The Hollow Temple

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When the young woman appeared, garbed in robes of green and a wide belt of scarlet, the two treasure-seekers understood at once that she was the temple guardian.  And they did not hesitate to approach her.

“Greetings, travelers,” the temple guardian said.  “Give me your names.”

The two treasure-seekers gave her their names freely.

She did not return their offer of names, nor did she return their smiles.

“Turn back, travelers,” the temple guardian said, her voice calm and measured.  “Go no further than the spot where I now stand.” Continue reading

Storyfeather Year Five

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

The Year of S.T.E.A.M. is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Five.  Science.  Technology. Engineering.  Arts.  Mathematics.   Year Five’s stories aimed to center around one of the aforementioned elements.  It was quite the challenge.

Also a challenge, keeping the bar for the artwork as high as I could manage after the visual upgrade the site received in Year Four.

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 Five.

A lot happened in the fifth year stories. A cast and crew of middle school students put on an original play about cosmic heroes and deadly aliens.  A malfunctioning beauty product gave whole new meaning to the term “vanishing cream.”  An explorer got lost in a spatiotemporal anomaly that was once the treasure vault of an alien pirate.  And a woman started turning into a cartoon…

I’ve written over 250 stories now. And I’ve produced 52 podcast episodes (one for each story from Year One).  Year Five was a (sometimes delirious) struggle, but well worth it.  Storytelling is still my true love, still my destiny, still my path.

Year Six is on the horizon.  Here’s to seeing what stories will brew.  I hope you’ll come along.

I have stories to tell you.
Nila

The Monstrous Men of the Moors

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“The only gift you ever ask for is a story, the same story, year after year.”

Nisha grinned at her uncle.  “Well, I like the story, especially the way you tell it.”

“You, dearest niece, do not need flattery to win my heart.  But I like the sound of it nevertheless.  You shall have the story, of course.  But I’ve brought you something else this year as well.” He pulled the basket he’d set on the table closer.  Nisha had thought the basket was meant for one of her siblings.  He lifted the top.  “A gift,” he said, “as well as a burden.” Continue reading

Storyfeather Year Four

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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.
Nila

How I Defeated the Devourer

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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.  Continue reading