A prosperous beast dies, leaving behind a vast fortune locked behind a stone vault that can only be opened by a magical utterance.
Music: “Dwarven Settlement” by Benjamin Carr
Video Description: “Vault of the Fortunate Heir” Trailer. Duration, 46 seconds. “Dwarven Settlement” by Benjamin Carr. Digital painting. Perched on a branch that extends horizontally at the bottom is an earthworm in front of a gecko in front of a crow. The worm has raised the upper half of the body, rearing like a snake. The leaf-tailed gecko, seen from left side, has coloring and pattern that matches the tree branch. The crow’s head is turned to the right. Behind them is a wall of stone. Bright mist lays beneath the branch. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Fable,” is displayed at top. Tagline is displayed at bottom. It reads: “A prosperous beast dies, leaving behind a vast fortune locked behind a stone vault that can only be opened by a magical utterance.” Title card and tagline fade. A watermark of the word “storyfeather” appears over the image. Lines from the story appear in sequence in different positions: “The world was his vault. We are already inside it. And we are the treasure. Abandon this futile game for what is most certainly an empty treasure, no matter what lies beyond the vault doors. It is a strange and difficult burden to have the answers that everyone seeks, that everyone can hear, but that none will listen to.” Site URL appears at bottom center throughout and fades at end. As the last line disappears, the story title appears at center, and a text card appears at top that reads “Available to Read Now.” Animation: Black feathers float down in front of the title.
Welcome to Year 10 of Storyfeather
Every year’s short stories (mostly) follow a theme. For Year Ten, every month’s stories share a genre or theme, some anchor point that the reader can rely on. But within that, there are strange concoctions brewing. The genre’s merge, archetypes collide, mythologies mash…welcome to the Year of Fusion.
December Base Element:
Base elements for December: Magic, specifically, a magic word.
Fusion Element: An untimely death. An unwinnable treasure.
The concept for this story started with the idea of a wealthy man dying before passing on the magic word that will open his vault of treasures. So originally, the story would be about people lining up to guess what the word was, and the line being so long that some folks would spend large chunks of their lives, or maybe all their lives, wasting away in that line. And somewhere along the line, I changed the characters from human to animal. More interesting that way. Also, this story was obviously a fable.
Tags: Beast, Crow, Earthworm, Fortunate, Fortune, Gecko, Heir, Treasure, Vault, Worm
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