The Brittle Star

The captain and crew of a vessel-for-hire cautiously agree to help a banished merman prince find his hidden realm in exchange for a lavish undersea treasure.

Music: “13 Sins” by Nicholas Jeudy

[Video Description: “The Brittle Star” Trailer. Duration, 43 seconds. Music, “13 Sins” by Nicholas Jeudy. Digital drawing. A merman, his top half human and his bottom half a fish, facing forward perched on flat earth. He is bare-chested and his tail curves up behind him to the left (his right). He wears a belt of gold around his waist, and in the center is a symbol: three upside down triangles, overlapping and growing smaller from bottom to top. He wears gold cuffs or vambraces. His right hand is curled in a fist by his side. In his left hand, he holds a golden trident, simple save that the symbol of three triangles is worked into the lines connecting the prongs of the trident. Waves splash behind him. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mythology,” is displayed at middle. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “The captain and crew of a vessel-for-hire cautiously agree to help a banished merman prince find his hidden realm in exchange for a lavish undersea treasure.” Title card and tagline fade. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Lines from the story appear in sequence: “What did he look like, Captain? Did he have long sharp teeth, like a pike fish? No, I’ve heard they’re more like a shark’s or piranha’s. Either way, there are rows of them, so— Let the captain tell us!  Was he handsome, Captain? Set aside all your fantasies and your wild guesses. In the end, it comes to this, do you want to make a bargain with a merman?” Site URL appears at bottom right throughout and fades at end. As the last line disappears, the image blurs, the edges of the image darken, the story title appears at center, and a text card appears at top that reads “Available to Read Now”]

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 landed on Creatures again (it’s been doing that a lot, not that I’m complaining.)  Once again, I decided to use a creature image I’d drawn earlier in the year as inspiration for the story. The image was of the Greek god Triton, per the prompt of the art challenge that I was doing.  But I didn’t want to write about Triton.  I looked up other deities and sea-related beings in Greek mythology and learned about the Telchines, who were magicians and who were said to have crafted the trident used by the god Poseidon.  One of the Telchines was named Skelmis. I took the name for the merman in this story, who needs the help of some ordinary sailors for some reason that’s probably not suspicious…

[Video Description: Duration, 7 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, 7/9/2022. 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 CREATURES. As the wheel stops spinning, ocean waves splash out from the bottom left corner, and a merman in profile swims across to the middle of screen.]

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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