The Shadow of Victoria Lockhart

Rising star of stage and screen, Victoria Lockhart, traded kindness for cruelty out of necessity, giving rise to strange manifestations of her psyche.

Music: “Song Painful Memories (Loop)” by Albert Fernandez

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 41 seconds. Music: “Song Painful Memories (loop)” by Albert Fernandez. Digital drawing. Silhouette of a figure in a dress with bell sleeves and a hoop skirt, holding up a parasol in the right hand, with a gauzy veil flowing to the right. Bright light shines from above and behind the figure. Extending below the figure is what appears to be a shadow. Leafy, bushy foliage frames the top half of the image, extending down either side of the frame into dark shadowy patches in the foreground and hazy patches in the background. The image appears to be right side up, but would still be so if it were flipped vertically. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” lies over the image. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Horror & Mystery” and the story title are displayed in front of the image. A shadow and reflection of the title appears below the title card. The title card and story title fade. The image spins counterclockwise until it flips vertically and then spins back around as lines from the story appear over the image: “…there was one bulb that had somehow managed not to break.  It lay a corner. And Victoria used its light to see what she had done. Shadows and glass, everywhere. Victoria came to a conclusion. Anger was her road to strength and power.” The title and shadow reflection reappear at middle just as the last line disappears. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom center 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

On this spin, the Wheel of Fiction finally landed on one of three “Mystery Spokes!” The one that was originally labeled ?*?*?*?*?  That means I have to define what that spoke is. When I created the wheel, I wanted thirteen spokes (for some reason I can’t recall now). In the past, one of the themes I thought of doing for a year was drawing an image first, just to draw something that interested me: a subject matter, a composition, a style.  Then, I’d write the story based on that image.  So that’s what I defined this particular mystery spoke to be. Henceforth, Version 2 of the wheel shall reflect that spoke’s not-so-mysterious identity: DRAW!!!

I started with an image search for “skewed perspective” just to see if anything cool popped up. I found some intriguing photographs of people and their shadows. In one of them, the person was holding an umbrella. So I searched for “parasol,” and found pictures of women in hoop skirts. These elements came together in the image I drew. When brainstorming the story afterwards, I started with the obvious (as usual), ideas about someone’s shadow emerging and trying to take over their life, and asking myself what the shadow’s motivation would be.

[Video Description: Duration, 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, 2/5/2022. 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 ?*?*?*?*?. The entire image spins and now that spoke is labeled “DRAW!!!” and the title at top now reads “The Wheel of Fiction V2.”]

Genre: Horror, Mystery


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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