A new guest services employee works a memorable first shift at the most exclusive resort in the galaxy.
Music: “Ground Control” by Andrea Baroni
[Video Description: “The Grand Universal Singularity Resort” Trailer. Duration, 46 seconds. Music, “Ground Control” by Andrea Baroni. Digital painting. A black hole and surrounding space. At center, a black orb almost half surrounded by a pool of glowing white and yellow seen at a bias, angled from top left to bottom right. This pool is surrounded by a hazy ring of bright orange on the same plane. Fainter and thinner rings enclose the bright orange. Small bright spots are scattered among the rings. Darkness surrounds all. A wispy beam of light bursts out from the edge of the black orb, perpendicular to the plane of the rings. At bottom left, at the farthest ring, there is a small bubble. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Science Fiction,” is displayed at top. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “A new guest services employee works a memorable first shift at the most exclusive resort in the galaxy.” Title card and tagline fade. Lines from the story appear in sequence: “Rekha…reached for the observation deck button and caught a glimpse of the small plaque beneath the panel. The plaque read, in simple script, ‘Grand Universal Singularity Resort and Laboratory Facility.’ GUS and RALF. She huffed out a breath and put a hand to her stomach. Lianne uncrossed her arms and turned to her. ‘You alright, partner?’ ‘The full gravity of the situation just hit me.’ Lianne paused a beat before saying, ‘Pun intended?’” Site URL appears at bottom center throughout and fades at end. As the last line disappears, the image darkens, the story title appears at center, and a text card appears at top that reads “Available to Read Now storyfeather.com.”]
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 Definitions. On reviewing my recent list of story ideas, I found a list of words from non-English languages from an article I came across at some point (and couldn’t find again). I started popping each word into the old internet search bar to see if anything caught my fancy. A French word did, “gâchis,” whose provided meaning is “waste, mess, shambles.” This led me to thinking about trash, and trash disposal, and maybe someone trying to come up with some new tech or method, like say, throwing the trash into a black hole. So I started leaning toward some soft science fiction, but something light, maybe even comical.
I’d done stories before about scavengers in space, and plenty of stories about people in spaceships getting into various kinds of trouble. Thinking about a scene where characters discuss the challenges of safely getting past the black hole’s event horizon made me shift in a different direction. What if there was a diner—no, a hotel—no, a fancy resort, right at the edge of that event horizon? People can come and get up close and personal with the black hole, without getting sucked in, and without being affected by time dilation. And maybe it would be fun to do a day-in-the-life-of kind of story, about a brand new employee’s first day…
[Video Description: Duration, 8 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, 6/11/2022. 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 Turn Again, turns again and lands on DEFINITIONS. As the wheel stops spinning, an animated black hole surrounded by concentric rings of colorful matter appears at the center of the wheel. The hole has eyes and a wide smiling mouth and turns the face to the right then the left.]
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