A new secretary is assigned to observe a surgeon who believes he has discovered a method of proving the existence of the soul.
Music: “Monochromatic Stain” by Nicholas Jeudy
[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 36 seconds. Music: “Monochromatic Stain” by Nicholas Jeudy. Title card with the words “Podcast Episode” and “Genre: Science Mystery” is displayed at top over blurred image. Below title card is the story tagline: “A new secretary is assigned to observe a surgeon who believes he has discovered a method of proving the existence of the soul.” The title card and tagline fade away and the image comes into focus. Digital Drawing. A woman seen from waist up, facing forward, tilted to the right, holding an open book before herself. Her right hand is visible poised over the book loosely holding a fountain pen. She’s wearing a shirt, tie, aviator’s coat, and glasses with round lenses that each completely obscure her eyes and reflect the silhouette of a woman in profile with her face and arms thrown back, her hair and clothing streaming backwards. A rainbow overlay of that same silhouette lies over the image. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Text from the story appear over the image as white words within a black rectangle: “‘Here, you see?” the surgeon said, as he pointed with his scalpel. ‘At the nexus of the heart and the brain? Between the eyes and the throat, right at the back of the mouth, where the voice is on the verge of emerging?’ That was where the soul resided.” The last sentence shifts from black and white to rainbow colors before fading. The story title, “The Surgeon’s Secretary,” appears at center, and below it, a text box reading “Available to Read Now storyfeather.com” A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom left 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 landed on STEAM. I have a file where I’ve been capturing story ideas as they come. The original premise for this story came to me in mid-October 2021. Ah yes, the spooky season. Now, a surgeon believing he’s identified the anatomical location of the human soul is a premise that could definitely warrant a much longer story. In the past, I’ve sometimes added too much complexity in a story idea, brainstorm, and outline, only to realize that I can’t include everything in the plot without exceeding the typical word limits of a short story. This is partly a matter of skill, but also partly a matter of focus. So for this story, I decided that the focus would be on the narrator, the surgeon’s new secretary. Specifically, it’s about her first impressions of the surgeon and his claims based on her own observations.
[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, (alternating question marks and apostrophes), Challenge, Draw!!!, (question marks). The title at top reads “The Wheel of Fiction V2” and below that the words “Spin the wheel.” Below that is the date of the spin, 2/25/2022. 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 STEAM. As the wheel stops spinning, the silhouette of a floating human figure appears at right of the STEAM spoke.]
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