The Man Who Cried Bird

A birdwatcher who’s determined to discover an unknown species stumbles upon a strange little sparrow.

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

[Video Description: “The Man Who Cried Bird” Trailer. Duration, 43 seconds. “Exploration Mystical Place (loop 1)” by Albert Fernandez. Digital drawing. Bottom half, a pair of binoculars, forward facing. Perched on them, right side top, is the translucent silhouette of a sparrow, seen in right profile, with beak open. Through the sparrow’s form and in the lenses of the binoculars are hazy layers of foliage, tree canopies. Branching shapes covered with light thorny patches frame the right and left side. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Science Fiction,” is displayed at middle. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “A birdwatcher who’s determined to discover an unknown species stumbles upon a strange little sparrow.” Title card and tagline fade. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Lines from the story appear in sequence: “‘It’s a blue cardinal, look.’ ‘There’s no such bird, Andre.’ ‘That’s because no one has seen him, until now.’ Andre submitted to the group that he had spotted a Labrador duck on a recent work trip. The Labrador duck was not a new species. It was an extinct one. None had been seen in the wild for a hundred and fifty years. ‘Does it ever bother you…you’ve never seen a bird that no one else has ever seen before?’” Site URL appears at bottom center 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 Challenge.  As I tend to do when the wheel lands on this spoke, I challenged myself to keep the story between 2500 to 3500 words. This would be easiest if I limited the number of characters—at least main characters.  One character seemed the most doable.  But that one character would have to have something driving them. The story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” came to mind for some reason.  The boy is driven by mischief.  But it would seem the man in this story has more noble aims. Surely that makes a difference in the story’s outcome.

[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 a label on left, “Spin date: 7/12/22,” and a label at right, “Story: 7/17/22.” 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. As the wheel stops spinning, binoculars appear at center and the black silhouette of a bird flies down from upper left to and lands on center of the wheel.]

Genre: Science Fiction


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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