he were a devoted spouse.
Once, there were five magic beans.