The Black Dwarf Star

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Once upon a time, there was a thriving civilization living under the light of a warm yellow sun.  As eons passed, the civilization spread.  It advanced.  It regressed.  It advanced again.  It rose.  It declined.  And it rose again.  It changed, became unrecognizable from its past self.  And as the civilization did, so did the sun that burned above it and smiled down upon it.  The warm yellow sun was aging, and as it did, it grew warmer and warmer, and bigger and bigger, darker and darker, yellow to orange to red, until the smiling yellow sun became a glaring red giant. Continue reading

The Thief of All Sounds

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The quacking of a duck startled me awake.  It was more a honk actually.  The first time I heard it in the middle of the night, it was a horrific sound.  Because I couldn’t place it.  I never expected to hear a duck in the middle of the night where I live.  But we have a pool, and they like to land in the pool sometimes.

In the middle of the night, some of the sounds that are innocuous or even unnoticeable during the day trigger worry or fear.  The creak of a stair.  The weird sounds that fridges make when they’re cycling through their…cycles.  A duck honking.

The epitome of sound is music.  I lie awake and listen for it.  The chirping of crickets is the chorus of the night.  But they have some accompaniment.  The distant barking of a dog, answered by another.  Engines revving, droning or trumpeting, as cars pass by on the nearby cross street.  The sounds begin to sooth me.

I slip off into sleep.

*** 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

My Homunculus Is Malfunctioning

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“My homunculus is malfunctioning.”

I could feel it, shifting around in my chest, as I waited for the on-call doctor to respond. The doctor’s badge indicated that he didn’t have one, so I didn’t think he would understand, but as I began to speak, to describe what had been happening to me over the past few weeks, his questions and observations revealed that he understood quite well. And he came to this conclusion.

My homunculus was malfunctioning. Continue reading

Mynotragon

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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. Continue reading

The Fall of the Mirror-god

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If we break the mirror barrier, we would have even greater control over the transformations between matter and energy than ever before. For this knowledge, we humbly ask our new friends from beyond the known stars.

The only worthy god is a fallen god. Because a fallen god must walk the mortal path. Only a fallen god can be stung by nettles, or lashed by biting winds, or blistered by fire, or embraced by the love of a stranger. Continue reading