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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Galactic Ring of Wrestling Ladies

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Digital drawing. Five figures arrayed in flanking formation. At center is a human woman facing forward.  She holds her hands before her, facing each other.  A glowing ball of light is suspended between her fingers. Along the forearm part of her left armband, a lightning bolt glows.  She wears color-blocked exercise clothes. A humanoid lizard sits to her right and behind, raising her right arm as if in greeting. She wears a scarf around her neck, and a breastplate displaying circuitry. To the lizard’s right and behind is a giant seagull, wings outspread, head raised, and beak open, blasting out a ray of swirling circles. To the human woman’s left, a toad springs up and out, to the toad’s left and behind, a unicorn with a rainbow mane rears up, her horn blasting forth a ribbon of light.

“Sentient entities of the cosmos!” the announcer spoke, her voice booming through the arena that floated in free space.  “Welcome…to GROWL!

The audience cheered, waving their flags, waving their extremities, and shouting the names of their favored fighters.  The announcer paused until they settled.

“Our first contender on tonight’s mind-blasting roster, is also our first human ever.  Hailing from Earth, wielding the powers of biological science, I give you….Molecular!”

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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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Laser Beam Ice Cream

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Digital drawing. Foreground bottom, a bowl with three scoops of ice cream: strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. The center scoop, vanilla, has little lightning bolts surrounding it. The chocolate scoop has a spoon sticking out of it. Behind the bowl are three figures. Center, from waist up is a smiling young man facing forward, with his curled hands on his hips. To his left is a young woman from waist up in three-quarters profile, her head tilted up. A beam of light shoots from her eyes. She holds the first two fingers of her left hand to her temple. To the young man’s right is a black-and-white dog, seated, who is also looking up and shooting beams of light from his eyes. He wears a collar with the name “Percival” on it.

“I’ve done it, Percival. I’ve really done it.”

Arthur strode into his kitchen with the black-and-white mutt following.  In his right hand, he held the cause of the grin on his face.  The fist-sized device looked like an ordinary gate clicker or car alarm controller. 

“I wonder if the name ‘Bandage Beam’ is taken,” Arthur said, as he reached for the freezer handle. 

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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

The Last Voyage of the Echidna

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Digital drawing. A ship shaped like a submarine appears on the bottom half moving toward a glowing anomaly in the center of the image. Lightning, sparks, and gases emerge from the anomaly and stream outward. A zigzag pattern with nodes at each junction glows on the ship’s hull and is reflected above and below the ship. Lightning-like energy flows out from two dorsal thrusters.

“Queens growing old without growing wiser.  That’s not what we need.  That’s not what I seek to be.”

Those were the last words that Captain Navaso spoke before she went into exile, breaking from the Unified Colonies, along with 899 loyal members of her colony. Continue reading

The Lemonuclear Conductor

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Digital drawing of a humanoid person with a long-haired mohawk and scaly skin on the left, seen from shoulders up and from the back, pointing at a display of multiple glowing holographic displays with various readouts. The main display shows some kind of containment vessel or reactor vessel.

The ridges on the back of my neck were prickling. 

I checked the feed from the cargo bay.  A dozen steel drums.  All of them full.  The bay was empty otherwise.  Normally that would have irked me, but the promised payment from this one delivery was worth the wastefulness of a near-empty cargo bay.  The drums and their contents were pre-approved to pass through every one of the near-hundred checkpoints that we were about to encounter.  It would not have been worth the risk of being stopped at every checkpoint for a full reckoning of our cargo if we were carrying our usual assortment of items—living, non-living, legal…not-so-legal. Continue reading