My Every Existing Memory

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Digital drawing. Composite image. Left bottom, a young man seen from his left side, from the shoulders up, with his eyes closed, with his hand in his hair. Faint words are visible in his hair. The word “Forward,” and below it, in reverse, the word “Backward.” He is in grayscale, while the rest of the image is in color. Behind and to his right is the façade of a diner seen from an angle. An “Open” sign hangs from the closed door. Four windows are visible. A sign above the door and windows reads “Singing Star.” Above the sign is a marquee with a huge five-pointed cartoon star hung in the center. The star has closed eyes with long lashes and an open mouth painted with lipstick. Beside the star are lines hung with musical notation symbols, flanked by more stars. Behind and to the left of the diner is a sign seen at an angle. The sign reads “Dr. V. Varma, Applied Transdimensional Theory, 8-9 PM, Auditorium.” To the sign’s left is a set of two theater chairs. A backpack lies under the leftmost chair.

“Memories are unreliable…”

Max paused, hesitated actually.  He’d rehearsed aloud what he was going to say so many times—despite not needing to remember the words—that he’d fooled himself into believing it all sounded reasonable.  But now, he was about to say the words out loud to another person, the most critical person he could possibly tell his truth to.

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The Unicellular Detective

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Digital drawing. Cartoon depictions of anthropomorphized unicellular organisms in a line. From left to right, three filaments of cyanobacteria, a Stentor, a paramecium with flagella who’s wearing a fedora, a slime mold, and a dinoflagellate with glasses.

There’s something you should know about me, and it’s not that I’m a plankton.

I mean, aren’t we all?  Plankton, floating around in the great pond.  Except, I don’t just float. 

See, I was born with some pretty powerful flagella.  What is that, you ask?  Flagella, they’re like…like long limbs, protruding from all over my body—hey, don’t make that face, they’re not gross.  At least, my parent told me they’re not.  Some days, I show ‘em.  Most days I don’t.  But they’re not just for show.  See, I’m a paramecium.  We’re only supposed to have cilia, short little hairs that let us kind of get around.  We’re not supposed to have flagella.  They let me do what most plankton can’t do.  They let me decide where I want to go.  Instead of letting the Drift decide for me.

What is the Drift, you ask?  Boy, you multicellular organisms sure are curious.

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What Is Permanent Damage?

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Digital drawing. Front view of the top two-thirds of a closed door.  A hazy glowing light emanates from bottom left across the face of the door. Scattered bits of redacted text appear over and around the door. The visible words are as follows: Science…in its current state. Project Manager. Project No. Existent…charge and…key…fakery. The first letters of “project” and “existent” are cut off.

Every day on my way to my desk, I passed by a door with the words “PERMANENT DAMAGE” written on it.  

No one ever went in or came out—not that I’d seen anyway, and I’d been working at the firm for about a year.  I asked people about the door, and the sign.  They said there used to be another firm occupying our floor and the two below it.  That door supposedly led to a defunct elevator that shuttled executives between the floors, leading directly into what used to be their fancy offices.  Or it led to a laboratory space.  Or some sort of obstacle course?  The rumors abounded.  Now those spaces were claimed by other firms.  The words referred to the project that resulted in the shuttering of the company.

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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

The Magnificenting Glass

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Digital drawing. A hand at the bottom right corner holds what appears to be a magnifying glass over a patch of grass. Through the glass are seen bright multi-colored shapes that appear to be a cityscape seen from above.

I looked through the glass, at my crinkled, folded over, flagged, and dog-eared notebook, expecting to see the unintentional thumbprint on the edge of the page in fine detail.  Instead, I saw some kind of roller coaster in a dozen shades of blue. Some glowing, some metallic, some watery.  Something that looked like a tiny orange dot zoomed around and around the loops and twirls of the coaster. Continue reading

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

Evil Edie’s Surprise Demise

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Edith Evilez passed in terror and fright on the night of October 31.  The year is yet to be determined according to one of three profane calendars she might have followed.  She is survived by her faithful, long-suffering and slightly malnourished assistant, her beloved pet hornet, and the partially sentient carnivorous pitcher plant that resides in her otherwise fetid greenhouse.  Sometimes joined forces with Natalia Nogud and Ralph Rotneg.  Gave stingily of her time and talent to the Society of Whisper-mongers.  Was awarded the dishonor of the Pale Medallion for her work with wandering spirits.  Served a partial term as a junior board member for the Pocket Goblin Company.  Held certifications in dental assisting, equine communications, and eyebrow threading.  Known for her collection of historical thimbles.  Her last words, as recorded by aforementioned faithful assistant were, “Perhaps today, Satan.” Edith will be begrudgingly remembered by acquaintances and enemies for her stalwart efforts at frightening children, trodding upon the downtrodden, and the surprisingly delicate madeleines she baked for the summer block party every year.  Edith will be missed by no one.  Her passing being celebrated by all those who value dignity, humanity, and goodness. 

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