YEAR THREE

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Portal Button. Elongated rectangle. Rings of colored light emanate from the center. Inset on the left, a square with the Storyfeather feather logo, a feather quill shaped like the letter "f" with a drop of ink hovering below its tip. To the right of the image, the word "Elements." At top right, the word "Year." Below "Year," the numeral "3."

NOVEMBER 2015 TO OCTOBER 2016

Every year’s short stories (mostly) follow a theme. The overarching theme I aimed for in Year Three was the elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and the physical senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell). Many of the stories were inspired by and often in the form of myth and legend. Stories of phantom limbs, afterlife accountants, songs, curses, and magic fleeces.

Welcome to the third year of Storyfeather.


Below are the titles, primary genres, and taglines for each story in the order it was originally posted.

  • READ button opens story post where you can read the story.
  • LISTEN button opens podcast episode page where you can hear the story, narrated by Nila over music (and the occasional sound effect).
  • GO TO THE END button jumps you to the bottom of the page. It’s a long way down, and depending on your device, important navigational links may be below the page or in the sidebar.


Digital drawing. Silhouette of a queen ant, facing left, three-quarters view, standing upright on her hindmost limbs. Her antennae are pointed forward. Her wings are flat against her back, but slightly spread out. She is framed by a circle, as if seen through a lens.

A couple of agents who investigate unusual phenomena track down what seems to be a distress signal and find (as expected) the unexpected.


Digital drawing. Silhouette of a woman at center, hovering in the air far above the ground, facing forward. Her long hair and the skirt of her dress billow to the right. Her arms are held down and slightly outward from her sides.  Behind her is a mountain range and the open sky.

High up in the mountains live an extraordinary people who deserve to be ruled by an extraordinary ruler.


As his apprentice watches on, a great wizard tests his powers by brewing a rare and mysterious potion. A potion that could be and do anything.


Digital drawing. Stylized silhouette of a figure seen from waist up and facing forward, holding a shield up with the left arm and a sword with the bent right arm. The shield has a symbolic depiction of a turtle on its face. Behind the figure is a curved wall with three open doorways, equally spaced and identical.

A humble wood-carver is a prince’s proxy to face a deadly contest to win the hand of the mysterious princess of the kingdom-by-the-sea.


Digital drawing. Composite image. A handlebar moustache at bottom. Within the curves of the moustache are the wrists of hands, the left and right, palms flat and facing away. The fingernails are all red.

A highborn lady’s unusual birthmark and a young lord’s unacceptable facial grooming habits form the basis for common practices.


Digital drawing. View from the foot of a bed looking down on a woman sleeping in that bed, sheet covering her all the way to her neck. Her bare arms are folded over her torso. Her features are hazy, but her eyes appear to be closed. Behind her pillow, looming over her, is a giant bird, wings spread out and curling around the woman. The edges of the wings looks like stylized fire.

One of the containers from Alora’s favorite take-out place has the power to change her fortune.


Digital drawing. Three identical figures, one standing in the foreground and seen from shoulders up, and two standing behind and flanking, seen from waist up. The two in the background also appear to be reflections of each other.  They all stand facing forward with their arms to their sides, glancing off to the side.  Behind all the figures in the background at left is the hazy image of a train in motion speeding to the left.

A woman dozes off on the subway, misses her stop, and ends up the reaching the same destination again and again.


Digital drawing. Two identical faces in profile facing each other, seen from chin to forehead, mouths open. A thin hazy glow passes between the eyes.

A young detective has the uncanny ability to see into the core of a person.


Digital drawing. Center foreground, a figure in black silhouette facing forward and seen from chest up. Behind the figure is a starry night sky with a glowing gaseous mass at right within which is seen a great cluster of stars.

Twenty years ago, a sailor lost at sea answered a dare, and to this day, he is haunted by the aftereffects.


Digital drawing. Figure facing forward seen from waist to neck, wearing a coat, both arms slightly bent, and both hands gloved and gesturing casually to the right. Snow falls.

A sorcerer creates a powerful spell to rescue a hero, but the spell might be too dangerous to use.


Digital drawing. Collage image of two faces, assembled to appear like a composite of one face. The collage is divided diagonally from bottom left to top right. The top part of the image shows a dark-skinned woman with green eyes and wavy black hair. Her nose and the rest of her face is obscured by the bottom image, which shows the nose and mouth of a light-skinned man. Some facial hair grows under his lip on his chin. His collar is partly visible. Thin red stringy streams emerge from his nostrils and extend to either side.

When a man gifted with a keen sense of smell is tasked with finding a stolen item, he finds something even more extraordinary than his gift.


Digital drawing. Two silhouettes in foreground facing forward. At right is a canine, sitting. At left is a human wearing a bulky cloak with wavy edges and two curled horns at the neck. Behind the figures is a stylized ocean and sky. At left, three tentacles rise above the water’s surface. At right, a tail fin is visible above the water’s surface. The sky appears overcast.

A shepherd is given a fleece of rich black wool that imbues him with unique knowledge. When he passes the fleece on to his heir, she uses that knowledge in her worldly quest.


Digital drawing. Three figures in stylized silhouette facing forward, all seen from waist up. At left in white silhouette, the figure, wearing a coat, holds out the right hand, palm flat and out. A tiny red blotch appears at center of chest. The middle figure, shorter than the other two, in a hooded coat, raises up the left arm, left hand holding a small scroll. The figure at right, wearing a tunic, holds a dagger up at chest level in the right hand.

A thief with honor uses her magic scroll to help a villager from a lost village defeat a terrible enemy.


Digital drawing. A stylized depiction of a ship with three fins at top left, bearing down or falling down toward a rocky and crater-filled curved surface. At top right is seen a cluster of stars emitting a hazy glow of light.

The Chief Engineer of a ship on a mission of exploration discovers deliberate malfunctions and a surprising source of sabotage.


Digital drawing. Collage of four rectangular images behind a central figure, who stands in front of the collage. The central figure is the black silhouette of a child, facing forward and seen from knees up, holding up the left hand at face level, on which is perched a bird. The bird faces left. The figures in the collage are all in gray stylized silhouette. At top left is a young woman facing left, seen from knees up, holding out of left arm, palm up, with her hair flowing behind her. Hovering just to the left of her hand is a small humanoid figure with butterfly wings. At top right is a young woman facing right, seen from knees up, her hair in a high bun. Her left arm is held up and bent. Her right arm is bent at her side. Her mouth is open and musical notes appear before her face. At bottom right, a young woman facing left and positioned horizontally, arm to her side, hair flowing backward, her right leg straight out, and her left leg bent. At bottom left, two figures sitting at a table, arm wrestling, a woman at left and a man at right.

Mynah’s four older sisters were born with extraordinary gifts. When she tries to discover if she too is gifted, she sets herself down a path from which she cannot turn back.


Digital drawing. The view from a low angle looking down at a three-dimensional map on a board, with a hazy depiction of a mountain range and trees at the middle, a small body of water behind the mountains, and a horse-like animal standing before the mountains.  A bright dotted line, slightly wavy, cuts through the front of the board, leading into a stand of trees. Three boxes hover over the map, containing illegible script, with thin lines connecting to the following map elements—the body of water, the mountain range, and the trees.

Three not-so-intrepid explorers are beta-testing a map application when they challenge the map to send them somewhere they know they can’t go.


Digital drawing. Bottom foreground center, black silhouette of a person from chest up. The person holds both hands up to the sides of the head, elbows away from the body.  The head is surrounded by a spiky glow.  Behind that glow, a hazy, webbed cloud surrounds the whole body.  To the right a series of four black squares hover beside the figure in a diagonal path.  The squares are haphazardly distanced and grow smaller as they move away from the figure.  Three oval shapes, each containing an eye at the center, hover over the figure. The oval at center is slightly bigger than the other two. At left, a shape that looks like five hands all connected symmetrically at the wrist, hovers beside the figure.  Scattered blobs and dots appear in the background.

A patient recovering from brain surgery experiences extraordinary aftereffects to his sensory perception.


A slighted sorcerer curses a girl, then dies. Now the girl’s only hope to break the curse is to summon the sorcerer’s spirit back from the dead.


Digital drawing. Six silhouettes. Foreground left, a black silhouette, seen from waist up, bent right arm with hand out to side, holding a bright disk. Behind this figure, stand five figures in gray silhouette, shoulder to shoulder, a few times larger than the first. The hair of the central figure and the figure at far right flows to the left. A glows surrounds the five. At right foreground, in front of the figures, hovers a depiction of the planet Jupiter and one of its moons in front of the planet.

A scientist invents an extraordinary biomaterial that can protect humans from the ravages of space travel, but the price for unlocking its potential is far too high.


Digital drawing. Two figures in stylized silhouette facing each other, with an open book hovering between them. The figure at left is an elderly woman, bent slightly forward, and resting both hands on a walking stick. Behind her ferny strands rise from the ground and reach all the way up to the top of the frame. The figure at right is a man holding his left hand up to his forehead. His head is surrounded by spatters of energy or force. The book is open to a page at left that depicts two land masses, and a page of unreadable text at right that is vertically torn. The tear extends from near the top left edge to the middle of the page. The book is surrounded by a glow.

An apprentice magic-maker loses his master and absorbs all her knowledge, but if he cannot control how the knowledge emerges, it may destroy him.


Digital drawing. Stylized image of three figures, all appearing identical, facing forward, seen from elbows up, wearing dark robes. Their long straight hair is white, their eyes are dark spots, and their mouths are absent. The figure at left extends the left arm, and the left hand is holding an eyeball. Fire seen through a haze seems to rise from behind them.

Three sisters are cursed by a jilted suitor, with an undying and forbidden hunger.


Digital drawing. At right, black silhouette of a person seen from the neck up in left profile with mouth wide open. A gray silhouette of the ear appears within the head. From the open mouth emerge sparks of light and a burst of energy. Jagged lines like branching lightning appear all around the background.

When Cantor’s enchanting voice changes from wonder to disaster, he becomes a hermit, until his voice is called upon to serve his kingdom.


Digital drawing. A figure seen from shoulders up in right profile, with a featureless face and a strand of long hair falling just in front of the face.  The figure’s hair is swept behind the ear, which is depicted in more detail. A webbed haze of energy surrounds the ear. A dark clawed hand grasps the figure’s bare right shoulder.  The forearm connected to the hand grows hazy as it moves farther from the point of contact.

A woman with super-hearing joins forces with a paranormal consultant to capture an invisible killer, but they find themselves up against a far more powerful and unknowable foe.


Digital drawing. Black silhouettes of three figures holding hands, reflected at the center of the image. The figure farthest from center is standing straight up. The middle figure, a little girl, stands with both legs bent. The figure closest to center is taking a step toward a hazy division line at the center. The only difference between the two sides of the image is a slight yellow glow at the bottom left edge.

Three siblings are recovering from the chicken pox at home when they catch a rarer kind of pox that leads them on an adventure into another realm.


Digital drawing. At center foreground, hovering in the air is a single drop of blood, illuminated by a glow from above, whose source is out of frame. Behind the blood drop is a portion of a circle, representing a conference table. Three figures in black silhouette sit at the left side of the table, and three figures at the right side, all their attention on the blood drop.

An initiate has just discovered a secret about his Temple’s holiest relic, a secret that might change the fate of his kingdom


Digital drawing. Foreground center, two figures in black silhouette holding hands, a woman at left and a man at right. At far left in profile is a stylized depiction of a crib with the dark silhouette of a baby in right profile lying within. At far right is a cot at an angle, with the silhouette of a person in left profile, from chest up, with a tube coming out of their mouth. A glowing ghostly human figure in left profile with left arm raised up, stands over the baby. A second ghostly figure facing front with arms crossed stands behind the figure in the cot.

Joe is a spirit tasked with counting the breaths of the living, but his new apprentice isn’t content with just counting the breaths.


Digital drawing. Scene from a game show. Foreground, far left, the host, seen from the back, but turned slightly to right so his cheek and nose are visible. In his right hand, he holds up a card or device with some illegible writing on it. In front of the host, three contestants in silhouette stand facing forward behind podiums. The podiums have plaques at the tops with illegible writing. The middle contestant holds both hands, one above the other, directly over a buzzer. Sparkling lights surround the contestants.

A game show winner claims the show’s most valuable prize, the winner’s greatest desire. But every prize comes with conditions…and a prize isn’t always a prize.


With no experience or expertise, Dolores Potterson builds a device that she hopes will serve as a new power source, by harnessing dark energy.


Digital drawing. Stylized image of a blue silhouette at center seen from waist up with two pairs of arms and hands. The top pair are raised and bent with hands behind the head and the bottom pair are settled on a table, with the right arm raising a glass with a straw up to the face. At left, a person who is invisible except for choppy dark hair and moustache. At right, a person who’s likewise invisible except a pair of glasses and a tie.

Jorge Montoya has developed an unusual condition. He feels the presence of missing limbs where there shouldn’t be any limbs at all.


Digital drawing. A featureless and hairless head facing forward. The neck and tops of shoulders are also visible. On the right shoulder, stands the tiny red silhouette of a devil, a figure with human torso, horns, clawed hands, goats’ legs, and a curved tail ending in a point. On the left shoulder stands the tiny white silhouette of an angel, robed with large wings and a glowing radiance from the head. Both of the tiny figures hold up their left hands to their faces, and are facing the larger figure’s ears.

A man stumbles upon a mysterious box that seems to fall from the sky.  Goaded on by the reckless voice in his head and ignoring the cautious voice in his head, he decides to open the box…


Digital drawing. Two figures with featureless faces facing away from each other. The figure at right is in the foreground, seen from shoulders to nose. There is a leaf-shaped mark on the neck. The figure at left is in the background, seen from waist to forehead, left hand holding a knife or dagger before the face.

Once upon a time, the Lovelocke family gained great wealth, and then they found great fortune.


Digital drawing. Composite image. An amoeba. A large amorphous mass with four main protrusions at the bottom and granules and sacs visible within its translucent body. The amoeba appears to be floating above a body of water. At right, on a rocky shore is the white silhouette of a figure whose top half looks like a human holding hands up before the face, and whose bottom half looks like the shapeless mass of an amoeba.

Amorphous…single-celled…all the amoeba ever wanted was to be more than what she was.


Digital drawing. A robed figure in yellow silhouette with the body of a human and the head of a cat stands with arms raised up beneath a glowing full moon. The figure stands on a raised plateau. Beneath, all around, are the dark silhouettes of cats, seen from the neck up, all with their mouths open.  Sparks seem to emerge from each cat’s mouth and pass in a line toward the moon.

Cats are mysterious.  An ancient myth might shed some light on this mystery.  A rare myth about how cats were the first beings to possess intelligence and consciousness.


Digital drawing. Two figures facing forward in three-quarters view, turned away from each other, and seen in silhouettes of different colors. The figure at left, in soft blue-green, wears a hood, holds the left hand at the hip, and the right hand held before the face. The hands are a darker color. A spider is perched on the right hand and the left shoulder, and a spider hangs from a thread from the left elbow. The figure at right, in red dress with sleeves that end at the elbow, and gray-brown forearms, head, and neck, holds right hand at hip and left hand held before the face. The left hand holds a red apple.

Lucine’s mother mastered spider silk and her stepmother mastered apples. To save herself and her kingdom, she too will need a talent to master.


Digital drawing. Black silhouette of a tiny figure, holding one arm up, stands near bottom center under a wide beam of light that drops from top left angling down to the right. The figure stands on ground that slopes upward and plateaus to the right side. The dark silhouettes of cacti sit on the plateau against a night sky. The plateau is outside of the beam.  A glow rises from the area where the beam meets the ground. The dark shapes of more cacti or bushes sit in the foreground at left and right of frame.

The zodiacal lights are an optical illusion, like the appearance of a watery oasis on a scorching desert horizon.  That’s what one person thought, before following the lights, and stumbling upon a deeper cosmic mystery.


Digital drawing. Composite image. Two stylized figures seen from knees to chin stand facing forward on either side of the image. Between them is the large yellow silhouette of a ram’s head with horns curling outward behind the figures. Within the ram’s head is the black silhouette of a small bird in flight facing left. The figure at left, in shades of yellow and gold, wears a cloak that hands from the left shoulder, and holds out the left hand, holding something red and dripping with blood in the palm. The figure at right, wears a medieval-style dress with bell sleeves cinched at the elbows, a chain belt, and the bird-in-flight stamped below the scoop-neck collar. One bird on the left side, facing right, and another on the right side, facing left. The figure’s hands are folded in front.

Evil stalks the eastern forest. Evil abides in the capital. Only one person can stop it.


Digital drawing. Four human figures, standing shoulder to shoulder, seen from waist up. At far left, stylized silhouette of a figure in a hat, whose only visible features are a nose and a laughing mouth, with one arm over the shoulder of the figure at center left. The two central figures are identical in complexion and dress. They are young men wearing leaf-like coverings at the waist with a strip of cloth passing over their bare chests, connecting the covering at their waist with a layered collar that sits over their shoulders. Their arms are around each other’s shoulders, but they are facing away from each other. Only their noses and mouths are visible. The one at left is laughing and the one at right is frowning. Behind and between them is a staff or pole carved into ornate shapes. The man at center right has his left hand on the shoulder of the figure at far right, who is in stylized silhouette, who wears a hat, whose face is cast down, and from whose eyes drip tears.

One brother came into the world weeping and the other came into the world laughing.  What sorrows and joys will fall upon the boys?


Digital drawing. At center, a human figure in bright silhouette, facing forward and turned to the right, extending the right arm out, holding an object that glows brightly. Trees with bare branches stand alongside the figure and in silhouette behind a haze of fog in the background.  The bright glow also appears behind the tree at left and also above a tree at right.

There is something living in the forest. It is neither good nor evil.


Digital drawing. Composite image. At center left and foreground, a woman seen from chest up, looking forward, her face in three-quarters profile facing left. She wears a bonnet covering her hair except a fringe of straight bangs and two strands of hair falling to either side of her face. She is smiling. Behind her is the surface of some waters. At left is the silhouette of a figure sitting in a boat holding a fishing pole. At right is a large fish emerging out of the water, seen in right profile. A figure whose silhouette matches the woman in foreground can been seen in the fish’s mouth. A bright light at the water line suggests the time is dawn or sunset.

The fisherman’s miserable wife rarely smiled, but once she began, her smile hid a fantastic secret.


Digital drawing. At center, a man on a stage facing forward, wearing a suit but no tie. He has no features, but he’s holding out his right hand and his left hand is resting on a box that’s set on a table. In the foreground are the shadowy silhouettes of heads, his audience. At left, seen at an angle are a pair of curtains, partly open so that the thin legs, one arm, and a feathery appendage of a green figure is seen behind the curtains offstage.

Did Alfred MacAlastair truly discovery a flying plantman?


Digital drawing. At center, silhouette of a woman floating in space, her hair streaming to the left. In her chest, where her heart would be is a red shape with a glowing core. The figure herself appears to be floating at the center of some spatial phenomenon made of colored web-like strands and hazy glows. At top right are two dark spheres, one large, and one very small, as if it might be a satellite to the larger sphere. The space is bright at bottom but darker at top of frame.

 After learning the truth about the stars, Nova believes she has been chosen to carry one in her heart, but she will do much more than carry a star.


Digital drawing. Center left foreground, translucent silhouette of a human figure, facing forward, but with body turned to right, extending the right arm. From the right hand shoots a stream of substance or energy. Behind and slightly overlapping with the figure is the silhouetted profile of a head facing right, seen from neck up. A translucent cap of hair sits over the head. At the center of the brain’s position sits a sphere. Branches of glowing light emanate from the sphere and look like cracks through the image.

The mystery of magic in our world begins with the mystery of the magus node.


Digital drawing. A layer of fog sits at the bottom of the image. At far left, a white silhouette of a figure seen from waist up, stands and faces left, both arms extended left. The right hand holds up a snowball. The left hand gestures to the snowball. At far right is the hazy shape of a typical snowman made of three snowballs, growing smaller in size as they are stacked up. Middle ground, trees with bare branches. Background center, a stone structure that looks like a ruins. On the broken edge of an upper level, the silhouette of a figure stands with arms raised and one leg raised. On the flat ground of a lower level, the silhouette of a figure sits against a wall with knees drawn up, in front of a fire.

After making a snowman together, a father tells his children the story about the origins and customs of making snowmen, a story that warns of the mysteries and dangers of snow.


Digital drawing. At left, silhouette of a human figure standing in liquid, reaching up with both arms, toward fruits that are just out of reach from a tree whose trunk is partly visible at the left edge of frame. A full moon is visible behind the fruit and the reaching hands. Framing the right edge, another tree, this one with bare branches. Between the figure and the tree at right, there emerges from the liquid, some massive slug-like creature, seen in silhouette, with bulges at top that might be eyes, and two horn-like antennae.

Trapped in the underworld, a man believes he can escape if he collects the blood of a tormented soul, blood that is both blessed and cursed by the gods.


Digital drawing. Scene at a carnival. Foreground, bottom, silhouettes of a crowd, shoulders and heads. One person at left has a hand raised. At far right, standing front of the crowd, facing forward, wearing a ringmaster-style coat and a top hat and seen from ankles up is a performer, whose face is featureless, and who holds both hands out to the crowd. At left, middle ground, is a tent sitting on green ground. Nothing is visible beyond the tent’s opening. A pennant flies on top of the tent. In the background are the rough hazy shapes of more tents.

A desperate mother cannot escape a bargain she made when she was a child, to sacrifice her firstborn.


Beware the magician. At dawn, he wakes. Beware, beware, for your heart he’ll take.”
What does a nursery rhyme about a heartless magician have to do with a young technician who’s only trying to do his job?


Digital drawing. At center, a figure seen from waist to chin, facing forward, holds a torch in both hands so that it’s directed diagonally with the flame at top left. The figure’s cloak is blown to the right. Snow falls and a layer of fog and snow is visible at the bottom edge. A bright glowing object is seen within the figure’s chest where the heart should be. At right and left, behind the blur of snow, are gargoyle statues, facing forward with wings just beginning to extend. In the background are the shadowy silhouettes of buildings.

With all the grown folk trapped in sleep, the children tend their town, and soon are called to defend it from a nightmarish enemy.


Scan of an inked line drawing.  Composite of four figures representing the four elements of fire, water, earth, and air. At bottom left is a gnome facing left, seen from shoulders up, with an axe slung over his right shoulder. He wears a metal helmet and long beard. The axe bears a pattern of water waves and the bottom of his beard seems to drip. He stands before rocky earth, which extends up and around. Sitting on that rocky earth, above the gnome, is a salamander, whose head is at left and facing left, and whose body curves to the right and curls down. The salamander’s right forelimb is visible and symbolic curls of air extend from the digits. To the right of the salamander’s head and enclosed within the curve of its body is the figure of a bare-chested man seen from waist up facing forward. His arms are raised to his sides and his head is thrown back so he looks upward. Within his chest are symbol lines curling in. Flanking his arms are more symbolic curls. In his right hand is a symbolic wave of water and in his left hand is a symbolic flame. Below and to the right of the man, and still within the curve of the salamander is a woman, facing right. From neck to waist, she is cover in scales. Her hair flows behind her and turns into symbolic wave shapes. Her pleated skirt descends into a row of symbolic waves at bottom right of frame. She holds her arms bent, the left hand extended to the right, palm up, holding a symbolic flame.

The great Elementals—Fire Air, Water, and Earth—weary of their own natures, wonder what it would be like to trade places…


Scan of an ink drawing. At left, a young fairy woman, facing forward, turned to the left. Her dress and cloak are blowing to the right. Her long hair is blow to the left. In her right hand, held to her side, she holds a vial or bottle. Her left arm is bent, her left fist held before her chest. Her left wing, a butterfly wing, extends from her back to the right. She is framed by straight lines at the sides and a slight curved dome at top.

A little girl asks her aunt for a peculiar gift: the soul of a fairy. But fairies don’t have souls…


Scan of an ink drawing. Tumultuous waves at bottom. At center middle ground, a small boat tipping under the swell of a wave, with three human silhouettes inside, one of them standing and holding up both arms. Emerging from the waters right in front of the boat is the body of a large serpentine creature. At far right, the creature’s scaly tail emerges from the water, bearing a ridge of fins. From top of frame, the creature’s head curves down in front of its body, right eye directly over the boat full of people. The head appears like a sea dragon, with large bulbous eyes, an array of fins behind each eye, and tendrils emerging from the sides of a long snout.

Mira is a contract field investigator, and her job is to investigate the strange and the otherworldly.  When planning her vacation, she stumbles upon something even stranger than a ghost, alien, or fairy.


Scan of an ink drawing.  A tortoise at bottom and cheetah at top, both running to the left, both faces featureless, and both covered in the lightning that drops down on them from top of frame. The tortoise shell has a pattern of concentric squares on each plate. In the background is a mesa with tall thin towers of rock and a plateau at the right side.

Tortoise and Cheetah both claim to be the only child of Lightning. To prove who is the true child, they engage in a contest of quickness.


Scan of an ink drawing.  At center left, a little girl in a nightdress with some pattern of small flowers or fruit faces forward. She clutches a doll to her chest with both arms. Her mouth is drawn slightly down and her feet are bare. She has long straight hair that’s parted in the middle and pinned back on either side. She stands in front of a house seen in silhouette. Clawed fingers grasp the top of the house at either side.

Surveyors uncover a buried mansion and wake a sleeping ghost.


When the Year of Elements was finished, I drafted this “thank you” post.