The Infernal Bargain House

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Digital drawing. An oak tree at center whose six visible main branches spread in all directions, some dragging on the ground, some reaching upward, some reaching outward.  Diffuse patches of green in the background suggest leaves sprouting from the thinner branches.  A thin dark haze lays along the ground. A vaguely humanoid shadow floats beside the tree.

A gray shape darted past me to my right.  I turned to the ragged bushes entangled with dried weeds.  One of the stems shuddered and I heard a rustling.  But the overgrowth was too thick for me to see what was moving around in there.  Back home—my previous home—I would have guessed it was a lizard.  But here, in my new home, it could have been a rabbit.  A wild rabbit.

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Five Days of Felines

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Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with curved corners. Rings of colored light emanate from the center. Text over the rings reads "Five Days of Felines." To the right of the text is a glowing silhouette of a cat's paw.

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 nila@storyfeather.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,”]

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Panofus

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Panofus spoke the last words of the spell and flicked his raised fingers in the proper precise configurations.  As he did, another sudden quake struck the tower.  And the room filled with gasps and cries of fear.

One of the children in the group of unpracticed mages standing before Panofus pulled away from the old woman who was holding him.

“What about you?” the child asked just as he began to fade from view. Continue reading

The Curse of the Tooth Demon

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In those days, there were doctors of teeth already, just as there are now.  And in those days, the doctors of teeth were avoided by most, just as they are now.  The doctors did their best, just as they do now, the good ones that is.  One such doctor of teeth did his best, but failed to root out the deep infection that had taken hold in his patient’s mouth, an infection that had seeped from the teeth to the gums to other teeth, and then began creeping to the patient’s brain and his heart.  The man—the patient—was past middle age but not yet old.  He died of that infection.  A painful and bloody death. Continue reading

The Villager of Tolkus

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Quill 156 Villager of Tolkus Image 1 FinalWhen Cantor was a child, it was said that he was descended from Orpheus, who made flowers bloom with his song, who inspired trees to bend toward the playing of his lyre, who soothed the hearts of beast so well, they forgot to hunt their prey.  Even Cantor’s crying was so sweet to hear that his mother had to stuff wax and cloth in her ears and watch his expression to know he was in misery. Continue reading

Chainmaker

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Beast of Chainmaker“What agency are you all from?” the sheriff asked the group of dark-suited men and women who had just entered the building.

A tall dark-haired man in a steel gray suit stepped forward and handed the sheriff a black card.  The sheriff looked at the card.  It was blank.  He turned it over and found another blank side.

The man introduced himself as Joe Chan, then named the members of his team.

Agent Chan explained that the black card was keyed to the sheriff’s thumbprint and when pressed would show the needed contact information.  “Once you verify my credentials, I’d like to have a briefing on the latest attacks.” Continue reading