The Once-God Rampion

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Digital drawing of a person seen from the back walking away. The person is barefoot and wearing a flowing skirt or dress. Wavy and curling strands of hair in different muted colors flow outward and back from the head, entirely obscuring the top half of the body. One strand on either side is connecting to the tops of trees and appears to be absorbing the trees. A strand on the left is connected to a purple flower with five petals, a rampion bellflower. Hazy foliage frames the image's bottom half.

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.  

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Why Beauty Sought the Beast

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Digital drawing of a collage with four panels in two rows. Top left panel, a person’s sneering mouth with the canine teeth extended slightly. Top right panel, larger than the left, close-up of a person’s left eye wide open as if in surprise. Bottom left panel, a repeat of the top right panel image, except now the eye is a different color, red and gold, and the skin around it has sprouted small hairs. Bottom right panel, a growling mouth with long canines and a hairy face.

She did nothing to earn her beauty.  It was given to her.  And as with many such gifts, beauty was both a boon and a burden to the girl whose name was Imelda.

She was doted on by some, guarded by others, coveted by still others.

Imelda’s mother, who both loved and feared for her girl, spent many sleepless nights wondering when her child would grow old enough to be passed into the protection of another.  For she and her husband were humble folk, as their child too would have been.  But Imelda’s beauty—while it may not have impressed in a city or even a large town—was quite surpassing in their little village.  Surpassing enough to catch the eye of those with greater means.  The girl wished to be learned.  She wished to explore. 

Perhaps her beauty could make it so could do what she dreamed of doing.

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Six Days of Love

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Greetings! I highlight six stories about romantic love in this post.
Here’s a quick trailer. (I’ve moved my goofy intro video to the bottom).

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Fable

Artwork Copyright © 2017 “Six Fools and the Dragon” by Sanjay Patel (all other artwork is mine)

Music: “Casual Arcade Track #2 (looped)” from GameDev Market

Scroll down for details and separate trailers for each story. Or click the button to jump to the bottom of the page where you can get quick summaries at a glance, and go straight to the stories.

[Video description: Trailer. Duration 31 seconds. Music plays: Casual Arcade Track #2 (looped) from GameDev Market. No sound effects. Eight slides appear. Between each is a blur transition. First, center image of a medieval-looking bard playing a string instrument and singing. The image is framed by a soft circle.  The Six Days of Love banner sits in center before the image. Second, Title “The Ogre and the Elf Go To Honeymoon City” appears at top. Image is an elf and ogre sitting across from each other under a chandelier. Third, Title “The Everwalker” appears at bottom. Silhouette of a tall woman with a staff midstride. Fourth, Title “ The Merchant and the Magician” appears at bottom. Centered candle with a rainbow flame. Fifth, Title “The Prisoner Under the Sea” appear at top. Humanoid face with fin-like ears, scaly skin, and large irises. Sixth, Title “The Bard of Trilenkary” appears at bottom. Silhouette of a tree with bar branches and a man playing a fiddle sitting at its base. Seventh, Title “Six Fools and the Dragon” appears at the bottom. Six characters are running away from a dragon breathing fire at them. Website URL appears at bottom until the very end where it fades as eighth slide appears. “Storyfeather.com” swipes up from the bottom and stays near the bottom. Behind it, the Storyfeather bard logo floats up to middle, and “Find these short stories and more at” fades in at the top.]

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Pragmata Agnosta

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Digital drawing. A young woman with glasses and a bob stands with her back to the viewer and her hands in the pockets of her jacket. She is seen from waist up to the bridge of her nose. Emblazoned on the jacket’s back is a symbol: an owl with wings outspread, as if swooping down to a landing, antlers extending along the inside of the owl’s wings, and two spears rising from behind the owl. On the woman’s right shoulder is perched a bird that looks like a small owl. 

“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.

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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

Salis and Dulcine

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Digital drawing of a young woman facing and leaning forward, seen from the waist up, eyes closed, right hand held out, left arm thrown back. Her face and right hand are tattooed. Silvery-black streams flow all around her.  Behind her to her right are the spectral figures of a smiling young woman holding a young man in a headlock, surrounded by orange light.  Behind all of them is the faint facade of a manor house. 

Long ago in times that have now passed into myth, much was different in the newborn world.  Moths the size of hawks once fluttered through the sky.  The rings on the ringed planet cast a glow upon the face of the new moon.  The molten core of the world flowed not only with lava but with magic.  And human beings wept tears that were sweet not salty.

It came to pass that two were born upon the earth to the same mother, one right after the other.  Twins were rare in those days.  The brother was born first, only moments before the sister. Continue reading