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TRAILERS FOR RECENT SHORT STORIES
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STORYFEATHER YEAR 8
The Year of Revisitation

In the short stories I’m writing this year, I’ll revisit one of the over 350 stories I’ve already written, and write a new standalone story connected to or inspired by the existing one through a character, a place, an object, a continuation of events (okay, sequel), and so on. 

You can click on the buttons to read the stories.


A young woman becomes increasingly convinced that the radio receiver in her bargain headphones is picking up an alien transmission.


This week I am revisiting an idea and a story title: mysterious voices coming from headphones. I have a pair of over-the-ear headphones that has a radio receiver, which I pretty much never use. I didn’t even know they could do that. I wondered what would happen if I tuned in to a station that seemed to be transmitting an alien news broadcast. I would think it was fictional, of course. Because they’re speaking a human language, for one thing. But what if there was an explanation for that, and for all the other things that make me think this isn’t real?

This week’s idea was inspired by a story in which a girl is haunted by a mysterious voice that she can only hear in a pair of headphones that her friend has modified for the purposes of eavesdropping, “The Lady in My Headphones.”

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 37.5 seconds. No sound. Digital drawing. Overview of a wooden desktop. Clockwise from top right corner, most of a cup filled with a brown liquid. A cell phone displaying a checklist with a few items checked off.  A hand with a bracelet visible, holding a pen perched over a folded-over notebook.  A crumpled sticky note.  A pair of over-ear headphones.  A cylindrical container filled with colored pencils.  A partial view of a pair of glasses folded up. A folded-over notebook with notes written on the top half lying over a document affixed with a binder clip holding a note where the sentences are partially visible under the headphones. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mystery” are displayed in front of the image. The title card fades and lines from the story appear in glowing text and text boxes, alternately: “’Now, most of our listeners know that Earth is not an intersystem civilization.’ At first, I thought I’d tuned into a radio play. ‘It would be fairly easy for even a one-ship pirate crew to conquer a significant portion of the planet’s current sentients.’ ‘Should we be telling our listener’s that?’ I had spun a scenario in which I was a stranger that some store employee was playing a prank on.” The title appears as the last line fades. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom right throughout.]


Something has disrupted the ethereal force that imbues all the creatures of the world with magic.


This week I am again revisiting a theme or idea rather than the specifics of a previous story. Magic and flight. Flight with wings has always been an ability that has enchanted and fascinated me. What if magic was once as abundant in the world as air and water? And every creature needed it to live and could wield it as they chose? How then did the world come to be as it is now? (Seemingly) devoid of magic?

This week’s story idea was inspired by an early mythological-fantastical story I wrote about enchanted flight, “A Gildenfaere’s Gift.”

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 37 seconds. No sound. Digital drawing. Various winged animals in the sky positioned at a diagonal from bottom left to top right. At bottom left a snake emerges from glowing clouds. The snake has two arms and is holding them out. The left arm appears to be disconnected. Outspread wings appear from just behind the snake’s head. Behind, above, and to the left of the snake a giant turtle swims through the air toward the viewer with outspread wings emerging from behind the forelimbs and smaller wings emerging from behind the head. A spider crawls on the turtle’s shell. The spider bears eight wings. Behind the turtle at some distance an elephant descends. Faded feathers fall from the elephant’s wings. Behind the elephant, the glowing outline of an owl’s head in three-quarters view, facing left, is just visible. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mythology” are displayed in front of the image. The title card fades and lines from the story appear in text boxes: “Once, in a long-forgotten age, every creature could live in every sphere. This was so because of an energy, a force that spun around and through the world. The elephants called it ‘ethereum.’ The owls called it ‘magic.’” The title appears as the last line appears and fades. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom right throughout.]


An inventor of a memory management device realizes his invention is showing him a memory he hasn’t experienced, a dangerous memory.


This week I am again revisiting a theme or idea rather than the specifics of a previous story. Inventions, even when they do what they are invented and expected to do, sometimes have unintended effects. Some of those effects may be minor. Some major. The stakes get even higher when that invention is meant to directly affect the human body.  And trickier when the part of the human body they affect is the mind.

Another story where technology applied to the body does unexpected things is one I recently recorded for the podcast, “My Homunculus Is Malfunctioning.”

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 35 seconds. No sound. Digital drawing. Composite image. Left bottom, a young man seen from his left side, from the shoulders up, with his eyes closed, with his hand in his hair. Faint words are visible in his hair. The word “Forward,” and below it, in reverse, the word “Backward.” He is in grayscale, while the rest of the image is in color. Behind and to his right is the façade of a diner seen from an angle. An “Open” sign hangs from the closed door. Four windows are visible. A sign above the door and windows reads “Singing Star.” Above the sign is a marquee with a huge five-pointed cartoon star hung in the center. The star has closed eyes with long lashes and an open mouth painted with lipstick. Beside the star are lines hung with musical notation symbols, flanked by more stars. Behind and to the left of the diner is a sign seen at an angle. The sign reads “Dr. V. Varma, Applied Transdimensional Theory, 8-9 PM, Auditorium.” To the sign’s left is a set of two theater chairs. A backpack lies under the leftmost chair. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mystery” are displayed in front of the image. The title card fades and lines from the story appear in text boxes: “Memories are unreliable…my extrapolation algorithm…following a path that human logic isn’t able to follow…the voice in my memory is yours.” Below the first and last lines faded reflections of the text appears below the lines. The title appears as the last line fades. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom right throughout.]


A group of curious and ingenious humans build a spyglass to peer into the realm of the gods, to find out why the gods are not governing the world as they were expected to.


Resourceful mortals versus neglectful gods (or cruel gods, or petty gods). This theme doesn’t seem to get old for me. So I revisited it in this story. In previous stories (links below), I’ve explored this theme on an individual level, and I started with a serious grievance. The new story begins with curiosity and suspicion, and as the title reveals, a collective effort to challenge the gods.

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 37 seconds. No sound. Digital drawing. Composite image. Center, a floating island wreathed with glowing clouds, surrounded by a wispy net of light. Behind the island, a circle encloses a partial view of the moon at top and a night sky. Encasing the circle is a square, showing the same view of the sky. Top right corner shows bolts of lightning. Top left corner shows colorful sparks of light. Along the bottom stand a row of twelve people seen in silhouette from the back, each person holding one hand on the shoulder of the person standing next to them. This square is flanked by thin panels. The right panel at bottom depicts a partially constructed ladder beside a support tower. The left panel shows a spyglass or telescope angled to view the floating island. A final set of panels flanks the rest of the image. The scope extends into the final left panel. Thick gray fog or clouds appear at bottom. At right middle, three smaller floating islands are chained together with bridges. The sky above displays colored gases. At left, a net of light extends and expands from one corner of the island. A larger overlay of the circle showing the sky and moon sits to the left of the whole image.  A smaller overlay sits to the right. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Mythology” are displayed in front of the image. The title card fades and lines from the story appear at center in text boxes: “…the gods lived far above the earth and somewhere below the stars. Their abode was not visible to mortal eyes, but if human sight could be extended, perhaps human eyes could see the comings and goings of the gods… to find out why the gods are not governing the world as they were expected to.” The last line fades revealed the story’s title. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom center throughout.]


OLDER SHORT STORY TRAILERS

JUMP INTO THE PORTAL BELOW TO EXPLORE PREVIOUSLY POSTED STORIES

Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with rings of colored light emanating from the center. Text appears over the rings, reading "Storyfeather Year 8" and below it in larger font, "Revisitation."

PODCAST SEASON 4
The Year of Creatures

In this season of the podcast, I’m recording the short stories I wrote back in 2016-2017, where the theme was…uh…creatures!

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and most places where podcasts are found.  Or listen directly from my Podcast page on storyfeather.com

You can listen to the latest three episodes directly from this page if you scroll to the bottom.


Wandering storytellers are known as troubadours, and they come by their sweet voices and their enchanting storytelling from a surprising ancestor.

(You can also listen to the full episode at the bottom of this page.)
How the Troubadours Came To Be

[Video description: 56 seconds. Scanned watercolor painting. A figure in colorful and fanciful attire of a medieval style stands before a stone pond. Lying against the pond is a plain satchel or backpack. The figure plays a stringed instrument, like a mandolin, and sings with eyes closed. A few people are gathered around the pond, watching the singing figure. An old man with a pipe and cane, a young man with arms crossed, a woman with her child.  In the background, a couple walks by in one direction. A man pulling a wagon walks in the other direction. In the far background are the buildings of this town or village. In the foreground are the shadowed silhouettes of other onlookers. Watermark of the word “storyfeather” lays over the image. Title card displays “Podcast Episode” and “Genre: Fairy Tale” The words fade away, replaced by the story’s title. The title flies in and flies out. Subtitles appear in time with music and narration at the bottom: “Her face showed no surprise. As the birds, hundreds upon thousands, perched upon the vast cauldron, the creator spoke. ‘You seek to steal what was meant for you to begin with.’ The creator’s brow grew dark and her gaze foreboding. ‘It is meant for you no longer,’ she said. And in her great rage, she tipped over the cauldron, breaking the seal and spilling the gift of song. The assembled birds scattered. They feared the creator’s wrath. But they suffered no wrath, no anger, no sorrow. The creator merely vanished in a flash of brilliant light.” Website URL displays at bottom & fades at end as a text box appears over image displaying the words, “Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and so on. Or listen on my Podcast page at storyfeather.com.”]


Three children embark on a desperate quest to win a wish, but there is a terrible price for making that wish come true.

(You can also listen to the full episode at the bottom of this page.)
The Quest of Nine Days

[Video description: 45 seconds. Scanned watercolor painting. At the bottom, the tiny figures of three children are seen from the back as they gaze up the trunk of a massive tree. The top half of the image is the tree’s thick canopy, through which nothing can be seen. The kid at left is wearing a backpack. The kid in the middle has a ponytail and is wearing a belted dress. The kid at right is wearing a pointed cap and a strap is visible hanging from the left shoulder across the back to the left hip. Watermark of the word “storyfeather” lays over the image. Title card displays “Podcast Episode” and “Genre: Fantasy” The words fade away, replaced by the story’s title. The title fades. Subtitles appear in time with music and narration at the bottom: “She had read and read deep into the night until the words started spinning around and she felt dizzy from the need to rest and sleep. But she had found what she was looking for. She had found the real reason why the trees stopped being used. The ancient peoples, their ancestors, had discovered that the price of making wishes—even seemingly selfless wishes—was the manifestation of the worst things that existed in world, monsters.” Website URL displays at bottom & fades at end as a text box appears over image displaying the words, “Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and so on. Or listen on my Podcast page at storyfeather.com.”]


The complex implant that tempers one man’s pathological emotions is exhibiting signs of “adverse reactions.”

(You can also listen to the full episode at the bottom of this page.)
My Homunculus Is Malfunctioning

[Video description: 49 seconds. Scanned watercolor painting. View looks down the length of an examining or operating table over the head of a patient, who is on a respirator and who has a sheet lying over their chest with a box-shaped hole protruding from it. A bright light shines overhead. To the right stands a person dressed in operating scrubs holding a scalpel. Behind them a couple of monitoring screens are visible. To the left is another person in scrubs holding out a device. A third figure in scrubs stands behind, looking upward. Watermark of the word “storyfeather” lays over the image. Title card displays “Podcast Episode” and “Genre: Science Fiction” The words fade away, replaced by the story’s title. The title recedes. Subtitles appear in time with music and narration at the bottom: “Someone found me screaming in the alley behind the restaurant where I’d gone to lunch with some potential clients. I never conquered my emotions. And thought I never would. Because I wouldn’t have to. He would conquer them for me. He would feed upon them, devour them. They would vanish, and I would be calm, no matter how much all the people around me infuriated me, frightened me, saddened me.” Website URL appears at bottom & fades at end as a text box appears over image displaying the words, “Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and so on. Or listen on my Podcast page at storyfeather.com.”]


OLDER PODCAST TRAILERS

JUMP INTO THE PORTAL BELOW TO EXPLORE PREVIOUSLY POSTED STORIES

Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with rings of colored light emanating from the center. Text appears over the rings, reading "Storyfeather Year 4" and below it in larger font, "Creatures."


LISTEN TO THE THREE MOST RECENT PODCAST EPISODES RIGHT HERE


How the Troubadours Came To Be Storyfeather

  1. How the Troubadours Came To Be
  2. The Quest of Nine Days
  3. My Homunculus Is Malfunctioning