Garden of the Peculiar

A person struggling with heartbreak is drawn into the history of a garden filled with morbid beauty.

Music: “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy


[Video Description: “Garden of the Peculiar” Trailer. Duration, 45 seconds. Music, “Deep” by Nicholas Jeudy. Digital drawing. At center, offset slightly to the left, a flower with three petals shaped like teardrops, one petal at top, two petals below, each with long tips that extend out of frame. The coloring at the base of each petal when combined resembles the face of a monkey. Behind and to the right of this flower are bright and shadowy overlapping outlines and silhouettes of a stem with branches that terminate in skull shapes. Behind and below the flower is a smaller flower with a monkey face tilted to the right, its monochrome color fading into the background. Behind and to the left of the main flower, depicted in glowing monochrome is a flower that appears like a figure wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a flowing cloak. Behind this glowing figure to the left is another silhouette of the skull shapes. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Fantasy,” is displayed at top. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “A person struggling with heartbreak is drawn into the history of a garden filled with morbid beauty.” Title card and tagline fade. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Lines from the story appear in sequence: “Branches terminating in skulls. Transparent petals whose vessels glow white as bleached bone in the dark. Bright yellow leaves whose soft serrated edges exude a dark red liquid that drips and pools and stains the ground like the signs of a crime scene. Such sights could I have seen in the greenhouse of gruesome growths. The courtyard of the maverick alchemist. The…” Site URL appears at bottom center offset right throughout and fades at end. As the last line disappears, the image blurs, the story title appears at center, and a text card appears at top that reads “Available to Read Now storyfeather.com.”]



Welcome to Year 9 of Storyfeather

Every year’s short stories (mostly) follow a theme. This year, I will turn the Wheel of Fiction to help me decide what to write. There are thirteen spokes on this wheel. Eight are occupied by the eight themes from the previous years of stories. One is a prompt to turn the wheel again. One is a wildcard (hmm…curious). And three are covered only in question marks. I suppose I’ll find out what’s beneath those questions as we go along.

Welcome to the WHEEL OF FICTION

The Wheel of Fiction turned, and landed on…Turn Again. So I turned again and it landed on DRAW. I first searched “art styles” to see if I could start with a drawing of an art style I haven’t tried before, or at least get some inspirations. I took a very brief look at the basic descriptions and samples images for surrealism and impressionism.  And then looked at a couple of articles. In one article, the example images for Geometric and Nature styles piqued my interest. I started with Nature and searched for reference images. I searched a few terms.  Then searched “weird plants” and one of the first items that showed up was a monkey-faced orchid. That got me thinking about a garden full of plants with unexpected appearances: plants like resemble or seem to depict animals, plants that look frightening, plants that look haunting.


[Video Description: Duration, 11 seconds. Choice wheel made on the Spin the Wheel application. Thirteen spokes or slices in various colors, labeled as follows, clockwise from the top: Objects of Power (the “of Power” is not visible), Prompts, Definitions, Turn Again, Elements, Creatures, S.T.E.A.M., Wildcard, Revisitation, Music, Challenge, Draw!!!, Traveler. The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction V4” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 4/23/2022. At top left corner is a flag icon labeled with the letter “F.” This represents a function of the application which interferes with true randomness by reducing the probability of receiving the same choice twice in a row. The wheel turns and lands on Turn Again, turns again and lands on DRAW!!! As the wheel stops spinning, a cartoon flower appears at the center of the wheel with a monstrous mouth filled with sharp teeth at its own center that opens and closes a few times.]


Genre: Fantasy
Tags: ALCHEMISTBEAUTYGARDENGREENHOUSEHEARTACHEHOTHOUSEMORBIDNESTORPECULIARWEIRD


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Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with rings of colored light emanating from the center. Text appears over the rings, reading "Storyfeather Year 9" and below it in larger font, "Wheel of Fiction."

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