In an ancient age of the earth, the veil between life and afterlife was not so mysterious. There was no doubt that death was but a doorway leading to another realm where souls continued a journey that they began in the realm called life.
When I was child, I wanted them to be real. But even as a child, I knew they were not. Not in this world. And so far as I knew, this world was the only world there was. The only real world. But for someone who’s never been anywhere near a real horse, I had a keen yearning for their mythical counterparts to be real. And for me to find them, meet them, be accepted by them, and in my deepest desires, be favored by them.
I learned all their stories.
And the stories were more vivid to me than the dry and distant history of my own kind.
Greetings! Nila here, interrupting the regularly scheduled story posts with a showcase.
There are hundreds of stories on the site and a good number have been made into podcast episodes. The showcase is one of my recent efforts to help readers and listeners find the stories that they might be most interested in.
Between 5/11/21 and 5/16/21, I highlighted five cat-themed short stories right in this post.
In the full post, you can see the trailer for each story, a brief description of the story and how it came about, and links to the stories (and podcast episode when applicable).
I’m open to suggestions for future showcases. If you have one, please feel free to comment in this post (or you can email me at email@example.com)
Here’s the main trailer. Please do check it out!
Genres: Fantasy, Fable, Mystery, Mythology
Main trailer narration is a clip from the podcast episode for “The First Days of Moonlight”
Music: “Palaver” by ROZKOL
Scroll down for details and separate trailers for each story. Or click the button to jump to the bottom of the post where you can get quick summaries at a glance, and go straight to the stories.
[Video description: Trailer. Duration 55 seconds. Music plays: “Palaver” by ROZKOL. Center image of a cat’s right eye, surrounded by a burst of fur. Over the eye, an elongated rectangle with curved corners, circles of color radiating from the center, and text lies above, reading “Fives Days of Felines” with a cat’s paw symbol to the right of the words. The image recedes and a series of six images from the featured stories appear in sequence. First, the silhouette of a seated cat, three-quarters view, facing left. Second, the same image in four quadrants. Third, a robed figure with a cat’s head and arms upraised, standing under a full moon. Sparks of light stream down from the moon into the open mouths of cats in the foreground seen in silhouette. Fourth, a diffuse shape suggesting a cat’s head with a glow around it and bright red eyes. The head shakes, then fades. Fifth, a cat with patchwork fur sitting down on all fours with tail wrapped around itself and looking over at a mouse who stands on hind legs. Sixth and last, the face of a tiger staring forward. The final image expands slowly, and shifts color. Text boxes appear throughout at bottom in time with narration: “We’re fascinated by cats, aren’t we? Cats on the internet. Pictures, videos, memes. Cats in our homes. Ancient civilizations shaped statues of cats out of gold, ebony, and bronze. They have been associated with magic, with evil. They sometimes seem aloof and uncaring. Sometimes charming and playful. Sexy. Dangerous. Mysterious.” A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom center throughout, fading at the end when the poster image appears. Over the tiger’s eyes, the word “Storyfeather” appears. At bottom appears text, “A showcase of five short stories featuring cats.” Below the tiger’s eyes at a slight upward angle from left to right, a banner displaying, “May 12 to May 16 2021,”]
Three spheres comprised the world. The waters, the earth, and the skies. Upon first glance, it would seem that every creature lived in its own sphere. The creatures of the waters lived in the waters. The creatures of the earth lived upon or beneath the earth. But the world was not so sharply divided. And one of the spheres was not truly inhabited by any creatures.
The creatures of the skies did not live in the skies. They soared and fluttered, sometimes for long stretches of time, but a time would come when they need descend and perch.
Some creatures lived where these spheres meet. Some creatures lived part of their lives in one sphere and part in another.
Once, in a long-forgotten age, every creature could live in every sphere.
This was so because of an energy, a force that spun around and through the world.
Not in the beginning, but early in the history of the world, many mortals suspected that the ones who called themselves gods were shirking their duty of properly governing the world. Some responded by entreating the gods. Others by railing against them.
But a few decided to try answering the question of what it was that the gods spent their time doing if they were not doing what was expected.
It was known that the gods lived far above the earth and somewhere below the stars. Their abode was not visible to mortal eyes, but if human sight could be extended, perhaps human eyes could see the comings and goings of the gods, and follow their course to where they landed in the mortal earthly realm.
She was far too kindly, and therefore looked upon with disdain by her fellow gods. The other gods feared that the balance of power was being tipped too much toward mortal creatures, to whom the kindly god had given many gifts. The kindly god argued that what she had given the mortal creatures shifted the balance by such an infinitesimal degree that all the gods could give what little she had given to the mortals, or else she could give all her power, and it still would not equal what the gods possessed.
To teach her a lesson, the other gods diminished the kindly god by half.
“No problem,” I said, through gritted teeth. I’d been training for this moment, my whole life. I’d been told it would feel as if every muscle in my body were seizing up at the same time. I’d known what to expect and I still could never have imagined…
When I woke up, the woman who had officiated the ceremony—my mom called her a “priestess,” but she seemed more like a tax accountant to me—smiled at me. I was still groggy. But I could see it was a smile of congratulations.