The living do not belong in the underworld. But all the paths of escape are horrific, save for one…the mushroom.
This story is from Year 8, The Year of Revisitation
I revisit one of the stories I’ve already written, and write a new standalone story connected to or inspired by the existing one through a character, a place, an object, a continuation of events (okay, sequel), and so on.
My experience with mushrooms in real life has been harmless and positive. So they usually show up in whimsical ways in my stories. There’s one where a wizard uses a special mushroom to brew a rare spell (A Potion of Uncertain Fortune). And another one where a young man on a quest wakes up in the middle of a fairy ring, that is, a ring of mushrooms (The Isle of Mist and Gloom). In this new story, I once again explore the link between mushrooms, magic, and the mythical realm of the dead, the underworld.
[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 31 seconds. No sound. Digital drawing. A humanoid figure stands at center, visible from the waist up, wearing a cap and veil behind which nothing is visible, with two mushroom caps emerging as sleeves from the left arm, and raising the right hand up ready to snap their fingers. The cap and veil resemble a bamboo mushroom. Patches of different types of mushrooms grow on either side of the figure that represent or resemble real mushrooms: inky cap, cage fungus, split gill, pixie cup lichen, and others. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” lays over the image’s center. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mythology” are displayed in front of the image. The title card fades. Tag lines from the story appear and fade from top to bottom. “The living do not belong in the underworld. But if ever they should find themselves trapped there, there are a few paths of escape. The easiest path is to find a mushroom.” The story title appears at the end with the website URL just below it.]
Image was drawn digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook.
[Video Description: Duration 31 seconds. No sound. Title card says “Behind the Scenes” and “The image for short story ‘Mushrooms of the Underworld’” over first image which is split diagonally from bottom left to top right. The top half shows the final image. The bottom half shows an uncolored sketch of the final composition. The title card fades. A circle swipe effect swipes away the first image to reveal a pencil and ink sketch of several different mushrooms: earthstar, cage mushroom, inky cap, bamboo mushroom, and a few others. A text box at bottom states: Searched internet for “weird mushrooms” and sketched several. The image fades to show a pencil and ink sketch, a draft of the final composition. Text box for this image states: Arranged composition and added central figure (whose design is based on the bamboo mushroom). A swipe up animation reveals the finalized sketch. Text box states: Made adjustments and finished the sketch. Left to right swipe reveals image with color. Text box states: Added base layer of color. Swipe down effect reveals final image. A humanoid figure stands at center, visible from the waist up, wearing a cap and veil behind which nothing is visible, with two mushroom caps emerging as sleeves from the left arm, and raising the right hand up ready to snap their fingers. Patches of different types of mushrooms grow on either side of the figure that represent or resemble real mushrooms: inky cap, cage fungus, split gill, pixie cup lichen, and others. A watermark of the word “Storyfeather” also appears. Text box states: Added some dimension with more color layers, textures, highlights, and shading. Website URL appears at bottom throughout.]
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