The Arcanomen

Our ancestors possessed powers and protections that were lost upon the destruction of a machine that had only one function, providing each person with a name.

Music: “Exploration Mystical Place (loop 1)” by Albert Fernandez

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 49 seconds. Music: “Exploration Mystical Place (loop 1)” by Albert Fernandez. Digital drawing. A machine. Large central disc at center resembling an astrolabe, but without any markings around the rim, and only one pointer. The disc is supported by one small leg at left of viewer and a larger apparatus at right with a large hand crack attached and a small spinning lever below the crank. All other parts are behind the central disc. At left are arrayed three smaller discs with hands of various shapes and lengths. Left top, a polyhedron with knobs and circular openings. Above center, three pointers. Right top, a ring facing forward orbited by three rings at vertical and symmetrical angles. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mythology” and the story title are displayed in front of the image. The title card and story title fade. Lines from the story appear over the image: Tempest and storm. Disease and death. Creatures who hunted humankind as prey. Beings who pursued humankind out of evil longing. The name generated by the Arcanomen provided protection from all these dangers. If any harmful influence, be it demon or disease, tried to possess a person, the name would respond. It would twist and shift. It would examine and adapt. It would block and shield. And if that was not enough, it would attack…” The title reappears at top just before the last line appears. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom right throughout.]

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

This spin, the Wheel of Fiction landed on CHALLENGE, just barely missing one of the mysterious spokes that are covered in question marks. The first year of Storyfeather didn’t have a theme. The only commonality was the challenge that I had set for myself, to write and post a short story every week. So what additional challenge could I set for myself to write this story? I challenged myself to write a very short story (this one is about 2000 words). And I chose a genre that I haven’t chosen in a while, mythology, which helped to focus the story. Myths are stories people used to help to explain things in the world, from the wonderful to the terrible, and even what seems to be mundane. This story explores how we came to have names…and also how our names were far more powerful than they are now.

[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, (alternating question marks and apostrophes), Challenge, (alternating questions marks and asterisks), (question marks). The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 11/20/21. 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 Challenge.]

Genre: Mythology


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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