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.
The king is the hound and the hound is the king.
The feasters come and eat, but they don’t suspect a thing.
It’s a feast like none they’ve seen, a spectacular repast.
They never e’er suspect that the meal will be their last.
We are not deserters. We are not thieves. But we have been named as such by the imperial navy. We are hunted by the ships we once called our allies. The empress gave our captain a precious treasure as a gift. It was but a gesture. In truth, the treasure belongs to the empire, as all things do. Our captain has taken it.
The warship Mynotragon.
They all watched as the one called Yellowjaws was taken to the edge of the arena. He limped from a vicious gash along his lower left leg that still seemed to be seeping blood. His long fur was matted with blood, dust, and his own thick spittle. He stopped and turned to them. He had been neither loved nor reviled. In that moment, he was—by most—envied. For as they watched, the fur fell away from his form, leaving behind pale brown skin that would certainly darken to a natural bark brown under the sun. His snout, along with the double rows of jagged yellow-orange teeth by which he was named, began to shrink. His whole head shrunk somewhat. His face and head were bare, but in time, something would grow there. Not fur, but hair.
Yellowjaws was a man again.
“You must be Captain Vasquez.”
“And why, madam, do you presume that?”
“Because judging from their expressions, none of the people at this table believe a word you’re saying…but they’re all listening anyway because the story is just that captivating.”
“There is no cure,” the baker said as she peered into the mage’s eyes.